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MFA Film

Arnar Gústafsson

WE NEED TO TALK (20 min)

Arnar, an anti-car-use urban planner who secretly loves cars, travels to buy his dream car: A ’93 Mazda 323F. The Mazda watches the negotiation dance between Arnar and his desire and its current owner, who grapples with his emotional attachment to the car. After having bought the car, as Arnar lives out his idealized fantasy with the Mazda, the car finally breaks down, and initiates an open dialogue about the state of their relationship.

Artist statement
Arnar’s artistic research delves into the social construction of reality, exploring prevailing Western ideologies—Modernity, Rationalization, Individualism, and Technology—and their impact on perceptions. Through a playful methodology of devised content creation and genre-blending, he aims to shed light on the complexities of human emotion within contemporary societal frameworks.

Arnar questions the myth of control, examining its pervasive influence in Western society, from romantic relationships to modernist urban planning. His work illuminates the persuasive safety and comfort, and the order of the ideal—a privilege that often shields individuals from the necessity to question or challenge.
Arnar’s exploration invites viewers to consider the implications of relinquishing the myth of control, encouraging nuanced understanding of emotions within the interplay of societal constructs and individual experiences. Playfully examining the ideal, he embraces the transformative potential inherent in the chaotic complexity of lived reality.
Through autobiographical fiction, filmmaker Arnar Gústafsson explores the complex relationships of the West with the ideals of Modernity, romantic relationships, and cars. He asks what happens when we take seriously authentic emotions born within these ideals.

Arnar Gústafsson (he/him) is an artist and filmmaker from Reykjavík, Iceland, with a diverse educational background including a BA in Sociology and an MSc. in Urbanism studies, complemented by a foundation in Visual arts. Since 2015, he has been actively involved in collaborative devised stage performances with his art collective CGFC. 

His recent focus is the Human-Car relationship, examining it from sociological, spatial and emotional lenses. This inquiry initially took shape as a docu-fiction radio series aired on The National Broadcasting Station of Iceland and is now being explored through the medium of film.