Inferno by Dante Alighieri

External image


Dante Alighieri

(translated by Robert M. Durling;

notes by Robert M. Durling and Ronald L. Martinez)

After spending a significant amount of my college experience studying Dante, I remain partial to this translation of his Comedy. Durling and Martinez have created as accurate a translation of the Comedy as possible, choosing clarity over retaining Dante’s own rhyme scheme, though keeping his original tercets. Additionally, for anyone who is not planning on studying the Comedy formally, with the benefit of an instructor, this is the only edition that will not leave you flat, as the extensive notes discuss the important socio-political implications of Dante’s text. 

Les Misérables Manila cast:

Simon Gleeson – Valjean
Earl Carpenter – Javert
Rachelle Ann Go – Fantine
Cameron Blakely – Thenardier
Helen Walsh – Madame Thenardier
Kerrie Anne Greenland – Eponine
Paul Wilkins – Marius
Emily Langridge – Cosette
Chris Durling – Enjolras

Paradiso by Dante Alighieri

External image


Dante Alighieri

(Translated by Robert M. Durling,

Notes by Ronald L. Martinez and Robert M. Durling)

This installment of Dante’s epic poem is more theological and philosophical than the other two, and is a little harder to read, rife with religious and historical references (Justinian, St. Francis, you know, those guys). Luckily, however, Durling and Martinez’s notes are more than comprehensive–approximately half of this megalithic novel is their notes and appendices–and will make this incredibly complicated installment more accessible for students and casual readers alike. As someone who has studied Dante extensively, this version is definitely my translation of choice, and, for Italian readers, has Dante’s original printed side-by-side with the translation.

Johnny Depp: Maltin Modern Master Award (SBIFF 2016)

Videos! All in one place! Hoorah!

SBIFF 2016 - Maltin Modern Master - Leonard Maltin Interview

SBIFF 2016 - Maltin Modern Master - Scott Cooper Interview

SBIFF 2016 - Maltin Modern Master - Roger Durling & Leonard Maltin Speeches

SBIFF 2016 - Maltin Modern Master - Scott Cooper Speech

SBIFF 2016 - Maltin Modern Master - Johnny Depp Acceptance Speech

SBIFF 2016 - Maltin Modern Master - Johnny Depp Talks John Waters & Cry Baby

SBIFF 2016 - Maltin Modern Master - Johnny Depp Talks Transitioning From Television To Film

SBIFF 2016 - Maltin Modern Master - Johnny Depp Talks About Al Pacino

SBIFF 2016 - Maltin Modern Master - Johnny Depp Talks About Gilbert Grape & Leonardo DiCaprio

SBIFF 2016 - Maltin Modern Master - Johnny Depp Talks About Don Juan DeMarco & Marlon Brando

SBIFF 2016 - Maltin Modern Master - Johnny Depp Talks Tim Burton & Edward Scissorhands

SBIFF 2016 - Maltin Modern Master - Johnny Depp Talks About Black Mass

SBIFF 2016 - Maltin Modern Master - Johnny Depp Talks Beginnings, Music & 21 Jump Street

SBIFF 2016 - Maltin Modern Master - Johnny Depp Talks About Jack Sparrow

SBIFF 2016 - Maltin Modern Master - Johnny Depp Interview & B-Roll

SBIFF 2016 - Maltin Modern Master - Event B-Roll

Although he was unable to accept his Virtuosos Award at the Santa Barbara Film Festival last night in person because he was in LA attending the Directors Guild of America awards ceremony where he was nominated for Best First-Time Feature for “The Gift,” Joel did make a virtual appearance via video.

Roger Durling, the festival’s executive director, explained that the Virtuosos Awards are presented to “a special group of actors who have put in excellent performances in film during the past year. These performers have used their craft and respective roles to transport us through the varied lives of their characters. We have followed them along their artistic pursuits and are excited to join them in the next steps of their journeys.” Although he appeared in several films in 2015, Joel was particularly recognised for his performance as John Connolly in “Black Mass.”

Photo: The 2016 recipients of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival Virtuosos Award; From left to right: Jacob Tremblay (‘Room’), Paul Dano ('Youth,’ 'Love & Mercy’), Geza Rohrig ('Son of Saul’), Elizabeth Banks ('Love & Mercy’), O’ Shea Jackson Jr. ('Straight Outta Compton’), and Alicia Vikander ('The Danish Girl,’ 'Ex Machina’) [Joel Edgerton ('Black Mass’) not present]

Purgatorio by Dante Alighieri

External image


Dante Alighieri

(translated by Robert M. Durling,

notes by Ronald L. Martinez and Robert M. Durling)

Inferno gets all the credit for being the most enjoyable and readable volume of Dante’s Comedy, due to the inherent interest of brutal tortures and vicious criminals.  For this quality, however, Purgatorio deserves its due. Admittedly this volume is somewhat more philosophical in a way that will come to a head in Paradiso,  but it also has eyes sewn shut, and a really trippy scene in the end that feels almost psychedelic. Dante’s work is brilliant and political, but also enjoyable. This is a must-read for just about everyone.

Santa Barbara Film Fest Strives for Community Inclusion

Summer camp might not seem to have a lot to do with film festivals unless you’re talking about the Santa Barbara Intl. Film Festival.

While the festival proper is about to kick off its 31st year and 13th with executive director Roger Durling at the helm, it’s not just about film: SBIFF has for many years been about community enrichment for all, including those who might not get a chance to participate in the full film experience without a little help from others.

That’s where camp comes in. This year, in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, festival executives and mentors will spend five days in the wilderness with 26 students from lower-income families and teach them how to make movies in what’s being called film camp.

It’s a bold concept, but also very much in line with Durling’s vision for the festival, which runs from Feb. 3-13 in venues throughout the coastal city.

“For me, the festival had to be very specific to the community from the start,” says Durling. “It had to represent all the different classes of Santa Barbara. It’s about how all of the patches of the quilt make the festival unique and a better representation of our community.”

Putting together those patches means SBIFF films focus on areas as diverse as food and wine, or the environment and social justice. Durling believes in an all-access, year-round approach to his programming; donations, for example, fund programs like the 10-10-10 student screenwriting competition, AppleBox family-friendly free programming screenings, and a film studies program held during the festival — all of which are made available regardless of family income. Approximately 90,000 people attend the festival yearly, with over half being locals whom Durling doesn’t want left out.

That’s part of the reasoning behind this year’s opening night film, the U.S. premiere of the animated “The Little Prince,” which will have four screenings of the film free to the public. “Prince” is just one of the festival’s selections, which include 53 U.S. premieres and 52 world premieres (over double the number of world premieres from 2015) from 60 countries. Highlights include the U.S. premiere of Terrence Malick’s “Knight of Cups” and “Marguerite,” the closing night film set in Paris in the 1920s from Xavier Giannoli.

In addition the Global Hollywood section will screen 10 documentaries that focus on the film industry’s history.

“We’re hoping to build on the momentum we’ve carried from the last few years,” says programming director Michael Albright. “Films are getting stronger, premieres are increasing and we’re becoming an alternative to Sundance to some extent.”

Underscoring all of this — from the charitable good works to the increased focus on acquisitions and world premieres — lies Durling’s long-in-planning goal of teaching film fans. It’s a stealth system in which he provides movie access (often free) throughout the year. (In addition to the main festival, senior programmer Mickey Duzdevich programs the Wave, a series of small festivals during the year that focus on different countries’ movies).

“We have a huge local base of cinephiles here, and that basically helps us to keep teaching them about how to look at cinema, molding them into being even bigger cinephiles,” Duzdevich says.
“When I started the questions were ‘how much is your budget?’ and now they ask about panning from one side to the other in scenes, like ‘why did you do that?’” Duzdevich says. “If you have a shy director who doesn’t want to talk, our audience will get them to come out
of their shell.”

This egalitarian approach to a film festival isn’t completely unique, but Durling has been honing it so long it makes SBIFF stand out among the crowd. Sure, there’s the whole Hollywood element, including numerous movie stars, and it does provide a nice run-up to the Academy Awards later in the month. But in the end, Durling is a kind of evangelical cinephile himself.

“The experience of watching a film is not fully accomplished until you’re able to turn to someone next to you and ask, ‘What do you think about that?’” he says. “The moments I cherish most come from talking to total strangers about what they’ve seen, and recommending things.”

Related storiesFrance Builds as European Animation/VFX Hub‘Little Prince’ Takes Soumache and Rassam’s ON to Another LevelEuropaCorp, Toons, Comedies Drive Robust 2015 for French Exports

Get more from Variety and Variety411: Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Newsletter

Sylvester Stallone to be feted at Santa Barbara film festival

Los Angeles, Jan 27 (IANS) Actor Sylvester Stallone has been tapped by the jury of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival for this year’s Montecito Award.

The honour will be presented following a career retrospective on February 9, reports variety.com.

“Sylvester Stallone’s performance in ‘Creed’ has reminded us of what a true talent he is and what a joy it is to share in his successes as the many beloved characters he has created,” Roger Durling, executive director, Santa Barbara International Film Festival, said in a statement.

“Since he first hit the silver screen as Rocky Balboa nearly four decades ago, he has been a force in the industry both on film and behind the scenes. He is a true legend in our field,” Durling said in a statement.

The Montecito Award, named after a posh nearby community in Santa Barbara that luminaries like Oprah Winfrey, Jeff Bridges and Google’s Eric Schmidt call home, is annually reserved for “a person in the entertainment industry who has made a great contribution to film.”

Previous recipients include Winfrey, Jennifer Aniston, Daniel Day-Lewis, Geoffrey Rush, Julianne Moore, Kate Winslet, Javier Bardem, Bill Condon and Naomi Watts.

Other celebrities from this year’s awards race set to be honoured at the fest, which runs from February 3 to February 13, include Johnny Depp, the “Spotlight” trio of Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams, Alicia Vikander, Jacob Tremblay, Brie Larson and Saoirse Ronan.

Stallone is also nominated in the Actor in a Supporting Role category at this year’s Oscars, which will take place on February 28.

Santa Barbara Film Fest: 'Spotlight' Honorees Argue That Movies Can Make a Difference

Three of the principal members of the Screen Actors Guild’s best ensemble award winner Spotlight were honored with the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s American Riviera Award on Friday night at the city’s historic Arlington Theatre. Two of them, Michael Keaton and best supporting actress Oscar nominee Rachel McAdams, were in attendance for the celebration, while the third, best supporting actor Oscar nominee Mark Ruffalo, was a late cancellation due to a family issue (but sent a video expressing his apologies and appreciation).

It was an emotional evening in which the thesis of all involved parties — including SBIFF executive director Roger Durling, who moderated a two-hour Q&A that preceded the presentation of the awards themselves — was that films can change the world. This was supported by the fact that Spotlight, a film about Boston’s Catholic Church sex abuse scandal and the journalists who exposed it, had screened for the Vatican’s commission on clerical sex abuse. Additionally, Durling revealed — for the second time this week, after penning a guest column in The Hollywood Reporter — that he himself had been molested by a Catholic priest. He told the honorees, “I’ll speak for all of us survivors when I say, ‘Thank you for making Spotlight.’”

Also in attendance was the film’s co-writer/director Tom McCarthy, who presented Keaton and McAdams with their accolades; co-writer Josh Singer; producer Steve Golin; and the person who McAdams plays in the film, Boston Globe reporter Sacha Pfeiffer.

Read More: Vatican Commission on Sex Abuse Holds Private 'Spotlight’ Screening

McAdams, making her first appearance at the fest, was soft-spoken and talked only when necessary; Keaton, a Santa Barbara local who was also honored at the fest last year for his performance in Birdman, dominated the conversation, delivering answers that felt like jazz — all over the place, not entirely logical and yet endearing and amusing enough.

Why did the film work? Because, in Keaton’s view, McCarthy, after penning a tremendously researched script with Singer, assembled a cast of actors who are not only talented, but “who happen to have a consciousness about things” and a desire to do right by journalists who, in McAdams’ view, “were unsung heroes.”

The evening also featured clips of and discussion about the actors’ backgrounds and earlier work. McAdams credited 17 years of figure skating for her ability to do physical comedy in films such as Mean Girls, which Keaton confessed to loving, and Morning Glory (“I was a jock before I was an actress”). She called The Hot Chick her “hardest job” because “I had to become Rob Schneider” (and also because, it was implied, she does not like her looks to be the focus of a film — she said she gets bored having to be the “lovable ingenue”) and described making Midnight in Paris with Woody Allen — and reuniting on that film with her Wedding Crashers co-star Owen Wilson — as a joy. Oddly, the film that made McAdams a star, The Notebook, was not touched upon at all.

Keaton has a longer filmography, so much was excluded, by necessity. But the point was noted that he has twice previously played a journalist, in The Paper and Live From Baghdad, prompting the actor, a self-described news junkie, to discuss his appreciation for the people who bring him the news, as well as his sense that actors and journalists are somewhat similar, in terms of their innate curiosity about others. Also touched upon were the films with which he is most closely associated, Mr. Mom (McAdams admitted to developing a crush on Keaton after she saw the movie as a kid), Beetlejuice and Batman.

When the conversation zeroed in on Spotlight, obvious was McAdams’ reverence for fast-talking and whip-smart Pfeiffer, one of the relatively few “sympathetic characters” she has played, and Keaton’s for the reporter he portrayed, Walter “Robby” Robinson. As for the accolades showered on the film, McAdams said she learned of her personal nom while alone in a Los Angeles hotel bedroom early one morning — and “couldn’t stop laughing” because she was “just trying to comprehend it.” Keaton, who was not recognized for his performance, said of the film’s best picture Oscar nom, “I want to win it a lot” — it would be the second in a row in which he has starred, a rare feat — and added, “I don’t know [how] much longer I have, but I hope I can fool people a few more times.”

McCarthy, whose directorial debut The Station Agent played at SBIFF in 2003, said to Durling that he and his collaborators “applaud you for your courage” in coming out as a survivor. And, after describing his interactions with actors as his “favorite thing about what I do” as a director, he praised Ruffalo (“You won’t meet a better actor or a better person”), McAdams (“She was our heart”) and Keaton (“our captain … and a hell of a lot of fun”).

Read More: Why 'Spotlight’ Eschewed Scenes Featuring Reporters’ Personal Lives

31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2016 Press Conference #SBIFF

31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2016 Press Conference #SBIFF

External image

Don’t miss this! We’re three days away from the opening of the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Here’s an insider’s guide as Santa Barbara Mayor, Helene Schneider, kicks off #SBIFF 2016 Press Conference at Hotel Santa Barbara, local artist, Barbara Boros of Barbara Boros Art and Design, unveils the 2016 official poster while Executive Director Roger Durling provides a run-down of…

View On WordPress