Thu, Apr 22|
Dante's Odyssey: An Apocalypse Now
Tales from an inner journey - A talk by Italian filmmaker Max Leonida (William Penn University)
Time & Location
Apr 22, 2021, 6:30 p.m. PDT
About the Event
From Orpheus and Eurydice, Virgil’s Aristaeus, Ovid’s Metamorphoses up to Homer’s Odyssey & to the over 50 other different versions of the journey of a man through the three Realms – Inferno, Purgatory & Paradise (including Bonvesin de la Riva’s Libro delle Tre Scritture) – the myth of a man who has to face an initiating and painful mystical travel in the afterlife is a recurring theme in the entire Western literature.
Dante was the first writer to depict human beings as the products of a specific time, place & circumstance as opposed to mythic archetypes or a collection of vices and virtues: therefore it could be rightly said that Dante has actually started all the modern fiction.
From that assumption comes the everlasting charm & the evergreen appeal of the adventures of Dante’s journey as a still powerful magnet that can everlastingly gain an incredible interest all over the world: from popular videogames (Dante’s Inferno) to cartoons & movies… the journey of a hero in Hell is still the most wonderful, modern & relevant story to be told.
Homer’s Odyssey (750 BC), Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy (1320 AD) & Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now (1979 AD) are more tightly connected than what we think: the concept of “νόστος” (nostos) that together with “ἄλγος” (algos) creates the sense of “nostalgia” or the unspeakable longing to an ideal & primeval place, the travel through our own fears & inner monsters as an initiating passage to a different level of knowledge & conscience, the tale of our earthly journey with all its madness, its pain and its pleasure… those are the key, immortal elements that keep the human’s Western narrative fatally tied to the concept of infinite journey.
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Italian filmmaker Max Leonida started very early (1992) to work as a writer, actor & director while he was studying Literature & Philosophy at the Catholic University of Milan.
In 1992 he gave birth to his first professional theater company, Compagnia dei 13, and in 1994 he founded the well-known Compagnia Teatro del Sacro.
In 1996 he founded, together with his wife Paola, one of the most prestigious performing art school, Accademia dello Spettacolo.
In 2001 he bought an industrial building & gave birth to his first private theater Teatro Estremo.
In 2003 he created with his wife Paola his first video production company, Astarox Srl.
In 2006 he flew to the USA, in order to sign his first deal with Sony Pictures & in 2007 he produced and directed his first feature film: Mandala. In 2010 he directed Backward that has been screening during the 63rd Cannes Film festival. The movie has been nominated and awarded at the 2010 International Salerno Film Festival.
Starting October 2011 he lives and works in Los Angeles (CA) & since then he directed several awarded American productions such as Beauty in the Broken, Memento Mori & A Very Lovely Dress.
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