Monday, April 15, 2024


A Woman Escaped

Stromboli [1950], the first film collaboration between Roberto and Isabella. It begins at a "Displaced Persons' camp" in Faffa, Italy, who upon release at war's end weds an Italian and takes up with him in his home "town," the volcanic island of Stromboli. (It's where the name comes from at Italian red-sauce establishments). Tensions mount. The populace skews 'senior citizen,' whereas Ingrid exudes vivacious independence.

I'll transcribe my notes on the film here, rather than wrapping them into a long package, as there's much to come and stay tuned.

"I like you very much." "...We've spoken a few times over the barbed wire."

— Her date of birth: May 1920, in Lithuania. The dimensions of her craft.

— High-contrast — bleached whites upon the couple's arrival on Stromboli: rock-strewn surfaces...

— Father: "You know, so many of our people have left..."

— Ingrid sleeps in camp pajamas.

— The American Swede plays a Lithuanian playing a foreigner.

— Being a housemistress, she thus demands certain benchmarks, appointments...

— One of these elements that draws the viewer (that ghost) in — the question of whether slab-ugliness has a beauty, or the strongly vaccinated relationship to beauty is not itself a cliché — not ugly — a banality. 

— Scenes, like that between the priest and Ingrid, have the candor of rehearsal.

— The last girl at the global dance, come home too early.

— A pictorial vision, not a words-vision.

— Like other water-movies of this era, there is the crave to be resplendent, men following the limpid bodies that nonetheless will arise from the rocks, siren-maiden iconography still the in mass popular consciousness — a precarious action back among the Brakhage of death.

— The boater in close-up, eyes toward horizon as always, hope, determination. A film of great calm, and great distress.

— Bergman's face, searching among the fishermen on the boat. The fish-frenzy sequence seared my mind the first time I saw it; it reminded me of Ford's The Battle of Midway

— During the volcano eruption: a boy standing abandoned in the evacuation chaos. Two shots later: his mother retrieves him and runs. Gesture of love: mother to child, Rossellini to include this, despite the hollywoodiano'ness of it all.

— Nature makes itself heard. Bergman's self-evacuation among the elements.


Writing on the films of Roberto Rossellini previously here at the blog.

Fantasia sottomarina [Undersea Fantasy] [1938]

La vispa Teresa [Lively Teresa] [1940]

Il tacchino prepotente [The Bullying Turkey] [1940]

L'amore [Love] [1948]

Stromboli [1950]


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.