His Comedy

1994 | 00:08:00 | English | 35mm film

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: Animation

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A journey into the centre of Hell; Dante's The Divine Comedy, illustrated by Gustav Dore's wood engravings and animated by scratching directly into the surface of the film. 

The poet Dante is taken by Virgil through the gates of the city of desolation and into the centre of Hell. What he sees is not simply an apocalyptic vision of the punishment that awaits sinners after death, but also the very real horrors committed by human hands on earth. The film is based on Gustav Dore's nineteenth century woodblock engravings illustrating Dante's The Divine Comedy, and the images are produced by engraving directly into the surface of colour filmstock.

"An unusually somber animated short about Dante's descent into hell, where he suffers nightmarish visions of punishment and apocalyptic folly. Inspired by Dore's engravings, the animation, which often borders on the abstract, is eloquent, elegant and technically superb."

--Geoff Andrews

"As the poet Dante is conducted by Virgil through the city of desolation into Hell, so Paul Bush intersperses these safe, well-known engravings with shots of unexpected, horrific flashes of Man's inhumanity to God: a do-it-ourselves catalogue of pestilence. Only in the final vision of stars seen as part of a human eye are we allowed the respite of salvation. His Comedy is a brief stab in the dark to illuminate a wholly original talent."

--Tom Hutchinson

This title is only available on Paul Bush: Working Directly.

Prizes + Awards

Kino award for best animation - 1994 Melbourne Film Festival

Best experimental animation - Cinanima 94, Portugal

Silver Conch - 1996 Bombay International Film Festival

Best of British Animation - BFI touring programme (UK and Ireland)

Animate and Fascinate touring exhibition (UK)