“The following video essay takes a look at three studio films directed by the genius genre Joe Dante. While Dante’s early films emerged out of the energetic “get it done” approach of Roger Corman, his later experiences with studios were less than straightforward. The essay takes a look at the hybrid live-action animated feature Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003), the sci-fi coming-of-age flick Explorers (1985), and the marvelously chaotic blank check that is Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990). In the essay, each segment parallels the three parts of Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy (Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise, respectively). The result is a much more measured portrait of studio relations, from the hellish to the divine.” [. . .] –Meg Shields, Film School Rejects, August 13, 2021 (retrieved March 30, 2022)
Dante in the Essays of Susan Sontag
American author and essayist Susan Sontag cites Dante and his Divine Comedy in a number of her essays. In her famous “Notes on ‘Camp’,” the Divine Comedy is referenced as part of “the pantheon of high culture: truth, beauty, and seriousness” (1966, 286). In “Against Interpretation,” Sontag states: “Once upon a time (say, for Dante), it must have been a revolutionary and creative move to design works of art so that they might be experienced on several levels. Now it is not” (1966, 13).
Sontag published “Notes on ‘Camp'” in 1964, but the essay was republished, along with “Against Interpretation,” in her 1966 collection Against Interpretation.
See our other post featuring the work of Sontag here.
Dante’s Inferno Song, Whirlybird (2019)
On October 9, 2019, American band Whirlybird released their EP Hot Flashes which included a song called “Dante’s Inferno”. The lyrics make reference to Dante’s journey through Hell, stating: “Dante’s coming through the inferno”.
Listen to the song here.
View the full lyrics of “Dante’s Inferno” here.
Dante’s Inferno: It’s Time for the Lost Sequel Article, Gina Roberts (2021)
“Rumors have been surfacing regarding the potential return of an old franchise that is expected to be announced during next month’s EA Play.
“Dante’s Inferno is a fantastic game that received a lot of marketing and heavy support from EA at the time, even having a Super Bowl ad. It also received generally positive reviews and was impressive-looking for its time. Even though it has some graphic elements, it caused little controversy and went on to inspire a comic, an animated short, and a planned film adaptation.
“Dante’s Inferno was fantastic, but it didn’t get a chance to blossom. Instead of resurrecting games and franchises everyone knows and already loves, it’s time for the industry to pay attention to some underrated gems, giving life to titles that could have flourished if given the chance. Dante’s Inferno is a prime candidate for such treatment — after all, dark beat ’em ups certainly haven’t gone out of style.” [. . .] –Gina Roberts, Comic Book Resources, June 22, 2021 (retrieved January 12, 2022)
Purgatorio: A Journey Into the Heart of the Border Film, dir. Rodrigo Reyes (2013)
“Reyes’ provocative essay film re-imagines the Mexico/U.S. border as a mythical place comparable to Dante’s purgatory. Leaving politics aside, he takes a fresh look at the brutal beauty of the border and the people caught in its spell. By capturing a stunning mosaic of compelling characters and broken landscapes that live on the US/Mexico border, the filmmaker reflects on the flaws of human nature and the powerful absurdities of the modern world. An unusual border film, in the auteur tradition of camerastylo, Purgatorio ultimately becomes a fable of humanity, an epic and visceral experience with powerful and lingering images.” –description on Kino Lorber (retrieved January 12, 2022)
Watch a trailer for Purgatorio on Vimeo here.
- Next Page »