Una stagione all’inferno
Rimbaud in Ethiopia with his wares, commerçant, Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia in view (score Maurice Jarre). At Charleville with his text, sœur et mere... “I stretched out in mud. I dried off in the air of crime.” At the court of King Menelik, where the joke is on finally converting the infidel, Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch for the all but failed sale of rifles.
In Paris (“it’s like Harar, a bit larger”), the Commune, the Parnassians on whom Baudelaire “un vrai dieu” looks down with the veriest grin (Verlaine speaks of “a pact with the Devil, like Faust,” he is nonetheless a churchman). Visconti (Death in Venice) has the camera on its tripod beside the water.
A perceptive study of Ken Russell’s The Music Lovers. The African explorer... Limehouse opium. Illuminations, “travelers need not render their commissions so early.” Rimbaud’s wrist, Van Gogh’s ear... “the air of hell suffers not hymns!” A witch doctor (stregone)... “Allah Kerim! Allah Kerim!”