Guy Maddin’s 2005 16-minute short film My Dad Is 100 Years Old, in which Isabella Rossellini pays “a unique personal tribute to her father, director Roberto Rossellini, in observance of the centenary of his birth,” will be shown on the Sundance Channel. Roberto Rossellini was born on May 8, 1906, in Rome.
“Far from a conventional documentary tribute,” explains the Sundance Channel website, My Dad Is 100 Years Old “is a stylized, witty meditation on Roberto Rossellini’s cinematic aesthetic and his belief in cinema as a moral art.”
Isabella Rossellini plays every role in My Dad Is 100 Years Old, including that of her mother, three-time Oscar winner Ingrid Bergman (Gaslight, Anastasia, Murder on the Orient Express); Alfred Hitchcock, who directed Bergman in three movies (Spellbound, Notorious, and Under Capricorn); and Federico Fellini, Rossellini’s collaborator on Rome, Open City and L’amore. Roberto Rossellini, however, is represented by an oversized belly. Clearly, My Dad Is 100 Years Old is a must-see. (See also Ingrid Bergman-Roberto Rossellini affair & political fallout.)
Rome, Open City
Additionally, in celebration of Roberto Rossellini’s centenary, the Sundance Channel will show his most famous work, the landmark 1945 neo-realist war drama Rome, Open City / Roma, città aperta, featuring Aldo Fabrizi and Rossellini’s pre-Ingrid Bergman lover, Anna Magnani. Shot on a tight budget while the Nazis were leaving Rome, Rome, Open City suffers from some dated directorial choices and creaky editing. Yet, certain scenes carry tremendous power, and both Fabrizi and Magnani are outstanding.
Isabella Rossellini movies
Among Isabella Rossellini’s most notable movie appearances are those in Taylor Hackford’s White Nights (1985), starring Mikhail Baryshnikov; David Lynch’s Blue Velvet (1986), with Kyle MacLachlan; Joel Schumacher’s Cousins (1989), with Ted Danson; and Robert Zemeckis’ Death Becomes Her (1992), playing opposite Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn, and Bruce Willis. Rossellini was also featured in a movie starring Ingrid Bergman: Vincente Minnelli’s 1976 drama A Matter of Time, co-starring the director’s daughter, Liza Minnelli, and Bergman’s co-star of decades past, Charles Boyer.
Isabella Rossellini as Ingrid Bergman in Guy Maddin’s My Dad Is 100 Years Old image: Jody Shapiro / Zeitgeist Films.