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GWLEĐĐ (THE FEAST) (March 2021)

(March 2021)

You'd better watch out,
Walking down the street,
Seeing your curly head of hair…
You wake with a smile
From a beautiful sleep,
King of the crows
With your lively eyes…
Oh, my sweet,
You’d better watch out.”
Having previously worked on TV series such as Doctor Who, director Lee Haven Jones makes the transition to feature films with the exquisitely savage Gwleđđ (The Feast).
Scripted by Roger Williams (who likewise cut his teeth in television), the Welsh-language Gwleđđfollows Member of Parliament Gwyn (Julian Lewis Jones) and his family over the course of a single day, as they host an ill-fated dinner.
Initially a languid affair, Gwleđđ’s unnerving atmosphere gradually builds towards a gory, blood-spattered final stretch, as we bear witness to the revenge nature takes on the depredations of men, who are only too willing to exploit and plunder and “think of new ways for you to make money,” at the expense of the delicate balance kept with ancient forces tied to the land.
Dyw hi ddim fod cael ei deffro.
(“She musn’t be awakened.”)
One of the blurbs on the one-sheet refers to Gwleđđ as “folk horror,” and it is, in spirit if not in overall aesthetic.
Our main setting is Gwyn’s home, built on farmland owned by the family of Gwyn’s wife, Glenda (Nia Roberts), a local girl done good, who now seems embarrassed of her roots. (At one point, she dismisses the things left to her by her mother as “primitive,” sorely out of place in her modern home.)
It’s this push-and-pull between the old and the new, the traditional and the cosmopolitan, that serves as one of the main pillars upon which Gwleđđ rests.
Don’t let the initial, apparently slow-going fool you.
Eventually, Gwleđđraises its head to reveal its bloody mouth and the bits of gristle caught between its teeth, and it is quite the terrible, glorious sight to behold.
Ar ôl i ti gymryd popeth, beth fydd yn weddill?
(“After you’ve taken everything, what will be left?”)
(The FeastOS courtesy of bloody-disgusting.com.)

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