Yahoo! Movies: “Did Inferno Get Dante Right? We Asked an Expert”

inferno-dante-tom-hanks-deborah-parker“In Inferno, based on the Dan Brown novel, the only thing that stands between humanity and a devastating plague is Robert Langdon’s knowledge of Dante’s Inferno. In reality, if you were trying to outsmart a Dante-obsessed bioterrorist, you’d probably want to ring up Deborah Parker before you called in Tom Hanks. A professor of Italian literature and art at the University of Virginia, Parker is the general editor of the website The World of Dante, a multimedia resource for studying Dante’s 14th-century epic poem Divine Comedy (of which Inferno, the author’s imagined journey through the nine levels of Hell, is the first part). She’s also the co-author of Inferno Revealed: From Dante to Dan Brown, which takes a deep dive into the Dante references in Brown’s novel. On the heels of Inferno’s lackluster opening weekend at the box office, Yahoo Movies spoke with Parker about what the film gets right, what it gets very wrong, and why the Map of Hell on Parker’s website is more authentic than the one in the film.” —Yahoo! Movies, “Did Inferno Get Dante Right? We Asked an Expert” (Oct. 31, 2016)

Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl (2012)

gone-girl-movie-still-abandon-all-hopeIn both the book and the movie Gone Girl the main character, Amy, says about marriage: “Marriage is compromise and hard work, and then more hard work and communication and compromise. And then work. Abandon all hope, ye who enter.”

For the 2012 book by Gillian Flynn, see the Gone Girl page on Flynn’s website.

For the 2014 film directed by David Fincher, see the film’s official website.

Contributed by Autumn Friesen (University of Texas ’16)

Zhao Liang’s “Inferno”-inspired documentary (2016)

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“Zhao Liang’s Behemoth blurs the lines between video art and documentary, visually exploring multiple open-pit coal mines in the sparse hinterlands of China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. The film, loosely inspired by Dante’s Inferno, forgoes the spoken word completely. It stylistically melds poetry and performance art to portray the lives of various coal miners and iron smelters as they struggle to produce raw material fast enough for China’s ever-growing economy. The largely plotless film draws one in through the sheer juxtaposition of its monstrous, inhuman-sized landscapes and the intimate close-ups of miners’ soot-covered faces. Though banned from being screened inside China, the film was shown to a packed house in an underground screening room on the outskirts of Beijing this past February. The next day, we sat down in Zhao’s Beijing art studio, where the filmmaker was as wry in his humor as he was cynical, discussing everything from his views on censorship to the relationship between art and activism.”

See the interview in Slant, March 16, 2016.

Trailer

 

Jessica Jones and Hell

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In the 10th episode of Marvel’s “Jessica Jones”, the supervillain Kilgrave (The Purple Man) holds a young woman named Hope hostage and quotes, “Abandon Hope, all ye who enter here. That’s the words written on the doorway to Hell.”

Contributed by Stephanie Hotz, University of Texas – Austin

Dante’s Inferno Claymation (2012)

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Watch the entire video, showcasing the first eight circles of the Inferno, on YouTube.

Cardinal Studios, Demons

Stanford University’s student run production company, Cardinal Studios, is releasing a short film, Demons, in February 2016.

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 10.13.54 PMSynopsis: “Beatrice is forced to face her past and the judgement of Minos on the night she finds Dante.”

Read more at Cardinal Studios’ Facebook or Tumblr pages.

Contributed by Sonia Gonzalez, Stanford University ’18

What Dreams May Come, 1998

What Dreams May ComeVincent Ward’s 1998 film, What Dreams May Come, starring Robin Williams and Annabella Sciorra, explores the after-life. The film’s protagonist, Chris Neilson, finds himself in heaven after death. His wife, Annie, has committed suicide and resides in hell; when Chris sets out to find her, he travels through a representation of the first seven circles of Dante’s Inferno.

Warner Brothers’ Dante’s Inferno?

Dwain WorrellAs of August 19, 2015, it seems that Warner Bros. has bought a pitch for an Inferno film from screenwriter Dwain Worrell. Read more on Deadline.

Contributed by Tessa Smith, Stanford University ’18

Divine Comédie, Simon Côté-Lapointe (2014)

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Divine Comédie is an experimental film released in 2014, featuring music and video imagery by Simon Côté-Lapointe. The artist himself describes the film as follows: “This adaptation of Dante Divine Comédie is a oniric musical trip without words, a thrilling experimental mix of animation, video art and imagination combining 2D and 3D animation, video art and puppetry as well as electronic, electroacoustic and acoustic music.”

The trailer and two versions of the film (both the full-length film and a shorter version) are available to watch on YouTube.

For more information on the film and its creators, see the website here.

Contributed by Simon Côté-Lapointe, Université de Montréal

As Above, So Below (2014)

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The thriller film As Above, So Below features a journey to the catacombs below Paris – and a Dantesque passage.

The wall above the entry to this passage reads, “Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.”

Contributed by Erik Anderson, Hargrave Military Academy ’15