An ambitious project from Britain’s channel four, A TV Dante was comprised of 6 artists in an effort to adapt The Divine Comedy: Peter Greenaway, Tom Phillips, Raul Ruiz, Terry Gilliam, Zbigniew Rybczynski, and Nagisa Oshima. The first eight cantos of the Inferno were co-directed by Peter Greenaway and Tom Phillips. Phillips, a composer, artist and critic, is perhaps best known for his interest in the art of the page. His 1983 translation of the Inferno is used for the production. Cantos 1 – 8 were shown on television and later released on video in UK.
Ruiz’s casting of his native Chile as the inferno visited by Dante and Virgil in Cantos 9 – 14 was met with criticism and never broadcast or released on VHS in Europe. Ruiz’s series later found a life in Latin America where it was eventually shown on television.
The remaining Cantos 15-34 were never made.
An avant-gardist who earned surprising access to the mainstream, Peter Greenaway is among the most ambitious and controversial filmmakers of his era. Trained as a painter and heavily influenced by theories of structural linguistics, ethnography, and philosophy, Greenaway’s films traversed often unprecedented ground, consistently exploring the boundaries of the medium by rejecting formal narrative structures in favor of awe-striking imagery, shifting meanings, and mercurial emotional tension; fascinated by formal symmetries and parallels, his material displayed an almost obsessive interest in list-making and cataloguing, earning equal notoriety for its provocative eroticism as well as its almost self-conscious pretentiousness. Born April 5, 1942, in Newport, Wales, Greenaway was raised primarily in nearby Chingford. After deciding at the age of 12 to become a painter, he entered the Walthamstow College of Art. By 1965, Greenaway had begun working as a film editor for the Central Office… read more
Chilean filmmaker Raúl, or Raoul, Ruiz (1941-2011) was one of the most exciting and innovative filmmakers to emerge from 1960s World Cinema, providing more intellectual fun and artistic experimentation, shot for shot, than any filmmaker since Jean-Luc Godard. A guerrilla who uncompromisingly assaulted the preconceptions of film art, this frightfully prolific figure – he made over 100 films in 40 years – did not adhere to any one style of filmmaking. He worked in 35mm, 16mm and video, for theatrical release and for European TV, and on documentary and fiction features and shorts. His career began in avant-garde theatre where, between 1956 and 1962, he wrote over 100 plays. Although he never directed any of these productions, he did dabble in TV and filmmaking in the early 1960s. In 1968, with the release of his first completed feature, the Cassavetes-like Tres tristes tigres (1968… read more