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.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 409-437
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.