Sunday, August 10, 2008

Dante's Inferno to be released September 23rd

Several of you have made comments about the 1967 BBC Rossetti documentary, "Dante's Inferno." After doing a bit of research, I discovered that it will be released on DVD for the first time this September.

The box set will be available at Best Buy September 23rd for $69.99

Synopsis of Dante's Inferno:

One of director Ken Russell's earliest films, Dante's Inferno is a made-for-TV biopic about the British poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti (Oliver Reed), who was a founder of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood during the late 1800s. The style was influenced by romanticism and Renaissance painters. Other founding members of the movement were William Morris (Andrew Faulds), Edward Coley Burne-Jones (Norman Dewhurst), and John Everett Millais (Derek Boshier). Iza Teller plays Dante's sister, the poet Christina Rossetti. Judith Paris plays his wife, Elizabeth, who was driven to suicide.
~ Andrea LeVasseur, All Movie Guide

The film is being released as part of a series of BBC documentaries directed by Ken Russell. The DVD, entitled "Ken Russell at the BBC" focuses on biopics of famous artists. Titles include:

Elgar (1962)

The Debussy Film (1963)

Always on Sunday (1965)

Isadora Duncan (1966)

Dante's Inferno (1967)

Song of Summer (1968)

Dance of the Seven Veils (1970)


Anonymous said...

Hi Margaret, thanks for the heads up on the forthcoming viwing. I'll look out for them. I really ought to re-read the stuff I have on the PRB from decades ago. :-) Then I'll be like the muppet show hecklers muttering about how they got that bit wrong.

skatej said...

Will have to check out the Isadora Duncan one....
Thanks for the heads up!

Teresa Howard said...

Thank you so much for finding that out. I had wanted to see that DVD but never managed to get hold of it anywhere.


mammon said...

Thanks, Margaret, for hunting this down. You're a good sleuth.

I never had a copy of this classic. Part of this film was shot at Old Battersea House in London which used to house the De Morgan Foundation's collection of the art of William and Evelyn De Morgan and other Victorian can see the paintings in some of the shots.
During this same period Russell shot a BBC interview with Wilhelmina Stirling, Evelyn De Morgan's sister, who was in her 90s at the time and it too is a classic! Russell is escorted round the collection with a flashlight.
The BBC says this short film is now LOST...if anyone can find a copy of it I would be very grateful since Evelyn De Morgan is my specialty. I don't know how it was titled.

PIGNOUF said...

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Margaret said...

--Merci, pignouf! Votre blog est superbe aussi!

--Mammon: I'm so sorry to hear that film has been lost! It sounds like it was fantastic. It would be so amazing to watch an interview with Evelyn de Morgan's sister! Wow. I envy your getting a chance to see it! Hopefully they'll rediscover it one of these days!

mammon said...

My theory on the Stirling interview was that Russell was scouting locales for "Dante's Inferno" and he found Mrs. Stirling so compelling that he ended up doing a short one on her! She was famous for giving visitors the tour of the collection of William's ceramics and Evelyn's paintings (also John Roddam Spencer's ptgs) and then sitting the visitors down and showing them a scrapbook she kept of MODERN art (Picasso, Pollack) and then decrying the modern/contemporary work as "rubbish". Hysterical.

Tracy said...

I didn't know this...thanks for the info, Margaret!! And nicely accented with dishy portrait of Dante himself... ;o) Happy Days ((HUGS))

Margaret said...

It is a rather dishy portrait of Rossetti! I wonder if he ever really looked like that--it's a self portrait, and most of his photographs certainly indicate that he wasn't all that terribly good looking (oddly enough, before he got rather portly, Morris was considered the most good looking!).

Teresa Howard said...

There is a rather beautiful painting of rossetti when young by Holman hunt which I put on my site but apart from that the photos of him in later life were not good. Morris was quite lovely when young but loved food and red wine far too much. Rossetti was a charismatic, they never really have to be beautiful in my experience. However, in the Possessed musical we made the decision that he should be beautiful and Joseph Millson was absolutely perfect!

Margaret said...

I did notice that your Rossetti was rather beautiful! Have you ever read Evelyn Waugh's biography of Rossetti? I think Rossetti's charisma really comes through in that book. People were definitely drawn to him!

Teresa Howard said...

I have the book and have looked through it but never actually read it. It sounds as if I ought to!!