Is-deitla'n Unig - Subtitles Only

15 Jul 2015

A journey into the world of foreign cinema through the eyes of a Welsh cinephile is the latest book published by Gomer Press.

Is-deitla'n Unig (trans. 'Subtitles Only') by Emyr Glyn Williams is a personal journey through the world of foreign film, its history, effect and its magic.

This is an extraordinarily original book, in terms of breaking new ground in the world of Welsh language publishing and the fresh, unique voice of the author promises to open the mind of the reader to a rich new world as he transports us through the work of the giants of European and World cinema - Godard, Fassbinder, Bresson, Tarkovsky, Von Trier, Fellini, Pasolini, Wong Kar Wai - and beyond with his passionate and knowledgeable analysis, tempered with a good dose of humour and autobiography.

The book will be launched at Gŵyl Arall / Another Festival, Caernarfon on Sunday afternoon 19 July 2015.

The book is a unique blend of a memoir, celebration, a love letter and a call to arms.

Here’s a chance to read about the careers of some of the most important World Cinema directors in a personal historical overview of the cinema’s first century presented in the Welsh language for the very first time, as well as the personal story of the author's own life changing collisions with these works of art.

The author expresses how cinema has colonized his life  – from seeing Charlie Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy’s films being projected in the early 1970's on a white sheet at a Christmas party when he was five years old to falling in love with the world of Walt Disney, Westerns, and horror movies. And also how he discovered the dark talent of Hitchcock on the television late at night, before stumbling across the existence of foreign films on the BBC in the late 1970s.

This interest grew during the 1980s while the author was working in the world of Welsh television with the ground breaking production company, Criw Byw on series' such as Fideo 9 and whilst travelling the world meeting musicians such Youssour N'Dour, Cheb Khaled, Ismael Lo, Ami Koita and others as a researcher on World music documentaries.

While he was a partner in the pioneering Welsh language record company Ankst in the 1990's (Super Furry Animals, Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, Datblygu, Catatonia), the author started to create his own pop videos and documentary films on music and art in his native culture before deciding to change himself into an independent film director here in Wales by taking direct inspiration from the non-mainstream global cinematic culture which has influenced him so much.

Emyr explains, ‘What I hope this book will do is create an awareness within the reader, here in Wales first and foremost, of the importance of having independent voices all over the world who create and re-define the boundaries of cinema by creating films which are ready to throw the conventional rules of Hollywood into the bin, in order to create films that rise to the level of art and engage directly with the local and global film audience. This aim sounds a bit pretentious and snobbish, but what I’m trying to say is that for me cinema is an art form which is just as powerful as painting, drama, literature and sculpture. It can affect us in the same ways that these more ancient forms can and do and that that all societies, however small or peripheral should feel an urge to express their lives and experiences through cinema - Welsh Wales included!

‘As an individual my dream is to see cinematic films being created in the Welsh language. I want to see film artists from Wales joining in with this global community and speaking the language of cinema with confidence, fluency and passion. So far, this isn’t a practical reality. But I hope this will happen as the next generation go about creating cinema from the ground up, so I dedicate this book to them. I want this book to be one small component inspiring this generation to simply just go for it. Creating films is a brilliant and valuable experience, and we should all be more ready to believe and encourage more artists in Wales to venture forth and create cinema in Welsh.’

Hopefully a new audience will be encouraged by the book to watch La Dolce Vita, The Idiots, Katzelmacher, Vivre sa Vie, The Apple, Bamako, Possession or Au Hasard Balthazar after reading Emyr’s passionate words and be inspired.

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