Intro by Stephanie Spray, Cinema Studies


At the start of Lucrecia Martel’s Zama—the finest film of 2018 so far—Don Diego de Zama, a functionary of the Spanish empire, stares out from an unnamed shore at an indefinite horizon. The view from this perch is nice, but it’s old news; standing ashore with his eyes trained anywhere but on his dire present circumstances has more or less become the man’s day job.

Lately, though, the view from the shore has itself become a tough pill to swallow. Zama, played with maddening self-possession by the Mexican actor Daniel Giménez Cacho, is a magistrate posted in the unglamorous backwaters of 18th-century Paraguay, where he’s more or less destined to rot, thanks to a new rule preventing New World-born Creole americanos like himself (as opposed to men born in Spain) from rising any higher in the ranks than he already has. It’s possible he’s in denial about that fact. Repeatedly deflated by the local governor’s insincere efforts to get him transferred back to civilization, Zama nevertheless has such a high-minded sense of his own status that what everyone else understands as a bad case of inescapable, Sartrean limbo appears, to Zama, to be a mere matter of red tape. He knows but doesn’t know that it’s more or less too late, that his maneuvering will get him nowhere. When an indigenous man spins him a tale about a fish out of water, doomed to remain stranded on its banks, Zama listens with his usual detached curiosity, maybe internalizing it, maybe not. Clearly, though, he’s the fish. By the end of Zama, he most certainly realizes as much. But it costs him an era of his life—to say nothing of limb.

Cacho’s performance as Zama, certain to be one of the year’s finest, is what seals the deal, in that regard. It’s a role premised on quiet panic—a character slowly but unavoidably coming to terms with being belittled by his own power. Martel, a consummate critic of that power, would of course be the first to laugh at that. She keeps Cacho front and center, in shallow focus, with his agile gaze exaggerated and his red-hot internal drama roiling beneath his deceptively aloof exterior. It’s a tour de force, and Zama is the rare movie good enough to deserve it.

— K. Austin Collins, Vanity Fair


Fri September 21, 2018, 7:30 PM, Muenzinger Auditorium

Argentina, 2017, in Spanish, Color, 115 min, 1.85 : 1

Director: Lucrecia Martel, Novel: Antonio Di Benedetto, Writer: Lucrecia Martel, Cast: Matheus Nachtergaele, Daniel Giménez Cacho, Lola Dueñas, Juan Minujín, Rafael Spregelburd



10 films for $60 with punch card
$9 general admission. $7 w/UCB student ID, $7 for senior citizens
$1 discount to anyone with a bike helmet
Free on your birthday! CU Cinema Studies students get in free.


Pay lot 360 (now only $1/hour!), across from the buffalo statue and next to the Duane Physics tower, is closest to Muenzinger. Free parking can be found after 5pm at the meters along Colorado Ave east of Folsom stadium and along University Ave west of Macky.


Park elsewhere and catch the HOP to campus

International Film Series

(Originally called The University Film Commission)
Established 1941 by James Sandoe.

First Person Cinema

(Originally called The Experimental Cinema Group)
Established 1955 by Carla Selby, Gladney Oakley, Bruce Conner and Stan Brakhage.

C.U. Film Program

(AKA The Rocky Mountain Film Center)
First offered degrees in filmmaking and critical studies in 1989 under the guidance of Virgil Grillo.

Celebrating Stan

Created by Suranjan Ganguly in 2003.

C.U. Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Established 2017 by Chair Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz.

Thank you, sponsors!
Boulder International Film Festival
Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Looking for a gift for a friend?
Buy a Frequent Patron Punch Card for $60 at any IFS show. With the punch card you can see ten films (a value of $90).

Virtual titles to stream from home

Cox & Kjølseth
: Filmmaker Alex Cox & Pablo Kjølseth discuss film topics from their own unique perspectives.

: Pablo and Ana share Zoom-based briefs on what's currently playing at IFS

Sprocket Damage
: Sprocket Damage digs deep(ish) into current and classic films and film-related subjects to bring to you insightful, humorous, and enlightening perspectives on the industry.

Search IFS schedules

Index of visiting artists

Thu Apr 27, 2023


At Muenzinger Auditorium

Sat Apr 29, 2023

The Illusionist

At Muenzinger Auditorium

more on 35mm...