Saturday

Little Ashes

2008

In the early 1920s, three Spanish geniuses happened to occupy the same dormitory in a university in Madrid. Federico Garcia Lorca was a great poet and political activist. Salvador Dali was one of the century's foremost painters. Luis Buuel was Spain's greatest filmmaker. The three became friends during their college years and formed extremely complicated relationships that would continue into adulthood in one form or another. They were actually quite a mismatched trio. Buuel was a cynic and a hard-nosed pragmatist who would sometimes expose an ugly side of his character. Garcia Lorca was a smooth and elegant idealist with a great social skills. Dali was an awkward and eccentric outsider who showed up in school looking like Oscar Wilde or perhaps like Gainsborough's Blue Boy, right down to the page-boy hair cut.

Given the presence of three such lions in one place when they were all but cubs, and given an odd mix of sexual proclivities, there is a natural human curiosity about what they did and said in those days, and that's what the script of Little Ashes is about. As portrayed here, their friendships ebbed and flowed, and the eventual dynamic which developed between them was determined to a large extent by their sexuality. Garcia Lorca was a homosexual, Luis Buuel was a homophobe, Dali was flexible and/or confused. In fact, Dali and Lorca had a homoerotic and sometimes very romantic relationship that apparently stopped just short of intercourse because Dali was afraid of that side of his nature, or perhaps because he ultimately realized that it did not really exist.

The problem with Little Ashes is not the quality of the production, but the fact that it's an arthouse film with extremely limited commercial appeal. I'll illustrate that claim by describing what might be the most important scene in the film. There is a lovely and aggressive woman in love with Garcia Lorca, who is in turn in love with Dali, who will not have sex with him. The woman bursts into Lorca's dorm room, determined to have sex with him. She sees Dali there, but proceeds undaunted. Lorca allows himself to be seduced, but keeps his eyes entirely on Dali as he rolls around with the woman. For his own part, Dali watches and masturbates. We are not sure whether Dali is excited by the man, the woman, or simply by the act of passion, but he manages to climax just as Lorca does. You can probably imagine that this scene is not going to play to packed houses in your local mall theater, especially since it includes some very graphic camera angles. It will appeal most strongly to indie film lovers who are very interested in history and literature, and who are extremely tolerant of or interested in male-male kissing.

I didn't have any problem with the film's explicitness, and I'm interested in the subject matter, but I was disappointed by Little Ashes. I found the script too unfocused to deliver any significant emotional impact or intellectual stimulus. While the film has moments that I found interesting and thoughtful, and I enjoyed the musical score of flamenco guitar and sad violins, I walked away from the film wondering why it was made in the first place. It just doesn't seem to have any point, and it can be deadly dull. It's just a rambling character study. You may be wondering whether it is at least an accurate character study, given that it deals with three important historical characters. I honestly don't know whether the great artists have been presented fairly. It's the kind of film which may or may not be accurate, by which I mean that the conversations are not based on the autobiographies or journals of the three men, so all the dialogue consists of speculative imaginings. On the other hand, none of those speculations contradict anything we know for a fact. Insiders have had mixed reactions. Luis Buuel's family has not been satisfied with the way he is portrayed here, but those with expertise in the lives of Dali and Lorca seem reasonably comfortable with the way this film styles them and their relationship.

The film has attracted more attention than it normally would have because the actor playing Dali became quite a major heartthrob in his next movie. That actor would be Robert Pattinson, and the film which made him famous is the vampire romance called Twilight. In Little Ashes, Pattinson was part of a mixed Spanish/English cast. Of the four main characters, two are played by Spanish actors speaking English with Spanish accents and the other two (including Pattinson) are English actors mimicking Spanish accents. Having good Spanish represented by bad English was an odd choice of conventions, and rendered the film more artificial than it needed to be. It also made the dialogue more inaccessible, because the accents can sometimes be hard to understand. That convention is disrupted for Lorca's poetry. When the bard is reciting his verses, he switches to Spanish, but the words are simultaneously translated into an English overdub, also in his voice. This allows, or requires, the audience to listen to both audio streams and separate them. It's awkward. One feels that the script would have been better served if it had been performed in Spanish with English subtitles, or by using good English to represent good Spanish. On the other hand, that's a minor point because that sort of change would not have turned this into any more of a commercially viable film.

Marina Gatell (full nudity including a procto cam) and unknowns (mostly topless)

Small sample:

 

 

  • * Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe).

  • * White asterisk: expanded format.

  • * Blue asterisk: not mine.

  • No asterisk: it probably sucks.

OTHER CRAP:

Catch the deluxe version of Other Crap in real time, with all the bells and whistles, here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Atlantic City

1980

Susan Sarandon DVD film clips. Sample frame captures below.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

On Bloody Sunday

2007


A little "Babe in Bondage" scene from a really bad movie with Evina Luna topless and getting torched. Awfully dark scene. Caps and a  clip.



 

 

TV Land

Over in TV Land Teri Hatcher visits "Letterman". Maybe it's me, but I swear she gets better with age. She is one hot lady. Caps and an HD clip


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes and collages

The Reader

Part 1

2008

Kate Winslet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amor Idiota

(2004)

 

Cayetana Guillen Cuervo film clips (collages below)

Lourdes Barba film clip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Human Contract

2008

I'm not big on romantic dramas, but The Human Contract had enough drama to keep the romance from getting boring. Good performances and a good job by director Jada Pinkett Smith made it even better, even though the story wasn't particularly unique.

Julian Wright is a successful and driven businessman who has a secret that eats at him every day, but doesn't stop him from achieving success. His marriage has fallen apart, but he has a girlfriend and is emerged in his work when he meets Michael (Paz Vega), a free spirit who encourages him to loosen up and adopt a bohemian lifestyle.

It turns out that Michael has a few skeletons of her own in the closet. When stressed, she cuts herself. She also has a husband, but she assures Julian that she and her husband have an "understanding". As you might expect, these two are a recipe for disaster, and when it strikes, things take a surprising turn.

This was a good drama, in which the drama came first, and the romance enhanced the story without getting in the way. I liked it.
 

Paz Vega

 

 

 

 

 

Jocks

The nudity in Jocks (1986) is by some unidentified women. Mariska Hargitay shows a bit of sex appeal.


Death by Dialogue

Laura Albert is topless in the horror movie Death by Dialogue (1988).


The Charlemagne Code

Bettina Zimmerman is topless in The Charlemagne Code aka Die Jagd nach dem Schatz der Nibelungen (2008) but is facing the wrong way.


Then She Found Me

Helen Hunt is topless in Then She Found Me (2007) but it's a case of hands over the boobs.


The Deep End

No nudity in The Deep End (2001) but Tilda Swinton shows some lovely pokies when she takes a swim in her underwear.


Lilja 4-ever

No actual nudity but a couple of dancers going by the names of Jaanika and Olga are down to their pasties.


Hotel Erotica Cabo - Mighty Mike Returns

This week's soft core this week comes from an episode of Hotel Erotica Cabo called Mighty Mike Returns (2006). Plenty of nakedness by Beverly Lynne

Kimberly Kay

and Nikita Lea.


Silk Stalkings

Continuing the first season of Silk Stalkings.

Season 1 Episode 11 Intensive Care

Robin Frates - in her underwear

Season 1 Episode 12 Squeeze Play

Bonnie Burroughs - a lot of leg and an upskirt

Christine Sullivan - pokies

Season 1 Episode 13 Shock Jock

Beth Chamberlin - nice

Kim Morgan Greene - nice

Marta DuBois - in her underwear

Rochelle Swanson - sexy taking a shower

Unknown - nude model from the back

Season 1 Episode 14 The Sock Drawer

Patsy Pease - topless from the back

Season 1 Episode 15 Internal Affair

Denise Miller - in her underwear

Kari Whitman - sexy cleavage

Season 1 Episode 16 Witness

Kristen Cloke - pokies

Morgan Brittany - underwear

Unknown - sexy

Season 1 Episode 17 Domestic Agenda

Alina Arena - underwear

Kristen Cloke - sexy

Therese Kablan - cleavage

Season 1 Episode 18 Lady Luck

Holly Gagnier - a brief nip slip, the only actual nudity I've seen in the show

Kristen Cloke - sexy

Lisa Comshaw - topless from the back

Season 1 Episode 19 Working Girl

Hannah Cutrona - underwear

Sharon Case - underwear

Season 1 Episode 20 Powder Burn

Vanity - sexy



 

 

 

 

 

 

Carmen Electra on stage (yesterday's video)

 

Miranda Kerr topless

Emma Watson - (near) wardrobe malfunction