Star Trek’s First Pilot Episode, “The Cage” (1966)

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Captain Pike says he feels like he is in Dante’s Inferno.

Contributed by Lisa Peterson (Bowdoin, ’07)

Sandow Birk’s Illustrations of the “Divine Comedy”

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“A five year project which involved adapting the text of the entire “Divine Comedy” into contemporary slang and setting the action in contemporary urban America. The project resulted in three, limited edition books, Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. Each book contained more than 60 original lithographs and was published by Trillium Press in San Francisco.”    —Sandow Birk

See also: Sandow Birk’s film “Dante’s Inferno” (2007)

Hell, the Musical

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“The Vatican has challenged purist Roman Catholics by disclosing plans for a daring rock, punk and jazz opera version of Dante’s Divine Comedy with a soundtrack written by an avant-garde priest.
Monsignor Marco Frisina uses rock music as background for the Inferno, Gregorian chants for Purgatory and lyrical and symphonic classical and modern music for the advent of Paradise in the musical set to be staged in the autumn.
After a premier in a leading Rome theatre sponsored jointly by the Vatican and Italy’s two houses of parliament, the extravaganza will tour other major Italian and European cities ‘to bring back the attention of the widest public to Dante’s immortal poem,’ Riccardo Rossi, director general of Nova Ars, the company producing the opera, told La Repubblica newspaper.”    –John Phillips, The Independent, January 3, 2007

See also : La Divina Commedia home page.

Contributed by Gloria Smith; Patrick Molloy

Jean-Luc Godard, “Notre Musique” (2004)

jeanluc-godard-notre-musique-2004“The 73-year-old director’s serene meditation on Europe’s landscape after battle has an unusually obvious triptych structure, with each panel (or act) named for one of Dante’s three ‘kingdoms.’ The central, hour-long ‘Purgatory’ of a writers’ conference in Sarajevo bridges the opening 10-minute ‘Hell’ and a concluding 10-minute ‘Heaven.'” [. . .]    –J. Hoberman, The Village Voice, November 24-30, 2004


“Inferno & Paradiso” a photojournalistic exhibit in South Africa (2001)

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“. . .World renowned artist/photographer Alfredo Jaar curated this show which is presented as a collaboration between the SANG, the BildMuseet in Umea, Sweden, and Riksutstallningar, the Swedish Travelling Exhibitions Organisation. His curatorial method was this: ‘I invited 18 photojournalists from around the world to contribute two images to the exhibition (inspired by Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy). For ‘Inferno’ I asked them to select the single image that was the most difficult to produce, the one that caused the most pain and anguish. And for ‘Paradiso’, the most joyful one, the one that has given them the most happiness in the world.’ ”
–Sue Williamson, Art Throb

Contributed by Charlie Russell (Bowdoin, ’08)

Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Rappaccini’s Daughter” (1844)

nathanial-hawthorne-rappaccinis-daughter-1844The daughter of the protagonist (an Italian scientist) is thought to be modeled after Dante’s Beatrice.

Dezso Magyar directed a film based on the short story (1980).

Contributed by Kate Moon (Bowdoin, ’09)

“Clerks” (Kevin Smith, 1994)

clerks-kevin-smith-1994“The screenplay is loosely based on The Divine Comedy. The character Dante Hicks gets his name from Dante Alighieri, the author and fictional protagonist of The Divine Comedy. The chapter titles are also somewhat of a reference to the literature in that in The Divine Comedy, each level of hell is given a title. It can be said that Quick Stop is ‘Dante’s hell’.”    –Sam Donovan
Contributed by Sam Donovan (Bowdoin, ’07)

“Dumb & Dumber” (Peter Farrelly, 1994)

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Lloyd and Harry stop in a restaurant called “Dante’s Inferno” on their way to Colorado.

Contributed by Luke Welsch (Bowdoin, ’08)

Henry Otto, Dante’s Inferno (1924)

Otto InfernoHenry Otto directed Dante’s Inferno (1924), a silent film interpretation of the poem.

“The tactics of a vicious slumlord and greedy businessman finally drive a distraught man to commit suicide. The businessman is tried for murder and executed, and is afterward taken by demons to the Hell where he will spend the rest of eternity.”    —IMDb

 

 

 

Contributed by Dennis Looney

“Il Postino” (Michael Radford, 1994)

il-postino-michael-radford-1994I think that there is a valid connection between Il Postino and Dante… where Mario could be seen as the poet Dante, Beatrice is (unsurprisingly) Beatrice (his inspiration in both contexts), and Pablo Neruda is Virgil, Dante’s (and thus, Mario’s) poetic ‘father’ figure. Also, upon examining the film’s script, there is a direct reference in the scene with Mario and Neruda speaking at the cafe:

Mario: I’m in love, really, really in love.
Neruda: Who are you in love with?
Mario: Her name’s Beatrice.
Neruda: Beatrice. Dante. Dante Alighieri. He fell for a certain Beatrice. Beatrices have inspired boundless love. What are you doing?
Mario: Writing down the name Dante. Dante I know, but Alighieri–

Contributed by Aisha Woodward (Bowdoin, ’08)