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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:

Impassioned by genius. Inflamed by desire. Imprisoned 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

John Malkovich was initially attached to play Verlaine, but pulled out. 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

Sun
Composed by Balter Space and Jan A.P. Kaczmarek
Performed by Warsaw Symphony Orchestra and Wilanow String Quartet
Conductor [Warsaw Symphony] Krzesimir Debski
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Eccentric and poetical
17 April 2003 | by Lucky-63See all my reviews

This movie is not for the faint of heart or the conventional taste. It's not a fantasy.

Like the real-life characters upon which the movie is based, TE is eccentric and poetical. French poet Rimbaud, who wrote almost everything he wrote as a teenager, has been admired by some of the most eccentric creative people of the last century. He was a very unusual teenager, being some kind of genius, some kind of lowlife, and a runaway. His poetry digs into and portrays life with discomforting and sometimes painful and sometimes ecstatic detail. His is the muse which revels in the squalor of creation.

Many people will dislike this film because the two main characters, Rimbaud and Verlaine, are bisexual and not at all stereotypical. Both of them are snotty and selfish and violent and often despicable. (As Shakespeare probably was at times, but you'll never see him portrayed in movies that way.) These are not Robert Frost poets. These are worm and scat and sex and drug and rock'n'roll and get-down-and-get-dirty poets.

Past that, it's the story of a great, if brief, flowering love ... the kind of love story you'd expect for people who live and breathe life in the way great alternaculture poets must.

Eternity is where the sunlight mixes with the water. And the penetrating movie mixes with the prepared mind.


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