Vito Maria Schnabel

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Before Night Falls Review


OK
Is there a rule that all biopics must begin at birth and end at death? Death I can understand, but the actions of a three-month old just don't seem of much relevance to any story, regardless of how important the subject is.

Alas, the subject of Before Night Falls is likely not a name you'll be familiar with anyway, but there he is, a speechless little boy playing in a pit dug in the ground. As it turns out, Reinaldo Arenas was an acclaimed Cuban author, and I have to take the press notes' word on that, as I've never heard of the guy. His life certainly appears to have been filled with adventure and tragedy, as many Cuban lives undoubtedly have been. Outcast as a youth for his interest in writing and his predilection for the male gender, Arenas was persecuted, imprisoned, exiled, and infected (apparently with AIDS, though it's never really specified). And all the while he just wants to write his poetry and novels. Perhaps the best scene in the film has Arenas floating in escape from one round in prison, his manuscript tied to his waist in a plastic bag.

Continue reading: Before Night Falls Review

Before Night Falls Review


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Reinaldo Arenas was a gifted Cuban novelist and poet whose life of poverty, hardship, revolution, censorship, imprisonment and exile never stemmed his formulation of passionate prose.

In "Before Night Falls," artist/filmmaker Julien Schnabel pays devotional homage to the writer with a soul-probing and beautifully cinematic adaptation of his memoirs, begun in a Cuban prison in 1973 and published posthumously after he succumbed to AIDS in New York in 1990.

The film, which tracks Arenas's entire life beginning with his childhood in a dirt-floored farmhouse, features dulcet, moving voice-overs from his poetry. It boasts powerful symbolism and political statements about freedom and persecution, not to mention cinematography that brings vividly to life the ironic contrast of Cuba's impoverished living conditions with its breathtaking beauty.

Continue reading: Before Night Falls Review

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Vito Maria Schnabel Movies

Before Night Falls Movie Review

Before Night Falls Movie Review

Is there a rule that all biopics must begin at birth and end at death?...

Before Night Falls Movie Review

Before Night Falls Movie Review

Reinaldo Arenas was a gifted Cuban novelist and poet whose life of poverty, hardship, revolution,...

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