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Adaptations and Quality Films

by Kate Fortmueller

in the early 1900s filmmakers in both France and Italy were concerned with creating films that were seen as high art. These films often took the form of adaptations. L'Inferno is an adaptation of the first part of The Divine Comedy. In The Divine Comedy, Dante, with his guide Virgil, descends into Hell and up through Purgatory and Paradise. As Dante and Virgil descend further into Hell it actually gets cooler rather than hotter until they reach Lucifer chewing on souls in a lake of ice. This particular text would be important for an Italian audience because it was one of the first works written in the vernacular. Thus it is an appropriate film for Italian filmmakers to use to develop a language of film.

L'Inferno (1911) - Lucifer and the Frozen Lake of Hell

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In this final sequence of L'Inferno, Dante and Virgil arrive in the final circle of hell and encounter Lucifer and the frozen lake.

from L'Inferno (1911)
Creator: Francesco Bertolini, Adolfo Padovan, and Giuseppe de Liguoro
Distributor: Monopol Film Company
Posted by Kate Fortmueller