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Little Ashes
Little Ashes
Actors: Javier Beltran, Robert Pattinson, Matthew McNulty, Marina Gatell
Director: Paul Morrison
Genres: Drama
R     2010     1hr 52min

1922. As Madrid wavers on the edge of social change, Salvador Dali is drawn into the decadent lifestyle of Federico Garcia Lorca and Luis Bu˝uel. But as the three explore the art world together, a forbidden attraction d...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Javier Beltran, Robert Pattinson, Matthew McNulty, Marina Gatell
Director: Paul Morrison
Genres: Drama
Sub-Genres: Love & Romance
Studio: E1 Entertainment
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 01/26/2010
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2008
Release Year: 2010
Run Time: 1hr 52min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 9
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Dali and Lorca
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 04/12/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Little Ashes"

Dali and Lorca

Amos Lassen

"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.
dali fan | 05/14/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I've noticed most reviews of this movie are negative, both the writing and the actors were not very good. I thought this movie was AMAZING! Both funny and sad it took you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Every actor did a fantastic job and I just wanted to put something out there that is POSITIVE for this movie. I look forward to owning it when it comes out on DVD"
Meandering story, powerful cast
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 07/19/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"For most of his life, Salvador Dali denied that he had ever been lovers with the tragic poet Federico García Lorca -- until the end of his life.

So, writer Philippa Goslett and director Paul Morrison explore what may have been in "Little Ashes," in which two young men become close friends, more-than-friends, only to have their relationship splinter apart. It's a powerful little story with astonishing acting by Robert Pattinson and Javier Beltran, but it tends to meander and shake way too much.

In the Madrid of 1922, a shy and awkward art student named Salvador Dali (Pattinson) is drawn into a circle of vibrant, iconoclastic young artists, including filmmaker Luis Buñuel (Matthew McNulty) and poet Federico García Lorca (Javier Beltran). Lorca in particular is intrigued by Dali, who is just discovering his unique melty surrealist style -- and it's not a platonic crush. And though initially he fights against the attraction, a trip to the seaside reveals Lorca's feelings to Dali.

But as their attraction grows, Buñuel feels shut out and tries to pull Dali out of Lorca's orbit -- and after an unsuccessful attempt to consummate their affair, Dali vanishes to Paris without a word. A possibly insulting movie and many years widen the split between them, until Lorca meets Dali, now world famous and in love with the "witch" Gala (Arly Jover). Dali has changed, and so has Spain -- with terrible results.

I know relatively little of either Dali or Lorca's lives, but it seems that "Little Ashes" is less about what happened than about what MIGHT have happened. Unfortunately it also falls prey to a common flaw in biographical movies, even if they're semi-fictionalized accounts -- it meanders randomly much of the time, and has awkward jumps between the different phases in the two men's lives. And what is up with Beltran suddenly reciting poetry in Spanish?

But if it meanders, it's a picturesque meander -- sunny streets of Madrid, shadowy apartments, rocky beaches, weird surrealist visions of Paris, and fun nightclubs where bright young artists congregate. Paul Morrison has a straightforward directorial style with few ups or downs, but there are some beautiful moments sprinkled throughout it -- such as a balletic swim in a moonlit blue sea, or the bittersweet final scenes for Lorca (interspersed with Dali frantically smearing black paint all over).

But this movie would be utterly forgettable if it weren't for the leads. Both are painfully magnificent, both in their chemistry and in their attempts to embody their characters. Beltran is a tragic figure who brims over with passion, sorrow and integrity, and somehow you know that things never end happily for this poor man. Marina Gatell has a small but well-acted role as a young woman passionately in love with Lorca, but obviously she can be nothing more than his friend (and once, a sexual proxy for Dali).

And Pattinson exudes almost Johnny-Depplike skill in almost becoming Dali. This is no glamorous "Twilight" role -- at first Pattinson plays him as a twitchy, painfully awkward and shy young man, but as Dali grows in confidence he also becomes more insistently eccentric and flamboyant, to the point where Lorca no longer recognizes him as a person. Mad laughter, insane grief, and all the time we're never quite sure what he's truly thinking about anything -- except, at the end, about Lorca himself.

"Little Ashes" is a flawed portrait covered in jewel-like paint -- the actors are truly astonishing in their skill, but the direction is a straightforward and spotty affair. And it's all the more tragic because at least some of it is true."
Captivating movie - one that sticks with you
R. Doll Suppes | Fernley, Nevada | 11/30/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"My girlfriends and I drove over four hours away to see this movie in San Francisco when it played in the theatres. We weren't expecting much simply because this was a low-budget independent movie not getting much attention/buzz. So, how great to find a gem of a story and captivating acting by the two leads.

The movie is beautifully shot, the colors are magnificent and the story is one you are compelled to hear with an ending scene that will break your heart.

The acting of Pattinson at times can seem awkward, as he has much growing as an actor to do, but he delivers an appropriately weird and uncomfortable performance as Dali. His performance, unlike those of just plain old bad actors, is anything but boring, and one can only wonder what Pattinson may be capable of with more experience.

And Beltrain as Lorca is hard to take your eyes off of. He has an ease and sincerity to his delivery that never falters, and you'll wish he'd never stop talking let alone leave the screen!

This movie is worth watching. You'll be thinking about it long after the credits have stopped rolling."