In recent years, the death of cinema has become an anxious critical and popular commonplace. This article examines this problem through a series of contemporary South American films and film projects by critically-acclaimed directors Esteban Sapir and Federico León (Argentina), Federico Veiroj (Uruguay), and Eduardo Coutinho (Brazil), all of which contend with cinema’s status as a late or eclipsed medium. While aesthetically divergent, their films share a desire to stage cinema’s lateness through two key tropes: architecture and modes of transport. Through mise-en-scène, framing, and montage, as well as through attentiveness to cinema’s shifting processes of circulation and reception, they construct a hauntology of the medium’s promises, in particular the mid-century modernist utopia of a democratic cinephilia as a privileged mode of spatial-temporal travel. Ultimately, I suggest the ways in which contemporary South American film offers us a unique position from which to explore the global debates on cinema’s ostensible demise as both medium and institution.