Tuesday, March 3, 2009


If you were in Madrid during the 1920s, what would you do? Go to university, engage in underage drinking and perform sodomy on your classmates. "Little Ashes" focuses on three emerging young men; you could call these three the Musketeers: artist Salvador Dali, filmmaker Luis Bunel and writer Federico Garcia Lorca. Now the movie started out a tad bit slow with Salvador Dali racing Dracula-style through the wilderness in a horse drawn carriage. Upon arrival the other students are amazed and dumbfounded of Dali: pail, long nails, shaggy black hair, pencil-thin mustache and Elizabethan attire. Skittish and standoffish, Dali is a recluse until he purposely "opens' his door and Bunel barges in. Well after a few drinks and a formal introduction to Lurca the movie begins to pick up pace. The three become inseparable, forming the social elite at University, drinking on a nightly basis and debating about jazz, Paris, and the avant-garde. An attraction forms between Dali and Lurca and he fails to realize the attention his friend Margarita has for him. After a vacation in Cadaques with Dali's family, a kiss in the open sea and everything changes forever.....

With astounding cinematography, amazing costume design and historical references to the on-going war, "Little Ashes" was made for the visual intellectual in mind. Those who are fans of independent and art house films will surely enjoy it immensely. I was pleasantly surprised of the story of Dali and found myself researching him once leaving the show. More surprisingly was the boldness of Lurca and his obvious affection in such a time when sodomy could land a man 15 years in prison. Now if I can see the the Van Gogh/Paul Gaugin love story in which one of them loses an earlobe...hmmm....

Grade: A-

Director: Paul Morrison
Written by: Philippa Goslett
Release Date: 2009

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