Sunday, 10 April 2011

L'Inferno (1911) ...heavenly film (one hell of a soundtrack...)

"Is it just me or does this music sound completely wrong..." was the instinctive reaction of my co-reviewer (Beth 13 and endlessly patient) when watching the Tangerine Dream soundtracked version of "L'Inferno". Well, mostly, the answer to that would be yes but... stick on "Zeit" (or turn down the volume) and enjoy the imagination and astonishing creativity of Giuseppe de Liguoro's ground-breaking film.

Made over a period of three years and first screened in March 1911 this was the first Italian feature length film, clocking in at 68 minutes. Some who know say that it's the best film version of Dante's Inferno, which says something after over 100 years.

All I can say is that, as an entertainment, it still works exceptionally well and is full of visual invention and wonderfully controlled storytelling. There are dozens of set piece scenes all based on the different levels of hell with still surprising camera trickery showing all manner of tortures for the fallen.

A century old or not it's simply amazing.

Tangs die-hards can go to hell here but others may want to try this new path!

More detail on the film at Ab Initio's excellent site.

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