Through their view of the city on the Hudson, the big names of the American author's movie have shaped the picture of New York that generations of viewers worldwide hold stored in their memories. Their stories, however, have also become a true school of urban sensibility. In their films, the anonymity of the big city is not a threat but a promise of good fortune – the prospect of random encounters, the possibility of alternative life-paths.
Before Night Falls
D: Julian Schnabel, USA 2000, 134 min, Germansubtitles
In his second artist biography the director tells the life story of the writer Reinaldo Arenas. Based on the author's writings, the film draws an impressive portrait of an artist who, persecuted in Cuba because of his homosexuality, emigrates to the USA and dies in New York, poor and abandoned, from AIDS. The images in Schnabel's film reflect Arenas' neo-Baroque prose.