5/5 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.
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 watched this for the 3rd time in my life the other day. I have a lot of problems with this film, especially towards the end, but damn if I don't love it for nostalgic reasons. I LOVE the opening of the film, I love Javier Bardem's acting and voice- and I love the music in this film. Carter Burwell's score is one of my favorite of all time, plus the Cuban music makes it unforgettable. A lot of passion here at least.
I wonder if there could be a link between both films other than being about gay writers. Mishima is highly stylized, a sort of triptic between music, novels and his life. The other film seems to be more straightforward. I loved how much they did with 16mm, but with great acting, a music that fits when needed, but also agree: it should have been shorter,& it could have dismissed the criticism to socialism.
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?
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
Great film. Schnabel does a terrific job working within the realm of stylistic realism in biopics, and Bardem's performance was magnificent. There was about 15 minutes of footage used that was totally unnecessary and dragged out (in my opinion), and it keeps me from rating this a perfect 5 stars. Otherwise I really loved it, and in all honesty enjoyed it considerably more than Paul Schrader's Mishima.