- Category : Entertain-Business-Director
- Type : PE
- Profile : 4/1 - Opportunistic / Investigator
- Definition : Triple Split
- Incarnation Cross : JX Driver
Italian acclaimed film director, producer and scenarist, the leading representative of the post WW II wave of realism.
His highly acclaimed films included "Open City," 1946, "Paisan," 1948 and "Germany, Year Zero," 1949. He later concentrated on TV documentaries. The neo-Italian realism movement which revolutionized world cinema after the war represented truth, realism, naturalism, and Rossellini represented earthiness and spontaneity, passion and commitment with which he imbued his films.
The son of a wealthy architect, Rossellini had been brought up in a great Roman house with nannies and tutors. Money was for spending and he squandered his inheritance disdainfully. Disinterested in university, he went into film work for Mussolini and the Fascists.
By his 40s, he was a plump Italian of medium height, with a beaked mouth and thinning black hair, Rossellini nonetheless was a man of great seductiveness, enveloping a woman with such attention, such romantic fantasy, such drama, that he would mesmerize her. His life was filled with women. He and his wife were amiably separated and he had a series of high profile lovers, most notably his mistress for several years, Anna Magnani.
In 1948, Ingrid Bergman wrote to Rossellini, "If you ever need a Swedish actress..." He received the letter on his birthday, May 8, and he responded eagerly. They arranged a meeting on 9/26/48 in Paris. The Lindstroms' and Rossellini met at the Hotel George V and discussed the film they would make together, a story of love on the barren island of Stromboli, a great work of art.
Bergman was coming from a confining marriage and a career that was limited to virtuous, two-dimensional roles and he offered her artistic truth, creative vision, danger and excitement. He offered more than that, bragging to his friends that he intended to cuckold Dr. Lindstrom, "Swedish women are easy to impress as they have such cold husbands."
In January 1949, Rossellini left Magnani and traveled to America. He accepted the New York Film Critics Award for "Paisan" as Best Foreign Film of the Year. He wired Bergman, "I just arrive friendly." She replied, "Waiting for you in the Wild West." He stayed in their guest house as he and Bergman spoke to Hollywood backers about financing their movie. They made a production deal with Howard Hughes.
On 2/27/1949, the evening before he left, Rossellini promised Lindstrom that he would take care of Bergman in Italy, protecting her from gossip. On 3/09/1949, Bergman flew to Rome. Less than two weeks later, she wrote to Lindstrom, asking for a divorce.
The illicit affair they began shocked the world, giving rise to a huge scandal that defamed Bergman's reputation.
In May, she got pregnant. Robertino was born on 2/02/1950.
Bergman obtained a divorce in Mexico and a proxy marriage was arranged on 5/24/1950, 10:30 AM, Mexico City.
The life of an Italian housewife was difficult for Bergman's adaptation. She picked up the language well enough, but was always a step behind the tempo and the subtleties of Italian humor, social exchange and everyday living. They had continual money problems as Rossellini spent money with total disregard. Bergman had never been comfortable with extravagance or waste. He would not let her work for any other director, with whom she would make much more income.
They began work on their second film together, "Europa '51" in October 1951. During the filming, Bergman became pregnant again, this time with twins. She became so large that she entered the nursing home for the last weeks of her pregnancy, and delivered two husky baby girls, Isabella, 7 lbs 3 oz, and Isotta, 8 lbs 5 oz, on 6/18/1952.
Domesticity did not wear well. The Rossellini family fights became regular and dramatic. Bergman returned to drinking heavily and Rossellini returned to his old womanizing ways. By 1957, Rossellini's affair with the Indian actress Sonali Gupta created fresh scandal, while Bergman also developed an outside interest. When they separated, Bergman kept the children, though later she sent them to live with their father.
Rossellini died of a heart attack 6/03/1977, Rome.