1995 movie, distributed by New Line Cinema, portraying the tremendous literary affair between 19th-century French poets Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud or, as my friend Moe put it, how love can be the best thing in the world or can make people hurt each other for no good reason, and mostly it's the case of the latter.

The only reason any of you would have heard of this movie is because in the part of the phenomenal literary enigma Rimbaud it featured a pre-superstar Leonardo DiCaprio, at the peak of his acting abilities fresh from What's Eating Gilbert Grape?, the Basketball Diaries and The Quick and the Dead before he started playing second fiddle to computer effects and his own colossal, sodden fame.

Though Leo steals the show, the film is full of good work from a number of others - director Agnieszka Holland of Europa, Europa, writer Christopher Hampton of Dangerous Liaisons fame, and especially David Thewlis playing Verlaine in a surprisingly sympathetic but thoroughly pathetic, drunken, lovelorn manner (those latter at least as perhaps befitting his subject's Decadent nature).

It is inevitable that such near-mythical material go over-the-top at some points, but consider the movie's following merits:

    * simply beautiful shots of absinthe being served,
    * some quite clever directing (including a staging of Rimbaud's poem The Sleeper in the Valley),
    * occasional moments of poetic discourse to match their literary legacy (Arthur confiding at one point that his greatest fear is for others to see him - in utter disdain - as he sees them),
    * Leo popping a champagne-cork with his shoulder-blade cleavage
    * and Leo's few moments capturing the tightrope-walk between genius and madness.
For the truly hardcore DiCaprio fanatics, know that this is probably the only movie you will be seeing for a long time featuring him in a (brief) fully frontal nude shot and (separately) engaging in the gasping and sweaty man-on-man anal penetration even the boldest fan only whispers about in their most covert fantasies.

Well DREAM NO MORE! Your deepest desires have been translated into the filmic medium and are right now available at your local video rental outlet!

A total eclipse is one in which the celestial body is completely obscured by the shadow or body of another. The key word is completely. A total solar eclipse has the moon completely blocking the sun with respect to some point on earth. A total lunar eclipse has the moon completely inside the umbra of the earth's shadow.

With solar eclipses, a distinction should be drawn between the annular eclipse and the total eclipse. In an annular eclipse, there is a thin ring round the disk of the moon that is not covered. This is because the moon does not have a perfectly circular orbit around the earth, nor does the earth have a perfectly circular orbit around the sun. When there is an eclipse and the moon is further away it takes up a smaller arc of the sky. Likewise, when the earth is closer to the sun, the sun will take up a larger arc of the sky. If the sun's arc is larger than the moon's arc, it will be an annular eclipse.

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