Ask the Dust

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(drama, romance)
Download Movie Ask the DustL.A. in the early 1930's: racism, poverty, and disease color the Bunker Hill neighborhood where Arturo Bandini, a lover of men and beasts alike, has arrived from Colorado to write the great Los Angeles novel. After six months and down to his last nickel, he orders a cup of coffee, served by Camilla Lopez, beautiful, self-possessed, and Mexican. Arturo gets advice, encouragement, and an occasional check from H.L. Mencken, so he keeps writing and he keeps seeing Camilla. But, he's mean to her for no apparent reason, so the relationship sputters. A housekeeper from back East suggests a way out of his jealously and fears. "Camilla Bandini": is it in the cards?


Colin Farrell as Arturo Bandini
Salma Hayek as Camilla
Donald Sutherland as Hellfrick
Eileen Atkins as Mrs. Hargraves
Idina Menzel as Vera Rivkin
Justin Kirk as Sammy
Jeremy Crutchley as Solomon
Ronald France as Columbia Sweeper
Dion Basco as Filipino Houseboy
Donna Mosley as Red Headed Girl
Paul Rylander as Harold the Bartender
Natasha Staples as Denver Librarian
Wayne Harrison as Heilman
Yoshimura Yasuhiro as Japanese Vegetable Man
Sid as Willie the Dog
Robert Towne

Robert Towne is the LA Woody Allen? His portraits of the city are indelible, and one of the major pleasures of Ask the Dust is the way in which depression was the City of Angels becomes a character in the film. Ask the Dust is tormented by the idea that LA is the place where people come to die slowly in the sun and it is fascinating as a piece of "sunshine" black film. It also explores the themes of racism, prejudice and self-esteem and how they are manifested in personal relationships. There is a daring romance with the ugliness that makes the first third of the film especially compelling. The scene where Arturo Bandini and Camilla Lopez meet for the first time is pure cinema and one of the most remarkable bit of the mainstream film I've seen in a while. In its way, is as sublime as the photos of Brassaï cafe society of Paris. In the print job that popular, Ask the Dust was not able to maintain the opening of this intensity, but was nevertheless obliged to stay. Perhaps the best compliment I can pay Ask the Dust is that reminded me why Chinese is a great film (and the comparison is inevitable), while I do not think Ask the Dust is in the same league, it does herald the return of Robert Towne welcome as an artist who understands LA instinctively knows how to exploit the rich history of Hollywood, and can offer a human-scale film with the power to reward and possibly even change their audience.

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See also: Drama: Children of Men

See also: Colin Farrell in Minority Report

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1. Soulsavers - It's Not How Far You Fall, It's The Way You Land - Ask The Dust

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