"Before Night Falls" Is Released

Before Night Falls is a 2000 movie directed by Julian Schnabel.

The screenplay is based on the autobiography of Reinaldo Arenas, which was published in English in 1993. The screenplay was written by Schnabel, Cunningham O'Keefe and Lázaro Gómez Carriles.

It stars Javier Bardem, who was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor, Olivier Martinez, Andrea Di Stefano, Santiago Magill, Johnny Depp and Michael Wincott.

This was the second film of director Julian Schnabel, after Basquiat (1996). Schnabel got the idea of making Before Night Falls immediately after making Basquiat , however it took four years to actually produce the film. It had its world premiere at the 2000 Venice International Film Festival and its North American premiere at the 2000 Toronto Film Festival.

Julian Schnabel's romanticized portrait of the exiled gay Cuban poet and novelist Reinaldo Arenas, who died of AIDS, imagines pre-Castro Cuba as a pagan paradise of endless erotic promise ruined by the puritanical Communists, whom Arenas initially embraced then turned against. Javier Bardem's arresting performance paints Arenas as an emotionally volatile daredevil. But this biography, which incorporates swaths of Arenas's writing, is sketchy, and the star's thick Spanish accent is daunting. It's still quite indelible. — Stephen Holden, The New York Times