Thursday, September 17, 2009

Late review - LITTLE ASHES

LITTLE ASHES is a delicate little costume drama/biopic about Salvador Dali, Luis Bunuel and Federico Garcia Lorca. Set in an exclusive Madrid university in the period between World War One and the Spanish Civil War. Dali immediately stands out as the new boy because of his archaic dress, beautiful paintings and sensitive soul. Bunuel immediately spots his talents and introduces him to his set of iconoclastic cool kids, who reject establishment authority and want to live life to the full. Here, Dali meets Lorca, and, as alleged in Ian Gibson's biographies, they fall for each other, but Dali is too scared to actually consummate the relationship. He is, ultimately, more in love with himself.

The movie has a lot of things going for it. It looks beautiful, in the Merchant Ivory tradition of beautiful people in beautiful costumes and beautiful settings. Javier Beltran is wonderful as Lorca and Robert Pattinson doesn't disgrace himself as Dali. Problem is, the movie is as repressed as the lovers themselves in dealing with homosexuality, and while a pleasant enough watch, never gets to grips with its subject matter.

LITTLE ASHES was released in Spain, the US and UK in May 2009 and is available on DVD and on iTunes.

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