Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Yo, Verlaine! That poem sucks!

Sylvester Stallone stars as Rambo in Rimbaud: Première Sang, an action-adventure film in which a young French poet escapes persecution by literary critics and avenges this persecution with surreal verse. “Yo, Verlaine!” says Stallone as Rambo as Rimbaud. “They drew first blood, not me!” Verlaine, played by Bruce Willis, sits in a hovel with Rambo as Rimbaud, having helped Rimbaud elude water cannon and the poetry cannon. On the one hand, Willis plays Verlaine, but on the other hand, Stallone plays Rambo playing Rimbaud. The production crew can’t automatically compute where Stallone ends and where Rambo begins, where Rambo ends and Rimbaud begins. One scene, a bro-mance entitled “Ram-bro”, calls for a passionate fist-bump between Rambo as Rimbaud and Willis as Verlaine. Afterwards, Stallone and Willis compare their future engagements. Willis will appear as a Jewish wine merchant, in a TV series entitled Chico and the Manischewitz. Stallone will appear on a rival network—as a fellow who suffers from gynecomastia—in Chico and the Man Boobs. “Yo, Verlaine!” cries Stallone as Rambo as Rimbaud, but the camera shows the viewer that Willis has departed. Rambo as Rimbaud holds a battered sheet of onionskin to his face. The camera shows a dirty, sweaty, camouflaged man reading verse. He is Rambo one minute, he is Rimbaud another minute, he is a real laughing hiatus. 


mark wallace said...

This sounds like a great film. Have you seen the one though in which Mariel Hemingway stars as Ernest Hemingway? That one threw me in its opening 15 minutes, but after that it all started to come together.

M. C. Zito said...

This Rimbaud has an Alexandrine solution for every problem--


I think I remember that Hemingway film. Mariel starred as Ernest in The Old Man and the Sea's Old Lady -- which required Mariel as Ernest to cross-dress. It gets confusing when an actor plays a character playing a real life (or fictional) character. It's also unclear who to blame if the acting sucks. Mostly though, one tries to avoid uncertainty in those moments. It's never good to be Ernest Heming-and-hawing-way.



Yes, M.C., it's very Rimbeaux Arts. Up the Swans!


Casey Smith said...

Who's playing Hubert Crackanthorpe? James Franco?


Hubert Crackanthorpe was a Chelsea supporter, so perhaps he should be played by a cross-dressing John Terry, who could recite from H.C.'s famous novel, Victor-Victorian. At the end of the movie, Crackanthorpe lights his crackanpipe in the parking lot and John Terry as Crackanthorpe envisions the rest of his career played on Narcotics Belgrade FC.