Before Night Falls

So, your director is Julian Schnabel, a world-famous artist, and you’re an editor. Apparently this setup was a little too intimidating for the editor of Before Night Falls. While I would certainly rate the movie as a good one, it had rambling moments, angular fantasy scenes, and botched continuity that made the plot difficult to follow.

But worse, I have a second bone to pick with this film. I’m getting pretty damned tired of seeing gay men die of AIDS in films. The plot has become so rampant, so endemic, that it has become a morality play. If you’re gay, this is what you get. I take exception to that. Yes, it’s the true story of the Cuban writer, Reinaldo Arenas. So choose another subject. It isn’t that he wasn’t worthy, but we’ve had enough. I’m sure Schnabel, whom I believe is gay himself, did not intend for his work to give the impression of punishment for some transgression–it is only when the film is taken in the context of the industry that this hammer hits home.

End rant.

And as a final side note: having Johnny Depp play two parts was stupid. It didn’t work. Don’t do it again.

Whoo…guess I was angrier about that film than I thought. It isn’t irredeemable, and I would recommend it as a renter. You will definitely learn a great deal about Cuba (at least from one perspective), and about a writer who’s voice is little-heard in this country.

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