29 August 2001

Easel Angles: Julian Schnabel on Before Night Falls

Julian Schnabel knows a lot about the collision of art and personality. He tells Michael Hutak why he put down his brushes to make a movie of a doomed Cuban writer. 

"I don't think this film will ever be gone from me," says Julian Schnabel, artist, film-maker and renaissance man, of his latest epic motion picture, Before Night Falls.

Splitting his time these days between his huge New York City loft/studio and the ritzy Spanish seaside resort of San Sebastian, Schnabel spoke to The Bulletin from his summer retreat in Montauk, Long Island. Premiered at last year's Venice International Film Festival, where it won the Special Jury Prize, Before Night Falls won praise at the recent Sydney Film Festival and is due for Australian release. Schnabel financed, co-wrote, produced, cast, directed, edited and is now promoting this film himself.

"It was like a year ago," he says, "we were at Venice and while I can't believe I've been talking about the film for that long, it will never leave me, it was such a magical experience to be able to give this guy a voice."