Dante 01 (2008) Review

“There will be three circles to this particular hell, introduced by the words ‘First Circle’ and so forth, superimposed over the darkness of space. Voiceover by the craft’s lucid and compassionate Persephone (Simona Maicanescu), one of three doctors on board, tells us that everybody on the crucifix-shaped vessel Dante 01 is doomed. Cool.

In the bravura opening, a shuttle docks to deliver two passengers. Frozen, shrink-wrapped Saint Georges (Lambert Wilson) is rudely defrosted and left to vomit and sweat with understandable acclimation problems.

Other passenger is no-nonsense doctor Elisa (Linh Dan Pham, in an impressive 180 from her role as Roman Duris’ piano teacher in ‘The Beat That My Heart Skipped’).  She’s there to use the prisoners as guinea pigs for a new nanotechnology-derived ‘treatment’ that’s obviously really painful, not to mention unethical and evil. Her corporate approach is odious, but mission chief Charon (Gerald Laroche) sanctions it.”    –Lisa Nesselson, Variety, January 2, 2008

Check out our original post about Dante 01 here.

Fallout 3 – The Ninth Circle

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A bar in Bethesda‘s 2008 video game, Fallout 3. Complete with a bouncer named Charon.

You can see more about The Ninth Circle here and here.

Tenth Circle (2008), Lifetime movie based on Jodi Picoult’s novel

 

“Set in a small village in Maine, Circle features teen orgies, adultery, boy toys, date rape drugs, self-inflicted maiming and a suicide that might be murder.

“All this plays out against the unsubtle backdrop of high school teacher Laura Stone (Kelly Preston) teaching a course in Dante, whose Divine Comedy never foreshadows anything too pleasant.

“In fact, the title of the best-selling Jodi Picoult novel from which the film was adapted suggests Dante didn’t go far enough for the modern world – that where Dante created only nine circles of eternal purgatory, these days we need a 10th.

“Seems that since Dante outlined Hell in the early 14th century, we’ve somehow stepped up our game and developed another level of wickedness.” […]    –David Hinckley, NY Daily News, June 27, 2008

Marcel Möring, In a Dark Wood (2008)

“‘Forget the Purgatorio,’ says a character in Marcel Möring’s new novel, ‘leave the Paradiso unread. Hell and nothing but that. That is the world.’ In this intelligent, literate narrative, the forest that skirts the Dutch town of Assen becomes the dark wood of Dante’s Inferno, while the town itself is depicted as a desolate place of sin and suffering.

[…]

“Homer, Dante, Joyce, Greek myth, Arthurian romance – Möring’s debts are unmistakable, but there’s no sense of a sneaking or slavish dependency on these sources; his unapologetic literary borrowings are a form of celebration. His exuberance sometimes seems hyperactive, but its general effect is compelling. His approach is perhaps best understood through analogy with another art form: at one point he invokes the spirit of Miles Davis, describing the great jazzman ‘going into the studio with a handful of notes and chords and in a hallucinatory session recording Kind of Blue, carrying everyone along with him, with complete confidence in his leadership and the expectation that he will bring them to the place where they have to be.’ Threading the novel’s intricate byways, enjoying the journey for its own sake, we do indeed finish up where we have to be – perhaps registering that, as the Jew of Assen remarks, the crooked path is often the only way to the end.” —Jem Poster, The Guardian, February 13, 2009

The novel, originally published in Dutch under the title Dis, was awarded the Ferdinand Bordewijk Prize for the best Dutch novel in 2007. See the author’s page here.

Anton Brzezinski, “Anton’s Inferno: Dante’s Inferno Revisited” (2008)

Untitled“Surrealist painter Anton Brzezinski takes us on a modern journey through Hell. This time the poet Virgil is replaced by his one time neighbor in New York, the writer William S. Burroughs, author of Naked Lunch. Well known for his Sci Fi illustrations and surrealisms, Anton Brzezinski is a versatile artist who creates in a number of media. Currently he’s completing a feature length video called Adventures of the Living Dali. Anton’s Inferno was written at the same time he created a complex 38 inch by 50 inch oil painting of the same name. This novelette is a sometimes irreverent satire. He cautions if you’re easily offended, please give this to someone with a sense of humor.”  —Amazon

Dante Restaurant, Boston

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Dante Restaurant, Boston, MA

Contributed by Krista Gladman (Bowdoin, ’11)

Louis Andriessen, “La Commedia” (2008)

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“On Thursday, April 15, 2010 at 8:00 p.m., Andriessen’s extraordinary new opera La Commedia (based on Dante’s Divine Comedy) makes its New York premiere in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage in a concert performance by the Asko Schoenberg ensemble…
According to the composer, ‘I see Dante’s La Commedia as one of the highest points ever reached in literature and philosophy. It combines complexity, intellectualism, horror, beauty, multi-layering, allusions, historical and mythological references, and, above all, irony. I selected sequences of material in the same order as in Dante’s book. So the first two scenes take us from the City of Dis down through Inferno to the deepest regions of hell where we meet Lucifer in the third part. This is where Adam’s Fall is described. We then pass upward through the lighter-hearted Garden of Earthly Delights until we reach Paradise in the final section, Eternal Light.’
La Commedia was premiered in June 2008 at the Holland Festival by many of the same musicians performing in the Carnegie Hall presentation.” [. . .]    —Broadway World, March 1, 2010

See also, Allan Kozinn, The New York Times, April 1, 2010

Contributed by Patrick Molloy

Fort Lewis College Theater, “Dante’s Inferno” (2008)

fort-lewis-college-theater-dantes-inferno“Written by Dante Alighieri.
Adapted for Stage by Desiree Henderson & Kurt Lancaster.
Directed by Kathryn Moller.
Winter 2008: Throughout history, poets and philosophers have struggled to define true love. In the Phaedrus, Socrates explains that love is not simply the act of being caught passionately by a beautiful body or face, but by the eternal form of beauty itself. In Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, Romeo describes love as, “too rough, too rude, too boisterous, and it pricks like thorn.” And even today, pop stars, authors and actors struggle to define and relate this elusive emotion in a tangible way. Dante Alighieri embarked on a similar quest. In this contemporary stage adaptation of Dante’s Inferno, Dante journeys into the pits of hell searching for the beauty of love which touched him for only an instant. Each circle of hell reveals tragic, and sometimes violent exchanges between people who are damned to repeat their sins again and again.”    —Fort Lewis Theatre

Contributed by Katherine Avery

Elisabeth Tonnard, “In This Dark Wood” (2008)

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“This book is a modern gothic. It pairs images of people walking alone in nighttime city streets with 90 different English translations I collected of the first lines of Dante’s Inferno. The images, showing a crowd of solitary figures, are selected from the same archive as used for Two of Us (the extraordinary Joseph Selle collection at the Visual Studies Workshop which contains over a million negatives from a company of street photographers working in San Francisco from the 40’s to the 70’s).
The book is set up in a repetitious way, to stress a sense of similarity, endlessness and interchangeability. The images are re-expressions of each other, and so are the texts.”    —Elisabeth Tonnard

Contributed by Guy Raffa (University of Texas – Austin)

Walt McGough, Dante Dies!! And Then Things Get Weird (2008)

walt-mcgough-dante-dies-and-then-things-get-weird-2008“Seven hundred years ago, Dante Alighieri began writing one of the world’s most compelling and imaginative texts. This June, we respectfully screw it all up.

“Sideshow Theatre proudly presents the world premiere of Dante Dies!! (and then things get weird), a new play by Walt McGough oh-so-loosely based on Mr. Alighieri’s Inferno. Partway along the journey of his life, Dante finds himself mourning a lost love, feeling morose and, for some reason, in Hell. Trying to find his way home, he encounters incredible suffering, infernal bureaucracy, some sins of his own, and the aggressive attention of a competitive hot dog eater. Each step downward brings him closer to a personal reckoning with his own story, and maybe a chance to find an answer or two. Enacting the story single-handedly, versatile performer Matt Fletcher brings over fifteen different characters to life as he tracks Dante’s progress through the nine circles of Hell in this unexpected and epic adventure.”  — Sideshow Theatre

Contributed by Patrick Molloy