Oct 2, 2013

This is pretty cool.

"Dang, that volcano might blow any second.  How's my hair?"

It is a four minute video of 'home movies' by Ingrid Bergman around the time she was making Stromboli in Italy in the early Fifties.  It is a featurette on Criterion's recent Bergman/Rossellini Italian box set.

I have spoken of this before, how the US Congress went in to a tizzy regarding the "Notorious" Ms Bergman leaving her husband and child, moving to Italy, and hooking up with Rossellini, and how they tried to get her censured by the Senate (?!), and essentially blacklisted her in the United States.  But I did not know of this, which I read in Dave Kehr's great NYT review of the box set:  

These moments of grace — for that is what they are — can’t be filmed or dramatized in a conventional way, which would only lead to the postcard religiosity of “The Song of Bernadette” or “The Greatest Story Ever Told.” Instead, they occur off camera, in between shots, at moments when we are looking elsewhere or thinking of something else. They happen before we know they are happening, secured in a fierce, physical reality that would seem to preclude any kind of transcendence but which in fact is its vehicle.

Back in 1950, a Times correspondent contacted the Vatican’s film office, in what must have been the certain expectation of a juicy quote condemning “Stromboli.” Instead, the anonymous reporter wrote: “They expressed surprise when told that Miss Bergman’s films had been banned in some American cities. The Catholic censors’ criterion in judging a film, they said, is solely whether its contents are in keeping with high moral standards; the private lives of actors and actresses are not a factor.” 

The private lives of actors and actresses are not a factor.  Heck, even the Vatican gets it right some times.

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