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Una stagione all'inferno (1971)

| Drama | 1971 (Italy)
About the last months Arthur Rimbaud spent in Africa before his untimely death (he was only 37), trafficking in arms and maybe in slaves. With a frequent use of flashback earlier moments of Rimbaud's life are explored.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
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Gennet
Nike Arrighi
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bruno Cattaneo
Teodoro Corrà
Debebe Eshetu
Gabriella Giacobbe
Jean Leuvrais
Giuseppe Maffioli
Pascal Mazzotti
Vogayeu Negatu
Giancarlo Prati
William Sabatier
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About the last months Arthur Rimbaud spent in Africa before his untimely death (he was only 37), trafficking in arms and maybe in slaves. With a frequent use of flashback earlier moments of Rimbaud's life are explored.

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1971 (Italy)  »

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A Season in Hell  »

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Referenced in No More Time (1973) See more »

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A Season in Hell

"Une Saison en Enfer"

I first saw "Una stagione all'inferno" (1970) "A Season in Hell" at a film festival in 1971 in Rome Italy. It's a pretty good adaptation of putting some parts of the life of poet Arthur Rimbaud into film. It details his relationship with fellow poet Paul Verlaine (Jean-Claude Brialy) and even goes into depth with his mysterious life in Africa as a slave trader. I found it to be unusual and of the time, since many literary adaptations were produced in Italy or France at the time.

I came across it later in the 1980's when I saw it at a Rome film school library. I could not get a copy from them, as they refused me. It's pretty much impossible to find, but I did manage to get a Japanese VHS tape that was subtitled with either Japanese or Korean language characters. It was dubbed horribly in English.

Terence Stamp, an intriguingly ambiguous actor, was just coming off working with Pier Paolo Pasolini in Teorema (1968). Jean-Claude Brialy worked with many of the French "nouvelle vague" directors (including Chabrol, Rohmer, Godard, Louis Malle, and Truffaut.)

The director, Nelo Risi, seems to have an interesting run of films with uncommon themes, then he dropped off the map. He also used some art-actors, American actors and Italian actors of the time, which include an interesting list: Jean Seberg (Breathless (1960)), Luigi Pistilli (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)), Gian Maria Volonté (A Fistful of Dollars (1964)), Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (1970), Sacco & Vanzetti (1971)), Geraldine Chaplin (Doctor Zhivago (1965), Zero Population Growth (1972)), Helmut Berger in Visconti's film The Damned (1969), Martin Balsam of Psycho (1960), and Bruno Ganz of Wings of Desire (1987).

If you enjoyed "The Stranger (Lo straniero)" (1967) by Italian film director Luchino Visconti, based on Albert Camus' novel, or "Beyond Good and Evil" (1977) directed by Liliana Cavani, about Friedrich Nietzsche, or "L'invenzione di Morel" (1974) directed by Emidio Greco and based on the novel "The Invention of Morel" by Adolfo Bioy Casare, which are all equally hard to find, you will probably also enjoy "Una stagione all'inferno" (1970) "A Season in Hell.

Further reading:

Rimbaud: A Biography by Graham Robb

Somebody Else: Arthur Rimbaud in Africa 1880-91 by Charles Nicholl (It has very rare photographs of Rimbaud in Harar, Ethiopia in 1883.)

Rimbaud: Complete Works, Selected Letters by Wallace Fowlie


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