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Roberto Rossellini's War Trilogy

Spine #500

Jul 11, 2017

Number of Discs: 1

  • 1.33:1 Standard
  • 1.37:1 Standard
  • Italian PCM Mono
  • English subtitles

Roberto Rossellini's War Trilogy

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Original release

Directed By: Roberto Rossellini
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Roberto Rossellini is one of the most influential filmmakers of all time. And it was with his trilogy of films made during and after World War II—Rome Open City, Paisan, and Germany Year Zero—that he left his first transformative mark on cinema. With their stripped-down aesthetic, largely nonprofessional casts, and unorthodox approaches to storytelling, these intensely emotional works were international sensations and came to define the neorealist movement. Shot in battle-ravaged Italy and Germany, these three films are some of our most lasting, humane documents of devastated postwar Europe, containing universal images of both tragedy and hope.

  • Video introduction by Roberto Rossellini from 1963
  • Audio commentary featuring film scholar Peter Bondanella
  • Once Upon a Time . . . “Rome Open City,” a 2006 documentary on the making of this historic film, featuring rare archival material and footage of Anna Magnani, Federico Fellini, Ingrid Bergman, and many others
  • New video interviews with Rossellini scholar Adriano Aprà
  • Rossellini and the City, a new visual essay by film scholar Mark Shiel (Italian Neorealism: Rebuilding the Cinematic City) on Rossellini’s use of the urban landscape in the war trilogy
  • New video interview with film critic and Rossellini friend Father Virgilio Fantuzzi, who discusses the filmmaker and the role of religion in Rome Open City
  • Video introduction by Roberto Rossellini from 1963
  • New video interview with Rossellini scholar Adriano Aprà
  • Excerpts from rarely seen videotaped discussions Roberto Rossellini had in 1970 with faculty and students at Rice University about his craft
  • Into the Future, a new visual essay about the War Trilogy by film scholar Tag Gallagher
  • Video introduction by Roberto Rossellini from 1963
  • The Italian release opening credits and voice-over prologue
  • Roberto Rossellini, a 2001 documentary by Carlos Lizzani, assistant director on Germany Year Zero, tracing Rossellini’s career through archival footage and interviews with family members and collaborators, with tributes by filmmakers François Truffaut and Martin Scorsese
  • Letters from the Front: Carlos Lizzani on “Germany Year Zero,” a podium discussion with Lizzani from the 1987 Tutto Rossellini conference
  • New video interview with Rossellini scholar Adriano Aprà
  • Italian directors Paolo Taviani and Vittorio Taviani (Padre padrone) discussing the profound influence Rossellini’s films have had on them
  • Roberto and Roswitha, a new illustrated essay by film scholar Thomas Meder on Rossellini’s relationship with his mistress Roswitha Schmidt
  • A booklet featuring essays by James Quandt, Irene Bignardi, Colin MacCabe, and Jonathan Rosenbaum


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