The first eight cantos of Dante's Inferno (up to the entrance to the city of Dis). The text is read entirely in "talking head" fashion, and punctuated with a kaleidoscopic blend of both newly shot and archival footage.
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2   1  
1991   1990  
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Virgil (6 episodes, 1991)
...
 the voice of Dante (6 episodes, 1991)
Fernando Bordeu ...
 Virgil (6 episodes, 1991)
Francisco Reyes ...
 Dante (6 episodes, 1991)
...
 Beatrice (4 episodes, 1990)
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Storyline

The first eight cantos of Dante's Inferno (up to the entrance to the city of Dis). The text is read entirely in "talking head" fashion, and punctuated with a kaleidoscopic blend of both newly shot and archival footage.

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Drama

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Release Date:

29 July 1990 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A TV Dante: The Inferno - Cantos I-VIII  »

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Runtime:

(8 episodes)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Version of Pokol - Inferno (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Violates cinematic grammar and cinema in general.
22 January 2004 | by See all my reviews

Forget that square-block superimpositions are cheesy. Forget that they become cheesier when you overlap three of them and flip colors. Even forget there is something oddly humorous about a naked obese man rolling in mud when recorded in slow motion. The fact is that there is a contract between audience and artist regarding the communication of aesthetics. An artist can agree to or flout that contract, but if he does not acknowledge it, then there is little hope for his work. Experimenting with the cinematic form can be done well; but Greenaway and Phillips (I hope that Phillips is more responsible for this, Greenaway is quite a director) have failed to communicate much with this series.

The stunningly bad compositions make their presence known throughout; when an actor whose head takes up the entire screen suddenly freezes as a square with an interviewed historian appears in his mouth to talk, it appears strikingly humorous. When digital flames appear behind the historian's head for no apparent reason, it becomes merely a hilarious disaster.

This work fails as both an annotated reading of the epic, and as a dramatization of that epic. Just read the damn thing. Translation is an art, and it takes a director with vision and skill to convert from the language of an Italian epic into the language of film.

Unfortunately, Peter Greenaway and Mr. Phillips (I truly hope it was mostly Phillips) do not have the vision or the skill.


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