r. Julian Schnabel | gl. Javier Bardem, Johnny Depp | SAD | 2000. | 133'
On October 29th and 30th at 8 pm, as part of the Queer MoMenti program in Urania - the space of creation, watch the film Before Night Falls, a cult film directed by Julian Schnabel.
The film stars Javier Bardem as Reinaldo Arenas, Olivier Martinez as Lázaro Gómez Carriles and Johnny Depp as Bon Bon / Lt. Victor.
About the film:
In the film, Arenas is born in Oriente in 1943 and raised by his single mother and her parents, who soon move the entire family to Holguín. After moving to Havana in the 1960s to continue his studies, Reinaldo begins to explore his ambitions, as well as his sexuality. After receiving an honorary mention in a writing contest, Arenas is offered the chance to publish his first work. Through his work and friendships with other openly gay men (such as Pepe Malas and Tomas Diego), Arenas manages to find himself.
The political climate in Cuba becomes increasingly dangerous, and in the early 1970s Arenas is arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting minors, and for publishing abroad without official consent. In the next decade, he is in and out of prison, attempting and failing to leave the country several times.
In 1980, Arenas finally leaves Cuba for the United States, starting a new life with his close friend Lazaro Gomez Carriles. A few years later, Arenas is diagnosed with AIDS, and after spending several years suffering he dies in 1990.
About the director:
Julian Schnabel (born October 26, 1951) is an American painter and filmmaker. In the 1980s, Schnabel received international media attention for his "plate paintings" - large-scale paintings set on broken ceramic plates. Since the 1990s, he has been a proponent of independent arthouse cinema. Schnabel directed Before Night Falls, which became Javier Bardem's breakthrough Academy Award-nominated role, and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, which was nominated for four Academy Awards. For the latter, he won the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Director and the Golden Globe Award for Best Director, as well as receiving nominations for the Academy Award for Best Director and the César Award for Best Director.
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On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 73% approval rating based on 98 reviews and an average rating of 6.8/10. The site's consensus states: "An impressionistic, fragmented look at Reinaldo Arenas, Before Night Falls' imagery manages to evoke a sense of the writer's artistry, and Bardem's strong performance holds the film together. Finally, a biopic done well." Metacritic reports an 85 out of 100 rating based on 26 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".
Roger Ebert gave the film 3.5 stars out of 4, stating, "One is reminded a little of the Marquis de Sade, as portrayed in Quills. It was never simply what they wrote, but that, standing outside convention, taunting the authorities, inhabiting impossible lives, they wrote at all." Peter Travers from Rolling Stone awarded the film a full five out of five stars, writing, "In uniting to honor Arenas, Bardem and Schnabel create something extraordinary."