Little Ashes [Region 2]
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United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: it WILL NOT play on standard US DVD player. You need multi-region PAL/NTSC DVD player to view it in USA/Canada: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), WIDESCREEN (1.78:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Behind the scenes, Cast/Crew Interview(s), Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: The tangled three-way friendship of Luis Buñuel, Salvador Dalí and Federico García Lorca - important artistic figures of the 20th century whose paths crossed in Madrid early in their careers - could make for a fascinating movie. Instead, we have "Little Ashes," directed by Paul Morrison and written by Philippa Goslett, a painfully sincere study in creative passion, sexual ardor and political zeal that embalms a mad and exuberant historical moment within the talky, balky conventions of period-costumed highbrow soap opera. The film starts off like a Spanish variation on "Brideshead Revisited," with various handsome young men in beautifully tailored shirts bursting into university dormitory rooms, lighting cigarettes and declaiming knowingly on art, religion, modern society and the talents and deficiencies of their peers. A couple of brightly plumed, semi-emancipated women occasionally take part in the conversations, which the international cast utters in Castilian-accented - or should I say acthented - English. ...Little Ashes
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I have no idea how true this story is, so I will pretend that it is fiction, based on real people. In the most believable role I've ever seen him in, Robert Pattinson portrays Salvador Dalí, brilliant painter and filmmaker; I'd never heard of this actor prior, but Javier Beltrán plays writer Frederico García Lorca and is absolutely brilliant. The story starts where they are in art school together and have a form of love affair, without an sexuality. You feel their tension and attraction, but it is so frowned upon that Dalí can't bring himself to embrace it. Fast-forward to adulthood, Dalí is married to a woman and García Lorca is in a relationship with another man. Their tension persists to their later years and, through twists and turns, they can't seem to find each other, even though there is obvious love and a connection between them. Pattinson, whom I find to be one of the worst actors of our day, was fantastic and Beltrán was superb. It's definitely a movie for the art fan, the love fan, and the fan of the unrequited experience. Fantastic film and underrated like crazy!
The story is alternately angst-ridden, languid and intense. However, the movie is incredibly slow. Almost tortuously slow at times. I think the filmmakers intended to show the gradual growth of feeling between the two men, but sometime I felt like I was looking at a lovely painting instead of a living story. There are some very intense scenes, in particular when Dali and Lorca attempt to have sex without really taking the reality of it into account. This scene was gut-wrenching and emotional, but there were too few scenes of such intensity. Overall, fans of historical and/or biographical films who have a lot of patience may find this rewarding. I thought it was a good film, but not one I would watch again.
Now about the film I can say I believed in the character development and the beautiful photography of the settings. The screenplay could have been better as for the directing it was daring to say the least.
I gave it 5 stars for the subject matter but 4 overall.
This film made me look for books on the subject of Lorca and Dalí, wish me luck as I journey into the madness of this poet and this crazy painter early discovery of their inner selves.
I recommend this film for every Dalí fan, it would give you a rare view of the mad man come into his crazy self.