a movie by
Francesco Bertolini and Adolfo Padovan (1911)
Live electronics – Mauro Cardi, Luigi Ceccarelli, Fabio Cifariello Ciardi, Alessandro Cipriani
Cinematography – Emilio Roncarolo
Set Design – Sandro Properzi, Francesco Bertolini
Cast – Salvatore Papa (Dante), Arturo Pirovano (Virgilio), Giuseppe De Liguoro
(Farinata/Pier Delle Vigne/conte Ugolino), Attilio Motta, Emilio Beretta, A. Milla (Lucifero)
commissioned by the “Ravenna Festival”
premiered in Ravenna on the 5th of July 2008, Rocca Brancaleone
DVD – Cineteca di Bologna
collana: il Cinema Ritrovato (CR10) – 2011
The restoration of “Inferno” has been carried out by Cineteca del Comune di Bologna from a nitrate print preserved at BFI National Archive in London and from two safety duplicate negative held by Danske Film Institute in Copenhagen and Bulgarska Nacionalna Filmoteka in Sofia. Useful information has been also obtained from the copies preserved at Library of Congress in Washington, UCLA Film and Television Archive in Los Angeles, American Film Institute and Geaorge Eastman House in Rochester. Titles have been reconstructed from the originals discovered in the copy held by Bulgarska Nacionaln Filmoteka. The restoration has been carried out in 2007 at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory.
After having reinvented the sound for “The Last days of Pompei” and “Das Cabinet Des Dr.Caligari”, the 4 Edison Studio’s composers have created the “ideal” soundtrack for the most visionary italian silent movie. 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 kolossal 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 ironical 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. A multimedia performance for everyone where literature, cinema and music come together to achieve a common and up-to-date artistic path.