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The Dante Quartet (1987)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 653 users  
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A visual representation, in four parts, of one man's internalization of "The Divine Comedy." Hell is a series of multicolored brush strokes against a white background; the speed of the ... See full summary »

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A visual representation, in four parts, of one man's internalization of "The Divine Comedy." Hell is a series of multicolored brush strokes against a white background; the speed of the changing images varies. "Hell Spit Flexion," or springing out of Hell, is on smaller film stock, taking the center of the frame. Montages of color move rapidly with a star and the edge of a lighted moon briefly visible. Purgation is back to full frame; blurs of color occasionally slow down then freeze. From time to time, an image, such as a window or a face, is distinguishable for a moment. In "existence is song," colors swirl then flash in and out of view. Behind the vivid colors are momentary glimpses of volcanic activity. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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10 April 2004 (Hong Kong)  »

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Amazing...
6 November 2002 | by (Denver, CO., USA) – See all my reviews

One of the latter of Stan Brakhage's famous 'drawing on the film' movies, "The Dante Quartet" is something to behold. The University of Colorado at Boulder professor and filmmaker took over six months to complete the six minute silent film. The film is a mixture of paint on the film itself, and some optical printing done by the talented Dan Yanosky. But, as many 'beginners' have said, this isn't just a guy painting random objects on film. It actually has a narrative behind it. To those whom have read "Dante's Inferno", you'll get the idea of where this goes. The story involved hell and its sections. You'll see fast moving (almost at a speed of six frames per second) paintings, and these are actual patterns that seem to create an animation of sort, even though they're just one frame reproduced six times. As the film progresses, the beauty of it comes out, and the painstaking work of Brakhage is revealed. Overall, you'd have to see it to believe it. Quite amazing, and just another one of Brakhage's amazing pieces, up along with "Mothlight", "Ascension" and his 'Love' series. A must watch for those film students and avant garde enthusiasts.


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