Hollywood Inferno (Episode One)
2001, 40:00 minutes, colour, English
Set in the nightmarish world of suburbia, Dante is now an eighteen-year-old girl named Sandy (played by Alissa Bennett) who is a part-time mascot and candy store clerk. Virgil is a screenwriter. This modern day hell comprised of fluorescent lighting, saccharine soaked easy listening music and vicarious spectatorship – is an exploration of the perverse pleasure of beauty, power and cultural production.
As Virgil (played by Guy Richards Smit) speaks a hybrid language out of the pages of Penthouse/Artforum, he guides Sandy on her career path to stardom. As he leads Sandy through a world of demonic Furbies, Columbine models, and fire-breathing teenagers she becomes more and more seduced by the pleasure of spectatorship and her shifting definition of beauty. Like Dante, Sandy must learn to judge others while eluding judgment herself. This journey culminates in an introduction to a famous director and a dramatic scene of sisterly betrayal. The director (played by Kel O'Neil), imitates Christopher Walken while wearing a mask cast directly from the actor Willem Dafoe's face. His artistic diatribe that directly references George Lucas talking about "Star Wars" combine with Dave Hickey quotes from "The Invisible Dragon" further skews this character.
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