Mauricio Arango (MFA Design '03) will have a film playing at the New Directors/New Films festival from March 20 - 31, 2013, presented jointly by The Film Society of Lincoln Center and The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. The festival introduces audiences to emerging and not-yet-established filmmakers from around the world. Arango's film, Everything Near Becomes Far, is a 10 minutes narrative short film in Spanish with English subtitles and takes place in Colombia, where Arango was born. The concept, direction, and editing for the film was done by Arango, and all aspects of post-production were completed by himself because editing is a crucial part of his creative process. "My aim was to recreate an episode of violence typical of the Colombian armed struggle," he says. "I explore the way violence alters our senses of space and time - two defining aspects of subjectivity." The history of his home country led him to consider how the traumatic events that have happened and are still happening, affect the conditions of everyday life.
In the film, a couple begins a normal day together in the beautiful mountain range of the Andes and part ways to go to work. The day unravels with sudden, cruel action and depicts the last day of the man. It touches upon several aspects of the psychic life of conflict, expressions of masculinity, mental and geographical isolation of the populations living in the warring zones, and reveals intrusion of political violence. "Throughout my life time, the aesthetics of shape, light, colors and all the components of images have been a source of inspiration," he says. "Contrasts of light and darkness, duration and impermanence, and between humans, animals, and their environments play out in my work." An atmosphere of dread gradually develops through muted sounds, a looming landscape and the threatening visions of wild animals observing the main characters from the distance.
Arango's films have screened in more than 20 international film festivals and art galleries in Europe and North America, and are no longer than 20 minutes. There is a 2-minute film excerpt of Everything Near Becomes Far on his website. Local actors and crew from Colombia work with him in remote locations of the country during the many months it takes to complete the films. When Arango is not filming, he works and lives in New York.
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