(aka "Antes que anochezca" )


directed by Julian Schnabel
USA 2000

Javier Bardem plays writer Reinaldo Arenas in this fine biopic, which shows that leftist totatalitarian regimes can be as stupid and as philistine as their rightist brethren. Arenas, though having supported Castro's revolution, soon finds himself harassed and imprisoned for his being an artist as much as for being homosexual, but finds support and nurturing .

I don't think much of Schnabel as a painter, but his cinematic vision is confident and stylish, without being audacious enough to detract from his well-crafted narrative. Bardem's portrayal of Arenas is compelling and humane and makes me want to look for more of his films. He may be best-known for his role as the wheelchair bound David in Almodóvar's Live Flesh.

Donald Brown


Theatrical Release: Sept. 3, 2000 - Venice Film Festival

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DVD Review: New Line - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Donald Brown for the Review!

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New Line

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 2:13:00

1.76:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.25 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English 5.1, English 2.0, DUB: Spanish 5.1
Subtitles English, Spanish, French, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: New Line

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.76:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary with director and crew
• Filmographies
• Theatrical trailer
• 1983 interview with Reinaldo Arenas
• Behind the Scenes - home movie by Lola Schnabel
• Little Notes on Painting - artwork by Julian Schnabel

DVD Release Date: May 22, 2001

Chapters 27


The image on this DVD is very pleasing, with intact grain, a frequently stylized, colorful palette, and a bold tonality.

The Commentary track is average; the feature with Schnabel talking about and showing his obscenely large paintings is ghastly; the interview with Arenas and the behind-the-scenes bit are informative and entertaining. A nice disc, all told.

 - Donald Brown

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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:


New Line

Region 0 - NTSC

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