• Bible Films Blog

    Looking at film interpretations of the stories in the Bible - past, present and future, as well as preparation for a future work on Straub/Huillet's Moses und Aron and a few bits and pieces on biblical studies.

    Matt Page


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    Thursday, January 15, 2009

    Rossellini TV Films on DVD

    Roberto Rossellini took one of the strangest paths any director I know has. Having almost single handedly popularised Neo-Realism with Roma Città Aperta (Rome, Open City) (my review) he eventually made a deliberate move to television seeing it as the ultimate medium (for reasons I forget). It was here that he produced a number of historical films including Atti Degli Apostoli (Acts of the Apostles) and Il Messia (download my podcast). It was a move that remains largely misunderstood by film lovers, to the extent that Wikipedia (and a good many contemporary accounts of his career) gets as far as his affair with Ingrid Bergman and then stops.

    Fortunately, the good people at the Criterion Collection know a good deal more than most, and they recently released a collection of his historical TV films on DVD. Sadly neither of the above titles are included, but as the collection is titled Rossellini's History Films: Renaissance and Enlightenment we can but hope that there might be a future series called Rossellini's History Films: The Ancient World (or something similar) which might also include his works on Socrates and Augustine of Hippo. Actually we can do more than that. Criterion have a "contact us" page with a specific email address for sending in suggestions. To which I will shortly be turning my attention. This is actually part of Criterion's Eclipse series.

    Thanks to Peter Chattaway for the link on this one. He also links to an article on this set by Dave Kehr at the New York Times.

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