Rossellini was one of the directors of the Italian neorealist cinema, contributing films such as Roma città aperta (Rome, Open City 1945) to the movement.
In 1937, Rossellini made his first documentary, Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune. After this essay, he was called to assist Goffredo Alessandrini in making Luciano Serra pilota, one of the most successful Italian films of the first half of the 20th century. In 1940 he was called to assist Francesco De Robertis on Uomini sul Fondo.His close friendship with Vittorio Mussolini, son of Il Duce, has been interpreted as a possible reason for having been preferred to other apprentices.
Some authors describe the first part of his career as a sequence of trilogies. His first feature film, La nave bianca (1942) was sponsored by the audiovisual propaganda centre of Navy Department and is the first work in Rossellini’s “Fascist Trilogy”, together with Un pilota ritorna (1942) and Uomo dalla Croce (1943). To this period belongs… read more
Some consider the bourgeois woman Irene to be a secular saint. Deleuze describes her as "a mummy radiating tenderness." But, as she herself explains, "Love for others springs from the hate I feel for myself." This isn't a glib Italian sermon on Humanism, nor mystical union--she isn't a symbol or sign, but a unique artistic creation born from catharsis and guilt into one doomed to perform actions of love and respect.
I keep thinking Jeanne d'Arc meets Pickpocket - and that's the problem with archetypes right there. Rossellinis pursuit of more abstract aspects of social critique becomes clearer with this film, recursively, for Germania Anno Zero too. Still, something a tad too naive not to steal a smile keeps flimmering in the images.