The Getty Center

In conjunction with the exhibition Heaven, Hell, and Dying Well: Images of Death in the Middle Ages, this film series focuses on three interpretations of Dante Alighieri's Inferno, one of three parts that make up his epic poem. Written between 1300 and 1321, the first fully illustrated version of the poem was created in 1487. Since then, illustrators, painters, and (finally) filmmakers were continually drawn to interpret the "nine circles of hell." The films being screened range from the fairly literal, yet cinematically momentous interpretation of L'Inferno; to the gritty social(ist) commentary of the 1924 Dante's Inferno; to the live-action puppetry and postmodern renderings of the recent Dante's Inferno.



Date: Saturday, June 23, 2012
Time: 3:00 p.m.

Directed by Giuseppe de Liguoro
(Italy, 1911, 35mm, 71 min.)

The first Italian "epic," loosely inspired by Dante's poem and Gustave Doré's illustrations, could be considered one of the first international blockbusters. This very rare tinted 35mm print is courtesy of the British Film Institute.

Silent with live musical accompaniment by Michael Mortilla.


Dante's Inferno

Date: Saturday, June 23, 2012
Time: 7:00 p.m.

Directed by Sean Meredith
(USA, 2007, HDCAM, 88 min.)

Nearly a hundred years after Giuseppe de Liguoro created his L'Inferno, Los Angeles artist Sandow Birk, paired up with writer Marcus Sanders to create an exquisite book based on Dante's Inferno. The publication takes inspiration from engravings by Gustave Doré, the great French illustrator. Director Sean Meredith and a team of artists led by Birk worked for five years to animate the work. Dante's masterpiece is interpreted using exquisitely hand-drawn puppets and handmade special effects, set in a postapocalyptic urban universe. Featuring the voices of James Cromwell, Dermot Mulroney, and Martha Plimpton.

Screening followed by a Q & A with director Sean Meredith and members of the creative team including Sandow Birk, Elyse Pignolet and Paul Zaloom.

Watch the trailer for Dante's Inferno:


Dante's Inferno

Date: Sunday, June 24, 2012
Time: 3:00 p.m.

Directed by Henry Otto
(USA, 1924, 35mm, 55 min.)

Don't miss this rare chance to see a fairly unknown film that has been meticulously preserved by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Dante's Inferno is modernized and presented as a parable and moral tale. Set in a pre-Depression urban landscape and channeling a bit of Dickens as well as Dante, the film foretells what will happen to a greedy landlord if he doesn't reform.

Silent with live musical accompaniment by Michael Mortilla.

Preserved by the Museum of Modern Art with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Film Foundation.

About Michael Mortilla

Composer and sound designer Michael Mortilla is well known for his silent film scores. He works extensively with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and has received numerous commissions from them scoring restored silent films including Seventh Heaven, The Gaucho, Upstream, Humoresque, and The White Shadow. Michael also scores works for TV, radio, and the concert stage and continues to work in dance and theater as well as in commercial and promotional productions.

How to Get Here
The Getty Center is located at 1200 Getty Center Drive in Los Angeles, California, approximately 12 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. See Hours, Directions, Parking for maps and driving directions.