Filmmaker Julian Schnabel was a star of the go-go 80’s art world in New York, known for his cracked plates and his mega collage. He’s still seen as a kind of poster boy for the excesses of the 1980’s. He lives in a perfume factory in Manhattan, he casts his glam friends in his films and may just show up for an interview wearing a dress. “People don’t know what it is to be an artist in society,” Schnabel likes to say.
His first film about the celebrity artist Jean Michel Basquiat who died of a heroin overdose at age 27 was a variation on that theme. So is “Before Night Falls,” his new film about the Cuban novelist and poet Reinaldo Arenas. Arenas was jailed and fled from Cuba because he was homosexual and deemed a subversive writer. Reinaldo Arenas “speaks for many” Julian Schnabel says, “it’s an outrageous voice full of humour that has turned suffering into great beauty.”
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)