THE CALL OF THE LAND A GAUCHO LEGEND
Based on a gaucho legend.
Amaranto's legend was born from a land that is constantly being threatened by wildfires, that destroy its vegetation and resources. The raging fires and the hope of rains are in the hearts of those who inhabit these lands. Amaranto is a gaucho who embarks on the mission of finding the bull with golden horns, that roars at midnight and exhales fire. The animal is guarded by a singing woman who will not allow the safe return of gold scavengers. The hero, Amaranto, is both Gaucho and indigenous and symbolizes the folkloric, the Bull represents the Spaniards and The singing woman is a metaphor for the dying indigenous wisdom, among other elements.
Amaranto is dwelling on and incarnating the clash between the Spanish conquistador and the Comechingones who were Amaranto’s indigenous ancestors. It is a story set in a fictional historical time in the province of Cordoba, Argentina but inspired on the real historical context of the 1700’s.
My signature themes are philosophy, adventure, myths, the heroic tale, the feminine perspective and duality expressed through the medium of films that feel like an experience/performance, art film.
My vision as an artist is to improve the quality of my work by engaging on meaningful stories and by paying attention to all the elements that conform the visual story. For instance, using art to defend the importance of mythology and symbolism as healing tools for society, unearthing archaic narratives and rediscovering women’s role in history, or at least initiating these conversations. In terms of the elements( costume, light, location , movement, etc..) , because I consider myself an artist who focuses on creating an atmosphere, I believe in taking each element as a composition in itself, each with an equal strength. In my future projects I would like to work separately and thoroughly on costume, movement, light, makeup and casting, in order to achieve a precise and strong aesthetic universe. My aim is to enhance my technical expertise so as the aesthetics of my work shift from being a decorative shell in order to become the theme. My position in the art world is that of an artistic director with a focus on audio visuals, design and performance. In terms of my audience, I have a two folded path, on one hand I see myself creating for the cinema Art niche and on the other hand, because I value aesthetics and costume profoundly and my narrative is abstract, the (art) fashion world audience is also a possibility. The relevance of my work is that it is innovative in that I create a crossover. From fashion I take the abstract and non-linear visual narrative, a constant mood/décor/atmosphere and that the film (or runway) edition corresponds to a rhythmic tempo. From cinema I take the psychological depth, the building up to a crisis or momentum, the cinematic photography, the presence of characters and off-voice. I have chosen to tell this particular myth as it fits with the knowledge gained throughout the graduation project research, focused on four specific sources. Jospeh Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey, Carl G. Jung’s archetypes, The African Yoruba culture as well as Andrei Tarkovsky’s work: the films Andrei Rublev and The Sacrifice, supported by his own comments found in his book Sculpting in Time. The main character, the Gaucho Amaranto, is a hero who sets out on a quest and faces a perilous task, therefore I can transfer the stages of The Hero’s Journey to establish the myth’s narrative’s structure. The myth clearly contains archetypal characters that can be deepened using Jungian archetypal descriptions in order to portray rich psychological characters. The research carried out on the Yoruba cultural heritage gave me the tools on how to approach an archaic indigenous culture, which in the case of my short film is the Comechingon tribe and the Gaucho heritage. Lastly, my research on Tarkovsky inspired me to choose art film to tell this story. I would like to evoke his style and tools because I feel that Tarkovsky’s aesthetic decisions and powerful visual narrative will best honor the spirit of a myth.
The Gaucho life and culture is disappearing, globalization alters everything it touches. Gauchos are being replaced by modern machinery, animal rights activists are against Gaucho rodeos and their horse taming and handling techniques, Gauchos themselves are not willing to live isolated ranch lives any longer and their traditional clothes and gear is being traded for clothes produced in Vietnam or China. Gauchos are becoming mere tourist attractions and therefore, losing their pride and dignity. I had the privilege, which nowadays is rare even among Argentines, of growing up among Gauchos and therefore, I have always felt the need to honor their tradition. At a time when indigenous communities and folklore is being threatened by globalization and consumerism, audiovisual is replacing the oral and written tradition in standing as an essential memory. Film can serve as an archive to safeguard tradition and cultural identity. As an Argentine, I see that the legends from this land and its people have been documented in writings by such outstanding authors as J.L. Borges, Ricardo Güiraldes and Jose Hernandez and by the notable painter Molina Campos but this theme seems to have been overlooked by the new generation of artists. Therefore, I believe that it is important to rekindle this atmosphere through artistic cinema. Argentina suffers from a lack of national identity because the country is a melting pot of various cultures and never gained a sense of national pride after cutting the colonial ties with Europe. In addition to this, Argentine history has been very poorly documented. I feel that my Film became a contribution towards rediscovering and repairing this gap.
the making of AMARANTO by ANTONIA INGREY