is a remarkable film from 1911 based on the poem by
Dante Alighieri. Directed by Francesco Bertolini, Adolfo
Padovan and Giuseppe de Liguoro it was the first Italian
feature film and features some striking images,
spectacular for their time.
I have written a new soundtrack to the film inspired by the
entrancing beauty of Gregorian Chant, music which resonates
both with the images and the story. I have taken this
music, and written some original material, to create a
soundtrack which I believe remains true to the spirit of the poem and the film. The
chants I am working with were written at, or before, the
time of Dante, it is the music he would have known.
The planned screenings of the film will be accompanied with
a live laptop performance of the soundtrack.
Dante is lost in a dark and gloomy wood. At the summit
of a mountain he sees the light of salvation. He
endeavours to ascend to it, but his way is barred by
three wild beasts, symbolizing Avarice, Pride and Lust.
Beatrice sees his predicament and descends from Paradise
into Limbo, where she asks the poet Virgil to rescue and
guide Dante. Virgil knows another way to go, but this
leads straight through the entire Inferno, before it
continues towards Paradise. Virgil leads Dante to the
portals of Inferno. Charon ferries them over the river
Acheron, and then they start their journey downwards
through the different circles of Inferno.
meets all kind of sinners and sees the never ending
punishments they have to undergo. The various
punishments are adjusted to the different
transgressions. Among the sinners Dante recognizes many
persons he has met in Florence, when they were still
by Maths Jesperson
was first screened in Naples in the Teatro Mercadante on
March 10, 1911. The film took over three years to make
and was the first full-length Italian feature film ever
made. The film was an international success, taking more
than $2 million in the United States alone. It is
considered by many scholars and fans as being the finest
film adaptation of Dante's work to date.
to "The People's Almanac Guide to the 20th Century",
this is the first movie to show full frontal male nudity, well over half a century before it turned up
again in Women In Love.
the first feature film to be shown in it's entirety, in
one screening, in the USA. Prior to this it was thought
audiences wouldn't be prepared to sit for over an hour
to watch a feature, films such as Les MisÚrables and
The Life of Moses were shown in episodic parts over the
course of a month or two.