Saturday, 8 March 2014

Infernal Regions

Most bookish people are at least aware of what's in Dante's epic poem. But, rather like Paradise Lost, The Divine Comedy is one of those classics that look good on a shelf, next to the stuff we enjoy. (Well, I got through the first bit of the trilogy then lost interest. I blame Dorothy L. Sayers' rather stodgy translation.) However, Dante's vision of Hell is such fun that many film makers have paid tribute to it, usually indirectly, but sometimes in a full-on adaptation. Here is the earliest example - and one of the earliest feature films, in the modern sense.



For those with more modern tastes, there's the recent animated feature 'based on EA's must-have game', apparently. Yes, there's a game. And no, the feature film version is not utterly farcical. In fact, it's a rather clever adaptation which - while taking huge liberties - is great fun and showcases the skills of half a dozen directors, each of whom tackles a different infernal region. Also, if you think the original is sadly lacking in fights and boobs, this is definitely for you. Check it out here.

Somewhere between the two is the 1935 version, which doesn't seem to be available in full, but YouTube has a lot of clips. I'm sure the tenacious can find the full version out there, somewhere. In the deep, dark wood of the web...

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