On the occasion of the seven hundredth anniversary of Dante’s death, in 2021 Edison Studio created a new version of the soundtrack of the most visionary film in Italian silent cinema: Inferno (1911) from Dante Alighieri’s “La Divina Commedia”.
This new version is an elaboration of a project commissioned by the Ravenna Festival in 2008 and will be presented for the first time in the Ravenna Festival 2021 in collaboration with Salvatore Insana.
the restoration of the film was curated by the Cineteca di Bologna and carried out by the “L’Immagine Ritrovata” laboratory.
Edison Studio takes up the ancient tradition of silent film with live accompaniment in an original composition of vocal, mechanical sounds, borrowed from nature and the history of music, orchestrated and transformed live with the instruments of new technologies.
The Inferno soundtrack projects the viewer into a dreamlike and at times ironic dimension, thanks to a continuous ‘short circuit’ between reinvented voices, surreal acoustic landscapes, ambient sounds that envelope the space far beyond the possibilities of traditional cinema. The directors of the film, Adolfo Padovan, Francesco Bertolini, and Giuseppe De Liguoro, in 1911 made the first feature film in the history of Italian cinema, an unprecedented colossal:
3 years of filming, 150 actors and extras, 100 scenes, and international distribution that touches Europe and the United States.
The aerial circling of the carnal sinners, the flashback stories of Paolo and Francesca and Count Ugolino; Pluto, Cerberus, Charon who ferries souls beyond the Acheron river, hordes of bat-demons and the three soul-devouring heads of the gigantic Lucifer are just some examples of the scenes and characters animated by numerous and unpublished special effects, inspired by the famous engravings nineteenth century by Gustave Doré.
A show where literature, cinema, and music blend into a unified and current artistic path.
Edison Studio’s soundtrack commissioned by the “Ravenna Festival” and premiered in Ravenna on the 5th of July 2008, Rocca Brancaleone
Inferno 2021 new version premiere: 20 July 2021 at Ravenna Festival, Rocca Brancaleone
Cinematography – Emilio Roncarolo
Set Design – Sandro Properzi, Francesco Bertolini
Cast – Salvatore Papa (Dante), Arturo Pirovano (Virgil), Giuseppe De Liguoro
(Farinata/Pier Delle Vigne/count Ugolino), Attilio Motta, Emilio Beretta, A. Milla (Lucifer)
Premiere Jul 05, 2008 – Ravenna (Ita), Ravenna Festival, Rocca Brancaleone
Dec 15, 2008 – Roma (Ita), Auditorium Parco della Musica, Nuova Consonanza Festival – Contemporanea Musica per Roma
Dec 16, 2008 – L’Aquila (Ita), Cinema Massimo, Stagione Società dei Concerti “B.Barattelli”
Feb 13, 2009 – Leipzig, Hochschule der Kunste, “Das Böse ist ein Eichhörnchen”
Apr 18, 2009 – Longiano (FO) (Ita), 18 April 2009, Stagione Teatro Petrella
Jan 3-4-5, 2010, Roma (Ita), Montemartini Museum, “Montemartini Corpo-Inferno-Energia”
Nov 30, 2010 – Catania (Ita), Centro di Culture Contemporanee “ZO”, Stagione Associazione Musicale Etnea
Apr 27, 2011 – Barcelona, CCCB – Zeppelin Festival
Jun 26, 2011 – Bologna (Ita), Festival della Cineteca di Bologna “L’immagine Ritrovata”, Cinema Arlecchino
Aug 10, 2011 – Firenze (Ita), Le Murate
Sep 1st, 2012 – Tarquinia (Ita), Progetto Musica Immagine, Palazzo Vitelleschi
Nov 10, 1012 – Mosca (Russia), Moskow Autumn Festival, Sala dell’Unione dei Compositori Russi
Nov 11, 2012 – Mosca (Russia), Cinema Lounge Dome
Oct 31, 2015 – Viterbo (Italy), Chiesa del Gesù (ex Chiesa di San Salvatore) night with Dante Alighieri
May 31, 2019 – Matera, Casa Cava
Lul 24 2019 – S.Mauro Pascoli, Casa Pascoli, Il Giardino della Poesia
Feb 28, 2020 – Mosca, Istituto Italiano di Cultura
Jul 05, 2020 – Forlì, Area Sismica
25 Mar 21 – Buenos Aires (Argentina), Centro Cultural Kirchner
INFERNO 2021 NEW VERSION
Premiere 20 Lug 21 – Ravenna, Ravenna Festival, Rocca Brancaleone
Introduction to “Inferno”
Clustering bat-demons equipped with sharp forks, crowds of heaven’s pure souls floating in the sky. Paolo and Francesca gliding from above and floating in the air, Bertrand de Born showing his cut-off head and, finally, a gigantic fire-eater Lucifer that ravens diaphanous and transparent dead bodies. Surely Adolfo Padovan and Francesco Bertolini, the two forerunner directors who created “Inferno” in 1911, the first authentic feature-length film of Italian film history, didn’t save money on special effects. “Inferno” is an unprecedented colossal based on the famous Dantesque illustrations by Gustav Dorè that implied 3 years of shooting, 150 between principal and supporting actors, 100 scenes, 71 minutes length, 300.000 lire invested, a one-year-long advertising campaign, and an international distribution reaching Europe and the United States (where the movie earned 2 million dollars).
Edison Studio recovers the old tradition of silent movies with live musical accompaniment throughout the composition of vocal and mechanical sounds (taken from nature and music history) orchestrated and transformed live with the aid of new technologies.
The music of “Inferno” brings the audience into a completely different dimension, a dream state both ironic and fascinating among reinvented voices, surreal landscapes, and surrounding sounds. All of this creates a new acoustic environment that binds space much beyond the chances of traditional movie screening.