Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Tangerine Dream Inferno|
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Shot on location.
Mart Sander | www.martsander.com | 02/08/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Well well well... This is a spectacle worth seeing. Filmed in 1910 and released early in 1911, it must have had a terrific impact on the viewer. It's full of special effects, flashbacks, monsters, appearances and disappearances, giants, dragons, demons and other hellish apparitions. There's a lot of nudity and agony, smoke and mud. But make no mistake: it's all according to 1911 standards. There still are no close-ups, no proper editing, and no acting to speak of aside from gestures as broad as one's hands are capable of doing. There's also no real story: it's a series of tableaux depicting Dante and Virgil moving through the different circles of Hell. It's all shot in broad daylight of course, in some weird looking mountains that can look quite majestic, but can also be no better than an disused Italian quarry. It's not boring, but it's very unclear what the viewer is supposed to think. There are lengthy title cards in very weird English, summarizing the action to come. Some of the trick photography is among the best that was available at that time (and men like Melies did a fantastic job even ten years before the release of this film); some is 'rags on a stick'-variety. Had there been at least a few close-ups, or anything to make it look more cinematic, I would have been much happier. The picture quality is so-so, it's obviously edited from two or three different prints that can vary quite a lot. It also could have been made more interesting using colour tinting for different hellish locations, such as red for fire and brimstone and blue for the ice lake. The music by Tangerine Dream became annoying very quickly. As long as it is ambiance background, it's OK, but as soon as the lady vocalist bursts into weird pseudo-Dantean songs, it's pure Hell indeed. I was seriously considering turning the sound down, but then I sort of grew used to it. This film might prove to be a bit heavy for those who are not prepared to sit through 1,5 hours of agonizing and slow moving journey that doesn't seem to lead nowhere. Then again, the selection of pre-WW I full length films released on DVD isn't wide enough to dismiss this one. But you need to know your Dante before you delve into this one, otherwise it's a total mishmash. A good friend and a bottle of strong booze would come handy as well. This film might prove to be a bit heavy for those who are not prepared to sit through 1,5 hours of agonizing and slow moving journey that doesn't seem to lead nowhere. Then again, the selection of pre-WW I full length films released on DVD isn't wide enough to dismiss this one. But you need to know your Dante before you delve into this one, otherwise it's a total mishmash. A good friend and a buttle of strong booze would come handy as well."
EXCELLENT 'TRIP THROUGH HELL' - SCORE LACKS DRAMA & PASSION
Explorator | Los Angeles, CA | 02/13/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This silent movie classic is essential viewing for avid horror movie fans! It ranks right up there with the chilling classic 'Nosferatu' with similarly eerie, haunting, and unforgettable scenes.
It's basically a man's voyage through the many levels of Hell and his various conversations with the damned. It's appropriately packed full of strange and disturbing scenes depicting the many tortures of the damned. There are many incredible sets on display as well as various demonic creatures. The only weak element is the poor soundtrack by the usually great Tangerine Dream. It lacks the drama and passion that the movie is screaming for! Sort of like the many badly scored versions of Nosferatu. Both of these classics deserve truly haunting original scores more than any other movies that I can think of! Overall the movie itself was much better than expected and is essential viewing if you like haunting imagery."
Hey, it's fun!
Ralph Ferdingstadt | Ashland, OR | 07/29/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have little to add to the preceding reviews, other than to say this movie is more enjoyable than I expected, and a noble attempt to movie-ize the first part of Dante's Divine Comedy. The Inferno is one of the cornerstones of western literature, and probably the most inspiring nightmare ever. Few have attempted to film Dante's Inferno in its entirety, although you can find bits and pieces of it in movies as desperate as Hellraiser and What Dreams May Come. A lot of what we imagine Hell must be like came from Dante.
But I think the film's mastermind, Giuseppe de Liguoro, would have needed a much bigger budget to bring this project up the quality of--say; F.W. Murnau's Faust. And make no mistake; a film version of a National Literary Treasure is what de Liguoro had in mind. For all its faults, it mostly sticks to the book.
The only real problem I have with this movie is the sets and scenes become--well--the same, as the film goes on: de Liguoro either lacked the vision, or the bread, to up the intensity as the story's central characters progressed.
But part of the blame has to go to Tangerine Dream's background music, which is also notable for its unrelenting sameness. A bit more dramatic build--preferably darker and more brooding--would have assisted the viewer in at least imagining the trip though Hell was getting more intense the deeper Dante and Virgil went. On the other hand, maybe TD's score really is appropriate for this movie. It seems to me that a sense of tension and release, all too uncommon in medieval literature, is what made Dante's Inferno a classic to begin with, and part of what helps The Divine Comedy retain its enduring appeal. And its absence is what keeps this movie obscure.
But I still recommend Inferno. If you love Dante, or are just a fan the exceptional, you will love this. Whatever it is that makes creepy old silents fun is definitely present on this disc, soundtrack and all."
Joanna Gloria Petri | Coral Gables, Florida | 02/23/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I think Giuseppe da Liguoro created a masterpiece when he directed L'inferno. Although the same set was used throughout the movie, they did a very good job at changing around the scenery to depict Dante's and Virgil's descent through hell. I especially liked how much they tried to stay true to the story. The various characters Dante and Virgil encounter on their journey were depicted very well and although the acting is a bit overdramatized (which is necessary since it's a silent film) it made it easy to understand what was going on without dialogue. I think the actor who played Virgil was very well cast, he successfully depicted a special regality and overall disposition that one associates with such a legendary ancient poet (without even speaking!!). The one thing that I really think brought the movie down a bit as a whole is the new musical score created for the film by Tangerine Dream. To be entirely honest it was distracting and at times pretty ridiculous. The score that should have been written for L'inferno would have been one that depicted the danger, fear, suffering, and at times chaos of the inferno. Other than that, the movie was absolutely incredible and then next time I watch it (and there will be a next because it's just that good) I'll probably play one of Beethoven's symphonies in the background with the movie on mute."