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Isabella Rossellini visits Eastman House May 1

Actress pays tribute to her father, Roberto Rossellini, to celebrate his centennial

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — George Eastman House welcomes acclaimed actress Isabella Rossellini at 7 p.m. Monday, May 1, as she pays tribute to her father – legendary director Roberto Rossellini – in honor of the centennial of his birth. She will introduce a short film tribute and talk with the audience. The evening will conclude with a screening of Stromboli, the once scandalous film that was the first collaboration between Isabella Rossellini's parents, Roberto Rossellini and Ingrid Bergman. Tickets go on sale Saturday, April 1, and are $15 general admission/$10 members and students.

Isabella Rossellini's visit to Eastman House takes place one week before her father's 100th birthday. She will present the Rochester premiere of a new short film, My Dad is 100 Years Old (Guy Maddin, Canada 2005, 16 min.). Made in collaboration with celebrated filmmaker Guy Maddin, Isabella Rossellini wrote this playful and personal short tribute to the cinematic legacy of her father, in which she provides the voice of her father and plays all other roles including David O. Selznick, Federico Fellini, Charlie Chaplin, and her mother. The feature screening that evening, Stromboli (Roberto Rossellini, Italy 1949, 81 min.), is one of four Rossellini/Bergman collaborations. In Stromboli, Bergman plays Karin, a Baltic refugee who despairs after she marries an Italian fisherman and is relocated to a bleak island with a threatening, active volcano.

A friend of George Eastman House, Isabella Rossellini is the 1997 George Eastman Award honoree as well as a former Eastman House trustee and tireless supporter of the cause of film preservation.

This year marks the centennial of a number of significant personalities in cinema history who were born in 1906 – John Huston, Janet Gaynor, Billy Wilder, Louise Brooks, and Luchino Visconti. In May the Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House has chosen to celebrate the centennial of Roberto Rossellini (1906–1977) with a film series titled Rossellini is 100. Roberto Rossellini is perhaps the most important name in Italian neorealism. Roberto Rossellini changed the way movies were made with the employment of non-professional actors, real locations, and realistic, often bleak, storylines about working-class people. Straddling the line between documenting and dramatizing historic events, neorealism changed the face of filmmaking.

When Rossellini met Bergman after she sent him a passionate fan letter, their subsequent affair and marriage caused a significant international scandal. The moral uproar over their romance prompted an unofficial boycott of the quartet of features the director and actress collaborated on between 1949 and 1953. In the midst this madness, Rossellini completed The Machine That Kills Bad People, a social and religious satire that has often been cited as one of Rossellini's very best. While many have speculated that his relationship with Bergman ruined his career, Rossellini made a significant number of acclaimed features for European television in the 1960s, including The Rise of Louis XIV, screening at the Dryden on May 25.

Rossellini Is 100 Film Series:

7 p.m. Monday, May 1
Isabella Rossellini presents MY DAD IS 100 YEARS OLD (Guy Maddin, Canada 2005, 16 min.) and STROMBOLI (STROMBOLI, TERRA DI DIO, Roberto Rossellini, Italy 1949, 81 min. Tickets are $15 general admission and $10 members and students. Advance tickets are available at the Dryden box office, the Museum's admissions desk, or by credit card online at www.eastmanhouse.org or by calling (585) 271-3361 ext. 218.

8 p.m. Thursday, May 11
CITY (ROMA, CITTÀ APERTA, Roberto Rossellini, Italy 1945, 100 min., Italian and German with subtitles) In Rome during the last days of the German occupation, the Nazis hunt for Giorgio, an organizer of the resistance. Pina (the magnificent Anna Magnani), a widowed young mother, hides Giorgio and seeks the aid of a priest to help him escape. Rossellini's seminal neorealist film straddles the line between documenting and dramatizing historic events and changed the face of filmmaking in Italy for subsequent generations. Federico Fellini contributed to the screenplay. Tickets at the door are $6 general admission; $5 students; and $4 members. For more information visit eastmanhouse.org or call (585) 271-3361.

8 pm. Thursday, May 18
THE MACHINE THAT KILLS BAD PEOPLE (LA MACCHINA AMMAZZACATTIVI, Roberto Rossellini, Italy 1952, 80 min., Italian with subtitles) One of the oddest and rarely screened films in Rossellini's filmography is also one of his finest achievements. A social and religious satire set in a provincial village, the story tells of an unusual demon who gives a photographer the power to kill the town's greediest and most self-serving citizens with a click of his camera lens. Soon, the impatient and contemptuous photographer begins to destroy everyone in town for the least infractions. Tickets at the door are $6 general admission; $5 students; and $4 members. For more information visit eastmanhouse.org or call (585) 271-3361.

8 p.m. Thursday, May 25
THE RISE OF LOUIS XIV (LA PRISE DE POUVOIR PAR LOUIS XIV, Roberto Rossellini, France 1966, 100 min., French with subtitles) In 1661, after Cardinal Mazarin dies, the young Louis vies for control of France with Fouquet, the embezzling superintendent who aspires to the role of prime minister. Made for French television, Rossellini's final masterwork reflects on the transience of power and the tension between worldly pleasures and the inevitability of decay. Tickets at the door are $6 general admission; $5 students; and $4 members. For more information visit eastmanhouse.org or call (585) 271-3361.


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