Episodic look at the life of Cuban poet and novelist, Reinaldo Arenas (1943-1990), from his childhood in Oriente province to his death in New York City. He joins Castro's rebels. By 1964, ... See full summary »
Mentally challenged Raymond Rourke gets blamed and framed by several kids after they accidentally kill his younger brother Bryce. Six years later, Raymond escapes from the state mental ... See full summary »
Steven Lee Edwards
A down-on-his-luck American Indian recently released from jail is offered the chance to "star" as the victim of a snuff film, the resulting pay of which could greatly help his poverty ... See full summary »
Frank and Jack Baker are professional musicians who play small clubs. They play schmaltzy music and have never needed a day job. Times are changing and dates are becoming more difficult to ... See full summary »
Tom, gardener at the big house, can talk to plants but not to women. When beautiful Polish au pair Anya arrives for the summer, Tom falls for her catastrophically like the felling of one of the giant trees he cares for in the grounds.
Episodic look at the life of Cuban poet and novelist, Reinaldo Arenas (1943-1990), from his childhood in Oriente province to his death in New York City. He joins Castro's rebels. By 1964, he is in Havana. He meets the wealthy Pepe, an early lover; a love-hate relationship lasts for years. Openly gay behavior is a way to spite the government. His writing and homosexuality get him into trouble: he spends two years in prison, writing letters for other inmates and smuggling out a novel. He befriends Lázaro Gomes Garriles, with whom he lives stateless and in poverty in Manhattan after leaving Cuba in the Mariel boat-lift. When asked why he writes, he replies cheerfully, "Revenge." Written by
Set in Cuba, the film was made entirely in Mexico, with Veracruz doubling as Havana. Julian Schnabel said the crew was so pleasant to work with that, if he was making a film in the arctic, he would use a Mexican crew. See more »
Leonardo da Vinci was homosexual, so was Michelangelo, Socrates, Shakespeare, and almost every other figure that has formed what we have come to understand as beauty.
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The little-discussed topic of the persecution of homosexuals in Castro's Cuba is the prevailing theme throughout Julan Schnabel's masterful film of the life of writer Reinaldo Arenas. But this is far more than a simple piece of political agit-prop; instead, it's a beautifully constructed movie about the artistic temperament but with plenty of the same quality itself; visually, the movie is consistently striking, and yet of a piece. There's also a fine performance from Javier Bardem in the lead role. What the film doesn't do very much is follow it's characters in real time for anything longer than the duration of a snapshot; this slightly distances the viewer from the mechanics of the drama, and in consequence, at times it feels slow. Instead, it communicates through images (and fragments of the writer's own poetry); and the scene where the hot air balloon rises through the roof of a ruined church is so perfectly created it's a work of art in itself. 'Before Night Falls' is not light entertainment; but it's seriously good.
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