Westworld S01E05: “Contrapasso” (2016)

Episode 5 of the first season of the HBO original series Westworld is called “Contrapasso.”

westworld-contrapasso-ed-harris

To read about key moments from the episode, see this October 30, 2016, blogpost on The Hollywood Reporter (beware of spoilers!).

Dante’s Fire-Con

dantes-fire-con“With “Geek!” the playwright Crystal Skillman and the troupe Vampire Cowboys fly high the freak flag of fantasy. An ode to fangirls and fanboys, the show, in Cowboys tradition, celebrates the universe of anime, comics, science fiction, manga and Hollywood effects spectaculars. It’s a milieu Ms. Skillman clearly knows well and depicts with affection. At an Ohio anime convention called Dante’s Fire-Con two fans take on the guises of their fictional heroines…” [. . .]    –Andy Webster, New York Times, March 29, 2013

See also: Incubator Arts Project, New York

Veiko Ounpuu, “The Temptation of St. Tony” (2010)

veiko-ounpuu-the-temptation-of-st-tony-2010

“Bizarre and beautiful, disturbing and droll, The Temptation of St. Tony wonders what it means to be a good man. Kicking off with a quotation from Dante’s Inferno, this delirious sophomore feature from the Estonian filmmaker Veiko Ounpuu observes Tony (Taavi Eelmaa), a triumphantly depressed middle manager. Dissatisfied with his adulterous wife and a boss who orders him to sack all his factory workers, Tony descends into a midlife crisis that manifests itself as a series of increasingly hilarious, horrific visions.” [. . .]    –Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York Times, September 16, 2010

Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” and Dante

tolkeins-lord-of-the-rings-and-dante“The city of Minas Tirith in Tolkien’s middle earth could be viewed as symbolic of Mount Purgatory. It is described by Tolkien as a white city built on a mountain consisting of seven terraces. At the top is the white tree of Gondor which only bears leaves when a king sits upon the throne of Gondor. Therefore, it could be argued that Aragon’s story in Lord of the Rings is a quest to reach the top of Mount Purgatory and redeem himself and all of mankind. Thus, at the end of Lord of the Rings, when Aragon assumes the role of King there is a transition from the age of the elves to the age of men. (This is only one of many references to the Divine Comedy found in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and the rest of his works on Middle Earth).”    –Charlie Russell-Schlesinger

Contributed by Charlie Russell-Schlesinger (Bowdoin, ’08)

“Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” (Gore Verbinski, 2003)

pirates-of-the-caribbean-the-curse-of-the-black-pearl-gore-verbinsky-2003“Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl says, ‘Worry about your own fortunes, gentlemen. The deepest circle of Hell is reserved for betrayers and mutineers.'”    –Kate Geraghty

Contributed by Kate Geraghty (Bowdoin, ’07)