Monday, February 27, 2006

The Audience

After the first table read and a few feedbacks came in, one of the readers brought to my attention who I wanted my audience to be. This point was raised because of the different changes that were suggested and my concern of keeping Dante's work as intact as possible. So, as Dante himself, I want to reach as wide of an audience as possible in order to make the biggest difference in the world for humanity's sake. Dante realized that he had to do something different to reach a wider audience than his previous work and his predecessors did, so he chose to write the first book in Italian instead of Latin. A book for the masses. This way he not only conquered Italy, but also the world later on.

I'm facing the same dilema, make the movies as close to Dante's writings as possible or cut many of the names and dialogs mentioned in the book that do not mean anything to most people in the world. In other words, reach a smaller educated audience or a larger one that has yet to learn about Dante himself and God's messages.

Dante chose the latter and I feel I must follow his steps. The only question now is who in reality the new audience will be.

Monday, February 13, 2006

The Divine Comedy scripts

One of the main things that I thought regarding the task of writing the scripts, was about keeping Dante's integrity while trying to make movies that entertain and make a difference in the world at the same time. So, using this formula, Dino Di Durante, the screenwriter, embarked on a hard mission that, like Dante himself, has been guided by God every step of the way. As of today, Inferno is on a 14th version and starting a new one soon.

Yesterday, we had a great table read of Inferno which was held at a beautiful Golf and Country Club in Temecula, California. Temecula is known as Southern California wine country for the great wine that is produced along California Rancho Road.

The Inferno table read was longer than expected due to the lenghty scene descriptions but after an initial prayer we went on to video tape the event for future study. We had a great group of actors and actress reading for more than one part of the script. These great artists were John Miailovich (Dante), Jenn Gotzon (Beatrice and others), Ed Vizenor (Virgil and others), Yenniffer Behrens (First narrator and several parts), Linda Burden-Williams (Second narrator and several parts), Jerod Edington (several parts), Austin Brooks (several parts), Charlene Amoia (several parts), Angela Landis (several parts), Jennifer Brooks (several parts). As listeners, were myself and Cinematographer/Director James O'Keeffe.

I deeply thank all for coming!

Friday, February 03, 2006

The Start

Thank you for reading my personal blog about The Divine Comedy project!

When I was first approached about The Divine Comedy feature films, it was as "Have they done it before? If so, when? Why hasn't been done lately?". So, I decided to investigate and started by buying a VHS tape online that seemed to be something done for TV. However, after I saw it I was dissappointed because it was simply a documentary and on top of that poorly made. So, I investigated further and I ended up with this information: click here.

Then, I realized that the only time in the history of film that there was a serious attempt to adapt Dante's masterpiece to the screen was done in 1911. It was the first movie production in Italian film history called "L'Inferno". This was the first part of The Divine Comedy since Purgatorio and Paradiso were never made. I then, wanted to see what they had done in 1911 and talked to the Library of Congress about obtaining a copy, yes right. Well, I was referred to a website where I learnt that "L'Inferno" had been restored and available on DVD. What a joy! I immediately obtained a copy and was delighed to see the great endeavour that filmakers of that time went through to accomplish a respectful interpretation of Inferno.

I was later encouraged to pursue the production of a full trilogy of The Divine Comedy - Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso. I prayed a lot and asked God for enlightment and guidance to make a decision. Then I realized that a had made this decision before I was born.

Boris Acosta