Sunday, November 15, 2009

Isabella Rossellini

How do I love Isabella Rossellini? As the daughter of Italian film giant Roberto Rossellini and legendary Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman, she could have done practically anything. After stints on Italian television as a young woman, she became internationally famous as one of the most highly photographed models of her era. In 1986, while still appearing on the cover of Vogue magazine, Rossellini made the daring move of appearing as the abused nightclub singer Dorothy Vallens in David Lynch's epically disturbing film Blue Velvet. The film was a sensation, and Rossellini's brave and revealing performance was simply breathtaking. Since then she has appeared in dozens of films and is in the midst of a gorgeous and unpredictable long-term collaboration with Winnipeg film auteur Guy Maddin. She is a former trustee of the George Eastman House and was a 1997 George Eastman Award honoree for her support of film preservation.

One of her current film projects is the splendidly strange Sundance Channel series Green Porno, a series of short films about the sex lives of insects. She writes, directs, and performs one-minute shorts in costumes she designs. “I was fascinated by the infinite, strange, and ‘scandalous’ ways that insects copulate” she wrote in the recently published book of photos and stories which accompanies the series, also called Green Porno.

Rossellini will be in Seattle this Tuesday, November 17 as a guest of Seattle Arts & Lectures. She reads from her new book and talks about her work at Benaroya Hall at 7:30 pm.

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