Leonardo DiCaprio and David Thewlis in Total Eclipse (1995), a tale of the friendship and passion between the two legendary poets Rimbaud and Verlain. Come for a free screening at Vienna Café tonight!
Get a closer look at the 19th century French poets Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine and get tangled into the symbolist movement, absinthe hazes and gay love scenes. Later this afternoon Vienna Café shows the 1995 movie Total Eclipse which depicts the friendship between the two poets.
The film was directed by Agnieszka Holland, mostly recognized for her political contributions to Polish cinema. Total Eclipse was based on a 1967 play by Christopher Hampton, in turn based on letters and poems giving a historical account of the passionate and violent relationship between Verlaine (1844-1896) and Rimbaud (1854-1891) at a time of “soaring creativity for both of them”.
Here’s a plot description by IMDB, but beware, for the sensitive movie viewer it might be revealing a little bit to much:
In 1871, Paul Verlaine, an established poet, invites boy genius Arthur Rimbaud 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.
Where: Vienna Cafe, 25-2 Shaoxing Lu, near Shanxi Nan Lu
Starts: 19:30 Thursday 21 Jan 2010
Cover: Free event, RSVP by phone required, 021 644 52 131
The film dramatize the poets’ final meeting and last illnesses. Apart from DiCaprio the film stars David Thewlis, who we´ve also seen as Professor Lupin in the Harry Potter movies.
Apparently the film has faced some criticism for not explaining the importance or the two poets´ work and their important role in the symbolist movement. But when it comes to the LGBT aspect of the movie, it was congratulated for letting the two poets come out of the closet, and for dealing with gay and straight love scenes even-handedly.
Check out what other movies are showing in Shanghai this coming week. Links lead to info about times and venues.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE MOVIES
- Mary and Max (玛丽和马克思): An animated tale of pen-friendship between two very different people; Mary Dinkle, living in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia and New Yorker Max Horovitz. Spanning 20 years and 2 continents, Mary and Max’s friendship survives much more than the average diet of life’s ups and downs. Directed by Adam Elliot and starring the voices of Toni Collette, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Eric Bana.
- Razzle Dazzle (超炫花招): An Australian mockumentary about a dance competition and the people who yearn to win it. Mr. Jonathan, (Ben Miller), runs a dance Academy. He’s always missed out on the big prize, possibly his unorthodox approach to dance is the reason. Kerry Armstrong plays an obsessive, competitive stage mother, with Nadine Garner as the mother of a talented newcomer.
- Kenny (肯尼): Kenny is a 2006 Australian mockumentary film starring Shane Jacobson as Kenny Smyth, a Melbourne plumber who works for plumbing company Splashdown. From the biggest festival to the smallest church social, Kenny Smyth delivers porta-loos (portable toilets) to them all… Director Clayton Jacobson describes the character of Kenny as “The Dalai-Lama” of Waste Management, eternally optimistic and always ready to put others before himself.
- Australia (澳洲乱世情): Australia is a 2008 epic romance film directed by Baz Luhrmann and starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. The film is a character story, set between 1939 and 1942 against a dramatised backdrop of events across northern Australia at the time, such as the bombing of Darwin during World War II.
- Avatar: (阿凡达): James Cameron is back with this super expensive sci-fi thriller in 3D. Follow ex-marine Jack (Sam Worthington) as he explores planet Pandora as an avatar; a human mind in an alien body. On this paradise-like planet, he faces hostilities from exotic life forms and falls in love with a female alien. This movie used ground-breaking techniques and is being shown in 3-D. In English or Chinese depending on the cinema.
- The Spy Next Door (邻家特工): Seasoned secret agent Bob Ho has lived through a number of impossible missions, but he soon realizes that watching his girlfriend´s three kids will be his toughest task yet. Featuring Jackie Chan as the undercover babysitter, the film shows you how complicated babysitting can be, even for a skillful spy. Language TBA.
- District 9: (第九区) This sci-fi flick delivers an amazing story about extraterrestrials who come to live on Earth. Instead of being hostile attackers, these aliens are actually refugees from space who seek asylum. They get set up in the temporary home: District 9 in South Africa. The film´s special effects are jaw-dropping and the alien guns are simply ridiculous. In English with Chinese subtitles.
CHINESE LANGUAGE MOVIES
- Midnight Taxi (午夜出租车): Zhang Jiangnan’s Midnight Taxi narrowly squeezed in as the first and only horror movie to hit Chinese theaters in 2009, with film critic Zhang showing the influence of Japanese classics such as The Ring on his directorial debut. This story of a Beijing taxi driver’s encounter with a mysterious woman and the accidents that ensue, balances blood and suspense, darkness and light, reality and illusion. Starring Hong Kong actor Jordan Chan and mainland actress Deng Ziyi in the lead roles.
- Confucius (孔子): Learn more about the respected Chinese thinker in this film. Directed by Hu Mei, China’s fifth-generation director, the film features Chow Yun-fat as Confucius. The plot depicts the latter half of Confucius’ life, from when he takes up the chancellor position of his home Kingdom until his death. Zhou Xun stars as the beauty Nan Zi in this high-budget production. Mandarin only or in Mandarin with English subtitles depending on the cinema
- Detective Conan: The Raven Chaser (名侦探柯南：漆黑的追踪者): The 13th episode in the Japanese movie franchise starring Japanese detective Conan finally comes to Shanghai. This 2009 anime film follows the prodigious young detective as he solves a serial murder case in Japan. Six people are killed and Mahjong tiles are left next to each victim as a strange clue. Dubbed in Mandarin or in Japanese with Chinese subtitles, depending on the cinema.
- Poker King (扑克王): See amazing gambling tricks in this Hong Kong comedy. Louis Koo stars as Randy, who’s just inherited a majority stake in a casino in Macau, but hasn’t yet earned the trust of the casino’s other shareholders. So he joins a gambling tournament and tries to beat all rivals, including the casino’s seasoned manager. In Cantonese or Mandarin depending on the cinema.
- Bodygards and Assasins (十月圍城): This historical drama features an all-star cast, including action star Donnie Yen and Fan Bingbing. It also happens to mark the screen debut of Super Girl Li Yuchun. Set in the early 20th century in Hong Kong, the plot follows a group of revolutionaries fighting against the British and Qing government to protect Republic of China founder, Sun Yet-san. Director Teddy Chan is reported to have spent almost 10 years masterminding this flick. In Cantonese or Mandarin depending on cinema.
- The Treasure Hunter (刺陵): In a northwestern desert where countless prosperous dynasties rose and fell, there is rumored to be buried a treasure of unbelievable wealth. Jay Chou and Lin Chi Ling embark on a quest to protect the ancient treasure from an international crime group. They are supported by renowned mainland actor Chen Daoming, young actress Miao Pu and Hong Kong veteran Eric Tsing.
- Mars Baby (火星没事): This is family entertainment, aimed especially at children. Mars Baby is about a boy from Mars who is adopted by a benevolent man on earth. With the name of “OK”, the boy is unbelievably lucky. This is noticed by a greedy businessman who kidnaps the boy to make use of his superpower. The kidnapping opens the door to plenty of humor and action in the film.
- Panda Express (熊猫大侠): In Panda Express, a flying dagger vendor is mistakenly contracted to ship a dancing panda to the capital city.
OTHER LANGUAGE MOVIES
- Tesis: Helmed by Spanish director Alejandro Amenábar, this psychological thriller won seven Goya Awards, Spain’s Oscar equivalent. Film student Ángela is drawing materials for her thesis on audio-visual violence. She and her friend later find themselves in danger while investigating the origin of a snuff movie. In Spanish with English subtitles.