Tales Beyond Solitude - On García Márquez with Holly Aylett


Peter Pears Recital Room

08/10/2017 16:15 - 18:00

Past Event

The most influential / read / loved Latin American writer of our time? Gabriel García Márquez was all these things and more.  Join film-maker Holly Aylett in a rare screening of her documentary about the iconic Nobel Laureate.


+ Q&A

Awards: First Prize for Best Foreign Documentary, Havana Film Festival, 1989

Since its first broadcast on London Weekend’s South Bank Show in 1989, Tales Beyond Solitude has become recognised as a landmark film biography of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the extraordinary, Nobel Prize-winning, Colombian author.

Structured around an extensive and exclusive interview, it won best prize for foreign documentary at the Havana Film Festival and Garcia Marquez, always reluctant to talk about his writing, called it his favourite film about his work, focussing the world of his stories through his passion for cinema.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez has done more to popularize Latin American literature than any writer before him. However, little is known of his obsession with cinema, an uneasy marriage which took him to Rome in the days of the neo-realists, to Mexico as a scriptwriter in the sixties, and to Cuba where he became President of the Latin American Film Foundation.

This 54 minute documentary mixes sequences specially shot on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, Marquez’ inspiration for the imaginary world of Macondo, with clips from films based on Marquez’ stories - Tiempo de Morir, (Jorge Ali Triana), The Very Old Man with Enormous Wings (Fernando Birri) and Erendira, (Ruy Guerra) - and archive film which reveals the creative process of making these films. There are also interviews with two key collaborators, the celebrated filmmakers Fernando Birri from Argentina and Ruy Guerra from Brazil.

Gabriel García Márquez (6 March 1927 – 17 April 2014) was a Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist, known affectionately as Gabo or Gabito throughout Latin America. Considered one of the most significant authors of the 20th century and one of the best in the Spanish language, he was awarded the 1972 Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature. He pursued a self-directed education that resulted in his leaving law school for a career in journalism. From early on, he showed no inhibitions in his criticism of Colombian and foreign politics.

García Márquez started as a journalist, and wrote many acclaimed non-fiction works and short stories, but is best known for his novels, such as One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967), The Autumn of the Patriarch (1975), and Love in the Time of Cholera (1985). His works have achieved significant critical acclaim and widespread commercial success, most notably for popularizing a literary style labeled as magic realism, which uses magical elements and events in otherwise ordinary and realistic situations. Some of his works are set in a fictional village called Macondo (the town mainly inspired by his birthplace Aracataca), and most of them explore the theme of solitude.

On his death in April 2014, Juan Manuel Santos, the President of Colombia, described him as "the greatest Colombian who ever lived."

Holly Aylett

Holly Aylett is a filmmaker, cultural-sector director, lecturer and consultant. She sits on the Cultural Committee of Unesco’s UK Commission, is Senior Research Fellow at the Global Policy Institute with a focus on audiovisual policy and development, and is Head of Research at European Women’s Audiovisual Network, currently delivering a pan-European study on the status of women directors in Europe.

She is founding director of the UK Coalition for Cultural Diversity, and a founding director and managing editor of Vertigo, the UK’s leading independent quarterly on the moving image. In 2003 she set up the Independent Film Parliament, a forum for the UK independent film sector to feedback on government policy.

She currently lectures in Film and Creative Industries at London Metropolitan University, and has recently consulted for The Commonwealth Foundation, The Council of Europe and The Travelling Caribbean Showcase (Muestra Caribe).


Film Literature