Updating the 'Divine Comedy'

Few works of art can claim to be as ambitious, as inspired or as influential as Dante Alighieri's towering fourteenth-century trilogy The Divine Comedy. So it's either an act of totally pretentious hubris or of similarly inspired ambition for a modern artist/writer team to tackle a complete reinterpretation of Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso, as well as the now-classic Gustav Dore engravings that have graced printings of the volumes for the last hundred years or so.

Luckily for Marcus Sanders and modern artist Sandow Birk -- whom we blogged about yesterday -- their vision of a skateboard punk Dante wandering through a Hell, Purgatory and Heaven that look an awful lot like Los Angeles circa right now is at once funny, fascinating and retains enough of the original story's gravitas to work as literature, as well (despite the slacker voice with which the epic poem is told).

My favorite parts, however, are Birk's epic paintings, which the 'net hardly does justice:



Best of all, there's a movie version of the updated Inferno making the rounds on the film festival circuit -- and hopefully coming to a theater near you. It's "animated" using two-dimensional paper cutouts, illustrated on by Sandow Birk, which are staged in depth on a proscenium stage. It's like nothing we've ever seen! Check it out:

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Netflix's Most-Binged Shows of 2017, Ranked

Netflix might know your TV habits better than you do. Recently, the entertainment company's normally tight-lipped number-crunchers looked at user data collected between November 1, 2016 and November 1, 2017 to see which series people were powering through and which ones they were digesting more slowly. By analyzing members’ average daily viewing habits, they were able to determine which programs were more likely to be “binged” (or watched for more than two hours per day) and which were more often “savored” (or watched for less than two hours per day) by viewers.

They found that the highest number of Netflix bingers glutted themselves on the true crime parody American Vandal, followed by the Brazilian sci-fi series 3%, and the drama-mystery 13 Reasons Why. Other shows that had viewers glued to the couch in 2017 included Anne with an E, the Canadian series based on L. M. Montgomery's 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables, and the live-action Archie comics-inspired Riverdale.

In contrast, TV shows that viewers enjoyed more slowly included the Emmy-winning drama The Crown, followed by Big Mouth, Neo Yokio, A Series of Unfortunate Events, GLOW, Friends from College, and Ozark.

There's a dark side to this data, though: While the company isn't around to judge your sweatpants and the chip crumbs stuck to your couch, Netflix is privy to even your most embarrassing viewing habits. The company recently used this info to publicly call out a small group of users who turned their binges into full-fledged benders:

Oh, and if you're the one person in Antarctica binging Shameless, the streaming giant just outed you, too.

Netflix broke down their full findings in the infographic below and, Big Brother vibes aside, the data is pretty fascinating. It even includes survey data on which shows prompted viewers to “Netflix cheat” on their significant others and which shows were enjoyed by the entire family.

Netflix infographic "The Year in Bingeing"


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