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‘Who is this Ingrid Bergman?’

Gilberto Perez: Stroheim and Rossellini, 14 December 2000

Stroheim 
by Arthur Lennig.
Kentucky, 514 pp., £25, December 1999, 0 8131 2138 8
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The Adventures of Roberto Rossellini 
by Tag Gallagher.
Da Capo, 802 pp., £16.95, October 1998, 0 306 80873 0
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... realism since the Second World War flourished in Italy. With Open City (1945) and Paisan (1946) Roberto Rossellini ushered in the movement that came to be known as neo-realism. Unlike Stroheim’s, his is not a realism of meaning but of reticence, of the refusal to compel reality into sense. Tag Gallagher’s biography of ...

As time goes by

Brenda Maddox, 2 July 1981

Ingrid Bergman: My Story 
by Ingrid Bergman and Alan Burgess.
Joseph, 480 pp., £9.50, November 1980, 0 7181 1946 0
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... referring to the world-shattering scandal of 1948, when she bolted Hollywood to run off with Roberto Rossellini, leaving her husband (a Swedish doctor), her young daughter and her place as the world’s most successful and virtuous film star. It couldn’t, could it? she pleads winsomely. Certainly many of the elements in the Bergman-...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Journey to Italy’, 6 June 2013

Journey to Italy 
directed by Roberto Rossellini.
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... The two characters at the centre of Rossellini’s Journey to Italy, seen in a restored print at the BFI Southbank, are so nasty to each other in their half-polite way that you long for them to flare up, throw things, become violent, turn the film into the melodrama it seems to want to be. They don’t, though. When they agree to divorce it’s as if they were ordering a meal in a restaurant they don’t like; and when they embrace at the end of the movie in a notional reconciliation, a rediscovery of their supposed affection for each other, it’s even worse ...

A Particular Way of Looking

J. Hoberman: NeoRealismo, 19 November 2019

NeoRealismo: The New Image in Italy 1932-60 
edited by Enrica Viganò.
Prestel, 349 pp., £49.99, September 2018, 978 3 7913 5769 0
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... role. The Surrealists were great, if eccentric, cinephiles, but the leading Neorealists – Roberto Rossellini, Luchino Visconti and Vittorio De Sica – were professional filmmakers. The novelist Cesare Pavese went so far as to compare De Sica, perhaps ironically, with Thomas Mann, as the author of a national narrative. Had movies superseded ...

A Kind of Slither

Michael Wood: Woody Allen, 27 April 2000

The Unruly Life of Woody Allen 
by Marion Meade.
Weidenfeld, 384 pp., £20, February 2000, 0 297 81868 6
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... The allusion is to the American public’s surprise when it learned of Bergman’s affair with Roberto Rossellini, but the very idea of a Bergman among comedians is outlandish, in part, of course, because none of this is true: many people thought Allen was funny, but no one imagined he was a saint, or cared whether he was or not – and in part ...

Pink and Bare

Bee Wilson: Nicole Kidman, 8 February 2007

Nicole Kidman 
by David Thomson.
Bloomsbury, 311 pp., £18.99, September 2006, 0 7475 7710 2
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... decision to give up a lucrative Selznick contract ‘to go to Italy to make a film with Roberto Rossellini, because she believed in his startling neo-realist ways’. Unlike Bergman, though, Kidman is not ‘a wreck through and through’. She ‘is a cover girl, too, and someone who should know that whenever a film earns just $150,000, it ...

Dishevelled

Wayne Koestenbaum: Tennessee Williams, 4 October 2007

Tennessee Williams: Notebooks 
edited by Margaret Bradham Thornton.
Yale, 828 pp., £27.50, February 2007, 978 0 300 11682 3
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... brings his ‘sore ass’ into linguistic contiguity with his dinner companions Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini: ‘Bergman-Rossolini [sic] rushes – disappointing – sore ass – we all went to Quirinale afterwards. Nobody even seemed to notice Ingrid was there – May leave for Capri tomorrow if the condition of my ass hole permits – Wrote a ...

Home’s for suicides

Lucie Elven: Alfred Hayes’s Hollywood, 18 July 2019

The Girl on the Via Flaminia 
by Alfred Hayes.
Penguin, 151 pp., £7.99, August 2018, 978 0 241 34232 9
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My Face for the World to See 
by Alfred Hayes.
Penguin, 119 pp., £7.99, May 2018, 978 0 241 34230 5
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In Love 
by Alfred Hayes.
Penguin, 120 pp., £7.99, January 2018, 978 0 241 30713 7
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... Italian and made friends with a group of screenwriters that included Klaus Mann, Fellini and Roberto Rossellini. Between shifts showing soldiers round the museums, they would work on movie scripts at black-market trattorias. By some accounts, Hayes collaborated on the screenplay of Bicycle Thieves and he certainly wrote one section of the screenplay ...

Diary

Iain Sinclair: London’s Lost Cinemas, 6 November 2014

... Anna Magnani, who set up the production as a spoiler against Stromboli (which her former lover, Roberto Rossellini, was shooting on a neighbouring rock with Ingrid Bergman), were challenged. The screening at the Italian Cultural Institute, attended by Muriel Walker, who had been part of the production, and who brought a spellbinding sense of ...

The Raging Peloton

Iain Sinclair: Boris Bikes, 20 January 2011

... chronicle of not-saying, arcane rituals of grazing and trouser-changing unmatched since Roberto Rossellini made The Taking by Power by Louis XIV for French television. Triggered by an archive clip of his maternal grandfather, Herbert Morrison, another ennobled socialist cabinet minister, Mandelson launched into a memoir of cycling around ...

I Could Sleep with All of Them

Colm Tóibín: The Mann Family, 6 November 2008

In the Shadow of the Magic Mountain: The Erika and Klaus Mann Story 
by Andrea Weiss.
Chicago, 302 pp., £14.50, May 2008, 978 0 226 88672 5
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... at sea in the new Germany. Klaus began to work in films, collaborating briefly and painfully with Roberto Rossellini. Someone who worked with him in these years said: ‘He was a restless man. He had so many ideas and so much energy . . . I don’t think he could sit still for two minutes. He had a cigarette perpetually in his mouth and was in constant ...

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