Little Ashes in Tampa, Florida

Thanks to cinnamon_toast_crunch from imdb for keeping the Little Ashes Movement going when I am not able to. You rock chika!

Good News for Tampa residents! There is a special event going on at the Tampa Theater in Florida on May 15-17.

Dr. Hank Hine, director of the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, has seen the Little Ashes already and will host a Q&A after Saturday's 7:30pm showing on May 16th.

Other museum officers will handle those duties after Friday and Sunday's 7:30pm performances.


Paul Morrison's Little Ashes, a portrait of the artist Salvador Dali as a young man, is more than a movie to Dr. Hank Hine. As director of the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg since 2001, Hine sees Little Ashes as another method of expanding awareness of Dali, his unique life and accomplishments.

Hine viewed a DVD copy of Little Ashes before discussing it with the St. Petersburg Times. He'll also appear at Saturday night's 7:30 screening of the film at the Tampa Theatre to answer questions after the show. (Other museum officers will handle those duties at Friday and Sunday's 7:30 performances.)

Little Ashes deals with Dali during his academy days, forging friendships with his peers, filmmaker Luis Bunuel and poet Federico Garcia Lorca. Is that a wise focus?

I wasn't sure what story they would weave together because there are so many stories in Dali's life, so many associations with so many different people in different contexts: from Spain, to Picasso and the surrealists in Paris, his connections to the United States, Hollywood, the Beatles, the Pope, (Francisco) Franco, the king of Spain. . . . But I think this was a good filmic choice, to choose a moment of formative intersections, connecting to these other artists who hold great interest for the public.

Especially with Lorca, whom the movie depicts as sharing a homoerotic romance with Dali.

First of all, it's not known if they were lovers. Dali was always ambiguous about it. I don't think there's anything documented about Dali having homosexual relations.

He did have a great deal of curiosity about other people's sexuality. He liked being voyeuristic. These other things are not known, but one imagines from the elasticity in his own identity that he could have been bisexual.

I'm sure that will surprise fans of Robert Pattinson (Twilight), who plays Dali. What did you think of his portrayal?

He did a good job of capturing that noncommittal aspect of Dali, who wasn't committed to the Lorca relationship, nor was he fully withdrawn; he vacillated.

What we're told about Dali — and this is the place where (the film) may have overstepped a bit — is that he was really reticent about any kind of physical contact. They did a good job establishing his reticence, that ambivalence he had about connecting with others.

I was surprised that the movie, at least in early scenes, portrays Dali as socially awkward, not the brash artist we know best.

As (Dali) describes it, he had a lot of social unease. When he met (artist) Paul Eluard and his wife, Gala (who later married Dali), they came to visit and apparently Dali used to laugh uncontrollably, get almost hysterical. Gala, he claims, was the calming influence in his life.

Little Ashes is fairly conventional filmmaking, although Dali's art and life were anything but conventional. How do you think he would feel about this movie?

Dali was famous for saying: "The more confusion, the better." To the extent that the movie shows a confused view of his sexuality, I think he would applaud it.


Tess said...

Everyone involved with LA should be proud of this one! A positive and fair of review from the perspective of someone who actually knows a bit about Dali.

Sara said...

I've actually read a fair few comments on the web about how there are no hard facts that this relationship happened, but I think they're missing the point.
Of course we'll never know, but it's obvious something profound happened between the three artists and something that started from Dali's childhood and escalated at the Uni which turned him into the charachiture we know him as.

Although, I do believe this was a fair review and he knows what he's talking about :)

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