5.8/10
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73 user 75 critic

Ask the Dust (2006)

Mexican beauty Camilla hopes to rise above her station by marrying a wealthy American. That is complicated by meeting Arturo Bandini, a first-generation Italian hoping to land a writing career and a blue-eyed blonde on his arm.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Hellfrick
...
Mrs. Hargraves
...
...
Sammy
...
Solomon
Ronald France ...
Columbia Sweeper
...
Filipino Houseboy
Donna Mosley ...
Red Headed Girl
Paul Rylander ...
Harold the Bartender
Natasha Staples ...
Denver Librarian
Wayne Harrison ...
Heilman
Yasuhiro Yoshimura ...
Japanese Vegetable Man (as Yoshimura Yasuhiro)
Sid ...
Willie the Dog
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Storyline

L.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? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Passion and ambition drive two dreamers in 1930s LA. Their love affair is ferocious and hot-blooded as they fight the city and themselves to make their dreams come true.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality, nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

13 April 2006 (Thailand)  »

Also Known As:

Pregúntale al viento  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$68,779 (USA) (12 March 2006)

Gross:

$742,614 (USA) (14 May 2006)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Towne finished the script in the early 1990s but couldn't find financial backing. Even with Johnny Depp interested in the project, the script bounced around from studio to studio. See more »

Quotes

Arturo Bandini: You promise to stop?
Camilla: Cross my heart.
Arturo Bandini: No, swear to God.
Camilla: I swear to God.
See more »

Connections

Features Dames (1934) See more »

Soundtracks

I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire
by Bennie Benjamin, Eddie Durham, Sol Marcus and Eddie Seiler
Performed by Jess Harnell
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User Reviews

A welcome return of the film maker who truly understands L.A.
26 January 2005 | by (L.A.) – See all my reviews

Is Robert Towne L.A.'s Woody Allen? His portraits of the city are indelible, and one of the chief pleasures of Ask the Dust is the way in which the depression-era City of Angels becomes a character in the film. Ask the Dust is haunted by the notion that L.A. is the place where people come to slowly die in the sunshine and is fascinating as a piece of "sunny" film noir. It also explores themes of racism, prejudice and self-esteem and how they manifest themselves in personal relationships. There's a daring ugliness to the romance that makes the first third of the film especially compelling. The scene where Arturo Bandini and Camilla Lopez first meet is pure cinema and one of the more remarkable bits of mainstream film making I've seen in some time. In its way, it is as sublime as Brassai's photos of café-society Paris. In the work print I viewed, Ask the Dust wasn't able to sustain this opening intensity, but it managed to stay compelling nevertheless. Perhaps the best compliment I can pay Ask the Dust is that it reminded me why Chinatown is such a great film (and the comparisons will be inevitable); while I don't think Ask the Dust is in the same league, it does herald the welcome return of Robert Towne as an artist who understands L.A. by instinct, knows how to tap into Hollywood's rich history, and can deliver a human-scale film with the power to reward and possibly even change its audience.


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