oggi avvenne – Roberto Rossellini

Roberto Rosselliniwas born on the 8 May 1906, in Rome, Italy . He was immersed in the cinema from the very beginning: his father opened Italy’s first cinema and he grew up watching movies in his father’s movie-house. After an  apprenticeship as an assistant to Italian filmmakers, he his first film, a documentary, Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, in 1937. Close friend of Benito Mussolini’s second son, the critic and film producer Vittorio Mussolini, Rossellini’s art developed in fascist Italy’s cinema. When the Duce was deposed, Rossellini produced his first classic film, the anti-fascist Roma, città aperta (1945) (Rome, Open City) in 1945, which won the Grand Prize at Cannes and got two nominations for the script written by  Sergio Amidei and Federico Fellini. The success was followed by Paisà (1946) (Paisan) nominated for a screen-writing Oscar in 1950  and Germania anno zero (1948) (Germany in the Year Zero). Rosselini used to say: “I do not want to make beautiful films, I want to make useful films. […]I try to capture reality, nothing else.” : for this reason he often used non-professional actors, and shaped (adattò) his scripts to their life-stories. His way of making films was called neo-realism, a current he brought on (portò Avanti) together with Vittorio De Sica and Luchino Visconti, and the way of film making changed forever. They influenced  France’s nouvelle vague movement in the 1950s and ’60s, and even though (anche se) Hollywood was an example of “well-made” film, they were the Italian directors who once again put Italy at the forefront (avanguardia) of international cinema after the Second World War. American director Elia Kazan – who shot On the Waterfront (1954) –  and more recently Martin Scorsese – Taxi Driver(1976) –  admitted  they have followed Rossellini’s  example. Rossellini was also called in India to help revitalize (per rivitalizzare) that country’s film industry and continued to make films until nearly his death ( June 3, 1977).  His last film Il Messia (1975) (The Messiah), a story of The Passion of Christ, was released in 1975.