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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.
I watched "Little Ashes" last night. I have to admit I watched it mainly because Rob Pattinson is in it, so I was curious. I was prepared to not like it, having read some of the critics' negative reviews. But it was surprisingly good, very interesting and very moving. I don't know how historically accurate it is, but I felt like I learned something from watching it. All the actors were wonderful, and Rob did a great job of portraying Dali and all his eccentricities. Rob claims he never knows what he's doing when he's acting, but I think viewers, whether or not they're Pattinson fans, would be impressed with his acting ability based on this movie. If you've never seen him in anything except the Twilight movies, you'd be pleasantly surprised here. I'd recommend it to his adult fans and non-fans, as well.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have never seen a more beautiful movie in my life!
The whole reason I watched it was because I saw on the REELZ channel that it was one of the worst movies of 2009. I watched the movie, thinking it would be alright, but not excellent. I didn't expect much out of Robert Pattinson, since I'm no Twilight fan (he is rather good outside of Twilight). This just blew me away! As someone said before me, the critics are WRONG! I know very little about Dali, and even less about the Spanish Revolution (is that what its called?). This movie put it in a whole new light for me. Robert Pattinson was as genius as the man he portrayed in this movie. At the beginning, he was a shy and adorable young man, just waiting to be understood. Every time he came on screen at the beginning, I couldn't help but go "aww!" In the middle he was like a rambunctious teenager, willing to start a new romance with a forbidden lover. And then at the end, he was just plain weird. He was the PERFECT choice to play Dali. And Beltran! I couldn't keep my eyes off him. He was by far the best actor in the movie. I could really feel his anguish as contemplated loving Dali. He knew the risks, and my heart wrenched every time he turned away from him. The end of the movie left me sobbing, as Federico was shot down by a firing squad, without even saying goodbye. The worst part, at the very end, as Dali wrapped himself up and straightened up as his wife called him. I would NEVER be able to do that if the one I loved was murdered. I admire Dali so much for being able to let go, and Robert Pattinson for portraying this so well.
The is definitely my favorite movie of all time. It's not for everyone, and certainly isn't catered to Twilight fans. But it is a brilliant work of art, almost as if Dali mad it himself.
I thought Little Ashes was just an OK movie that would have not even
been that good if it was not for the really top notch, great acting
that the director got from the movies stars, and really all of the
actors and cast did a great job in every single role in this movie so
congratulations to whoever did the casting in this movie because they
The direction is well done and they clearly knew the story they wanted to tell and how, and again the director did a great job pulling out good performances.
The script/story I found a bit basic and by the numbers with no really great moments or surprises. The acting really carried this movie in my opinion.
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).
Robert Pattinson never was an appealing actor for me, let alone a great
one. So. I am addressing to the many people who instinctively dislike
Mr. Pattinson, for his overrated popularity due to the ''Twilight''
saga. Now please give him a chance in this movie, because, in my
opinion, his portrayal of the great Salvador Dali was actually quite
decent. The Great Dali's mood swings by Pattinson were performed
attractively. His shyness. His stubbornness. The insanity of his
character. I definitely cannot complain about that.And the rest of the
cast, especially Matthew McNulty, also gave a worthy performance. Now
the story, I believe, was not as well, presented as I could have been.
Salvador Dali's story should be worth a memorable movie, whereas this
one was simply OK and not so distinguishably special. But. Then again,
you must keep in mind that it always is extremely difficult to to
express the genius of a Great artist in one movie. Also, this movie
concentrates on one of Dali's main inspirations. A male lover, who had
a major part in his life. And this is what was not so great. The
relationship between Dali and his lover was presented here really
plainly. Just a simple gay relationship. Well, OK... their relationship
was quite struggling, but there are much better gay stories than this
one. Anyone who has seen Ang Lee's ''Brokeback Mountain'' will not be
impressed here. Another unsatisfying part of the movie for me was that
everyone is speaking English with a Spanish accent. This gets really
annoying after a while. It is as if they were either too lazy to make
this movie in Spanish, because Salvador Dali WAS in fact Spanish and
NOT English, or this is just what the American audience prefers these
days. That EVERYTHING would be English. Other that these flaws I have
nothing else to complain about. The atmosphere of the the movie is
really dualistic. At the first half you are watching a comedy with some
romance, and then it turns into a drama. And the background music goes
really well with the atmosphere. You hear the violins, the guitar
strings, that are a really good advantage to the Spanish mood. Anyone,
to whom soundtracks are important in a movie should not be displeased.
It is not a must-see movie, but doesn't hurt to watch. If you have time, It will be enjoyable, and will leaves you thinking about it for a while.
This film came to my attention because Robert Pattinson is in it, but it is an amazing movie. It is a small film but I don't think that big budget films are always that good anyway. The strange live of Dali is explained and his love is shown. Robert Pattinson has done a amazing job with portraying Dali. Some people may find this film boring but i find it rather interesting. This movie is not a feel good movie, but a beautiful drama. The accents were a little annoying. It's to bad that this film does not get the attention it deserves. A great script, amazing acting, and a rare story is what makes this an amazing movie. I have enjoyed it and I hope more people will.
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