Dr. Armando Aranda

Born in México City, he was actively involved in the movement of independent film-makers that used the super 8mm home-movie format as a vehicle to challenge the boredom of the official Mexican film industry during the 1970s. In 1975 he entered the newly established National Film School of México (Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica), where he met the great surrealist master Luis Buñuel and several important film-makers such as Roman Polanski, John Huston, Frank Capra and Sergio Leone. His short films, shot at the film school, revealed a raw, minimalist aesthetic, nurtured by his closeness to Buñuel’s cinema and the theatre and writings of Samuel Beckett. Never intending to become a commercial film-maker, he dabbled as scriptwriter for the Mexican Public Broadcasting Service, while pursuing both his training as a physician and the writing of poetry. In the early 1980s went to the University of Cambridge in England, in order to read for a Ph.D. in science. Yet, he became an active member of the London Screen-Writers Workshop and ghost-wrote specific sequences for TV movies and series. Through friends in both Cambridge and London, Dr. Aranda became involved in cultural journalism, writing features and criticism on science, music, poetry and art. His first book of poetry was published in Cambridge in 1985 and from then on, his poems have appeared in literary magazines, anthologies and art publications in England, France, Germany, Switzerland, USA and México. While pursuing his scientific career in France, he also joined the College Internationale de Philosophie where he met some of the founding figures of post-modern thought such as Jacques Derrida. In 1989, his novella-monologue ‘At the Edge of the Ocean’ was read in México City by Mr. Anthony Quinn. In late autumn of 1989, his “plaquette” of poems ‘Seven and one for Sam’ was sent to the already ailing Samuel Beckett, by Beckett’s publisher Jerome Lindon, head of Les Editions de Minuit. Just a few weeks before dying Mr. Beckett wrote to Mr. Aranda acknowledging their aesthetic and philosophical fellowship. Since then, Mr. Aranda has been professionally involved in scientific and philosophical endeavours, but he is also advising major publishing houses and culture and arts foundations.