Monday, January 25, 2010

::Team Edward:: Little Ashes US Release Tomorrow 1/26/10

Editorial Reviews

The prospect of a movie about the friendship of future avant-garde legends Luis Buñuel, Federico García Lorca, and Salvador Dalí from their art-school days in 1920s Madrid so bristles with potential, it could hardly fail to be scintillating and provocative. Throw in Spain's political and cultural climate at the time under conservative morality's authoritarian hand, then bring on the youthful iconoclasm, intellectual rebellion, Surrealist impulses, and by all means a little sex: so much to work with--yet, Little Ashes is a juiceless, glumly silly movie. Buñuel (Matthew McNulty) gets sidelined in deference to his pal and roommate García Lorca (Javier Beltrán) and the latter's infatuation with Dalí (Robert Pattinson, prior to his teen-icon breakthrough in Twilight). Though several years younger than the others, Dalí already cuts a figure at once outré and coy. Buñuel helps style him for celebrity status, and as Little Ashes notes in passing, the two of them would co-create the still-astonishing film Un Chien Andalou a few years later in Paris. But the main show is the growing besottedness of Dalí and García Lorca, which leads to, among other things, a silvery-moonlit clinch during an offshore swim that churns the seawater into a milky froth. Spanish TV actress Marina Gatell contributes heat and passion as García Lorca's supposed girlfriend, especially during an, uh, two-and-a-half-way sex scene. Otherwise, like the guys' amour fou, the movie comes up short. Low-budget is okay as long as filmmakers have some poetry in them, but Paul Morrison's stilted direction fails to conceal that, say, during a simple dialogue scene in a bar there's nobody and nothing else going on outside of camera range. The cast wear their period costumes as if playing dress-up, and the dialogue--in English--is variously delivered by British players affecting "Cathtilian ack-thents" and Spanish actors whose real accents are sometimes impenetrable. Still more irksome is the switch to Spanish whenever García Lorca declaims one of his poems. Or perhaps that's just a Surrealist touch. --Richard T. Jameson

Product Description

1922. As Madrid wavers on the edge of social change, Salvador Dali is drawn into the decadent lifestyle of Federico Garcia Lorca and Luis Buñuel. But as the three explore the art world together, a forbidden attraction develops which changes their lives forever. Starring Robert Pattinson, Javier Beltran, Matthew McNulty.