Gruff Rhys embarks on a Celtic Magical Mystery Tour
Friday 23 July 2010
Gruff Rhys, frontman of psych-rock institution Super Furry Animals, has revealed an exotic early inspiration. An idiosyncratic musician caught his eye as he watched television as a child. Rene Griffiths arrived on horseback, sang in Welsh with an odd intonation, and played guitar Latin-style – for he hailed from the Welsh diaspora in Patagonia, Argentina. Rene was a Welsh gaucho – and, Rhys's gran explained, a distant relative.
Now the musician gets to tell the story of the feud that split his family in the 19th century and the ensuing, inevitably quixotic, search for a character that enjoyed fleeting success in the Seventies. Essentially a road movie, Separado! starts out like one of the Beta Band's surreal homemade videos, develops into a Celtic Magical Mystery Tour with an actual storyline and ends up as an engaging portrait of a family and a people.
Along the way, our protagonist meets cousins several times removed and learns about the Welsh occupation of this unforgiving corner of South America and the resultant problematic relations with the indigenous people.
Rhys, a charismatic host in his shambling way, meets fascinating characters, makes wonderful music and gets persecuted by an armadillo. Does he find his man? Well, not in Patagonia; and so the film drags once we realise this portion of the mission may well fail, and we notice the producers provide subtitles for Welsh speech, but not Spanish. Despite such limitations, some obviously budgetary, Rhys's family album ends up as chaotic and colourful as his own records.
'Separado!' is released on 30 July
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Autistic adults could take pure MDMA to 'reduce social anxiety'
- 2 Before you complain about your GP, this is what you need to know about actually doing the job
- 3 Father of 12 accused of raping, beating, starving and abusing his own children in US 'cult'
- 4 Britain's Got Talent 2015: Jamie Raven divides Twitter as fans expose mind-boggling magic trick
- 5 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: not a Mexican demon being summoned — it's gravity
Stolen Instagram photo sells for $90,000
Suicide Squad: Leaked footage shows first look at Batmobile chasing Joker through city streets
Britain's Got Talent 2015: Jamie Raven divides Twitter as fans expose mind-boggling magic trick
ASAP Rocky gives nauseating response to explicit Rita Ora rap: 'I'm not saying she's a terrible person'
ASAP Rocky sparks outrage with misogynistic lyrics about Rita Ora in new song 'Better Things'
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote