Troy Duffy, “The Boondock Saints” (1999)

troy-duffy-the-boondock-saints-1999“About one hour into the movie they go to a strip club to kill Ron Jeremy’s character. The door leading into the dancer’s room reads ‘Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here.'”    –Charlie Russell-Schlesinger

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

Sandow Birk’s Illustrations of the “Divine Comedy”

sandow-birk-illustrations-to-the-divine-comedy

“A five year project which involved adapting the text of the entire “Divine Comedy” into contemporary slang and setting the action in contemporary urban America. The project resulted in three, limited edition books, Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. Each book contained more than 60 original lithographs and was published by Trillium Press in San Francisco.”    —Sandow Birk

See also: Sandow Birk’s film “Dante’s Inferno” (2007)

Jean-Luc Godard, “Notre Musique” (2004)

jeanluc-godard-notre-musique-2004“The 73-year-old director’s serene meditation on Europe’s landscape after battle has an unusually obvious triptych structure, with each panel (or act) named for one of Dante’s three ‘kingdoms.’ The central, hour-long ‘Purgatory’ of a writers’ conference in Sarajevo bridges the opening 10-minute ‘Hell’ and a concluding 10-minute ‘Heaven.'” [. . .]    –J. Hoberman, The Village Voice, November 24-30, 2004


Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Rappaccini’s Daughter” (1844)

nathanial-hawthorne-rappaccinis-daughter-1844The daughter of the protagonist (an Italian scientist) is thought to be modeled after Dante’s Beatrice.

Dezso Magyar directed a film based on the short story (1980).

Contributed by Kate Moon (Bowdoin, ’09)

“Clerks” (Kevin Smith, 1994)

clerks-kevin-smith-1994“The screenplay is loosely based on The Divine Comedy. The character Dante Hicks gets his name from Dante Alighieri, the author and fictional protagonist of The Divine Comedy. The chapter titles are also somewhat of a reference to the literature in that in The Divine Comedy, each level of hell is given a title. It can be said that Quick Stop is ‘Dante’s hell’.”    –Sam Donovan
Contributed by Sam Donovan (Bowdoin, ’07)

“Dumb & Dumber” (Peter Farrelly, 1994)

dumb-and-dumber
Lloyd and Harry stop in a restaurant called “Dante’s Inferno” on their way to Colorado.

Contributed by Luke Welsch (Bowdoin, ’08)

Henry Otto, Dante’s Inferno (1924)

Otto InfernoHenry Otto directed Dante’s Inferno (1924), a silent film interpretation of the poem.

“The tactics of a vicious slumlord and greedy businessman finally drive a distraught man to commit suicide. The businessman is tried for murder and executed, and is afterward taken by demons to the Hell where he will spend the rest of eternity.”    —IMDb

 

 

 

Contributed by Dennis Looney

“Il Postino” (Michael Radford, 1994)

il-postino-michael-radford-1994I think that there is a valid connection between Il Postino and Dante… where Mario could be seen as the poet Dante, Beatrice is (unsurprisingly) Beatrice (his inspiration in both contexts), and Pablo Neruda is Virgil, Dante’s (and thus, Mario’s) poetic ‘father’ figure. Also, upon examining the film’s script, there is a direct reference in the scene with Mario and Neruda speaking at the cafe:

Mario: I’m in love, really, really in love.
Neruda: Who are you in love with?
Mario: Her name’s Beatrice.
Neruda: Beatrice. Dante. Dante Alighieri. He fell for a certain Beatrice. Beatrices have inspired boundless love. What are you doing?
Mario: Writing down the name Dante. Dante I know, but Alighieri–

Contributed by Aisha Woodward (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)

“Hannibal” (Ridley Scott, 2001)

hannibal-ridley-scott-2001Hannibal is set in Florence where the notorius Hannibal Lecter is posing as a medievalist and Dante scholar. He lectures on the Divine Comedy and recites poetry from the Vita nuova, as well as attends an operatic adaptation of the Vita nuova. Apart from these explicit references to Dante, there is also a sense in which the homicidal methods he employs mirror, contrapasso like, the sins of his victims, all of whom are in some sense bad. The noble folk, Starling and a nurse, are spared, despite HL’s ample oppourtunities to kill them. It is difficult to equate any of the movie’s characters with those of the Divine Comedy, although Lector does in a sense play Virgil to Starling’s pilgrim; but in his role as avenger of evil, serial killer, HL appears more like the wrathful Old Testament God.”    –Peter Schwindt

For a compilation of references to Dante in the film, see the post on the website greatdante.net.

Contributed by Peter Schwindt