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Total Eclipse (1995)

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Young, wild poet Arthur Rimbaud and his mentor Paul Verlaine engage in a fierce, forbidden romance while feeling the effects of a hellish artistic lifestyle.

Director:

Agnieszka Holland

Writer:

Christopher Hampton (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Leonardo DiCaprio ... Arthur Rimbaud
David Thewlis ... Paul Verlaine
Romane Bohringer ... Mathilde Maute
Dominique Blanc ... Isabelle Rimbaud
Félicie Pasotti Félicie Pasotti ... Isabelle, as a child (as Felicie Pasotti Cabarbaye)
Nita Klein Nita Klein ... Rimbaud's Mother
James Thierrée James Thierrée ... Frederic (as James Thiérrée)
Emmanuelle Oppo Emmanuelle Oppo ... Vitalie
Denise Chalem Denise Chalem ... Mrs. Maute De Fleurville
Andrzej Seweryn ... Mr. Maute De Fleurville
Christopher Thompson Christopher Thompson ... Carjat
Bruce Van Barthold ... Aicard
Christopher Chaplin ... Charles Cros
Christopher Hampton ... The Judge
Mathias Jung Mathias Jung ... Andre
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Storyline

In 1871, Paul Verlaine (1844-1896), an established poet, invites boy genius Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891) to live with Paul and his young pregnant wife, Mathiltde, in her father's home in Paris. Rimbaud's uncouth behavior disrupts the household as well as the insular society of French poets, but Verlaine finds the youth invigorating. Stewed in absinthe and resentment, Verlaine abuses Mathiltde; he and Rimbaud become lovers and abandon her. There are reconciliations and partings with Mathiltde and partings and reconciliations with Rimbaud, until an 1873 incident with a pistol sends one of them to prison. Codas dramatize the poets' final meeting and last illnesses. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Touched by Genius. Cursed by Madness. Blinded by Love. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality and nudity, language, and some startling violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Fine Line Features

Country:

UK | France | Belgium

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 November 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El fuego y la sombra See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$339,889
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

River Phoenix was originally attached to the project, but the part of Rimbaud went to Leonardo DiCaprio after Phoenix's death. See more »

Goofs

In the Café Andre where the adult Isabelle Rimbaud meets with Paul Verlaine, the typeface on the window is clearly in Helvetica, a typeface that was not created until 1954. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Paul Verlaine: Sometimes he speaks in a kind of tender dialect of the death which causes repentence, of the unhappy men who certainly exist, of painful tasks and heartrending departures. In the hovels where we got drunk he wept looking at those who surrounded us, the cattle of poverty. He lifted up drunks in the black streets. He had the pity a bad mother has for small children. He moved with the grace of a little girl at catechism. He pretended to know about everything, business, art, medicine. ...
See more »

Connections

Remake of Teljes napfogyatkozás (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Total Eclipse
Original music composed by Jan A.P. Kaczmarek
Soprano Vocals by Marta Boberska
Performed by Warsaw Symphony Orchestra
Fiddle [Fischer's Fidola] by Orchestra Of The Eighth Day (Orkiestra Ósmego Dnia)
Strings by The Wilanow String Quartet
Orchestra Contractor: Zbigniew Zbrowski
Conductor [Warsaw Symphony] Krzesimir Debski
Conductor: Tadeusz Karolak
Oboe: Bogdan Liszka
(P) © 1995 Sony Music Entertainment Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
" In the valley of Shadows, there is only one truth, the darkness everyone fears "
14 September 2009 | by thinker1691See all my reviews

Throughout the ages, there has always been a fine line between Genius and Insanity. The only way one discover which is which, is to troll the depths of hell and what you emerge with is the true nature of the man. Such is the story behind the movie " Total Eclipse " and the historical meeting between two notable French poets of the 19th century. The life of Paul Verlaine (David Thewlis) begins in 1871 when he was 28 as that is when he discovered young Arthur Rimbaud (Leonardo DiCaprio) age 17. Sharing a love for poetry, art, writing Absinthe, hashish and a zest for passionate living, the two embarked on a deep loving physical relationship and a troubling tumultuous affair which took the two over several countries and even prison. The movie is a fine rendition of the two tortured souls trying to fathom each other both physically and spiritually. Although each considered the other a wellspring of inspiration, their literary work often exacted a heavy toll on their relationship. Suffering for their art became a quest for self discovery and loathing of the boundaries set by the world. Eventually, thorough the haze of hatred and love, we see in the film the passion they left behind. The film is savagely real as director Agnieszka Holland and writer Christopher Hampton developed it. The end result is a monumental triumph for the lives of these giants. A real accomplishment in cinematic art and a definite Classic for the attentive viewer. ****


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