I'm not much of a cinema crier. I generally have something of a patronizing view of the people sniffling in the row behind me. I certainly didn't go into this film expecting to be moved anywhere close to tears, but as the lights went up at the end of the film I was the one with red-rimmed eyes and a tissue surreptitiously wiping off my running mascara.
Tonight was the world premiиre of Little Ashes and I was very proud to be there. It's the story of Salavdor Dali and the relationship he may or may not have had with the poet Frederico Garcia Lorca. I think its easy to be fooled by the fact these are famous figures, or the difficult political climate of the setting, at its core this is a love story with a tragedy so far beyond Romeo and Juliet.
I can't imagine it is easy for any of us to imagine a fascist Spain where homosexuality is a death-worthy sin, I couldn't before the film started but the filming and the quality of acting is so far beyond anything I hoped for and I was transported immediately. At no point from beginning to end did I feel detached from the action, I felt every second.
I will not give too much of the story away but those of you who know about the lives of Salvador Dali and Frederico Garcia Lorca will probably have a good idea how it goes.
The passion between Robert Pattinson playing Dali and Javier Beltran as Lorca is wonderful, when they are happy you can't help but smile with them and when they are tense you will be gripping the armrests of your chair. The secondary performances by Marina Gattel and Matthew McNulty were also superb, this is not a film where any one character shines, every character is played with a drive and an understanding that is missing from most mainstream productions.
I have two favourite scenes which I thought captured the torturous and yet exciting feelings that the leads were successfully attempting to portray. The first is when they were riding bicycles and playing on the beach, the ease the fun in there relationship before they had crossed the physical line was picture perfect romance, truly heartwarming even though the whole time you knew it could never end well. My second favourite scene is when Lorca goes to visit Dali in a hotel 8 years after they parted under awkward circumstances. You can actually feel Lorca's pain at seeing Dali hide under affections and exaggerated eccentricity and at the same time feel Dali's need to just push his guard down and grab the only person he's every really loved.
The final scene of Dali with the black paint (no I wont go into any more detail than that it would ruin it!) is cinematic genius, so powerful and moving.
It's marvellous. I want to watch it again and I suggest you look out for it.