If ever, God forbid, Welsh psych-pop doyens Super Furry Animals decided to pack up their fuzz pedals, their acerbic, softly spoken frontman, Gruff Rhys, would make a great alternative to Alan Whicker or Michael Palin – at least on the evidence of this sweetly ramshackle travelogue. ‘Separado!’ follows Rhys as he tours one of his Welsh-language solo albums around Patagonia, intent on uncovering his roots and tracking down Welsh-gaucho troubadour René Griffiths. It mixes historical recreation, live performance, family background and ‘special’ linking shots with Gruff dressed as a teleporting Power Ranger. The film ends up being a gentle and entertaining study of a man trying to make sense of how people remain connected to their birthplace. Beware, though, of one or two moments when the makers have gone off-message in the edit, notably during a lengthy diversion in which a Welsh girl band are allowed a big song-and-dance number on a cliff top.
Friday July 30 2010
Dyl 'Goch' Jones, Gruff Rhys