Roberto Rossellini

Roberto Rossellini – Anno uno AKA Year One (1974)

From Channel4.com:
Rossellini’s indelible career flagged in the late 1950s for a variety of complicated reasons, and after directing commercial films and an episode in Rogopag (1962) he abandoned cinema for television. Twelve years later and near the end of his life he returned to movie-making with this film. It’s a biopic of the postwar Christian Democrat leader, Alcide De Gaspari (Vannucchi), who was responsible for keeping the Communists out of power in the years that followed the fall of fascism. An extension of Rossellini’s documentary and historical reconstruction films, this failed both critically and commercially. Read More »

Roberto Rossellini – Il tacchino prepotente (1939)

This is an anti-Fascist short Rossellini made in 1940.
Quote:
La vispa Teresa was rejected and, although Ferrara said that Il tacchino was distributed by Scalera under its working title, “La perfida Albione,” there were no press notices, and no one outside of Scalera is known to have seen it. According to Ferrara, Rossellini told him it was a satire in which “Perfidious Albion,” a big turkey representing England, goes around pecking at the hens representing the nations of Europe, until defied by a rooster representing Italy. “Rossellini detested it,” said Ferrara, “[though his] genius was such that he could achieve extraordinary effects out of nothing. He used to tell me, ‘It’s the only time that, through my weakness, I made a work of propaganda.’” Read More »

Roberto Rossellini – Giovanna d’Arco al rogo AKA Joan at the Stake (1954)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

It was once said of Ingrid Bergman that she’d played Joan of Arc so often that she wouldn’t be satisfied until she was burned at the stake. Actually, nobody ever said that, but someone should have. Directed by Bergman’s then-husband Roberto Rossellini, Joan at the Stake is a nonmusical adaptation of the oratorio by Paul Claudel and Arthur Honegger. Essentially a glorified monologue, the film makes no bones about its theatricality. Bergman is impressive as always, far more so than the presentation. While not nearly as bad as its reputation suggests, Joan at the Stake was a box-office flop, principally because the torrid Bergman-Rossellini romance was old news by 1954. Read More »

Roberto Rossellini – Fantasia sottomarina AKA Undersea Fantasy (1940)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis:
Roberto Rossellini’s first film is a work of deceptive transparency. In its initial moments the film appears to be a documentary about underwater, even deep-sea, species. But soon after, the narration, in the manner of Cocteau, unleashes a powerful “dual reality” onto the images, imbuing them not only with a narrative logic, but a kind of magic. Read More »

Roberto Rossellini – Viaggio in Italia AKA Journey to Italy [+ Extras] (1954)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
Among the most influential films of the postwar era, Roberto Rossellini’s Journey to Italy (Viaggio in Italia) charts the declining marriage of a couple from England (Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders) on a trip in the countryside near Naples. More than just the anatomy of a relationship, Rossellini’s masterpiece is a heartrending work of emotion and spirituality. Considered a predecessor to the existentialist works of Michelangelo Antonioni and hailed as a groundbreaking modernist work by the legendary film journal Cahiers du cinéma, Journey to Italy is a breathtaking cinematic benchmark. Read More »

Roberto Rossellini – Dov’è la libertà…? AKA Where is Freedom? (1954)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis:
A barber, murderer because of jealousy, spends twenty years in jail. He cannot, however adjust himself to a changed world and to the hypocracy of his own relatives and decides to return behind bars.
— IMDb. Read More »

Roberto Rossellini – Era notte a Roma AKA It Was Night in Rome [Long ver.] (1960)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
In keeping with his previous film Il generale Della Rovere, filmmaker Roberto Rossellini pursues a wartime theme in this “personal epic” Era notte a Roma.
The film is set in Rome during the German occupation after the armistice on 8 September 1943.
The story concerns three Allied POWS, who escape from their camp and hide out in Rome. The trio is given shelter and aid by a beautiful young woman who deals with black market disguised as a nun, her partisan boyfriend and several other people.
The three prisoners (one is Russian, one English, one American) display a genuine warmth towards each other that probably is meant to reflect the three countries’ joint effort against Nazi Germany.
Just as the variety of Italians involved in their protection as well as in their pursuit seems to be meant to reflect the chaos and mistrust reigning in those dark days. Acts of courage alternate with acts of treachery.
For reasons that remain obscure, Era Notte a Roma was never initially given a widespread American release. Read More »