The adventures of Roberto Rossellini /
Tag Gallagher.
New York : Da Capo Press, c1998.
x, 802 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
More Details
New York : Da Capo Press, c1998.
catalogue key
Filmography: p. 689-707.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 708-775) and index.
A Look Inside
First Chapter

Chapter One


At ten minutes before one on Wednesday afternoon, May 8, 1906, Roberto Gastone Zeffiro Rossellini began a life of adventure, conveniently, in one of Rome's wealthier families. The Rossellinis, besides being debonair, gay, and fashionable, were bohemian, quixotic, outre, and always prodigal. It was entirely to one person that their fortune was due: the oddly-named Zeffiro ("zephyr") who, having no children of his own, had taken his nephew into his house and business, married him to his mistress's stunningly beautiful niece, and assumed the title of nonno ("grandfather") to their children. Appropriately, his name had been passed down to the first-born.

    Zeffiro Rossellini had risen from poverty. Born in 1848 of peasant stock and orphaned while young, he raised his brothers Luigi and Ferdinando while working as a bricklayer near Pisa in his native Tuscany. Around 1870 he moved south to Rome. The city was small then, with barely 200,000 inhabitants, and it stank of misery, with people living ten-to-a-room in certain districts. But a Piedmontese army, blowing a hole through the old Roman walls at Porta Pia, had just put an end to the Popes' thousand-year rule and announced the first unification of Italy since the ancient empire. Since the Romans were unenthusiastic, regarding the Piedmontese as foreign occupiers and "Italy" as some new-fangled concoction of the devil, the new government, to win their sympathy, began spending vast sums on spectacular, buildings. Forty thousand officials had to be housed in the new capital, a rail line was built to link Rome with the prosperous north, and masses of immigrants poured in from the impoverished south.

    Zeffiro became a contractor, gentrified his name from Rosellini to Rossellini, and rode the crest of the boom. In the next decades Rome's population would triple, land speculation would skyrocket, and new construction would bury the old baroque city beneath a new modern one. Zeffiro built railroads in Puglia and houses and office buildings in Rome. He was the first to stretch the city beyond the Aurelian walls into the Pacioli countryside, where most middle-class Romans live today. He was tall, imposing, and elegant, with a florid Umbertine mustache and terrifying authority.

    But to his "grandchildren" he was sweet and indulgent. Each morning they would troupe into his bedroom, kiss him, and get a fond smack on the cheek in return. They were awed by him. Nonno had even been a garibaldino . True, he had been dragged back home only a few days after running off to join Giuseppe Garibaldi's campaign of 1866. Yet he had worn, however briefly, the famous red shirt that the followers of the man who "made" Italy wore, and this shirt, for him, as later for Roberto, meant glory and freedom--Garibaldi's republican freedom. The "junk," as Zeffiro called the royal arms of the House of Savoy, was glaringly absent from the center of the tri-color flag he flew during World War I--letting it wave boldly from his carriage as he rode around Rome, and attracting not a few stares. He had gotten to know Garibaldi during the impecunious soldier's last years and would send him woolen socks, underwear, and money. Befriending the sons as well, he became Menotti Garibaldi's executor. Garibaldi memorabilia formed a shrine in his studio--letters, pictures, a sword, the famous boot shot through at the battle of Aspromonte, and most sacred of all, in its small round frame, a piece of the hero's beard. All through their childhood this relic held Roberto and his brother Renzo in thrall: one day, if they behaved, said Zeffiro, the beard would be theirs. Liberty was Zeffiro's religion and would be the leitmotif of Roberto's films.

    Zeffiro had built himself a large residence at Via Nerva, 1, in Piazza Sallustio, where Roberto was born, followed by Renzo (February 2, 1908) and sister Marcella (September 9, 1909). The palazzo marked the city's farthest limits at the time. Elegant Via Veneto lay a few blocks to the east, but a dirt cycling course could be glimpsed to the west and, beyond that, toward Porta Pia, vineyards and artichoke fields. "There were empty lots and gardens all around us, and wide sections of the Aurelian wall," Roberto recalled. "On the Pincio there were still goat herds, vineyards, cows, and dairies. The old quarters with their orange and rust-colored houses hadn't been torn down yet." The characteristic sound was not today's constant revving of engines but the occasional rhythmic clatter of horse hooves and carriage wheels along pebbled streets. Rome was renowned for its quiet.

    "Our home," recalled Roberto, "was full of happiness. And imagination. Unrestrained fantasy. My parents didn't try to restrain this fantasy. They encouraged it. Fantasy in everything, games of the wildest imagination. We weren't a traditional family. We didn't try to hold on to anything, not even our wealth. We spent immediately."

    Rome was a puritanically modest society. The nouveaux riches Rossellinis were regarded as eccentric. They enjoyed showing off their wealth, flinging their money around in a city of impoverished people. They displayed themselves in a rotogravure where their darling children, who had won a beauty contest, were gamboling naked on a bed. They assumed the mores of a noble house. Breakfast, dinner, supper, they kept an open table; people of all sorts--from Roman princes to impoverished painters--were free to drop by and eat even when the family was away. Roberto's father Beppino (ne Angiolo Giuseppe) often came home with a dozen unanticipated guests. Elettra, Roberto's mother, never knew who anyone was. "Sometimes I just couldn't stand it," she said, "and I'd run back home to my mother." For the children it was great fun and wonderful training for the future. "The house was always full of intellectuals and artists," said Roberto. "I never saw a businessman there. So I grew up in a rather special atmosphere."

    "Roberto had personality and agility," Renzo recalled. "As first-born he also enjoyed unconfessed but instinctive protection from our parents, especially from mama. He was brown-haired, with eyes as sharp as pins, all nervous, restless, aggressive, and volatile. I was just the opposite: blond, quiet, submissive, easily contented. For friend and plaything Roberto had me; for companion and despot I had him. My attachment to him was morbid. It was as though I took my first steps only to run after [him]."

    The boys had a battlefield in their playroom, with mountains, bridges, tunnels, shrubbery, and a railway all around, inaugurated in 1911 when Italy went to war against Turkey. Roberto had a wondrous sword; Renzo, twenty months younger, just a toothpick, and he had to be a Turk. Worse, Roberto would fire lead balls at him from a great big cannon, and Renzo had to fight back with a popgun and cork bullets.

    Roberto got what he wanted, always. For one period, he refused to go out without wearing a leash, because he had decided he was a dog. Elettra was helpless; the rest of the family followed in the wake of maternal submission. Once he had a tantrum returning from a party; he went rigid, threw himself on the street, tore his brand new clothes to shreds; and everyone stared helplessly. (Renzo tried the same thing, but Donato the butler just picked him up and carried him home.) On another occasion Roberto's desire for a stupendous rocking horse in the window of the corner toy store required a two-month campaign, and perhaps for this reason within hours of receiving it, he had torn off its ears and crinoline tail, and had turned its belly into a soup kettle.

    Roberto Rossellini would owe his success to tenaciousness and charm. He would chart the course of human history in terms of our innate impulse for freedom.

    "My mother was a housewife," said Roberto, "very near-sighted, very timid, and very funny. It was impossible not to get along with her." Elettra was tender but nervous, passing quickly from laughter to tears to laughter. When provoked, she'd administer little slaps, then smother them in kisses. She was still slapping Roberto long after he reached adulthood.

    "I was strongly attached to both my parents, but in different ways. Toward my mother I felt tenderness, toward my father, deepest admiration. He was an exceptional man."

    He was the only one to interfere with Roberto's tyranny. For example, Roberto, to get to sleep at the hunting lodge at Ladispoli, had established that each night the carriage would be brought out and harnessed; Aunt Fortu would mount up front beside the coachman and blow her hunting horn ( ta-too, ta-too, ta-too ), and off they would gallop into the night, whereupon little Roberto, in his mother's arms in back, would blissfully drift off to sleep. And all went well until the evening Beppino arrived unexpectedly, nearly rammed the horn down Fortu's throat and, hoisting and spanking the startled Roberto, hauled him off to bed.

    Yet, ritual morning kisses and special occasions aside, Roberto's father was seldom around. He had his business, a social life, and lady friends. Elettra, who had borne Roberto at seventeen, was eight years her husband's junior, virtually confined to the house by the semi-cloistered mores of the day, and utterly incapable of coping with her children. "We were all too much for her," said Marcella. Roberto agreed: "I still remember the prayer she used to have us children recite with her in chorus. She'd say, `Those mothers, those wives, who have suffered so many torments, Jesus, you who love them, help them in your mercy.'"

    Their daily care was relegated to Donato, the dozen servants, and a succession of governesses. Only at Sunday supper did the children eat with their parents, until they were ten or eleven. The father so admired was thus somewhat distant, and the mother so tender was slightly withheld.

    The result, in a child as demanding and undisciplined as Roberto, was insecurity and guilt. At seven he was still wetting his bed ("I perspired," he would explain). At six, he agreed to wear an angel costume he loathed in a church procession, on condition that he not be seen in it by his mother, but when he spotted her hiding behind a column, he ran sobbing to clutch her, then erupted in fury. He tore off his wings, kicked everyone within reach, shrieked and shouted, and had to be dragged outside. But he wasn't punished. Elettra blamed herself for breaking her word.

    Even when he was thirteen: "I have a vivid memory of the traumatic reaction I had the day my mother, a very gentle person, came home with her [lovely, long] hair bobbed." He cried for hours. Gentle Elettra had been caught up by the suffragette movement. She had a healthy, ironic wit, would eventually find a life outside the family cloister, and would leave her husband in 1926.

    The children, unaware of any unquenched needs, would recall their childhoods in heavenly terms. They themselves would become parents conspicuous for spasmodic eruptions into, but general absence from, their children's lives.

    The governesses represented a tapestry of languages. The first governess, Leontine Niaudeaux, was French and for this reason French, not Italian, was the first language the children learned and the language that was spoken in the family. "Allez, mes enfants," Leontine would say Although she used the elevator herself, she insisted that the children walk. (In contrast to everyone else in Rome the eccentric Rossellinis lived on the top floors of their huge palazzo and rented out the lower ones.)

    Then came Margaretha, a German. Beppino admired German culture and literature; but the language was quickly forgotten when the First World War began. "Mademoiselle," a Frenchwoman, came next; then an English governess, pale and terribly thin after her six-month escape from Russia's revolution; then soon after another English girl, Mabel, who so quickly succumbed to Roberto's charms that she learned Italian, but no one learned English. Among themselves, the children had their "secret" language.

    The butler Donato, an ex-soldier from Tuscany; personified professional pride and total dedication, according to Renzo. No Rossellini would ever expect anything less. Donato was paid 25 lire a month (four dollars in 1918) and never took an hour off. In white tie he served the elegant evening meal, then sat upright and impeccable in the hallway until Beppino or Zeffiro came home--often at two or three in the morning. Otherwise he devoted his time to the children. He took the boys to Villa Borghese where he taught them to ride bicycle and race hard; he gave them their baths, brought them home from school, told them stories, defended them against their parents' (often justified) anger, and, above all, taught them not to take life's difficulties too heavily to heart--though here, again, the judgment is Renzo's: others would say the Rossellinis took life's difficulties with inveterate hysteria.

    Donato's good humor left him prey to the boys' exuberance, but he never lost patience--except once. That occasion was the Royal Derby, the year's social highlight, which was all the more special in that the cloistered ladies of those days had few opportunities to sport themselves. Elettra decided to go by car--a show-offy display indeed. Cars were expensive: a good auto worker might earn 1,500 lire a year but a car cost 15,000 to buy and 10,000 a year to maintain. Only 7,000 cars were to be found in all of Italy. Of course the Rossellinis were among the first to have one in Rome, which had been Beppino's idea. Elettra preferred the carriage with its coachman and lackey, but for Derby Day it occurred to her that dignity might be maintained by placing Donato in the coachman's livery beside the uniformed chauffeur. The coachman was a small man, alas, and Donato, after squeezing into the livery, scarcely dared move lest he burst out of it. Roberto and Renzo teased him mercilessly at the track, pulling his tails and knocking off his top hat and kicking it around like a ball, and Donato, running after the hat, split open his pants. Still he clung to the dignity of his profession and, home at last, opened the door for Elettra with customary reserve. The boys merrily snatched apart his tails to show the burst pants and Donato, mortified to tears, ripped off the top hat, the white cotton gloves, and the liveried tail coat, and bashed them to the ground with blasphemy. The boys went into hysterics. Elettra, proper, refined, yet nearsightedly oblivious to all that had transpired, demanded, "Donato! Explain your vulgar behavior!"

    Even getting the car started was an adventure. Its chain transmission so wore out Fernando the chauffeur that a muscle-bound mason had to traipse over every morning from Beppino's workyard to give the "Fides" its morning crank-up. For the 25-mile drive to Ladispoli milk cans full of gasoline had to be loaded onto the rear--none would be found en route--and a good supply of spare tires as well. Astride this mountain perched Donato, a rifle slung on his shoulder. Elettra, her maid, Renzo, and Marcella sat on the back seats, Roberto up front. "Faster! Faster!" he'd shout every time they encountered a horse and gig. "Slowly, Fernando, go slowly!" Elettra would admonish from the back. Rare was the trip without a flat tire or two or three; replacing them was a dirty, exhausting job, for wheels could not be removed as today: tire and tube had to be manipulated directly on the chassis, after which the air pump, leaking everywhere when it worked at all, required four or five hands to operate. The Fides would boil over on steep hills, and everyone except Elettra would get out and walk behind. They wore raincoat-like coveralls, so dusty were the roads, and rubber goggles that left black residue on their faces for days afterward. Tasty snacks, when tires were being changed or the radiator cooling, made the long waits more endurable. Donato, with his gun, stood guard by the roadside for, in Elettra's opinion, it was at such moments that the brigands were most likely to attack.

    In reality no brigands existed. But Elettra--timid in any case and inspired in this instance by a Bartolomeo Pinelli print, The Brigands of the Roman Countryside , that hung at home--had convinced herself and her children that attack was imminent. She had heard a noise one night at Ladispoli when everyone was asleep. Tiptoeing to the window, she fired a hunting gun into the air and screamed, "Donato! Donato! To arms! The brigands are here!" Dogs, hens, and ducks awoke for miles around. A candle was found, guns were distributed to young and old, and an armed vigil was maintained till dawn.

    This small house near the beach of Ladispoli, to which Zeffiro's bizarre mistress Fortu had been exiled by universal decree, was the least of the family properties. A little south of Anzio was Circeo, an entire peninsula complete with a papal title, "Baron of San Felice Circe," which Zeffiro had contemptuously bestowed on his dog. Then there were blocks of land in central Rome, including a palazzo on Via Boncompagni where Elettra had lived before her marriage, and various three- or four-storied villas. The one at Ardenza, a fashionable sea resort, had a sober elegance. Another just south of Rome between Frascati and Grottaferrata so enchanted the children with its three acres of gardens, lake, and cane forest that Renzo named it The Garden of Klingsor and Roberto forty years later would try to lure Marcella to India by telling her it was "another Grottaferrata." Zeffiro liked to wheel and deal. He would build a new villa with great enthusiasm, then quickly get bored, sell it, and start another. In design, however, each was as unremarkable as the next.

    The children were aware of their advantages. From the top floor at Piazza Sallustio they looked down on the little paint store where their actual grandfather, Beppino's father Luigi, made a modest living selling paint to Zeffiro, his brother and only customer. Luigi lived a few blocks away, across Via XX Settembre, in a sad, dark, fifth-floor apartment with no elevator, no radiators, and a tin bathtub that had to be filled by hand. It was a typical middle-class home of the time, but it contrasted badly with Zeffiro's lordly splendor and modern conveniences. Luigi was a true bohemian; he asked little of life and enjoyed himself to the hilt. With easel, paints, and brushes, he would wander out into the countryside and lose himself staring at dawns, noons, and evenings. He painted for the love of it, in the bright, contrasty style of the macchiaioli , always landscapes with colorful birds in them, because Luigi was a passionate hunter and carried a gun along with his easel. Between shots, he would sketch canvases that for the most part he left unfinished. Optimistic, expansive, and pleasure-loving, he was also a diabetic. But dieting was impossible for someone who spent his day's happiest hours at table eating highly spiced country fare like spaghetti alla amatriciana with authentic pecorino, lamb or chicken cacciatore , and saddle of pork with raw broccoletti fried in oil, garlic, and red pepper. These were prepared by Natalina, a feisty peasant who ruled the house. She had served the family for 48 years (for five lire a month, which she never received) and called everyone I tu rather than the formal Lei (driving Roberto's mother up the wall). Luigi's wife, Giuseppina Benedetti, Roberto's grandmother, was an invalid who suffered through a succession of operations over many years and quarreled endlessly with Natalina in between. Roberto and Renzo, accustomed as they were to the refined service and precise etiquette on which their mother insisted, were embarrassed by Luigi's shabby surroundings and Natalina's way of putting the food on the table in big dishes and leaving everyone free to help themselves. They begrudged the second-class seats Luigi bought them at movies and the single mandarin punch they were given to share between them at the Caffe dell'Indipendenza afterward, where Luigi stopped to swap hunting yarns with other old men. But they cherished their grandfather's good humor, his long, wonderful bedtime stories (an inspiration for the stories Roberto would tell), and his zest at table. As he drank, he sang "Viva il vino spumeggiante" ("Hooray for sparkling wine") from Cavalleria rusticana , or a ditty that went:

Our fathers drank!

Our mothers drank!

We're their children!

Let's drink too!

Then, over pears and cheese, Natalina would come sit and listen, and Luigi would begin to recite Dante, at length, with wide-ranging tone and emotion, and eventually crying rivers of tears and drawing his listeners into his grief too, until there was nary a sound in all the room except sobbing.

    The play between fantasy and reality that so characterized the Rossellinis and that would haunt Roberto's films was typical of Italy as a whole.

    In the Italy of his youth, poverty was of stupendous proportions. Hundreds of thousands lived in caves or mud huts. Few of the women and children who constituted the bulk of the industrial work force and even fewer of the agricultural workers earned a living wage. Thousands died each year of malaria; many regions lacked drinkable water. Half the population was illiterate--eighty percent in parts of the south. Most people could not even hope for a job unless they left Italy. So eight million did, between 1871 and 1914--100,000 a year in 1876, 500,000 in 1901, 872,000 (or one in forty) in 1913. Italy was providing no opportunity for her people.

    Such facts were ignored. Segments of Italian society were as modern and prosperous as any on earth. Well-off citizens like the Rossellinis gave less thought to poverty than well-off Californians do to Alabama blacks today. Modern Italians were looking to the future. The new Italy was rising up around them. Why think about things that were shameful and humiliating? Haunted by centuries of foreign contempt, manipulation, and occupation, they sought to forge a national identity and to claim, in international affairs, the parity with England and France they believed they deserved. To achieve these ends, they recognized only dimly the need for internal development. Self-assertion and conquest abroad seemed more immediately important. "Italy must not only be respected," declared King Vittorio Emanuele II, "she must make herself feared." Prime Minister Cavour's final word on Garibaldi took a similar stance: "Garibaldi has rendered to Italy the greatest service that a man could render her: he has given the Italians confidence in themselves: he has proved to Europe that Italians can fight and die on the battlefield to reconquer a fatherland."

    Italian foreign policy followed a consistent course from unification through Mussolini; it was a reaction to the humiliating impression that Italy owed its unity to gifts from Garibaldi and Napoleon III. Thus in 1866, when Austria offered to cede Venice, Italy went to war anyhow, to conquer it. In 1911, when Turkey accepted an Italian ultimatum to cede Libya, Italy went to war anyhow, to conquer it. In 1915, when Austria offered to cede Trent, Trieste, and Fiume to keep Italy out of the First World War, Italy went to war anyhow, to conquer them. To assert herself as a great power was everything. Twenty years later Mussolini, too, would be unable to resist the call to glory.

    How many died to "prove" something to Europe? The glory was facade. Italy was no great power. She lacked natural resources, industrial production, capital, and an educated or disciplined citizenry. In Ethiopia in 1896 her army was massacred. In Libya her troops huddled in a few coastal citadels. In World War I more than 650,000 Italians were killed, half a million were mutilated, another million wounded, and 148 billion lire was spent--twice the total of all government expenditures since 1861.

    After so pointless a waste, glory would seem more important than ever and failure to achieve it would be blamed on foreign powers. Self-delusion was the kernel of Italian politics, in reaction to centuries of foreign occupation, papal repression, stultifying provincialism, military ineptitude, and economic powerlessness against the world-wide aggrandizement of England, France, and America. Hold on to your idea, it was believed, and you can achieve anything. Had not the Risorgimento--that "revolution of the disinherited, of the starry eyed"--shown this was true? Tiny bands of ex-officers, doctors, lawyers, writers, and students had pushed and pulled Italy into unity, against the desires not only of the Church and the landowning aristocracy, but of most of the populace as well. And these same starry-eyed leaders had been ruling ever since by virtual martial law, implementing liberal ideas with violent methods and seeing themselves as the historical agents for releasing the subconscious desires of the Italian nation. They were still ruling now. Mussolini would be their heir.

    In Germany it was the military establishment that had created the nation. In Italy it was the poets. Germany had been forged of steel, Italy of dreams. War would give their dreams substance, Italy's poet statesmen believed, and would bind and invigorate national character. Gabriele D'Annunzio, the era's dominant literary figure, evoked the Roman Empire and preached that Nietzschean-like supermen were above morality. "Man the prow and sail toward the world!" he shouted. Marinetti's 1909 Futurist Manifesto equally extolled conquest and power, preaching how poetry and violence spring from an identical impulse, how war is the world's sole purifier. Democracy, justice, the sacredness of life--these were degenerate idiocies concocted by and for the weakest and least worthy elements of society.

    (In America, the argument for entry into World War I was almost identical. War would "forge a national soul"; give birth to "a new religion of vital patriotism--that is, of consecration to the State"; imbue citizens with "a strong sense of international duty." War, above all, would bring about a "change in the whole attitude of the people." It would create a New America, one in which citizens would ask not what their country could do for them but what they could do for their country.)

    Philosophically Italy's leaders had started out as liberals and still called themselves that, although they no longer were. In theory they were slowly pushing Italian society toward a vision in which restriction of any sort was minimal, competition and "harmonious discord" were encouraged, and each individual might fulfill his idiosyncratic potential. This was the ideology that Roberto Rossellini grew up in, and that he would endeavor to propagate through his films by combining art with ideological agenda in the age-long Italian fashion. But during all the decades preceding World War I, the masses had been unfriendly and reactionary; a drag against progress. The Church was hostile and forbade Catholics to vote. Labor opposed any bourgeois government and refused all cooperation. Parliament was hopelessly factionalized and debated interminably without ever agreeing to anything. Thus the "liberals" ineluctably succumbed to the conclusion that liberty would have to be imposed through dictatorial methods, iconoclasm, and war--the techniques validated by the Risorgimento.

    In so polarized a society, government was possible only though trasformismo , a policy whereby opposition leaders were given seats in the ruling coalition and successive ministries were brought to power by slight shifts to the right or the left: it perpetuated a ruling class, accommodated moderate change, and avoided extremes (and it is still the rule in Italy today). But as the elite joined the power clique, they sacrificed their followers and principles to tactical expediency, left a residue of cynicism, and confused any clear conflict between alternative policies. Given the intransigent, permanently discordant nature of Italy's rival ideologies, politics, and class interests, such tactical expediency was a necessity and confusion of conflict was a step toward cooperation. But trasformismo instituted corruption and ineffectualness (also still the rule today), and created a parliament that was happiest when a strong leader came along to monopolize responsibility. Even wholehearted republicans like Garibaldi favored dictatorship out of frustration. Thus successive ministers--Cavour, Depretis, Crispi, and Giolitti--promulgated laws by decree and then had them confirmed retroactively by parliament (also still the practice in Italy today).

    At all times Italy's elite overwhelmingly deplored the ways by which policy was implemented. But few disagreed with the broad outlines of that policy and almost no one opposed the assumptions that underlay it. Thus Fascism, when it came, seemed, like Woodrow Wilson's quashing of free speech during the World War, a necessary expediency at a time of crisis. The Italy Mussolini would inherit was already functioning: a police state that was authoritarian and corrupt; a government that survived by manipulating defects and weaknesses; a population that was prosaic and pedestrian; a ruling class inspired by the highest ideals.

    When the First World War broke out, Italy stayed out, in accord with the desires of most of parliament and almost all of the public. Strident voices, however, demanded intervention. Sympathies sided with France and against Germany and Austria, despite Italy's nominal partnership with the latter in the Triple Alliance. In the Rossellini home, Beppino's pro-neutrality caused violent clashes with the ultra patriotic Zeffiro. Ten long months passed, with mounting slaughter in northern Europe and mounting pressure for intervention in Italy. Beppino was overheard whistling Wagner on a trolley and escaped a beating only by claiming (falsely) that he had been whistling German music in scorn. Finally Italy was thrust into the war by executive decree. Prime Minister Salandra and Foreign Minister Sonnino, succumbing to territorial bribes dangled by the Entente, deceived the cabinet, signed a treaty with England, and had the king issue a war decree. They mobilized violent street demonstrations, brought D'Annunzio back from France to excite war fervor, and, when parliament at last was allowed to convene, arranged for mobs to storm its buildings. Giolitti, the nation's leading politician, had opposed the war. Now the king threatened to abdicate and Giolitti caved in. National honor was at stake and effective opposition impossible.

    Italians flocked to the colors. "A great elan of patriotic zeal [shook] the entire city," Roberto recalled. "We were fighting against the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, we were going to free the irredentist provinces. Not a day passed without parades, speeches, and demonstrations, even in the school I went to. How could anyone resist such a wave?" Beppino was mobilized as an industrialist to construct air camps at Montecelio and Furbara. On occasional weekends he was able to visit his family.

    Roberto and Renzo, nine and seven, were all for war. At school the beadle would announce the end of class by crying, " Finis! Death to Giolitti!" and the children would march home chanting mournfully, "Down with the Austrian flag! Death to Franz Josef! Long live Oberdan!" (Oberdan, from Austrian-occupied Trieste, had tried to assassinate the Austrian emperor Franz Josef in 1870.) At home they set up their playroom battlefield. On Thursdays and Sundays they went off to a meadow near Via Brescia for military training with the "Young Explorers." When gawking street boys attacked with stones, the uniformed Explorers retaliated with broccoli-stick bayonets salvaged from the dumpings of a nearby market. Roberto's pugnacious grandmother lived across the meadow and would yell threats and curses helplessly from her balcony. (This was Elettra's mother, Amalia del Monte, a Roman from Anagni. She had separated from Giuseppe Bellan, a wealthy grain merchant whose French ancestors had established themselves in Rovigo, near Venice, during the Napoleonic wars. It was so that she would avoid her parents' quarrels that Elettra had originally been sent to Rome.)

    Zeffiro's other nephew, Eugenio (his brother Ferdinando's son), was 25, six-foot-three, a grenadier captain stationed in Tripoli, and frustrated. Feisty old Zeffiro had wanted this new war, but now he refused to listen to Eugenio's requests for help in obtaining a transfer to the Alpine front, where the fighting was. The war entered its second year, however, and the need for soldiers grew, so Eugenio got his transfer all the same. At dinner at Grottaferrata that May, Beppino was telling a story about Mascagni, when the doorbell rang, "signorino Eugenio" was announced, and the table fell silent and still. Beppino went to the door and returned. "Eugenio's leaving," he said softly. "He's here to kiss us goodbye." Eugenio walked in, smiling. Everyone else was close to tears. Beppino pouted some wine and handed him a glass. "Let us drink," he said, "to your health, to your glory, to our country's victory." Elettra started to cry.

    The children were still awake past midnight when their father got back from the station. "Go to bed," he said. "Eugenio's glad to be going. He's happy and confident. Italy needs soldiers like him."

    On Mount Cencio every foot of advance or retreat cost mountains of corpses and Eugenio lasted less than 48 hours. "I can still hear the howl of pain that erupted from nonno Zeffiro," wrote Renzo, who was eight at the time. "That a grandfather of that mettle could cry like that tells us something of the tragedy we passed through. I remember that elegant, austere, Umbertine monument of a man lying prostrate, while my mother laid cold compresses to his forehead."

    The casualties mounted by the tens of thousands. Rome's gas lamps were painted blue. Only women, children, and old men were to be seen. The beadle at school, with four sons at the front, grew meek and quiet. Fear and heartbreak replaced enthusiasm. Bread tickets became sacred documents, symbols of the nation's united effort. Then in 1917 Germany locked Lenin in a train and shipped him to Russia. They hoped he would undermine the government and he did. The Russian front collapsed, and fifteen German and Austrian divisions were shifted to Caporetto in Italy, where in October an offensive devastated the Italian army. One quarter of a million men were captured in twelve days; twice as many more were killed, wounded, or missing. The 700,000 who survived retreated precipitously one hundred miles to the river Piave. The German army was twenty miles from Venice. But the nation rallied as one, and the worst military disaster in modern Italian history was followed by its most heroic resistance.

    Renzo recalls how he and Roberto helped make socks and scarves to send up to the front, and ingegnosi --strips of rolled-up newspaper covered with wax, which burnt slowly and could be used to warm soldiers' mess kits. Then one evening Donato came home late, wearing a uniform several sizes too small. The children burst into tears. Even at 41, overweight, and one-eyed, Donato was in better shape than most conscripts from the South. Yet instead of being sent into battle or even out of Rome, he was assigned to valet a general in a nearby ministry! Well! It was one thing to lose one's best servant, the children's best friend, to Italy in her direst hour. It was quite another to lose him to a gentleman. Beppino befriended the general and an arrangement was worked out. For the next year, Donato's days were divided in two.

    In the summer of 1918 the army withstood a new Austrian push on the Piave, then counter-attacked and, exactly a year after Caporetto, won the decisive battle of Vittorio Veneto. The war was over. Rome's Via Veneto was renamed Via Vittorio Veneto. Italy had a victory at last.

    The Rossellinis moved twice during the war. They left Piazza Sallustio in 1916 for a temporary apartment adjoining the Hotel Carleton (which Zeffiro then owned) on Via Collina, just around the corner. Marcella woke up one morning there and saw the house walls across the street severing apart; it was the Avezzano earthquake. The new home was ready in 1917, constructed by the Rossellinis of course: a huge building at Via Ludovisi 16, just off Via Veneto. The entire block, including the Hotel Regina (across Via Veneto from the present American embassy), was theirs. Once again they lived on the upper floors.

    Beppino spent the postwar years in Venice. In partnership with a Swiss company run by brothers named Sleiter, he reconstructed the bridge over the Piave at Priula, rebuilt areas of Conegliano, Spresiano, and Nervesa devastated by the war, and in Padua built the model "Garden City" quarter. He fell madly in love with Venice. Each day, though exhausted at work, he would wander for hours in the city's narrow streets, and during his weekend visits to Rome would try to share his discoveries with his children. "The men of action of that time," wrote Renzo, "combined the religion of work with an intense spirituality, a renascent humanism that expressed itself in passionate love of art. ... The first time I went to Venice, I was shaking with excitement, so great was the spell my father had cast over me. But ... when I woke ... and saw the lagoon appear through the train window, the sight was more wonderful than any I've imagined before or since; I felt a sense of stupor, of magic, of enchantment."

    To be near Beppino, the family passed part of the summer at a villa on the Venice Lido. Elettra bore her last child there in 1922, Micaela, nicknamed Micci ( Mee -chee). Renzo also lived for a time with his father in Venice proper, where he became deeply involved with music; at sixteen he published the first of his many operas for Ricordi.

    Marcella studied art in Rome. She went each day to a studio on Via Margutta, accompanied by her governess, as custom demanded. (A young woman would no more go out without her governess than without her hat.) But musicians outnumbered artists at Via Ludovisi, for music was Beppino's primary passion, as well as Renzo's. The composer Mascagni was a family friend, Molinari, Respighi, Alfano, and Zandonai came also; and Marcella first heard herself addressed as signorina by Puccini himself. On Sundays, Renzo and Marcella, and occasionally Roberto, attended matinees at the opera. The new operas they usually knew even before their premieres, having played them at home on the piano.

    Roberto staged plays at home: mime dramas accompanied by piano or dramas of the French revolution. He adored fancy dress, and would take so long fussing over the wigs and costumes of his cousins Luisa and Renzo Avanzo (drafted for the occasion) that just as they were ready, it would be time to go home. The red velvet curtains in the hallway formed a sort of proscenium. Once Donato walked through them into a duel between Roberto and his brother, and Renzo's bamboo sword tipped over Donato's tray and hit him in his one good eye. It looked as though he would lose his sight entirely. Roberto took the blame and resolved to say 5,000 "Hail Marys" every night for a miracle. Donato's eye was saved, but not due to Roberto. He kept falling asleep before completing his daily quota and soon became hundreds of thousands of "Hail Marys" behind.

    To opera, theater, music, and art, Roberto preferred the movies. He went every day, often twice a day. He had a free pass to the Corso Cinema, which his father had built in 1918. It was the first large, modern movie house in Rome, the first with a roof that could be slid open on hot summer nights. Called the Etoile today, it was then the center of Rome's movie world. Douglas Fairbanks and stars from all over the world would come to see it when visiting Rome. Roberto met many of them. "So I saw it born, the cinema, I saw Griffith born," he said, when he was 66.

    Sometimes, using his pass, he'd take his whole class to the movies. Roberto and Renzo had transferred in the fall of 1917 to the Collegio Nazareno, a school for privileged boys run by the Scolopi fathers. Several of their schoolmates went on to distinguished careers: Giorgio Amendola a Communist Party leader, Guglielmo Ceroni a top reporter for Il Messaggero , Marcello Pagliero an actor and filmmaker, Giovanni Mosca a brilliant journalist, Sergio Fenoaltea an ambassador, and another a cardinal. Roberto, having flunked the year before at the Tasso School, was the oldest in his class by age but the furthest behind academically, and he scorned to wear the school's Etonesque uniform. He took Italian, Latin, and Greek (both written and oral), history and geography, French, mathematics, and natural history His grades were never better than the lowest possible for passing, and even these were obtained through charm rather than scholarship. A classmate, Franco Riganti, recalls him as lazy, perpetually dreaming, and distracted, but as more intelligent than most and fascinating even to his peers. In Roberto's opinion school was utter damnation. "Those years were absolutely wild, horrible, and cruel. It was so boring! I learned to sleep with my eyes opened and fixed on my schoolmaster." Paradoxically, though, he esteemed his teachers--Alberto M. Ghisalberti in history, Pietro Paolo Trompeo in Italian, and the famous Dante scholar Luigi Pietrobono, who, defying Croce, championed the poetic role of allegory in the Divine Comedy .

    Boredom inspired Roberto to miss school as often as possible. Ill health resulted in absences of long duration. He seemed prone to every possible disease. He caught malaria at Ladispoli, a mild form of cholera at Ardenza, got appendicitis at Bocca d'Arno in 1918, and that fall missed an entire trimester at Nazareno. The following winter, 1919-1920, at the end of a three-year influenza epidemic that claimed half a million lives in Italy--27 million worldwide--Roberto's lungs became infected. For three months the thirteen-year-old hung between life and death. Part of one lung was removed in an operation and Elettra, only 31 and at the peak of her beauty, vowed to the madonna to wear black all the rest of her life if her son were spared.

    He was and she did. She looked storming in black and permitted herself mauve as well. Roberto spent a year convalescing, missing two-thirds of the 1919-1920 school year and all of 1920-1921. Then he damaged his kidneys.

    This occurred at Cortina d'Ampezzo in the Dolomites, where the Rossellinis had been spending their Augusts since 1919. A popular resort today, it was an unknown region then, and Beppino took his family exploring in a chauffeur-driven touring car. The children were thrilled to see real snow for the first time. They saw shrapnel, too, and a skeleton uncovered by melting snow. In these Nibelungen valleys two armies had struggled for more than two years without advance or retreat. Now the dead of both sides kept company in numerous small cemeteries, where white Italian crosses stood beside grey Austrian ones. Here and there some crosses had messages written on them like "Mama, I'm here."

    In August 1921, Beppino and his children decided to climb a glacier that churned down a ravine between the first and second "Monk's Hat." Having driven to the tree line along a stream bed, they started hiking up a rocky stretch of ground toward the ice. The glacier had seemed close by, but it took several hours to reach it. Once there, however, enthusiasm sprouted wings and they leapt up along the ice flow.

    High up the glacier, Renzo, suddenly faint, stumbled, and started to fall. Although he caught his balance, he had startled ten-year-old Marcella, so that she fell almost straight down, sliding like a bullet 350 yards along the ice. Beppino tried to grab her, but she struck him in the chest, turning her feet-first and knocking down her father. He tumbled down too, along with a family friend, Sandro Ferraguti, whom the speeding Marcella also struck. She halted, finally, on rocky ground at the glacier's base and lay there bruised and bleeding, her clothes in shreds. Her first thought was to see if her watch was still running. It was. Ferraguti landed half conscious in a snow bank. Beppino came to rest gracefully and unhurt beside his daughter.

    Meanwhile, up on the glacier, thirteen-year-old Renzo looked down and, only now aware of the terrifying height, began to tremble. Roberto, ever resourceful, started using his hands, walking stick, and heels to carve out a niche for himself, and Renzo tried to imitate him. He put his foot on a soft spot, however, and felt himself falling, but was grabbed just in time by the remaining member of the party, a banker from Padua, who held onto him tightly. And like that they stayed the next four hours: Roberto in his niche, Renzo fastened to the banker, Marcella and Ferraguti down below. Only Beppino was able to move. Shouting instructions to wait, he went off for help toward a mountain refuge he suspected was not too far away. They could hear his strong voice echoing through the valleys as he disappeared, "Help! Help!" Then for an eternity there was silence.

    Back at the car, the chauffeur had woken from a nap, started to worry, and went looking for the family. He found Marcella at the base of the glacier, bleeding and turning blue from the cold, and carried her in his arms to the car, where he revived her by vigorous massage with gasoline. Roberto, Renzo, and the banker, however, waited amid growing desperation until two guides arrived from the refuge.

    It was late when they got back to Corrina, where Elettra was waiting. Marcella was cut badly, all had frozen fingers and sunburnt faces. "Let's sing," said Beppino, "and hide our misery."

    Roberto was back in school that fall, but with weakened kidneys and persistent pleurisy.

    In adulthood, physical effects from his adolescent illnesses did not linger; in fact, he was almost never sick at all. But mentally, sickness was a catalyst whereby character traits already present were amplified.

    Sickness encouraged his love of indulgence. It was nice to miss school, to stroll in the mountains where doctors sent him for his lungs, and to have nothing he had to do. "I remember those days as extraordinarily happy. Taken care of by everyone, babied by everyone, I got along just fine. It was a very fertile period for me from every point of view. It gave my life a new orientation." But such indulgence made the spoiled boy a spoiled man, one who flew into blind rages when frustrated, one who was sporadically disabled by overpowering headaches (which, it seems, were psychosomatic in origin, although never treated as such). Yet if Rossellini had not had so absolute, so infantile a need to get his way, could he have succeeded in making the films he did?

    Sickness encouraged insecurity. He became a lifelong hypochondriac; his bedside was lined with dozens of little bottles of medicine, all of which travelled with him in a special little suitcase wherever he went; and every year he had a blood transfusion. His hypochondria had a positive side, though. It contributed to his generosity--which was extraordinary in any case, singularly so in one so self-indulgent--toward anyone ill or grieving. It was natural for him to spend the night with a school friend who had lost his parents, or to buy Marcella another dog when Ior, her little Pekinese, died, and to stay up all night with her telling her stories: Ior would surely be reincarnated, he explained, and come back as a man, and one day she might marry him. Roberto had a strong, open energy and people instinctively turned to him in a crisis.

    Sickness encouraged consciousness of death. Death would be a dominant motif in his films: heroes would die and stare at death in virtually every one, and his famous "neo-realism" would evoke sensation of the precious precariousness of each fleeting moment. Off screen Roberto's nervousness was amplified. Boredom became intolerable. Life had to be challenged, attacked every instant, with reckless speed in a Ferrari, with profligate spending, with unrestrained sexuality, with artistic ambitions as monumental as they were impractical. Thus he accomplished monuments. Obstacles erected by others were rarely as awesome as the fear of the void that impelled him forward. The mere threat of dulled consciousness terrified him: he rarely drank, not even wine; dentists, he claimed, had to give him extra doses of Novocain to overcome his automatic rejection of numbness of any kind.

    Roberto's manic search for security required constant refreshment. His addiction to bed became legendary. Convalescence encouraged his penchant for lying in bed two or three days at a stretch, reading Dumas, Verne, Salgari, Stendhal, Balzac, Dostoyevsky, and Tolstoy. Home meant family and servants who would do his bidding, and baby and mother him. "And so my brother Roberto set off on a great adventure," wrote Renzo in early childhood, inside the cover of The Great Explorers , their favorite book. "He took along everything he might need. And when he got to the doorman, he cried and came back home."

Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1999-06-01:
In this first extensive biography of Rossellini, Gallagher provides a masterful study of a difficult and important subject. Director of 1940s neorealist classics like Open City, Paisan, and Stromboli, Rossellini went on to make such varied productions as General Della Rovers, The Rise of Louis XIV, and The Messiah. His filmmaking background started with the fascists, swung to the Left, then swung to the Right, with the result that both communists and Christian Democrats claimed him as one of their own at his funeral ceremony. Rossellini frequently misrepresented himself in order to obtain a temporary advantage, and he captured Ingrid Bergman's heart as well. Many directors were influenced by ideologies of the postwar era--e.g., as De Sica, Antonioni, Visconti, Fellini--so Gallagher is to be commended for his extensive research, interviewing skills, and critical perspective. His two chapters on neorealism are a joy to read. His extensive notes, filmography, select bibliography, and 24-page index will prove useful to the serious researcher; upper-division undergraduates may also find this volume valuable. R. Blackwood City Colleges of Chicago
Appeared in Library Journal on 1998-11-15:
In the period immediately following World War II, Roberto Rossellini burst onto the Italian cinema scene with raw, captured reality in "neorealist" classics like Open City and Paisan. A few years later Rossellini and Ingrid Bergman scandalized the world by having a child out of wedlock. Rossellini's philandering and the pair's conflicting temperaments eventually cooled the affair. Meanwhile, Rossellini endured the paradox of being best known for war-related films in a country trying to forget the war. Gallagher (John Ford: The Man and His Films, LJ 4/1/86) reviews the adventures of a man he calls a "tangle of contrasts," covering his difficult relationships with producers, director Federico Fellini, Open City star Anna Magnani, and, of course, Bergman. The book is generally well organized and presented, despite a wearying amount of detail and a lengthy, jarring meditation on neorealism that intrudes on the narrative. Recommended for large international film collections.‘Stephen Rees, Levittown Regional Lib., PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1998-10-26:
Gallagher, the author of John Ford: The Man and His Films, spent 15 years researching and writing this biography of Italian director Roberto Rossellini (1906-1977). In 1945, Rossellini's early film Open City ushered in neorealism, a profoundly influential movement in European filmmaking that eschewed standard Hollywood "entertainments" for something rawer, more naturalistic. A valuable source for film scholars, this book extensively documents the making and critical reception of Rossellini's films, as well as the political and religious turmoil of the era that spawned them. Although Gallagher's extensive film critiques may be more than the general reader really wants, there's also plenty of fascinating personal detail. The filmmaker's tumultuous liaison with actress Anna Magnani is amusingly portrayed, and then there is the infamous affaire Bergman. Rossellini bet a friend he could have the world's most famous actress "in bed within two weeks" after he met her. He evidently won the bet, and scandal ensued when she left her dentist husband to live with Rossellini and to make Stromboli (1949), the first of the commercial and critical disasters that the couple endured before their marriage ended in 1958. Gallagher has combined probing insights into a flamboyant man with a prodigiously researched and footnoted analysis of an iconoclastic filmmaker, whom François Truffaut called "the father of the New Wave." 107 illustrations not seen by PW. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, October 1998
Library Journal, November 1998
Booklist, December 1998
New York Times Book Review, February 1999
Choice, June 1999
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Bowker Data Service Summary
This biography of Roberto Rossellini includes investigations into the making and reception of his films, as well as interviews with characters such as Vittorio Mussolini and the producer of Stromboli, Howard Hughes.
Main Description
Roberto Rossellini (1906-1977)--movie-maker, bon vivant, and passionate intellectual--was the key figure of Italian neo-realism, the godfather of the French New Wave, and a television pioneer; the maker of such classics as Open City, Paisan, Stromboli, Flowers of St. Francis, Voyage in Italy, and Louis XIV; Anna Magnani's lover; Ingrid Bergman's husband; and Isabella Rossellini's father. Continually enmeshed in controversy, perhaps no other figure in the history of world cinema has been so reviled--and so revered. Tag Gallagher's masterful biography of Rossellini, the first in any language, was fifteen years in the making. It is the result of assiduous research, lengthy interviews with almost everyone who knew him, and investigations into the making and reception of his films. The cast ofcharacters includes Vittorio Mussolini, Il Duce's son and Rossellini's Fascist-era producer; Howard Hughes, who produced Stromboli and then, in a fit of jealousy over Ingrid Bergman, butchered its American release; and dozens of other people. Combining a portrait of a dynamic and daring man with brilliant discussions of his work, Tag Gallagher tells a story as rich and moving as Rossellini's miraculous films.
Main Description
Roberto Rossellini (19061977)movie-maker, bon vivant, and passionate intellectualwas the key figure of Italian neo-realism, the godfather of the French New Wave, and a television pioneer; the maker of such classics as Open City, Paisan, Stromboli, Flowers of St. Francis, Voyage in Italy, and Louis XIV; Anna Magnani's lover; Ingrid Bergman's husband; and Isabella Rossellini's father. Continually enmeshed in controversy, perhaps no other figure in the history of world cinema has been so reviledand so revered. Tag Gallagher's masterful biography of Rossellini, the first in any language, was fifteen years in the making. It is the result of assiduous research, lengthy interviews with almost everyone who knew him, and investigations into the making and reception of his films. The cast of characters includes Vittorio Mussolini, Il Duce's son and Rossellini's Fascist-era producer; Howard Hughes, who produced Stromboli and then, in a fit of jealousy over Ingrid Bergman, butchered its American release; and dozens of other people. Combining a portrait of a dynamic and daring man with brilliant discussions of his work, Tag Gallagher tells a story as rich and moving as Rossellini's miraculous films.
Main Description
Roberto Rossellini (19061977)movie-maker, bon vivant, and passionate intellectualwas the key figure of Italian neo-realism, the godfather of the French New Wave, and a television pioneer; the maker of such classics asOpen City, Paisan, Stromboli, Flowers of St. Francis, Voyage in Italy,andLouis XIV;Anna Magnani's lover; Ingrid Bergman's husband; and Isabella Rossellini's father. Continually enmeshed in controversy, perhaps no other figure in the history of world cinema has been so reviledand so revered. Tag Gallagher's masterful biography of Rossellini, the first in any language, was fifteen years in the making. It is the result of assiduous research, lengthy interviews with almost everyone who knew him, and investigations into the making and reception of his films. The cast of characters includes Vittorio Mussolini, Il Duce's son and Rossellini's Fascist-era producer; Howard Hughes, who producedStromboliand then, in a fit of jealousy over Ingrid Bergman, butchered its American release; and dozens of other people. Combining a portrait of a dynamic and daring man with brilliant discussions of his work, Tag Gallagher tells a story as rich and moving as Rossellini's miraculous films.
Unpaid Annotation
Roberto Rosselllini (1906-1977) -- movie-maker, bon vivant, and passionate intelllectual -- was the key figure of Italian neorealismm, the godfather of the French New Wave, and a television of such classics as Open City, Paisan, Stromboli, Flowers of St. Francis, Voyage in Italy, and Louis XIV; Anna Magnani's lover, Ingrid Bergman's husband, and Isabella Rossellini's father. Continually enmeshed in controversy, perhaps no other figure in the history of world cinema has been so reviled -- and so revered.Tag Gallagher's masterful biography of Rossellini, the first in any language, has been fifteen years in the making. It is the result of assiduous research, lengthy interviews with almost everyone who knew him, and investigations into the making and reception of his films. The cast of characters includes Vittorio Mussolini, Il Duce's son and Rossellini's Fascist-era producer; Howard Hughes, who produced Stromboli and then, in a fit of jealousy over Ingrid Bergman, butchered its American release; and dozens of other people. Combining a portrait of a dynamic and daring man with brilliant discussions of his work, Tag Gallagher tells a story as rich and moving as Rossellini's miraculous films.
Unpaid Annotation
The Italian neo-realist director & husband of Ingrid Bergman is portrayed in the words of those who knew him & an in-depth analysis of his films.
Table of Contents
Fantasyp. 1
Youthp. 17
Passing Timep. 35
Finally Workingp. 46
The War Trilogy: La nave bianca, Un pilota ritorna, L'uomo dalla crocep. 59
World War II Comes Homep. 89
Open Cityp. 115
Paisap. 180
Slopes of Hope: Una voce umana, Deutschland im Jahre Null, Il miracolop. 228
Neo-realism = mc[superscript 2] (Some Theory)p. 266
Debacles: La macchina ammazzacattivip. 281
Neo-realism = [infinity] (Some More Theory)p. 293
Land of Godp. 308
God's Jesterp. 340
Europe '51p. 367
Voyage in Italyp. 396
At the Stake: Giovanna d'Arco al rogo, Fearp. 417
The Great Motherp. 465
Bottom Up: Il generale Della Roverep. 497
Poet Laureate: Era notte a Roma, Viva l'Italiap. 517
"The Cinema Is Dead" but Where Is Chastity? Vanina Vanini, Anima nera, The Iron Agep. 538
La Prise de pouvoir par Louis XIVp. 569
A New Cinematic Language: Acts of the Apostlesp. 581
Socrates (Trilogy of Desiccation I)p. 599
Blaise Pascal (Trilogy of Desiccation II)p. 622
The Age of the Medicip. 635
Cartesius (Trilogy of Desiccation III)p. 648
Anno uno and The Messiahp. 661
The Endp. 676
Filmographyp. 689
Notesp. 708
Select Bibliographyp. 772
Acknowledgmentsp. 776
Indexp. 778
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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