Little Ashes chronicles the relationship between Frederico Garcia Lorca, Salvador Dali and Luis Bunuel. Lorca and Dali eventually become intimate and that intimacy is at the core of this film. It is an impressionistic view of their lives with scenes from various locations and brief moments of the lives punctuated by newsreel-style interludes that provide a broader background.
Madrid in 1922 was a city wavering on the edge of change as traditional values were challenged by the dangerous new influences of jazz, Freud and the avant-garde.
Salvador Dalí arrived at university at the age of 18 years old, determined to become a great artist. His bizarre blend of shyness and rampant exhibitionism attracted the attention of two of the university’s social elite — Federico García Lorca and Luis Buñuel. For a while they are an active, decadent and formidable trio, the most ultra-modern group in Madrid. However, as time passes, Salvador feels an increasingly strong pull toward the charismatic Federico — who is oblivious to the attention he is getting from his beautiful writer friend, Magdalena. But it is Frederico who seems to be the one who, once prompted, leads the way in their dalliance. Finally, in the face of his friends’ preoccupations — and Federico’s growing renown as a poet — Luis sets off for Paris in search of his own artistic success. The film has gorgeous settings and evocative Spanish guitar music. I thoroughly enjoyed it.