ASK THE DUST REVIEWED
ROBERT TOWNE'S 30s LA ROMANCE IS BEAUTIFUL AND
Though it's not being released until March
17th, I was able to see an early screening of Ask The Dust, a film which I
knew very little about prior to watching it, but would like to do
everything I can to spread the word to watch for it when it's finally out.
There's talk that it may have a limited release at first, perhaps in the
art house circuit for starters, but if you live within driving distance of
this movie, make all efforts possible to check it out.
Based on a 1939 book of the same title by
John Fante, it reminded me of a Charles Bukowski story. I got quite
a laugh when looking at the editor review on Amazon which states that
Bukowski was actually quite a fan of the man's work and wrote as a preface
to a later edition of ADT, "Then one day I pulled a book down and opened
it, and there it was. I stood for a moment, reading. Then like a man who
had found gold in the city dump, I carried the book to a table. The lines
rolled easily across the page, there was a flow. Each line had its own
energy and was followed by another like it. The very substance of each
line gave the page a form, a feeling of something carved into it. And
here, at last, was a man who was not afraid of emotion. The humour and the
pain were intermixed with a superb simplicity ... that book was a wild and
enormous miracle to me."
I'll admit the film is a wild and enormous
miracle as well. Set in the 30s, it tells the tale of Arturo Bandini
(played very well by Colin Farrell) who moves to the still growing Los
Angeles to ply his trade as a writer. Down to his last nickel, and
no further along than the day he arrived, he buys a cup of coffee and
encounters Camilla, a fiery Mexican waitress that Salma Hayek was born to
The chemistry between the two is instant
and very real feeling, but their stubborn ways keep things very
adversarial during their initial meetings. She becomes his muse, and
triggers events that finally give him something worth writing about.
I won't go in to much detail about the
story, because it's great to watch it unfold as a surprise, but there's
plenty of great dialogue, gorgeous scenery, and hot sexy action to make
this a date movie for intelligent people that you won't soon forget.
And, oh yeah, if you need another reason to
see this film, Salma Hayek and Colin Farrell are both naked like crazy in
the movie. I'm not talking body double shots with head cut out of
the frame, or a fleeting glimpse that is designed to break the pause
button on your DVD remote control. I'd say that there's a good 4-5
solid minutes of eye popping Hayek nudity in this movie. Even some
full frontal shots. And hats off to Farrell, who clearly doesn't
have a problem showing his goods, who not only has the guts to do a full
nude scene in the ocean, but if that water is as cold as it looked, the
folks that run that Guiness book should be giving him a call.
Bear in mind, this film is as of yet,
unrated, and might be edited before the official release. But if
they know what's good for them, they'll let the word of mouth work its
magic and make people check it out.
And nudie goodness aside, its a great
movie, an another fine work of art from writer/director Robert Towne.
Go see it when you can.