i really, really wanted to love this but after the near-perfect first hour i just felt so distanced from reinaldo's character...so much really IS left unexplained, and though i usually don't have a problem with that the film feels so slaphappily mashed together (with very lyrical imagery, of course) that it's hard to really be invested in this man's story by the time the film is over. beautiful, but flawed indeed
Javier Bardems brilliant performance makes us feel Reynaldo's pain so intensely that you are worn out by the end of the film. Schnabel's unique eye shows us just how horrible life can be and the beauty that somehow survives the torture that men bring upon others.
Read the book. The memoir of revolutionary queer Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas. It is phenomenal. Arenas, alongside fellow queer artist and writer David Wojnarawicz, are 2 of my favorite authors of all time.
This is a brilliant and beautiful film. When you read his memoir this film becomes all the more powerful.
This is also an integral film to watch for any queer cinephile.
Became one of my absolute favourites, for Bardem's sensitivity and talent portraying this wonderful artist, and for its incredible direction. Overall, it was a priviledge and an inspiration to have seen this film.
The superb performance from Javier Bardem carries the whole film right until the end. But it's not just Bardem but also the director Schnabel who does a great job. Schnabel has his own kind of visual storytelling method which is artistic but serves the story at the same time. The only downside of this movie is that it is spoken in (broken) English for reasons I don't understand.
I don't like Schnabel's films. There is a conservative agenda to much of his work that bothers me to the core. And this film was a manipulation of someone who was truly an interesting figure that he manipulates for his own devices.
I think Castro was more into idealistic notion; his struggles was more than dealing with homophiles. Actually I don't think he is homophobic at all. This movie is just looking after no:1 here, taking credits for capitalism. Sick and tired of their stupid propagandas. I wonder why most artists are indifferent to politics and history?