In a surreal docu-fantasia of her father’s life, Isabella Rosellini conjures back to life some of the greatest movie makers of the 20th century to help her make sense of Roberto Rossellini’s celluloid legacy, 100 years after his birth.
Isabella Rossellini asked Guy Maddin to direct My Father is 100 Years Old after they worked together on Maddin’s feature The Saddest Music in the World in 2003.
‘I was really shocked when she asked me to do it because I’d be cobbling together really low budget, artsy-fartsy, solipsistic things and I even pegged myself about as far away from Roberto Rossellini than anybody could get.’
Since Maddin had something of a portly figure at the time, Isabella even suggested to him that he take on the role of Roberto’s stomach, from which Roberto’s voice was to emanate in the film. Maddin turned the role down as he was hoping to shed a few extra pounds by the time it was shot and roped in a musician friend instead. All the other parts were played by Rossellini herself.
‘As a person whose been paid to make herself look glamorous for so long, Isabella really enjoys de-glamorising herself. I think dressing up as Hitchcock thrilled her the most.’
Commentary recorded in Winnipeg, Canada. (CINEMA 16 – World Short Films)
Subtitles:German, Spanish, Japanese (all optional)