Before Night Falls spans the whole of Arenas' life, from his rural childhood and his early embrace of the Revolution to the persecution he would later experience as a writer and homosexual in Castro's Cuba; from his departure from Cuba in the Mariel Harbor exodus of to his exile and death in the United States.
It is directed by Julian Schnabel, who got a lot of flak for his previous film, Basquiat. I liked Basquiat; I especially liked his sense of mise-en-scene and his work with color and set design - not too surprising, from a serious visual artist. I think Schnabel has made a lot of enemies in the art world, and they somehow got to the critical reception for that first film.
I hereby forgive him, officially, for casting Dennis Hopper as an aristocratic German art dealer in Basquiat.
Wherever it was, it translated marvelously into what Havana Before night falls to be like - the emptiness and dilapidation were beautifully achieved. The movie doesn't essentialize Arenas - he is clearly an artist first and a gay person second, and his art seemed to be at least as important as his sexuality in turning Castro against him.
It's far more important to this filmmaker. The screenplay makes the quality of Arenas's writing clear without being overbearing about it. The profession of writing is rarely well portrayed in films. Here it's not so much portrayed as suggested, but that is well done.
I do remain puzzled by one thing: I may be missing something obvious here. Javier Bardem is very good as Arenas. I don't know how else to describe the performance. You scarcely notice that he has to cover a twenty-five year span.
He handles scenes involving torture and solitary confinement very well - I'll never forget those scenes, but there was no overacting involved.
One of the film's several messages: Being a famous writer doesn't mean that you're going to have health insurance. This film is not going to be a big commercial draw. Bardem has won some critics' awards for acting; I doubt that he'll get nominated for an Oscar, though.
If Before Night Falls opens where you are, go see it fast, before it leaves. But a great deal of it was very compelling. As you'd expect from Robert Zemeckis, the technical aspects are fine - an accomplished plane crash, scary without being showy.
The natural setting is gorgeous and beautifully photographed; the sense of a discrete little world is nicely accomplished. Some critics have complained that time on the island with Tom gets to be a drag. I thought that duration was necessary to give the viewer a sense of direct interaction with nature, a tiny hint of what time comes to mean to a castaway.
Hanks's acting was not stunning but was appropriate, adequate to the task; he's not playing a subtle personality. I was willing to overlook, mostly, the various implausibilities, the sentimental bleeh involving the volleyball, the character's basic repugnance. Then they bring Tom home.
I hope that didn't come as a shock, dear reader. And there's no clear or at least plausible dramatic or emotional resolution. There are at least two false endings. I had the distinct sense that the ending or endings were revised and re-revised and market-tested by committee, with the usual pushmi-pullyu result.Before Night Falls () Based on the life of Cuban writer and poet Reinaldo Arenas, Before Night Falls examines the extraordinary events from childhood poverty, his persecution at the hands of Fidel Castro, through to his exile to New York.
Nov 08, · Agree with the others. Most of the river is shallow but if you are specifically in the swimming area you should wear life jackets.
I believe life jackets are .
About the Book. The shocking memoir by visionary Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas "is a book above all about being free," said The New York Review of Books--sexually, politically, artistically.
Explores the life and work of Cuban poet Reinaldo Arenas and his fight against censorship and persecution. BEFORE NIGHT FALLS tries to capture the essence of political oppression towards a man for his anti-conformist writing and homosexuality, though the personal depiction of Reynaldo is an example of a lonely, hurting man.
I happen to be no longer comfortable to contemporary opera on CD. I try to follow the latest operatic "events" on DVD. Therefore, it was difficult for me to judge "Before the Night Falls.