February 12, 2008 / 4:35 AM / 10 years ago

Isabella Rossellini turns to directing insect sex

BERLIN (Reuters) - Isabella Rossellini treated audiences at the Berlin Film Festival to wild and crazy sex scenes in a series of short films she directs and stars in.

Italian actress Isabella Rossellini attends a news conference in the German capital of Berlin February 13, 2006. Rossellini treated audiences at the Berlin Film Festival to wild and crazy sex scenes in a series of short films she directs and stars in. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz

The shorts, collectively called “Green Porno,” won’t cause a stir with the film censors because Rossellini, one of the world’s most recognized faces after decades of modeling and acting, is always fully clothed — in bug costumes.

“I never really say anything dirty,” Rossellini, 55, said in an interview, before using one choice four-letter word as an example of the language not used in the one-minute clips showing flies, spiders and snails fornicating.

“The intent is to be on the Web so it is available to everybody, to reach as far as possible. It’s not dirty talk. We talk about sex, but the terminology is not dirty. The film is principally humorous, and if anything else it’s informative.

“The surreal part is the way we develop them visually,” she told Reuters after a screening in Berlin drew loud applause.

Rossellini flashes a mischievous grin as she explains in her trademark Italian-accented English that flies are highly amorous and have sex many times each day. She then demonstrates by performing some heavy-duty doggy-style sex on another fly.

“There are so many wonderful, great things in nature,” said Rossellini, who made the films designed for small screens such as cell phones, iPods and laptops for the Sundance Channel. “I hope people will be amused and say ‘Wow, I didn’t know that about a fly or a worm.”‘


Rossellini — a frequent visitor to the Berlin Festival over the years — said she had no intention of slowing down and would like to do more directing, especially at the forefront of new cinematic developments.

“Filmmaking for the Web is completely new,” said Rossellini, the daughter of Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman and Italian director Roberto Rossellini. “It’s at the cutting edge. I’ve always been interested in experimental film making.”

Rossellini, who stumbled into modeling at the relatively late age of 28, said she saw nothing extraordinary about moving to directing at 55, although she was quick to point out that she had roles in three major films due out in the months ahead.

“Why would I want to do that?” she said when asked if she planned to slow down. “I had lots of fun doing ‘Green Porno’ and will continue acting, modeling and directing. Why stop now?”

Rossellini, who was briefly married to American director Martin Scorsese in the 1970s, said it was not always easy having famous parents and a well-known ex-husband. She once complained it might have cost her acting jobs as others were intimidated.

She said the advantages outweighed any disadvantages — and she admits her name and face helped get “Green Porno” made. The filmmakers label it “GP” to avoid problems with customs.

“The press is always compressing my life into two sentences,” she said with a smile. “It’s always ‘Ingrid Bergman’s daughter’ or ‘Martin Scorsese’s wife’ is now acting or directing. Now tell me: what is the connection?

“It all happened over so many years of my life so it’s less of a connection than the press makes it out to be. I grew up in film, I continue to be in film, I like film, my friends are filmmakers or occasionally a husband was a filmmaker. It certainly didn’t hurt at all. If anything, it was helpful.”


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