Thanks to the wonderful world of inter-library loan, I was able to get ahold of a copy of the 1969 Ken Russell biopic about the life of Rossetti, Dante's Inferno. The film is going to be included in a retrospective DVD set coming out on the 23rd, Ken Russell at the BBC, but the price was a bit steep for me for just one movie. So until the DVD comes out and someone takes better screencaps, I took some photos of the screen to share the VHS copy of this film with you. The quality is poor, but clicking on the photos to enlarge helps.
As for the film itself, it was remarkable. Portions of it were rather melodramatic, and several of the people acted in ways that seemed rather out-of-character, but still, the film visually was amazing. The actors were impeccably chosen to resemble their counterparts, and it was obvious that the team making the movie studied old photographs and paintings with great detail, as can be seen below. However, the movie was stolen, I thought, by the actress playing Lizzie, who looked SO much like Rossetti's Lizzie that at times I had goosebumps on my arms.
Also, the integration of the poetry written by the PRB was quite good...it was interesting to hear the words of these poets spoken in context during moments that might have inspired the words.
Anyway, the pictures...lots of them, since there were many great shots.
My favorite scene...the PRB at Red House (at the actual Red House it appears!!) relaxing on the lawn, and being their "normal" selves. In this scene, Christina Rossetti reads a poem about the PRB aloud to the group.
Janey and Topsy.
Lizzie and Rossetti
Topsy. Part of me wishes they had gone further into the genius of Morris, but it WAS a movie about Rossetti after all....
Huh...apparently William Morris painted Isolde life-size on the wall of the Debating Hall before he even met Janey ;) (in the movie at least)
A great shot of the actor playing Ruskin posing for the Millais portrait.
The actress playing Lizzie had the perfect eyes for the role...she had those "heavy lidded" eyes seen in so many sketches.
I love this moment....Janey posing for Rossetti at Kelmscott.
If I went into photoshop and made this look like pencil, this could truly be a Rossetti sketch of Lizzie. Remarkable!!!
The actress playing Janey. Janey was probably my biggest disappointment in the movie. She was played like a total femme fatale with no real depth.
Lizzie sips her fatal dosage
Rossetti is haunted by both of his muses