Little Ashes (2008) Poster

(2008)

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9/10
The critics are WRONG!
Actor3179 May 2009
Don't always believe what the critics say. I have no explanation as to why some critics gave Little Ashes bad reviews other than it just wasn't your typical movie and they couldn't understand that.

This movie tells a beautiful and fascinating story (read the synopsis beforehand it helps).

The acting is excellent.

The accents sound/are authentic (when Dali sounds American or French that is done intentionally from what i hear.) oh, and it's an INDEPENDENT FILM! aka it's not necessarily going to be like every other dramatic film out there.

Go into it with an OPEN MIND. If you enjoy the previews you will probably enjoy the movie.

Go see it and form your own opinion. This movie is great but it isn't for everyone.
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9/10
wow. i loved it. definitely a love or hate movie.
jayjay_shine1321 July 2009
There aren't much words to describe. Whether you like this movie or not definitely depends on the type of person you are. its definitely a real independent European film. but i love it. i think the actors capture everything well and the casting was exceptional. i loved the relationship between Dali and Lorca. I watched it a few days ago and i am still thinking and obsessing about the film and its aspects. I think if your the more sentimental type you'll enjoy it, but then again you may not. Like i said, you will either love it or not. its not one of those 'society-accepted' common films i.e. 'transformers'. its artsie and dramatic and Dali is just eccentric. love it. love love love it. 9/10.
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9/10
Haunting and captivating film with wonderful actors
JaneYak21 July 2009
I watched this film a week ago and after the last shot I realized that I wanted to watch it again. That very moment! From the very beginning! I read in someone's article the word "haunting" about this film - I absolutely agree with it. It's an elegantly made film with fascinating actors. The enchanting guitar, violin and piano just intensify the heady mood of it. The actors' way of speaking (described as "terrible accents" in someone's comment) didn't bother me at all, maybe because neither English nor Spanish are my first languages. But I agree with Dromerito2003 that it would've been more believable if all of them spoke Spanish (Robert Pattinson definitely has "language ear" and it wouldn't be difficult for him to speak Spanish only, I think). With subtitles. By the way now I'd like to learn Spanish to read Lorca's poems in it. And to visit Spain shown so lovingly ( I agree that photography is great!)and to see as many works of Dali as possible. And to watch "Little Ashes" again...
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10/10
Little Ashes ... one of my favourite films of the year
Bethany Riddle12 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I am writing this comment to declare my love for the film Little Ashes. I watched it for the first time last night, expecting it to be a rambling journey through the themes of art and lust. However i was pleasantly surprised to enjoy an excellent film. Personally i enjoy any historically based film but this is pure genius. The exciting tantalising life of Dali is explored perfectly in this film. The confusion and repressed love felt for Frederico struck a cord in my mind and i longed for them to couple together. Any film that inspires emotion in the viewer deserves the best comments any person could make. Everything about it made me smile. The delightful humour delivered with precision by the very talented and humble Robert Pattinson made me laugh out loud. The tragic ending to Frederico Garcia Lorca made me cry and the pure anger and frustration felt by Louis made me wish for their to be a happy ending. After watching this film i unbenowst to myself spend five minutes contemplating of the struggle that must have been felt by Salvador Dali at the time. The costume for the film also inspired me a lot. I aim in life to design and make costume for TV and film and this film spurred me on more. I wanted to be in the film whilst watching it, dancing in the bars and strolling along the beach, creating life from my very steps. The accents have been criticised heavily but i believe if it were not for this you would not understand the depth of emotion felt by the actors. A director is there to make every actor pronounce each word with precision and some have chastised these actors for doing this. It was the directors wish and it made the film more real. A technique i found extremely successful was the use of over head dialect from the letter reading between Salvador and Frederico, the English translation of the poetry express the frustration in the poems themselves and therefore adds to the realism of the film. One thing that frustrated me was the comments by American teens yearning to see this film simply for Robert Pattinson being in it. I myself am a British teen and this was part of the reason for me watching it i admit, but the story line enticed me more. I believe any role played by Robert Pattinson is there to be praised and his own reflection of character portrayed in the film make it ever more believable. Overall i believe this film is a beautiful piece revealing the frustration and depth of emotion normally hidden by people. Commendations to the director and actors for their brilliant portrayals. 10 out of 10, i loved it.
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Too discreet, too charming and too bourgeois
Ali Catterall11 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
According to Salvador Dalí, Federico García Lorca, the gay poet and dramatist, had been "madly in love" with him, but the affair was never consummated.

Whatever the truth of the matter (Dalí would say just about anything to get a reaction - or for money), Little Ashes screenwriter Philippa Goslett has taken this, and the pair's supposed innuendo-laced correspondence, as the starting block for a torrid melodrama about forbidden love and artistic integrity, sketching in the details until the facts become as pliant as one of Dalí's timepieces.

The year is 1922, the city is Madrid, and three creative geniuses just happen to be lodging together in student digs while unleashing a firestorm of modernity upon the world. The first act of the film has fun presenting a portrait of the artists as young dogs. Or in Federico's case, an Andalusian one; he later claimed surrealist wind-up Un Chien Andalou was a personal attack on him by his former chums.

Here's bolshie Buñuel (Matthew McNulty), upbraiding Lorca (Javier Beltrán) for not being more of a modernist. And here's a "strategically placed copy of Freud" on somebody's desk. So which one's Dalí? Oh, there he is, a pale, effete lad, more stick insect than Catalan, pulling up to the doors of the Residencia in lace sleeves, knee-high boots and a poncy page-boy haircut. You can always spot those first-year art students a mile off, can't you?

If Lorca's the wound, Buñuel's the scab. And Dalí (Robert Pattinson) is trying so hard to be edgy and out there he loses sight of the fact he naturally is. The three consolidate their friendships, and as is often the way with trios, Buñuel pin-balls between Lorca and Dalí, who have initially become far closer. How close? Well, let's just hope the homophobic Buñuel doesn't find out about it. Caramba! Too late.

Although Little Ashes concerns artists and the artistic impulse, it's not what you'd call an 'art movie', sharing more DNA with, say, Lust For Life than 1991's Van Gogh. At its best, it does a good job of showing how it feels to navigate that tricky passage between late adolescence and early-twenties.

But as a would-be penetrating expose, it's too polite, too compromised and stagy. Perhaps owing to its modest £1.4m budget, it looks - and sounds (everyone ees speekeeng like thees) like a teleplay, featuring stilted dialogue and heavy-handed symbolism, such as a scene of a heartbroken Lorca transposed with that of a slain bull in the ring.

In the reductive way of biopics, Lorca's a sap, Dalí's a brat, and Buñuel's a yob. Beltrán elegantly conveys the poet's raw sensitivity ("like an animal that's been skinned" as Dalí puts it), though can't quite pull off his celebrated magnetism; the film would rather he fulfill his role as passive victim. Love interest Robert Pattinson is perhaps not yet old enough to play the bug-eyed dandy with the upside-down mustache, an exemplar of John Updike's aphorism that "Fame is a mask that eats into the face". Yet his grasp of Dalí-esquire tics and gestures suggest natural comic ability. He's wasted on those fantasy movies; he should play Buster Keaton.

For his part, Matthew McNulty is saddled with the sketchiest, and for dramatic reasons, least sympathetic role as the bullish homophobe. Anyone wishing to get a fuller picture of his Residencia days should be directed to his autobiography 'My Last Breath', in which he says of Lorca, "Of all the human beings I've ever known, Federico was the finest."

For the sake of argument, let us suppose an affair did occur, outside of Dalí's febrile imagination. However, by getting bogged down in a tease of a romance, the drama sidesteps the prevailing politics - vital to a real appreciation of the artists' anti-establishment stance, and all but cruises past the Spanish Civil War. Lorca's arrest and murder by fascist firing squad is predictably soft-pedaled, with the camera discretely pulling away from the forensics of his notorious dispatch.

Ultimately, Little Ashes, a piece of commercial entertainment made on the other side of the twentieth century, lacks the courage of its case studies' convictions. This is most clearly illustrated by how far it's prepared to go in one direction, but not the other. In the movie's most hysterical scene, a self-loathing Lorca beds the unhappy Margarita (Marina Gatell) as a substitute Dalí, while the distraught painter voyeuristically watches.

Whether the incident has any basis in reality or not, it's integral to the dramatic arc, and extremely graphic - nudging hardcore. Yet to portray this, in such prurient detail, but not its homosexual flip side - the poet attempting and failing to consummate a relationship with the painter (whether it happened or not), seems cowardly, and indicative of that bourgeois morality the film's subjects were doing their damndest to smash through.
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7/10
No Limit
MadameGeorge31 May 2009
I will admit, what drew me to this movie was the fact that Robert Pattinson was in it and after seeing Twilight and the ga-ga-ness of him and the media, young girls and even old ladies, I wanted to see him act. (It came across to me in Twilight that he was more eye candy than anything else and his 'acting' was poor.) In Little Ashes he begins shy, reserved and awkward and he ends over the top, flamboyant and awkward. I really feel no middle ground with him, it is one extreme or the other. (I guess one could argue that was Dali himself as well.) He is enjoyable to watch on screen and I do believe that there is potential there. I would have chosen differently for Dali, Pattinson is too young maybe? and British- it would have been nice to see the film in the original language of Dali, even if I had to read it.

Javier Beltran was an excellent choice to play famous writer Federico Garcia Lorca. He was passionate, commanding on screen and as a audience member you grow to love him. You feel his confusion, frustration and love for art, his country and his family. Out of all the players in this film he delivers lines with such a fervor that it as though he is speaking to you- in our time.

At times the dialog falls flat and the story moves slow, it is overall a well told story about art, love and betrayal, just as the tag line reads. The music forces the movie along at some points and the flashes of black and white imagery try to convey the chaos that was surrounding Dali and his mates in Spain in the 1920's and it does not do justice to the uncertainty and fear that was rampant.

If movies are in themselves pieces of art this is a valiant effort on the part of everyone involved, including Mr. Pattinson- though I hope this is not the best I see from him, but it did make me enjoy him as an actor, not eye candy. He to a chance and pushed the limits on himself, certain scenes he is impressive and you cannot look away- even when the image is disturbing- and taking on such an iconic figure in history takes courage.

I think that Dali and Pattinson may have one thing in common for their art- no limits.
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10/10
"Little Ashes" - Big impressions!
Natalie agladze24 July 2009
I think this movie isn't for everyone. It's deeply emotional, dramatical and extremely well-done. All the feelings, thoughts and passion shown in this movie are expressed masterly. It's one of the best movies I've ever seen!!! the world is overflowed by insipid and violence-based films, absolutely senseless and dull "masterpieces" of modern cinematography and I always welcome different and non-commercial motion pictures. I never read critics' reviews, because nowadays, neither of them approves a movie without a budget of 100 million dollars, special effects, hot chicks, muscular bad guys and brutality. Movies like "Little Ashes" always stay beyond their attention, but honestly, I don't care! My vote is Excellent!!
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8/10
Systematically Creating Confusion
Krazylilqbanqt13 May 2009
I just saw "Little Ashes" at the LGBT Festival here in Miami and I have got to say that it was good. I do have to warn you that it is abstract at some points but it IS a Dali movie and he led a very strange life. The movie does justice to the man. I went thinking it was going to be completely about Dali but it mainly focuses on the relationship he had with Frederico. Unfortunately I am very quite aware that this movie will not get the attention it deserves in the states and that a good portion of the people who will watch this movie will only watch for the main actor, Mister Robert Pattinson but I still suggest that Dali lovers watch this movie as well as fans of slightly strange movies.
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9/10
A Devastating, Brilliant & Surreal film; A Timely Film in 2009.....
Dark Of Matinee10 May 2009
This film is definitely in that upper echelon category of films-- will either be deeply loved or greatly misunderstood. Viewers who go with an open mind; a tolerant & patient mind; understanding that this film is depicting surreal times; understanding that this type of film may be appreciated on a poetic/metaphoric level (rather than spelling everything out/beating viewers over the head with facts or niceties)-- coming from this place then I feel this film will be greatly enjoyed. (For some viewers, it might help to perhaps have a brief surrealism/Dali./Spain between the wars primer; this might make a difference in better appreciating certain aspects of the characters and the times portrayed.) I agree with another review, that in its essence this story about a little known poet and peer of Dali named Federico García Lorca-- the words devastating, beautiful, tragic, and inspiring come to mind. Lastly, even though this film depicts early 20th Century events, I must underscore the fact that this a highly important and timely film right now in 2009 in terms of basic human rights/dignity; namely the right that any human has to deeply love whomever that person wishes to love. DEFINITELY recommend this film.
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5/10
Boring Except for the last Twenty Minutes
Jay Raskin5 September 2010
This film spends much of its time telling us that Federico Garcia Lorca was gay and was in love with Salvador Dali. That's nice to know and probably important to scholars of the two men, but it doesn't really go anywhere. If this were about Joe Nobody and Salvador Smith meeting in college and having a passionate love affair, would anybody really care? The love affair is simply an uninteresting soap opera element.

The movie lacks involvement. A good example is when the main characters are in a bar and the musicians start playing "the Charleston" Everybody gets excited and starts to dance, but the scene cuts before we get to see them dance. The Charleston was an exciting new dance in the mid-1920's and seeing how the characters did it would have involved us with the characters. The filmmakers' cutting away at that point indicates how little they want the audience to share in the characters' feelings. Instead of experiencing how wonderful the Charleston was, we are only told about it. The same thing happens with the central love affair. Instead of experiencing it, we are only told about it.

The film in the last twenty minutes does change and becomes a rather standard, but engrossing biography of Lorca's last years.

This is a case of an interesting and potentially exciting story being badly told. You do learn a little from it, but you don't feel much about it. There are a couple of nicely mildly erotic short sex scenes, so there is a little passion in the film, but like Salvador Dali, the film doesn't want us to feel passion/sex but only wants to be admired for having it.
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