Contributed by Joe Henderson (Bowdoin, ’10)
“In his video short, Christian Anthony has appropriated film and television clips creating a collage of images and scenes describing the afterlife. These fragments, taken from the last several decades, emphasize the tension between the media-driven, pop culture representations of heaven, hell and purgatory and people’s personal perceptions of these concepts. Anthony’s portrait of the collective afterlife is at times comic, violent and wicked as it tosses up stereotypes, self-righteousness and fear.” —San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art
Watch the video here.
“Bestselling author Jodi Picoult’s The Tenth Circle is a metaphorical journey through Dante’s Inferno, told through the eyes of a small Maine family whose hidden demons haunt every aspect of their seemingly peaceful existence.” [. . .] –Gisele Tuoeg, Amazon
See also: the film “The Tenth Circle” (2008)
Contributed by Charlie Russell-Schlesinger (Bowdoin, ’08)
See Roberto Benigni’s website Tutto Dante for more information and photos.
Contributed by Dorothea Herreiner
The 2006 movie, The Painted Veil, based on a novel by Somerset Maugham ultimately derives from the author’s fascination with Pia, a character in Dante’s Purgatorio. This discussion of the movie quotes from Maugham’s preface to the novel:
“The idea for the novel began when Maugham was studying Italian under the tuition of the daughter of his landlady in Tuscany before World War I (he had by then decided to abandon a career in medicine for the life of a writer). While working through Dante’s Purgatorio, he came upon this line, spoken by the adulterous wife Pia: Siena mi fe’; disfecemi Maremma. (Siena made me, Maremma unmade me.) Ersilia (for so the tutor was named) explained that Pia was a noblewoman of Siena whose husband, suspecting her of adultery and afraid on account of her family to put her death, took her down to his castle in the Maremma valley, the noxious vapors of which he was confident would kill her off. But she took so long to die that he grew impatient and had her tossed out a window. As Maugham explains in his preface to the novel: ‘I do not know where Ersilia learnt all this. The note in my own Dante was less circumstantial, but the story for some reason caught my imagination. I turned it over in my mind and for many years from time to time would brood over it for two or three days. I used to repeat to myself the line: Siena mi fe’; disfecemi Maremma. But it was one among many subjects that occupied my fancy and for long periods, I forgot it. Of course I saw it as a modern story, but I could not think of a setting in the world of today in which such events might plausibly happen. It was not till I made a long journey in China that I found this.'” –Edward T. Oakes, First Things, January 10, 2007
Contributed by Patrick Molloy