Off-road and off beat: Gadael Lenin, American Interior and the transnational focus of Welsh art cinema

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Abstract

This article will focus on two recent films from Wales, the feature film Gadael Lenin (Endaf Emlyn, 1993) and the documentary American Interior (Dylan Goch and Gruff Rhys, 2014). Together, they are well placed to offer a rich interrogation of the many contrasting and contradictory aspects of contemporary art cinema. I will argue that film production in Wales – despite the fact that the very concept of Wales, Welsh cinema and film are highly complex, contested and shifting – has developed a distinctly transnational status which allows an interrogation of the national (in terms of Wales) but also the interface between the national and the transnational.
Set wholly and mainly outside Wales, with dialogue in Welsh as well as other languages, the films turn to a comparativist agenda in order to internationalise the Welsh experience, and demonstrate that it is within art cinema’s reach to be both national and transnational, by addressing distinct, contrasting dimensions. While Gadael Lenin makes bold statements about the role of art in society, American Interior, engages in a transmedial, multiplatform form of filmmaking which transcends boundaries and demonstrates the cultural potential of an expansive and inclusive form of culture making from Wales which reaches out globally, and crosses national and cultural forms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-311
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of British Cinema and Television
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2016

Keywords

  • Wales
  • national cinema
  • transnational cinema
  • British art cinema
  • Welsh language

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