Friday, April 20 at 7:30 PM

Doors 7 PM; $10 admission/$6 students/seniors; free for Filmforum Members                 

Los Angeles Filmforum is pleased to present a retrospective of Chilean-born Montréal-based filmmaker Malena Szlam’s film works with the artist in attendance. Working in 35mm, 16mm, Super 8mm, and digital formats Szlam’s silent, poetic, and ethereal compositions explore notions of time, self, the natural world and materiality. Each of her films are meticulously assembled using a menagerie of techniques to physically alter the film elements resulting in dreamlike, collaged, flickering images leaving viewers with a sense of wonderment, displacement and an expanded sense of time. Szlam’s careful construction of her works serves to ground and guide viewers on a serene journey through these brief and powerful cinematic experiences.

This is Szlam’s first retrospective in Los Angeles. Her work includes performance, installation, and single channel film exhibitions. Her work has been featured in numerous international showcases, such as the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the Toronto International Film Festival, the New York Film Festival, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Hong Kong Film Festival, the Buenos Aires Museum of Modern Art, the Leonard & Bina Ellen Gallery (Montréal) and the YYZ Gallery (Toronto). Szlam is recipient of the LIFT – Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto’s Roberto Ariganello Artist Residency Award 2018.

Malena Szlam’s visit made possible by a grant from the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts.

Tickets: $10 general; $6 students/seniors; free for Filmforum members.                       

MORE INFO: , 323-377-7238.



Chronogram of Inexistent Time (Cronograma de un tiempo inexistente)

2008, 35mm to digital, colour, silent, 6:00 min., Chile, Canada

Los Angeles premiere!

Chronogram is a photomontage that explores stillness, motion, and memory. Using a 35mm still camera, multiple exposures were composed and edited in-camera, creating frameless sequences of images printed on 35mm filmstrips. When projected, these images become a non-linear, non-synchronized collage. The ephemeral quality of the images—their transparency, layering, and repetition—invites us to reflect on the role memory plays in perception, the ways we mentally reconfigure fragments to construct stability and meaning in an environment of perpetual flux.


Rhythm Trail

2010 – 2011,  Super 8mm, color, silent, 10:00 min., Chile, Canada

US premiere!

Like notes written in a diary, Rhythm Trail is an open-ended film composed of a series of Super 8mm sketches edited in-camera. These collected notes are traces of moments and places that reflect on the immediacy of sight.


Anagrams of Light (Anagramas de luz)

2011,  Super 8mm, color,  silent,  2:45 min., Canada

Los Angeles premiere!

Light breaks the darkness in playful rapture—a film dedicated to my dear friend Javiera.


Beneath Your Skin of Deep Hollow (Bajo tu lámina de agujero profundo)

2010, Super 8mm to 16mm, color, silent, 3:40 min., Canada

Los Angeles premiere!

Beneath Your Skin of Deep Hollow translates night and water into arrhythmic movements of light in a fugue of colours. Shifting impressions emerge on the surface of an agitated stillness, while darkness illuminates reflections and sight.


Morfología de un sueño (Morphology of a Dream)

2015, 16mm, color, silent, 5:45 min., USA, Canada

US premiere!

Morphology of a Dream is a visual study of the rhythms of sleep cycles during the phase of rapid eye movement. Filmed in the forest in Colorado, Morfología explores an oneiric world that expresses place and memory in a fleeting succession of colors and sensations hovering between the “real” and abstract worlds.


Lunar Almanac

2013, 16mm, colour, silent,  4:00 min., Canada

“Lunar Almanac initiates a journey through magnetic spheres with its staccato layering of single-frame, long exposures of a multiplied moon. Shot in 16mm Ektachrome and hand processed, the film’s artisanal touches are imbued with nocturnal mystery.” —Andréa Picard, TIFF Wavelengths, 2014

“Harnessing chance as much as film’s innate technical abilities, Lunar Almanac is an exquisite miniature of wonderment.” —Ana Hušman, Johann Lurf and Andréa Picard, 25 FPS Festival, 2014

Lunar Almanac traces the observational points of the lunar cycle in a series of visual notations. Using single-frame and long-exposure photography, the unaltered, in-camera editing accumulates over 4000 layered field views of half-moons, new moons, and full moons. These lunar inscriptions flit across the screen with a frenetic energy, illuminating nocturnal reveries that pull at the tides as much as our dreams.

Special Screening to be announced at the show.

Individual film notes by Malena Szlam


Born and raised in Chile, Malena Szlam is an artist-filmmaker based in Montréal, Canada. She is a member of Double Negative, an artist collective dedicated to the production and exhibition of experimental cinema. Working at the intersection of cinema, installation, and performance, her practice explores the relationship between the natural world, perception, and intuitive process. The poetics developed through her time-based works engage the material and affective dimensions of analogue film practice.

Szlam’s work has been exhibited in numerous festivals and museums, including the Toronto International Film Festival’s Wavelengths, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Viennale, Hong Kong Film Festival, the New York Film Festival’s Views from the Avant-Garde, Media City Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Beirut Art Center, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Buenos Aires Museum of Modern Art, the Bienal de la imagen en movimiento, and the Leonard & Bina Ellen Gallery.

Szlam is the recipient of the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto’s (LIFT) Roberto Ariganello Artist Residency Award (2018). She was a participant artist, with Daïchi Saïto and John Price, in UNDERGROUND MINES: Canadian Artists’ Cinema in South America (2015), a multi-venue tour and research project celebrating analogue film curated by Oona Mosna (Program Director, Media City Film Festival). Past collaborations include Jerusalem In My Heart (2011-2013), a live audio-visual performance project with Montréal-based musician Radwan Ghazi Moumneh that toured Europe, Canada, and Lebanon; and Breaking the Frame (2012), Marielle Nitoslawska’s feature-length profile of Carolee Schneemann, pioneer of feminist performance art and avant-garde cinema.

Szlam studied fine arts at Universidad de Artes y Ciencias Sociales in Santiago, Chile (BFA 2002) and cinema at Concordia University in Montréal, Canada (MFA 2010). In addition to her art practice, she is a programmer of experimental film and video. Together with Daïchi Saïto, she co-directed CinemaSpace at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts (2010-12). Her films are distributed by the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre (CFMDC).



This program is supported by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles. We also depend on our members, ticket buyers, and individual donors.

Los Angeles Filmforum is the city’s longest-running organization dedicated to weekly screenings of experimental film, documentaries, video art, and experimental animation. 2018 is our 43rd year.

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