Rossellini, Roberto


Rossellini, Roberto
(1906–1977)
   Regarded by many as Italy’s greatest film director, Rossellini made his international reputation with a depiction of the resistance to the Nazi occupation, Roma, citta aperta (Open City, 1945). Shot on location in war-torn Rome, using a jumble of film types and with a cast of largely unprofessional actors, the film tells the story of the unsuccessful attempt of an underground leader, Manfredi, to elude the Gestapo. Manfredi is helped by a defiant group of Roman workers and by a Catholic priest, Don Pietro. Both Manfredi and Don Pietro are captured and tortured. In the moving final scene, Don Pietro is shot by a firing squad. Yet the message of the film is one of hope. From a distance, the children from Don Pietro’s church in the slums witness his brave death and walk down the hill from the place of execution to a city that will be theirs. The film is notable also for the performance of a brilliant actress, Anna Magnani, who plays the resourceful Pina, a pregnant slum woman who works, feeds a family, and aids the resistance with courage and good humor. The scene in which Pina is shot by the German soldiers who had arrested her lover is one of the most evocative images in the history of the cinema.
   Rossellini continued to work in the neorealist idiom, producing the classic films Paisa (Paisan, 1947) and Germania, anno zero (Germany,Year Zero, 1947). But Stromboli, terra di Dio (Stromboli, 1949) was criticized both by neorealist critics, for its unsympathetic portrayal of the Stromboli peasants and for its unabashed religious content, and by the Church, which regarded the film as the product of sin (the film starred Ingrid Bergman, with whom Rossellini had an affair and whom he married after she divorced her Swedish husband). Rossellini’s break with neorealismcame in 1953 when he directed Viaggio in Italia (Journey to Italy), a film about a prudish English couple whose relationship is threatened by the emotions they experience upon visiting Naples. The film’s overt religious content and taxing longeurs were excoriated in Italy. In France, however, Rossellini’s film, and all his subsequent work in the 1950s and 1960s, was greatly admired by both critics and filmmakers, especially Godard and Truffaut. Rossellini returned to popular and critical favor in Italy only in 1959, with Il generale della Rovere (General Della Rovere, 1959). Starring Vittorio De Sica, this story about a confidence trickster hired by the German occupiers to discover the identity of a resistance leader, but who ultimately rejects his paymasters and dies a hero’s death, won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and was a huge commercial success. In the 1960s, Rossellini was one of the first directors to experiment with the new medium of television. Between 1966 and 1973, he made a series of masterful historical dramas as well as a number of documentaries. When he died in 1977, he was regarded as one of the most original figures in the history of film.

Historical Dictionary of Modern Italy. . 2007.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Rossellini, Roberto — • РОССЕЛЛИ НИ (Rossellini) Роберто (8.5.1906 3.6.1977)    итал. режиссёр. Учился в Высш. технич. школе. Первые ф. снимал как любитель ( Послеполуденный отдых фавна на музыку К. Дебюсси, и др.). Был сценаристом. Затем пост. ф., восхвалявшие воен.… …   Кино: Энциклопедический словарь

  • Rossellini, Roberto — (1906 1977)    Director and screenwriter. Universally acknowledged as the father of Italian neorealism, Rossellini was born into a wealthy family and a privileged environment. His father was a successful builder architect with a love of music and …   Guide to cinema

  • Rossellini, Roberto — (1906 1977)    Director and screenwriter. Universally acknowledged as the father of Italian neorealism, Rossellini was born into a wealthy family and a privileged environment. His father was a successful builder architect with a love of music and …   Historical dictionary of Italian cinema

  • Rossellini, Roberto — born May 8, 1906, Rome, Italy died June 3, 1977, Rome Italian film director. He directed his first feature film, White Ship, in 1941. During World War II he made Fascist propaganda films but also secretly filmed anti Fascist activities. He used… …   Universalium

  • Rossellini, Roberto — ► (1906 77) Realizador cinematográfico italiano. Uno de los iniciadores del neorrealismo italiano. Películas: Roma, ciudad abierta (1944 46), Alemania, año cero (1948) y Europa 51 (1952), entre otras. * * * (8 may. 1906, Roma, Italia–3 jun. 1977 …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Rossellini,Roberto — Ros·sel·li·ni (rô sə lēʹnē, rŏs ə , rōsʹsĕ ), Roberto. 1906 1977. Italian filmmaker whose works, such as Rome, Open City (1945), employ fictional characters to depict historical events. * * * …   Universalium

  • Rossellini — Rossellini, Roberto …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Roberto Rossellini — et Ingrid Bergman en 1951. Données clés Naissance …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Roberto Rosselini — Roberto Rossellini Roberto Rossellini Naissance 8 mai 1906 Rome  Italie …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Rossellini — Roberto Rossellini Roberto Rossellini Naissance 8 mai 1906 Rome  Italie …   Wikipédia en Français


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