About the last months Arthur Rimbaud spent in Africa before his untimely death (he was only 37), trafficking in arms and maybe in slaves. With a frequent use of flashback earlier moments of Rimbaud's life are explored.
A young woman lives a life filled with bad choices. She marries and has a child with an abusive thief at a young age who quickly ends up in prison. Left alone she takes up with his mate (... See full summary »
I waited 17 years to see this film, having first heard about Hu-Man on Mark Cousins' BBC TV programme Scene By Scene in 1998 when he interviewed Terence Stamp.
Cousins, although occasionally irritating, has an encyclopaedic knowledge of cinema yet even he admitted that he had never seen Hu- Man and didn't even know anyone who had.
From that point it became number two on the list of films I most wanted to see behind Hitchcock's The Mountain Eagle and the original version of this review written 10 years ago was a request for help in getting hold of the film.
At one stage Hu-Man was even rumoured to be a lost film before a 25 minute version was shown at the British Film Institute in 2013.
Then an 86 minute version suddenly became available in 2015, I got a couple of responses to my original request and my long wait was finally over.
Having now seen the film it isn't really surprising that it proved to be a disappointment.
A film with Terence Stamp and Jeanne Moreau that hardly anyone has seen... There has to be a reason.
The story really doesn't help.
Stamp plays an actor called... Terence Stamp who is still coming to terms with the death of his wife three years earlier and is approached by his former lover Sylvana (Moreau) about the possibility of appearing on a live TV show. The object of the show is to convert the audience's emotional responses into energy that can be stored in a time dome and later used to propel Stamp into the future.
No attempt is ever made to explain how this is done which is perhaps a good thing.
But then again there is very little attempt to explain anything that is going on such as Stamp's sudden transportation to a glacier or why a trip into the future would also include a complete of change of location to the edge of a very active volcano.
There are however some memorable scenes such as Stamp being trapped on the bay of Mont St Michel during a live TV broadcast as a tide approaches from all angles – the attempt to harness audience emotions – and the unexplained shot of our hero gliding through the air during the glacier sequence is as impressive as it was undoubtedly precarious for old Terence.
But the film, clearly influenced by 2001: A Space Odyssey, suffers from having very little plot or dialogue and often appears as sparse as the landscapes to which Stamp is transported.
It isn't very good but I'm glad I finally saw it.
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