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The sound of this movie is horrendous. I think I missed 70% of the words. My friend sitting next to me did not say anything during the movie but she heard less than I did, she told me at the end. We were in the Paris Theater in NY and it was really empty and no one was making noise. Between the accents and the non existent sound equipment the movie was too long. And I wanted to shout for the first half an hour " kiss him already".....Do not recommend this movie unless desperate.The characters are unlikeable to start and then add you have to strain to listen....too much work. Also when the translated Lorca's poems they did it with an accent. How pretentious. Should have been done in Spanish with subtitles.
The title of my review (if IMDb permits) is taken from a quote by
Salvador Dali in 1969 regarding rumors of a Dali-Lorca affair. The full
quote, epitomizing Dali's unbridled humor and arrogance is as follows:
"He was homosexual, as everyone knows, and madly in love with me. He tried to screw me twice... I was extremely annoyed, because I wasn't homosexual, and I wasn't interested in giving in. Besides, it hurts. So nothing came of it. But I felt awfully flattered vis-à-vis the prestige. Deep down I felt that he was a great poet and that I owe him a tiny bit of the Divine Dali's a(..)hole."
And with that, let's now talk about the movie.
Although vividly denied by Dali, speculation of a romance between Dali & Lorca is the story of "Little Ashes". This is important to note up front, because if you're looking for a film that delves into the passion & inspiration behind Dali's art, Lorca's poetry and Buñuel's films, you'll be disappointed. This is mostly a straightforward love story with only a few substantial references to the 3 young men's creations (Lorca recites 2 poems, Dali displays 1 painting, and we get no more than 5 sec of Buñuel's film references, including the infamous slashed eyeball scene from "Un Chien Andalou").
What makes this film separate from any other generic forbidden love story is the interesting portrayal of the characters. Whether historically accurate or not, their personalities jump out of the screen at you, particularly Dali played by Rob Pattinson a.k.a. the Twilight studmuffin. Pattinson's Dali is decidedly NOT a studmuffin but instead a very awkward, dorky kid which instantly reminded me of some of Johnny Depp's early roles ("Benny & Joon", "Edward Scissorhands", "Don Juan Demarco"). But fused with his dorkiness is an overbearing arrogance which comes to the surface more frequently as the film progresses.
"Little Ashes", however, is not about Dali and certainly not about Buñuel (who is really a minor character) but is mostly from Lorca's perspective. In that respect, it's fitting that the affair (which never happened, according to Dali) would be exaggerated and poetic. If you noticed in the Dali statement I quoted, he did admit that Lorca was "madly in love" with him, and that is what the film portrays in a very poetic and sentimental way.
Although I was initially disappointed because I wanted to see more of Dali's art & creativity, I liked the forbidden, one-sided love story because it was well done and made good use of recognizable characters & events in history. Thus you could say I liked it in the end (uh, which is more than we can say for Dali. Heh heh).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I honestly thought this movie absolutely stinks! The accents are
horrendous and the sound quality is very very poor. I don't know why
anyone would call this film the best because really, it ain't!
Robert Pattinson doesn't even look like the real Salvador Dalí nor he can't act him because he just didn't look the part! It would've been better off if they got someone else who is Spanish and can do the work properly. They made a balls of the casting honestly. I think really they should've started this film all over again because the fake Spanish accents don't work in my opinion. The sex scenes were OK but you would still miss out on what they are saying to one another.
I would put this on the worst movie list to be honest!
Read the review by T Y ... here with the other reviews. I found that
particular review helpful in appreciating this film. Yes, the story is
entertaining, wonderfully photographed, and the characterizations may
be a touch over the top. But there is no denying this film has
'original' stamped all over it. Director: Paul Morrison and Writer:
Philippa Goslett achieve a smash-up job in creating a story/film that
gets into the heart and soul of three historic Spanish artist that
lived at a time of social, political, and artistic transition that
turned into an era of pain and suffering.
Here we see three young creative men - Luis Buñuel, Federico García Lorca, and Salvador Dalí growing into their own personalities and dealing with the political callings of that time in Spain. Dali seems never to grow up but instead became the 'character' he wanted to be and played it safe. As for Lorca and Bunuel their conscience and creative selves centered around the wind of political change and each paid the price for speaking out.
This film isn't for all. It's an art movie and other artist will appreciate it's color and emotion.
a love story. with different levels. because it is not exactly episode from Salvador Dali's early years but a delicate sketch about the spirit of a part of Europe in the Belle Epoque. Garcia Lorca by Javier Beltran is one of the great virtues of film. not only for the physical resemblance but for the precise delicacy to define his character in the right tones. the flavor of his poetry is present in inspired manner. Salvador Dali... an interesting drawing who could be important role for Patterson . but something missing and Garcia Lorca remains the hero. a sketch - film. important for the science to suggest the atmosphere. for the art of photography. for the courage to resurrect in decent manner, an old story. for the status of start point for discover the universe of great artists. for the emotion who remains powerful a time after the end of the film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
During my first viewing of this movie, I was rolling my eyes, but it
was not easy to shake off afterwards. And in fairness, it may be
because the feelings presented are so tender, and the hurts so raw that
I was made uncomfortable. The movie is meritorious just for exposing a
trio that I had no idea were influencing each other. (Dali, deLorca,
This movie is almost to painful to watch as first Dali arrives at school, as a preening anxious fop and then as Delorca falls for Dali. You know it's going to end in pain and heartbreak. Even so, knowing as little about De Lorca that I do, I did not realize how much pain. If you know much about Dali's personal behavior, you already know he was a rather contemptible person. So when his despicable actions pile up in the story, it's being honest. The treachery of the insecure Bunuel is also not glossed over.
The direction is often very good, assembling a narrative of major scenes connected by little throwaway snippets that don't always take you from point A to point B; that suggest a richness of life and experience. There is good acting to see too, Pattison while getting a few things wrong, still manages to feel like a Spaniard, and the Irish guy playing Luis Bunuel does some interesting stuff.
I love any movie that suggests a rich, absurd vein runs throughout life. The movie manages to suggest beyond the gay love story, that Spain under Franco was a place where an urbane droll Spaniard could find a spot and ensconce himself; it may not be true but it's a nice place to occupy. I will have smart droll friends or I will have none.
Some standout moments include the opening where a fey but nonetheless strikingly beautiful young Dali is driven to University, and any scene underscored by the Spanish guitar music written for the film. Magda is that rare female role in a gay film that isn't wallpaper. She's very charming.
It reminds of Cabaret but the script is better. It makes me want to read about Garcia Lorca and go to Spain. Ultimately it has pants to say about art, but it says that very quickly. Try to sit through Modigliani, Klimt, Lust for Life, all of them equally trite on the subject, but with nothing else going on in those films.
Some of the poor reception of this film, is assuredly owed to neurotic hetero male reviewers who piled on, for making them consider that the love lives of homosexuals are worthy of consideration. That's all machismo-baggage. The worst moments are an amateurish montage of Dali in Paris. And while Robert Pattinson does a good job with the Dali character (who really was this confused, unbalanced jackass), he never quite finds his center. (Dali never did either.)
The movie is cast with pretty boys again, making the point that no one gay has ever been less than a male model (!?) I think what I really like about this movie is a touching, sensitive Spanish guitar score; that always strike the right tone (well, except for the cheery music under the end credits).
I stumbled across Little Ashes quite by accident. I was looking for
some background material on one of the actors in the film and found
this gem. I knew the works of Federico Garcia-Lorca and Salvador Dali
but I didn't know about their agonizing love for one another.
I am not a movie critic, (thank God) I am, well I don't know what I am, but certainly not a critic. So when I see a film, I see it through the eyes of the artists. When I am moved by a film, I want to share.
So this is me sharing.
Little Ashes is a beautiful film. Everyone of us can relate to this story because we all struggle with our feelings, worry about what others think of us and are, at times, afraid to take risks. But the bottom line is; we all love and we all need to be loved, regardless...
Little Ashes is written with sensitivity and honesty, which is what makes this film so endearing. The actors performances are exceptional, especially because they are all so young, yet bring a feeling of having lived a lifetime. I applaud everyone whose heart went into this film and I highly recommend it for your DVD library.
Shelli Carlisle, Living Life...Boomer Style Magazine
I have to admit that it took a while for me to get around to renting this on DVD partially because of the subject matter (out in left field for me) and partially due to the mixed reviews. Went into it expecting at best mixed feelings about it but "Brilliant" was the first word to mind as the end credits rolled. It's a complex and, at times, slightly confusing character study (sort of like Dali himself). The movie focuses mostly on the personalities and how they affect each other rather than on their art. I didn't really know anything about Dali, Lorca, and Bunuel before but had to google and learn more about them after viewing this movie. Definitely peaks your interest into some very complex personalities and their artistic endeavours. Very well acted all around, especially given the challenging nature of these characters and relationships. Robert Pattinson yet again proves his ability to make you forget the actor and see the character. His portrayal of Dali's metamorphosis from shy, awkward art student to flamboyant character is brilliant and courageous. Not a "safe" role and he puts himself out there heart, mind and soul. Amazingly well done for such a young actor! True talent. Javier Beltran (Lorca), Matthew McNulty (Bunuel), and Marina Gatell (Magdelena) are also excellent.
There are many reasons to see this film, not the least of which is the
continuing fascination with the subject of the story. Three of Spain's
brightest artists of the first part of the 20th century each had live
that have fascinated readers and historians for decades. While this
'quasi-accurate' biographical script by Philippa Goslett is not the
definitive documentary many have been waiting for, at least it is a
wild quilt of bits and pieces of each of the artists' creative lives -
and some of their private lives as well.
1922, Spain, and the art school in Madrid is ripe with talent: poet/playwright Federico García Lorca (Javier Beltrán) has already published some of his poems, Luis Buñuel (Matthew McNulty) is more involved with the political festering of fascism and what will become Franco's Spain than he is with concentrating on the brilliant films he will eventually make, and the newly arrived Salvador Dalí (Robert Pattinson) is making visually shocking entrances in wild clothing while rebelling against the current fads in art. The three bond, encouraged by the writer Magdalena (Marina Gatell) who merely wants to become not only a famous feminist writer but also a part of the obvious changes in art these three men represent.
The sexuality of García Lorca is clear: he finds himself drawn to the creative but peculiar Dalí. Dalí's preferences seem to include both men and women and as their beautiful friendship evolves it is Dalí who ultimately runs to Paris out of self-doubt and homophobia. Madrid may be avant-garde, but there is a strong anti-gay contingent (including oddly enough Buñuel) and the discord politically and artistically forces many to flee to Paris, the mecca of art. The bruised and rejected García Lorca finds solace in his creation of a traveling theater for his own plays while Dalí marries Gala in Paris and completes the famous film 'The Andalusian Dog' with Buñuel. When the three men (and Magdalena) eventually meet again some years later the world has changed, even if old feelings haven't.
If the story sounds disconnected, it is. There are some very beautiful scenes from director Paul Morrison: a scene with García Lorca and Dalí in an almost underwater ballet is sensuous and beautifully photographed. Javier Beltrán is a sensitive actor and does well with the little he has to work with as García Lorca. Robert Pattinson can't quite find the level of the bizarre personality of Dalí - it would take a really fine actor to accomplish this. But the general casting is good. The editing of this movie is some of the worse on record (Rachel Tunnard) and that factors in a problem with the flow of the film. But for a diversion and another look at the arts in the early 20th century, LITTLE ASHES is entertaining. It could have been so much better.
I just watched the movie, and OMG, what a surprise, Rob could play! Robert Pattinson can play and he's playing like a god here in this movie. Javier Beltrán is even better. I am very very very very surprised by the power of this film over me. I know a lot of all European actors and I stand behind my opinion that every European film is ten times better that America greatest one :) SO: Brilliant film, 10 from 10 from me. Thank you guys for making this beautiful movie. I will watch it at least two more times. Very good erotic in it. I can really appreciate this. I strongly suggest this movie to all people, who love cinema - MUST TO WATCH movie.
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