“The film Pandorum (2009) makes several allusions to The Divine Comedy.” —Wikipedia
“Jeremy Bremen has a secret. All his life he’s been cursed with the ability to read minds. He knows the secret thoughts, fears, and desires of others as if they were his own. For years, his wife, Gail, has served as a shield between Jeremy and the burden of this terrible knowledge. But Gail is dying, her mind ebbing slowly away, leaving him vulnerable to the chaotic flood of thought that threatens to sweep away his sanity. Now Jeremy is on the run–from his mind, from his past, from himself–hoping to find peace in isolation. Instead he witnesses an act of brutality that propels him on a treacherous trek across a dark and dangerous America. From a fantasy theme park to the lair of a killer to a sterile hospital room in St. Louis, he follows a voice that is calling him to witness the stunning mystery at the heart of mortality.” –Amazon
The novel is filled with references to Dante and his works, and opens with a quotation from Paradiso 17.
Dan Simmon’s horror/science fiction short story, “Vanni Fucci is Alive and Well and Living in Hell” was first published in Night Visions 5, along with stories by Stephen King and George R. R. Martin.
“These words scrawled across the walls beneath the Paris Catacombs mark the entrance to Hell for the characters in As Above, So Below. They herald in a nightmarish final act. The very same words that mark the gates to Hell in writer Dante Alighieri’s Inferno, the first part of his epic poem of Divine Comedy. Inferno tells of Dante’s journey through the nine circles of Hell, guided by the Roman poet Virgil. Their journey begins on Good Friday, and the pair emerges from Hell early on Easter morning under a starry sky. Though As Above, So Below draws from various mythologies, it’s Dante’s Inferno and its complex rendering of Hell that most closely mirrors protagonist Scarlett Marlowe’s quest, making for an atypical found footage film that offers impressively layered world-building.
[. . .]
“The only way out is down. That they descend through a well is significant. Scarlett explains the phrase ‘as above, so below’ is the key to all magic. What happens in one reality occurs in another, presenting a bizarre mirror-like symmetry to their voyage. The group begins by climbing down a well, and they end it by going down another well. In Inferno, wells play a part in getting Dante and his guide to the eighth and ninth circles. Later, Dante and Virgil finally reach the center of Hell and begin their escape by continuing downward. Dante is convinced they’re returning to Hell, only to realize gravity has changed, and they’re climbing up to the surface. Dante, half-way through his life, begins his journey spiritually lost. More than just a guide to Hell, Virgil becomes his guide to virtue and mortal. That’s mirrored in Scarlett, reckless and reeling from the loss of her father, and George, the strict rule-abiding ethical anchor. Much of George’s fear for breaking the law stems from spending time in a Turkish prison before the events of the film, which also parallel’s Virgil in that he detailed his personal trip through Hell in his poem Aeneid.” –Meagan Navarro, Bloody Disgusting, April 10, 2020
See our original post on As Above, So Below here.
Maru Ceballos is a visual artist known for her striking, inky, horror style. During the #Dante2018 social media initiative, Ceballos created a variety of pieces based on the Divine Comedy, and her work was used as promotional art by Museo Mitre for the exhibition “Los círculos del Dante.” Pictured above are a few of her pieces from this series. Clockwise from the top right is an illustration for Paradiso, an illustration for Purgatorio, a portrait of Dante, and an illustration for Inferno.
“Maru Ceballos, autora/ilustradora de los libros Los Idiotas y Muertos de Amor y de Miedo es diseñadora gráfica y desde hace un par de años ha trabajado sobre la Divina Comedia ilustrándola. ‘Si bien lo había intentado hace mucho, no lo había leído antes,’ confiesa Maru que arrancó con una edición en verso que después perdió, pero no fue hasta hace un par de años que retomó su lectura, esta vez con una edición en prosa. ‘Fue así que agarré el libro y empecé a leer. Pero no lo hice en función de ilustrarlo. En realidad me dieron ganas de ilustrarlo cuando lo empecé a leer. Me rompió tanto la cabeza el manejo de imágenes visuales que tiene el Dante que empecé a hacer esquemas, porque la obra es larga, compleja y muy simbólica. Cuando avancé en la lectura me di cuenta que ameritaba una ilustración más conciente y empecé de cero, prestando atención a los simbolismos.'” — Interview with Barbi Couto, “La Divina Comedia, un libro para descubrir y descubrirse,” La nueva Mañana (July 3, 2018)
Relatedly, you can read an interview with Maru Ceballos here.
See other posts related to #Dante2018 here.
Contributed by Pablo Maurette (Florida State University)