“Dante needs to seduce you. It’s Boccaccio who saves him for us »- Corriere.it

from Aldo Cazzullo

On the cinema with the director of a movie that was the fruit of braveness and purity: “I felt insufficient, I studied for 20 years, however I did it. The Poet as Man I believe I guessed it”

It takes braveness and purity to make a movie about Dante.

Within the seven hundred years because the demise of the best poet that not solely Italy however mankind has ever had, tv has achieved nothing. Completely nothing. Cinema, the fiction business: nothing.
Dante would not care. Or quite, it scares. It makes you lose video games (otherwise you assume it makes them lose). It’s not simply the previous rule that the impresario who invested in public unhealthy style by no means misplaced his cash. It’s that Dante is taken into account difficult; whereas in actuality it’s deep.
To take him to the cinema it was mandatory the braveness and purity of Pupi Avati. Angelic Impurity: within the movie, Beatrice seems bare, as in Dante’s evening imaginative and prescient; and Dante loves a prostitute (in spite of everything, Boccaccio defines him as “lustful”: he favored girls very a lot, and he had numerous tales throughout his exile, the place he was not accompanied by his spouse). However non secular purity. Love of poetry. Skill to understand the poet’s “mystical greatness”, or at the very least to be fascinated by it.

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE TWO POETS IS AVATI’S KEY INTUITION: “I DELEGATED THE STORY TO BOCCACCIO, IF DANTE THINKS LIKE ME”

Pupi Avati explains, within the room the place we watch his movie along with the title exact Dante – in cinemas from 29 September – that others’ lack of braveness doesn’t scandalise him, fairly the opposite. “Dante conveys a way of inadequacy to everybody. Create inferiority complexes, and rightly so. It opens a distance for its omniscience, for its poetic abundance, for its thriller. I attempted to make Dante seductive. And to do this I studied for twenty years”.
The movie, says the director, needed to be made in 2002. “I already had a contract with Rai, signed with Giancarlo Leone. But when the desks are all the time the identical, folks change; they usually now not needed to listen to about Dante”. In the meantime, Pupi Avati stored fascinated with it. To work with it. And to write down about it.


The movie was born from the attractive novel that the director revealed by Solferino, Excessive fantasy. Boccaccio’s Journey to Uncover Dante. And just like the guide, the movie additionally stitches three tales collectively, makes use of three registers to inform the poet’s life.
The primary is his youthful ardour for Beatrice, reconstructed by Dante’s voice, which speaks to us all through Vita Nova and his touching love sonnets.
The second is the origin of Hell; and after we see Dante groping for the sheet which he by no means parted from, which he carried tied to his breast and unfolded at evening to attract the map of the otherworldly abyss and the names of the assorted characters to be positioned within the numerous circles, come to the ideas Shakespeare in lovethe Oscar-winning movie during which John Madden tells the story of the start of Romeo and Juliet in his personal approach.

“TO TAKE THE DIVINE COMEDY TO THE CINEMA, HE COULDN’T DO FOR ME. BUT ALIGHIERI AS A MAN I THINK I HAVE INTUITED IT”
Boccaccio in middle stage

The third register is Boccaccio’s journey to the locations of Dante’s life. That is the fundamental instinct of Pupi Avati: “Boccaccio saved Dante. He saved his work and copied it by hand at the very least thrice. He modified his title: now not alone ComedyMa Divine comedy. He prevented bodily destruction: monasteries had been forbidden to make a copy of Dante’s masterpiece, as a result of there was unhealthy discuss concerning the popes, particularly about Boniface VIII and John XXII. Moreover, Boccaccio inaugurated the lengthy custom of Lecturae Dantis, the readings of Dante in public, studying the Inferno, he was already unwell, to exhaustion, with monumental success and nice emotions for the Florentines”.

Restore the evil that has been achieved

The movie is predicated on the revival of the Florentines. To partially restore the evils achieved to their illustrious fellow-citizens—exiled, hunted down, the “confiscated, destroyed, ruined” possessions, the demise sentence by beheading and burning, the makes an attempt to suppress him bodily, as much as Cardinal Del Poggetto’s want. to burn that bone in order to depart no hint of him – the Florentines commissioned Boccaccio to convey a sum of cash and a act of contrition to Dante’s solely surviving descendant: his daughter Antonia, who turned a nun named Beatrice.

Boccaccio is unwell. He has scabies. He survived the plague, which killed three kids. He has yet another, a bit lady known as Violante, who, nonetheless, doesn’t acknowledge him as her father. He tries in useless to win her again by giving him the bridal doll that belonged to Beatrice as a present: virtually a harbinger of doom (a scene harking back to a traditional by the erratic Pupi Avati, who in 1976 The home with laughing home windows he additionally tried his hand at horror).

Fathers and sons

Earlier than setting out in quest of Dante’s daughter, Boccaccio should acknowledge his personal father, who died within the horrible plague of 1348, which diminished the inhabitants of Florence to a 3rd. It’s a horrible and great scene: the Monatto lifts the sack that covers the face of the deceased with the particular hook, till Boccaccio acknowledges the options, deformed by malice from ache, of his personal fleshly guardian. It’s a closing farewell; as a result of Boccaccio considers himself spiritually the son of Dante, “the daddy of all the thrill of my life”.
“I’ve delegated to Boccaccio the duty of narrating Dante,” smiles the director; “As a result of Boccaccio usually thinks and says the issues I believe and say”.

In Tuscany nonetheless permeated by the “stink of the plague”, Boccaccio retraces the levels of Dante’s exile, assembly the witnesses of his passage. The Casentino, the place he was welcomed by an attractive, if goitered, girl who saved him from the Florentine assassins charged with eliminating him. The citadel of Romena, the place the one manuscript of Dante was stored (now now not discovered): a letter during which he asks the sons of Rely Alessandro for forgiveness as a result of he can’t come to his father’s funeral, as poverty has disadvantaged him of arms and a horse (Boccaccio is moved of studying the letter and kissing it; and even the spectator struggles to stay numb). That was till Romena Dante was informed by a daughter of Rely Ugolino the story of her father’s merciless demise; whereas on the battlefield of Campaldino he met Bernardino Da Polenta, who informed him of the homicide of his sister, Francesca.

Delivery of Paradise

In Ravenna, Boccaccio sees the mosaic of the apse of Apollinare in Classe, with all the celebs of the firmament, which Dante knew by “the actual title”. They inform him that typically the poet was shut up within the church all evening, to attend for the primary gentle of the morning. Paradise was born there.
Lastly, Boccaccio arrives on the monastery the place the poet’s daughter lives. Who refuses to obtain him: she is just too offended with the Florentines, she won’t forgive them (“a nun who doesn’t forgive?” Boccaccio asks himself). However at evening the author and the nun meet as if by likelihood, and Dante’s daughter acknowledges Boccaccio as her personal brother.
Boccaccio is Sergio Castelltto.
His interpretation is extraordinary. Very intense, additionally bodily. I’m not a movie critic, quite the opposite I typically discover myself disagreeing with critics and definitely they’re proper and I’m fallacious. Essential evaluation of a movie, like that of an actor, can also be a technical matter, and will subsequently be left to the specialists.

Extraordinary actors

However cinema, like all artwork, speaks to males’s minds and hearts, and in order spectators we are able to say that the performing of Pupi Avati on this movie is extraordinary. Additionally as a result of they’re “his” actors. Gianni Cavina, for instance, performs a notary from Ravenna, a buddy of Dante, who’s dying; and throughout the filming of the movie, Gianni Cavina was actually dying, he had solely two months left. The dying Dante is as a substitute Giulio Pizzirani (the younger one is Alessandro Sperduti, who has had a really troublesome position with dignity). Alessandro Haber is the abbot of Vallombrosa, who recites the verses from Paradise in the direction of the Pope with the tone of a conspirator in the direction of the tip.

Starvation and delight

Loss of life is the actual co-star of the movie. And right here comes one other Pupi Avati masterpiece: Magnificat, set in Holy Week within the 12 months 926. Within the Center Ages, demise threatens. He firmly believes in life after demise as a result of he feels that he’s shut, solely separated from life by a skinny veil. And it’s a public demise. Nobody dies alone. The demise of Bella degli Abati, Dante’s mom, who is just 5 years previous, is public and he or she wipes her mouth after kissing her mom who has simply handed away. Beatrice’s demise is public, her lovely face disfigured by smallpox: the scene of the funeral is unbelievable, with the ladies comforting the deceased, “you aren’t alone within the grave, your sister Ravegnana is there…”. And Dante’s demise, killed by malaria and the bitterness of a troubled and fruitful life.

One query stays. Maybe the true biography of the poet is his work.



Greatness and humanity

Within the Divine Comedy they’re all there. His inspiration, Virgil. The beloved girl, Beatrice certainly. The grasp, Brunetto Latini. And the characters during which Dante finds himself. Pier delle Vigne, who dedicated suicide: and the poet additionally considered suicide in exile. Rely Ugolino, who sees his “sons” (truly two sons and two grandsons) starve to demise; and Dante too, very poor, noticed his kids—who, in contrast to his spouse, had adopted him into exile—endure from starvation and wish due to their delight. And above all Ulysses, the hero of information, who renounces the sweetness of his household to turn out to be an skilled on the world and the human soul.

However, explains Pupi Avati, and brings Divine comedy it might be an excessive amount of, and too little. “It’s a firm that many have tried their hand at,” remembers the director. “Zeffirelli. Fellini. However it’s a enterprise destined to fail. Why Hell it’s a utterly solved work. Past Doré, the great French illustrator, it’s troublesome to go. And so productive Hell it might be a blockbuster. It is too nice a technique to make cinema, which does not belong to me. However Dante as a human being, I believe I guessed it”. And he gave it again to us, in its greatness, but in addition in its humanity.

August 6, 2022 (change August 6, 2022 | 09:35)

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