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Superstar hottie Robert Pattinson portrays Salvador Dali and sleeps with poet Frederico García Lorca, portrayed by the beautiful Javier Beltrán. In the midst of the repression and political unrest of pre-Spanish Civil War, eccentric artist Dalí and renowned poet and revolutionary Lorca find their artistic and sexual freedom. The two form a bond challenged by their fierce ambitions, their friends, the struggle between a love for Spain and a love for each other.
Grady Harp wrote on 06/15/2010:
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.
mancanfan wrote on 11/30/2009:
I wish to thank you for your recommendations of the other films which you mentioned in your review of, "Little Ashes", which I have not yet seen; nor, have I seen the additional film titles you recommended.
Barry wrote on 11/28/2009:
Wonderful words have already been written here about this stunning film, so I only wish to mention a couple of other films that I have which may interest those who are fascinated by the story and want to build their collection of gay interest cinema. The 1991 Spanish film 'Dali' which was filmed in English is an extraordinary film which also covers his relationship with Lorca and includes his trip to America More good news is that it has the bonus of some very artistic nudity. "The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca - Death in Granada' (1997) is another brilliant Spanish film starring Andy Garcia which covers the abduction and murder of the great gay poet, I can highly recommend both as adjuncts to this beautiful piece.
Amos Lassen wrote on 10/21/2009:
Dali and Lorca
“Little Ashes”, a new film from Regent Releasing is the story of pre-Civil War Spain when eccentric and controversial artist Salvador Dali and famed poet, playwright and radical revolutionary Federico Garcia Lorca find both sexual and artistic freedom. Their strong ambitions, their friends and their struggle for love for each other and for Spain give them a bond.
In Madrid in 1922, Spain was teetering on the changes coming to traditional values when jazz, Freud and the avant-garde appeared on the scene. Salvador Dali enrolled at the University in Madrid and was determined to become a great artist His bizarre appearance became noticed by two members of the university’s upper echelon—Federico Garcia Lorca and Luis Bunuel and they took him into their decadent group. As time passed Dali became more and more attracted to Lorca and the three men became the harbingers of modernity. As Lorca grew as a poet, Bunuel left for Paris to find his own artistic success. At that time Dali and Lorca went on vacation to the town of Cadaques where the beautiful surroundings as the warmth of Dali won the poet over and as they shared their deepest and most spiritual thoughts, the two found a new kind of friendship which was more than a meeting of the minds but more of a meeting of the souls. A short while later it became physical and in the eyes of Spanish Catholics, an affront against G-d. When they returned to Madrid, they continued to maintain a secret relationship. When Bunuel comes for a visit, he is shocked and appalled at his friend Lorca and he leaves shocked and does not confront his friend. Dali went to Paris and visited with Bunuel and then returns to Spain with plans to leave both Lorca and Madrid but Lorca has become afraid to lose him but Dali leaves and goes to Paris where he begins work on a film with Bunuel as well as a love affair with a woman, Gala.
Ultimately Lorca is invited to dinner with Dali and Gala as Spain moves to civil war A week later, Lorca was assassinated at the outbreak of the war and Dali realizes all too late that Lorca was his one true love.
“Little Ashes” is a story of forbidden love that changes from a silent longing to a wonderful affair but it ends in rejection, death and disillusionment.
This is an actor’s movie and it is the performances that make it special but it is also a film about integrity and facing oneself. When Lorca finally accepts his own sexuality but it was too late for Dali who chose fame and success over love. The film has all the elements of a good show—humor, emotion and thought and it deals with a special moment in time—about a period of political upheaval and reaction at which time a person experiences personal change. Spain had been controlled by a kind of bourgeois conformism; one remained in the class to which he was born but which surrealism tried to circumvent and subvert. The movie looks at the movement to freedom and then the return to repression. In this, the film is not a conventional period drama because what the men deal with are ideas of modernity.
The film is sensual to watch and there is a kind of magic to the cinematography. The costumes are beautiful and the script is full of emotion, fun and tender beauty. Director Paul Morrison gives us quite a fine movie.
JANORM wrote on 09/18/2009:
I have seen and reviewed many films so far, but this film is one of the most emotional and visual that I have been a witness, about two(2) men's lives. You have all the arena of a love between Dali & Lorca as students. All of its most magnificent and fantastic pairings is portrayed in such a realistic manner. The audience is drawn into their world, in an incredible array of scenes. You have two(2) men which are a dichotomy in themselves yet love each other beyond this real world. Lorca remains true to his ideals for both friends and family, and thereby suffers the ultimate tragedy. Dali is lured by fame and money away from this arena. Dali survives, but spends the rest of his life, fighting an internal war with himself, over the loss of Lorca. Dali's painting and larger than life behaviors represent this turmoil of regret,sorrow, and loneliness. He endured this Hell and in the process gave this world some of its greatest modern abstract art. Lorca in his short life left us a tantalizing glimpse of what he was capable of. The forces that destroyed Lorca have been completely discredited and even reduced to the authoritarian quagmire that they really were.This one film that needs to be added to your collection. THE TRAGEDY OF TRUE LOVE IS ALWAYS WITH US!
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