Little Ashes (2008) Poster

(2008)

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  • The movie follows the friendship of three 20th century artists—Salvador Dalí (Robert Pattinson), Luis Buñuel (Matthew McNulty), and Frederico García Lorca (Javier Beltrán)—from 1922 when they meet at the Residencia de Estudiantes in Madrid, Spain, to García Lorca's death in 1936. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Salvador Dali [1904-1989] was a Spanish artist known for his eccentricity and his surrealistic paintings. Dalí produced over 1,500 paintings in his lifetime. The majority of his works are displayed at the Dalí Theatre and Museum in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain (where Dalí was born), and the Dalí Museum in St Petersburg, Florida. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Frederico Garcia Lorca [1898-1936] was a Spanish writer, best known for his poetry and plays. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Luis Buñuel [1900-1983] was a Spanish film director known for his surreal imagery. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • The title is taken from Salvador Dalí's 1927-1928 painting Cenicitas (Little Ashes). Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Before the movie begins, there is an opening caption that reads: Remember me when you are at the beach and above all when you paint crackling things and little ashes. Oh my little ashes! Put my name in the picture so that my name will serve for something in the world. This is a translation of a letter written by García Lorca to Salvador Dalí in July 1927. The entire letter and others can be found in Sebastian's Arrows: Letters and Mementos of Salvador Dalí and Federico García Lorca (2005), edited by Christopher Maurer. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Dalí's mustache is described in Dali and I: The Surreal Story (2008) by Stan Lauryssens as being achieved with the use of hair extensions mounted on straws for easy removal and reapplication. Lauryssens also relates an anecdote whereby Beatle George Harrison asked Dalí's wife Gala to purchase a hair from Dalí's mustache, and she simply plucked a hair out of the extension and charged him £300,000. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Those who have seen the movie and are familiar with the lives of Salvador Dalí, Luis Buñuel, and Frederico García Lorca maintain that the historical details are accurate. For example, the three of them did meet at the Residencia de Estudiantes in Madrid, Dalí did get himself kicked out of school, Dalí and García Lorca did travel to Cadaques together, Buñuel was homophobic and engaged in gay-bashing, García Lorca was homosexual, Gala (Arly Jover) was married to another man when she met Dalí, and García Lorca was indeed executed by the National Front at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. What is questionable, if not downright controversial, is the extent of the relationship between Dalí and García Lorca (in a 1969 Conversation with Alain Bosquet , Dalí denied being homosexual, however their letters to one another suggest their physical relationship to have been more than to what Dalí admitted). Other questionable incidents are whether García Lorca's execution was carried out for political reasons or because of his sexual orientation, the manner of his execution, and how Dalí reacted after hearing of his death. Some parts of the movie are purely contrived by the film-makers. Magdalena (Marina Gatell), for example, is a composite of two women, neither of whom seem to have had anything to do with García Lorca coming to terms with his homosexuality. There was no radio announcement pronouncing García Lorca's death, and the people assembled in the ending scenes were not all together in a bar to conveniently hear about it and toast his memory. There is no diary known to have been kept by García Lorca, so Buñuel couldn't have found out about his relationship with Dalí by reading his diary. Other details are factually true but fictionalized for the movie, such as the scene where Dalí watches while García Lorca has sex with Magdalena or the scene where Buñuel beats up a gay man. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • García Lorca and two other men are led out into a field and shot by a firing squad. When it becomes apparent that García Lorca is still alive, another shot rings out and a voice can be heard saying, "Only one way to kill a queer." As the announcement of García Lorca's death is broadcast over the radio, Dalí is working on a painting, while some other friends are gathered in a bar. Magdalena breaks down in tears, and Dalí destroys his canvas with black paint. As Dalí wallows in black paint, García Lorca's friends in the bar drink a toast to his memory. A flashback shows García Lorca and Dalí frolicking in the water together during their earlier days. Gala knocks on Dalí's studio door and calls out, "Salvador, the guests are here." "J'arrive! [I'm coming!]", he replies, puts on a black cape, and goes out to meet them with his face still smeared with black paint. This is followed by a caption that says, For years after García Lorca's death, Dalí shrouded their relationship in mystery. Only towards the end of his life did he open up about his friendships from student days, especially his connection with García Lorca. Such memories inspired this film. García Lorca can then be heard whispering, "Dry land, quiet land of immense night...Wind in the olive grove...wind in the sierra," while grasses wave in a field. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Biographies and other books about Salvador Dalí that have been mentioned include the following: (1) The Shameful Life of Salvador Dalí (1998) by Ian Gibson, (2) The Persistence of Memory: A Biography of Dali (1995) by Meredith Etherington-Smith, (3) Dali and I: The Surreal Story (2008) by Stan Lauryssens, (5) Conversations with Dali (1969) by Alain Bosquet, (6) Sebastian's Arrows: Letters and Mementos of Salvador Dali and Federico Garcia Lorca (2005), ed: Christopher Maurer, and (7) The Secret Life of Salvador Dali (1993) by Salvador Dali (autobiography). Ian Gibson has also written a biography for García Lorca entitled Frederico García Lorca - A Life (1997), and rumor has it that he is working on a biography for Luis Buñuel. Also recommended is Leslie Stainton's Lorca: A Dream of Life (1999). Edit (Coming Soon)

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