Castro Theatre Sat, May 4, 2019 9:15 PM
Film Info
Director:Francesco Bertolini
Adolfo Padovan
Giuseppe de Liguoro
Cast:Salvatore Papa
Arturo Pirovano
Giuseppe de Liguoro
Attilio Motta
Emilise Beretta
Total Run Time:66 min.


Musical accompaniment by the Matti Bye Ensemble with intertitle narration by Paul McGann
A tour through the Nine Circles of Hell, Inferno from 1911 depicts the first part of Dante’s 14th century epic poem The Divine Comedy in such vivid imagery even nonbelievers might find themselves lurching toward the confessional. Its elaborate tableaux and stunning special effects took two years to produce, with exorbitant production costs unheard of at the time. One of a flurry of films made in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Italy’s Risorgimento, Inferno caught the attention of the country’s intelligentsia who had previously dismissed movies as mere novelty. “A noble example,” said one after the film’s premiere, “of wanting to distance itself from the vulgarities of which we are all sated by now.” Enhanced by Cineteca di Bologna’s pristine restoration of the original tinting and toning this presentation of Inferno is not to be missed. An international blockbuster, it incited the rest of the world to try to produce films of equal ambition.

Print courtesy of the Cineteca di Bologna


Introduction by Davide Pozzi


Copresented by Canyon Cinema, Litquake, MiDNiTES for MANiACS, and San Francisco Cinematheque

Additional Information

 Paul McGann Image Credit: Pamela Gentile

Musical accompaniment by the Matti Bye Ensemble with intertitle narration by Paul McGann
The Matti Bye Ensemble seeks that magical, emotional alchemy between music and images, playing a wide variety of instruments that include piano, glockenspiel, violin, musical saw and percussion. It is led by award-winning film composer Matti Bye, who has been the Swedish Film Institute's resident silent-movie pianist since 1989. In addition to Bye, the ensemble members include Helena Espvall, Kristian Holmgren, Lotta Johanson, and Laura Naukkarinen.

British actor Paul McGann made his film debut opposite Richard Grant in the cult movie Withnail and I and he went on to appear in Steven Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun, Ken Russell’s The Rainbow, and David Fincher’s Alien 3. His television work includes the eighth incarnation of the Doctor in the BBC’s Doctor Who, a recurring role in the Idris Elba-led Luther, and his unmistakable voice has graced many BBC documentaries. McGann first appeared at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival in 2012 to narrate South: Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Glorious Epic of the Antarctic.