When Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech arrives at Madrids School of Fine Arts in 1922, he bears little resemblance to Salvador Dalí, the grandiose, flamboyantly mustachioed celebrity painter he would become. At the beginning of the biopic Little Ashes, young Dalí (Robert Pattinson) doesnt look much like his fellow art students, either. His classmates wear suits, but Dalí arrives at school wearing a black costume better suited to Hamlet, complete with elaborately ruffled cuffs and collars. Even among precocious artists, Dalí is the odd man out.
Little Ashes captures three of Spains most renowned artists in their embryonic states, chronicling the tempestuous relationships of Dalí and two of his contemporaries, budding filmmaker Luis Buñuel (Matthew McNulty) and especially the poet/playwright Federico García Lorca (Javier Beltrán). Director Paul Morrison and screenwriter Philippa Goslett are clearly great admirers of Lorca and have strong feelings about Dalí and Buñuel, as well. But though their affection for their subjects shines through, Little Ashes struggles with the challenges that inevitably arise in gossipy biopics about famous artists.
(Photo courtesy Regent Releasing)
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