Reviewed: Thomas Adès’ “Inferno” (2019)

mark-swed-review-wayne-mcgregor-inferno-touch-2019“Thomas Adès’ ‘Inferno,’ the first half of what will eventually be a full-length Dante ballet, makes an uproarious heaven of hell. An equal-opportunity score, it offers wry reasons for celebrating our vices — be we among the selfish, gluttonous, suicidal, deviant, papally pretentious; be we illicit lovers, pollsters (the fortune-tellers), hypocrites, thieves, lost souls of one sort or another, satanic majesties or, yes (thanks for thinking of us, Tom), critics.

“It proved the most ambitious and electrifying of more than five-dozen commissions celebrating the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s just-completed centennial season and a bonanza for choreographer Wayne McGregor. In an exceptional collaboration among the Royal Ballet, the L.A. Phil and the Music Center, the staged “Inferno” had its premiere at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion over the weekend in a production for which celebrated British artist and filmmaker Tacita Dean created the design. The composer conducted with the L.A. Phil in the pit.” [. . .]    –Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, July 14, 2019.

 

Call Me By Your Name (2017)

“In [Luca Guadagnino’s] movie Call Me By Your Name (2017), during the scene where Elio’s parents are sunbathing in Italy, Elio’s father is reading a book with a marking on the spine that says La Divina Commedia di Dante Alighieri.”   –Contributor Alex Lee

Contributed by Robert Alex Lee (Florida State University ’21)

Taemin, Music Video for “Want” (2019)

“At the end of the ‘WANT’ music video (3:03-3:19) by K-pop artist Taemin, the choreography takes place in front of [Rodin’s] gates of hell.”   –Contributor Parker Ridaught

“Want” was the title track and first single from Taemin’s second album, released in February 2019. The full video is available to view on YouTube.

Contributed by Parker Ridaught (Florida State University ’20)

Criminal Minds, “The Performer,” Season 5, Episode 7 (2009)

The rock star who is linked to all the murders in the episode uses the stage name Dante.

Contributed by Ella Mizera (University of Pittsburg, ’24)

Leah Yananton’s Surviving Me: The Nine Circles of Sophie (2015)

“I made Surviving Me because I found from my own experience as an undergrad, that the pressure on our college campuses for women to be hypersexual is damaging to everyone. During my college years in post 9-11 NYC, the world around me stopped making sense and the social scene was full of chaos and escapism, yet in my Medieval poetry class I was reading themes that related to present day. My peers were testing the limits of defying convention regarding sexuality and traditional relationship values, asserting that being liberated meant you were superior to consequences. However, I had the feeling that I had fallen into the River Styx and was swiftly sinking to the bottom. In order to find solid ground, I had to fight for boundaries and integrity and I brought my battle into writing the script. Dante’s Inferno was a constant companion with its focus on behavior and consequences, and Surviving Me became a reflective creative journey.”  –Director’s Statement from Press Notes, Leah Yananton

The 2015 film was directed and written by Leah Yananton and released by Longtale Films. Contributor Alan R. Perry notes that the film is laced throughout with indirect references to Inferno, and the story line is accompanied by Blake’s watercolors, as is also visible in the movie poster at left.

Contributed by Alan R. Perry (Gettysburg College)

“Dante’s Inferno Films World Premieres Take Over Italy”

“Dante’s Hell and Inferno Dantesco Animato, both films produced and directed by Boris Acosta, will premiere at MIA (Rome film festival market) on October 17, 2020, and later on will have its world festival premiere at the Ravenna Nightmare Film Festival on October 31, Halloween Day and will continue on to November 8, 2020.

Both films are based on InfernoDante Alighieri’s first part of the literary masterpiece, The Divine Comedy. Not until now, has this story been told so descriptively by visual art from artists of the highest caliber and an array of celebrities and known scholars.”[. . .]   –Global Film Sales, WFMZ-TV News, 2020

See also related discussion here.

Riccardo Muti’s “Concert for Dante” in Rome (2020)

“As part of ongoing programs that commemorate the 700th anniversary of the death of celebrated Italian poet Dante Alighieri this year, Riccardo Muti leads a special “Concert for Dante” in Rome on Oct. 3…

muti-leads-concert-for-dante-in-rome-october-2-2020The program features several works and composers inspired by Dante’s masterwork The Divine Comedy, which portrays the poet’s journey through the afterlife traveling through the Inferno, Purgatory and ultimately arriving in Paradise. The Te Deum, which is recognized as one of the earliest surviving Christian hymns, is heard by the poet as he enters Purgatory. Verdi’s Laudi alla Vergine Maria, an a cappella choral work for female voices, incorporates text from a short prayer in Canto XXXIII of Paradise, the third part of The Divine Comedy. Composer Franz Liszt, who is represented on this program with his symphonic poem Les préludes, was a great admirer of Dante’s work and was also inspired to write the Dante Symphony, which Muti, Zell Music Director of the CSO, led in performance in 2017, and offers a glimpse into the theological and emotional world portrayed in The Divine Comedy. 

The celebrations to honor Dante, whom many recognize as the “Father of the Italian Language,” started several weeks ago on Sept. 5 when President Mattarella participated in a special ceremony at the poet’s tomb in Ravenna, Italy, where the Dante died in 1321.” []    —CSO Sounds & Stories, October 2, 2020

See more information on special Dante anniversary programs at Dante2021.

“WWE Extreme Rules 2020: 5 Important Details You Probably Missed From the Wyatt Swamp Fight”

“When Braun Strowman arrived at the Swamp, there was a sign that read ‘Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here’ which could be a hint about the Firefly Fun House.”    –Phillipa Marie, Sportskeeda, July 20, 2020

CIX, Hello Chapter 3: Hello, Strange Time (2020)

See the video teaser trailer here 

Contributed by Justin Meckes

Robert King on CBS’s Evil (2019)

CBS-TV-Series-Evil-2019-Season-1-Colter-Herbers-MandviIn an interview about the CBS series Evil (2019), showrunner Robert King made reference to the show’s resonance with Dante’s Inferno:

“Having the potential of 60 evil friends opens the show up to the possibility of a string of guest stars. This also gives the writers a good opportunity to go into the wide variety of types evil the Kings want to examine in society. ‘Some may be in the White House. Some may be in ICE. There are elements of evil all around so it’s a great world to explore. Dante had so much fun putting people in hell,’ Robert King extrapolated tongue-in-cheek.”  –Heather Taylor, “Exploring the Roots of Evil, a New Series on CBS,” Script Magazine (October 28, 2019)

See also the appearance of Doré’s Inferno illustrations in S01E07, posted here.