Roberto Rossellini, Italian film director and screenwriter, is interviewed by James Blue and Al Milgrom at University of Minnesota event. Rossellini also answers audience questions.
Mr. Rossellini was one of the directors of the neorealist film movement.
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the main speaker for today Les Miserables selenium on the platform will be mr. James blue a the resident director of the rice media center and a fellow at the American Film Institute. And also joining us on the panel will be Mister L Milgram. Are the university Film Society and the few character? rather than do this in a Formal manner with lecture, it's Mister. Rossellini's wish and I think it would be much more profitable if we proceed in. A manner that is informal. and I will Begin by asking you a question if I may and then I was right in the And the campus I think it's been one would not say inundated. But certainly we have had a large number of films that purport to be political films films with a political message relevant to our time and I think has an opening question. I would like to ask. Mr. Rosolini. If he sees the film the rise to power of Louis XIV as a political film does it have a political message and if you would comment on that question has an opener? Answer from you. Shirley's political because everything is political. I don't try to convey any message. I'll try to look at the thing and to show the thing as they are so that said it moment. After the fall of the Roman Empire for centuries and centuries the people they pretend continue the Roman Empire and everything was the tremendous confusion and the conception of the of the new kind of organization of the new kind of state is the kind of states that have more or less. When I would go back to you. Socio-political but no message from my side. Why did you make Louis XIV? Why why why have you moved from films that are fixing to historical and scientific films? Guadala, because I think that them. We have that the Magnificent thing on the sound. Why not to use those kind of thing even? In the ground of the research or bad that orientation. I think that each one of us needs a tremendously to be oriented and we need so much to be orientated that we if you're not capable to get outside of our own orientation. We grabbed the orientation of somebody else and that we follow that kind of orientation. Anything can happen in your life is like that, you know so much by imitation. Is that by Aroma freedom I don't know. If you remember last year the unit circle the United Nation, you know, what kind of the year was dedicated to education and the The president of the United school made a message. He says something while I think it's very important. He says that in our world in our love today where the change wind up going gone. So with such a tremendous speed they'd acacian must me not Any more counselor like a preparation of life, but education must be part of our life. Now. I think that through the media we can do an operation like that. Not mainly through the media. And because I think to satisfy the curiosity is a good entertainment. We are all curious and we can satisfy our curiosity the eating old sort of gossip and also those kind of Gossip because I'm using to satisfy her own. you think but then without I mean do you think that the man is not does not have his disposition now the kind of information he needs Do we have it? I think we have no information or at least we have an information not. Well me not spread. We have a lot of information of Logan's of the confusion between information propaganda. Can you put me some used to know the kind of thing? We need also a call to her information if you want to be oriented. I think that we would we could keep this moron and I don't want to make it to seem to that we're having an official panel only asked us to leave it open to anything you have to say. So and if you're not there a microphone just scream it out. And if I hear it try to repeat the question, I'm curious myself, you know, there's a question in the back of the room. Well, 85 ewriter you understand your question because you are so far. I can catch somewhere. But anyway the slogan. dad Resort order of political thought Death Note the preparation, you know, they have nothing the chance to do for them is Logan mean something something else is not... What you can say. Resume. Resume. But at least I don't know but I think it's like that more or less. Yes. impressed by muscles No, I haven't seen any way. Well, you see that. a very few ideas, but I'll try to have those ideas in my head quite clear as to why I'm not sure that Finally, we are the product of our own history. So we must know how it is around Easter if we want to understand outside today and from today to look. Forward to the future in in a better way in a sentence now this one of the point so I don't want to use any storical thing to make the show is not the show is NSA. Is any story Calise based on things on fats the reality and I remained very close to the real reality as they appear to me. No. second stack I must reduce the language the style. But they simple. Please press the thing very simple and very directly. Otherwise, you know how the images they are very easily seductive and I don't want to seduce. That's another Point lady reading port. I satisfied you a question. One aspect of it was is it applicable to another kind of technique around another kind of subject. Is it only related to such a well? I don't know, you know how you can establish what can be spread what can be inside. For example. I am the President of the school in Rome change list of movies. so what kind of system you have to adopt to run a school? So my system is very simple. I will give all the facilities that we have, old sort of technical information to the students in the students. They do what they want to do and we don't interfere a tool. I refuse to interfere. I refuse to leave the street. I refuse to give up my eyes because it's so easy to make me say that lies why you have to create the damage of that poor guy. I trust me. He said he's much better if he realized that is wrong by himself, you know that says responsibilities. So somebody try to cheat, you know, I like 2:00 in the morning going back home. It's somebody coming up here. One of the students. Do me the favor to discuss a little bit my story. I want to tell you a story that I want to do. Or I must be honest and tell you that I dislike the story and perhaps my judgment is computer wrong, or I can be hypocritical and it's a wonderful thing. I'm lying to discourage you that you must be yourself and that's the main thing to be each one inside. And Betsy Drake The Language with the style with the technique with everything you see. We have done good movies. I can get it big rise Crisis crisis. It's like I'm so confused. I don't know if I have to say cries of Crisis because why? Because that's no new ideas are coming in movies that Florida 5 subject and each one is a great specialist is dealing with that subject. And he says well, I don't know about the sex. I'll tell you now what to say about the sex is like that the whole thing becomes very boring, you know, but if somebody come with the wedding you idea that's the fact so now we must try to Lab Corps for new ideas. The only way you can find new ideas. They will do another mistake made in the world. How is python put together? So complex I can say, you know. And the confusion was so great. That to build a film in a single story. I thought it was absolutely. Nothing, so I pick up six stories. Possible stories or Distortion of true stories enlarged by some odor of the significance around and let that was made like that just to tell you how big was the confusion. Do you need any? A friend of mine. His name is Dick. LeBeau is a great writer. The right place Amphitheater is unknown here. That is really a great get it man. And he's napolitan people. Do I have a document about the circle Corruption of maple? I'm done when they learned nothing the bologna who is one of those Lawns of Naples a Neapolitan family show a black boy born in the family. so the people that they 5 leaders to see the black boy and the husband of the wife get birth to that black boy was outside and you got the five layer has gone there to see that horrible thing and it when you walk out the man work on Isaiah Isabella had you not ashamed to show to everybody you are Taco by for 5 years. And the poor guy says why don't you know between us I'll tell you in the evening. We watch the child, you know because of neighbor and I put the family has to survive somehow so they paint in black white child and then in the evening they watch the child. There was a question here before is it did you have one? So, yes. Have you considered doing a film on the war in Vietnam War go in in another country and to say when a girl tells you the truth what to do? So I have not considered to go to bed time to shoot raw the war. Well, you see it again. I'm very serious from that point. We are leaving in a tremendous confusion. When I say we the human being because there's no difference between an Italian or American, you know the difference and I got better house and we have the spaghetti. now what is the main thing is to be relevant to understand? Zip Zoom tote to prove. We human being we're making mistakes is the most easy thing to do because we are making mistake every second now. Why not to resume or louder things in the purpose to see if in the future is possible to mate last mistake? your question is how are you able to finance the chainsaw? So when during war we were preparing open CT? The problem to rise the little money to do the film was very difficult. So one day I met a lady. She was from Milan and she landed in Rome during the war and she said that she has money. And she was ready to spend that money in a film but because she didn't trust the filmmaker. She will start to give the money only the first day of the shooting and do shooting going on. She will give us the money. So we that we have made the preparation and the German they stop over Florence and the stop. And we realized that day to post the day. He was supposed to open the drawer where she said the money that was no money. She was only stupid. And from there we are going on. I don't know why how every day something. And we found some crazy people who died in car address and I said, well, I'll give you the whole body you need so I have to sell my house if I don't match but a little bit of money and everything. So let me finish the film and last old. Was a contract that we had with a distributor. The distributor in that concert put down that you will pay us for millions of liters of minimum guarantee film is not that for millions of dollars is $6,000. and then when we deliver the field, so we die. Do we able to film and we deliver the film and the distributor refused to pay the 4-minute of late SF minimum guarantee because he said that for the lack of the object of the contract. He said that in the contract was sad that I have to deliver the field and the open city was not to feel so you refuse to pay even those for me. I've been difficult to find an adequate supply of film stock the attic venting a new kind of job, you know to survive after the war everything. ovulate and I'm so there were a lot of people with the Leica camera making Photos industry little 35 mm. So we have those kind of things exactly what kind of feeling a little delicate... Negative used by them, you know in the Box they have was drinking music 60 feet while we use everyday. How did you get to you start using long takes? when I have when I have the three on the thousand feet that's how eisenstein eisenstein started. Some of the critics of said in a film which has not been shown much in America rogal POG of three or four part episode of which John Luc Godard has one piece. This is your farewell to the cinema. Does this mean farewell to the cinema? Hello television, or is this did you what brought you to this point if the various reviewers and critics are correct. The film can be used for another purpose. to serve, you know, that's the purpose to be to have orientation to supply news to Supply right information to supply a little bit of knowledge because you know for making the Louis the XIV you have to read the number of books and to research a lot of things, you know about medicine about the daily life in Paris about the daily life of the court of the king and to read a lot of the correspondence of the king so you can feel everything everything. He said in the dollar for example, he's transforming. Well, I thought letters you know. How do you get people to? Everything is belly button. by the fact that You know, everything is deliberate. So again, if you want to intrude yourself being an order and to save everybody love or show you what I am that's a very easy position even dealing with known professional. You have no idea. How do non professional bacon act loudly and absolutely delivery what is inside not what is exterior? If you didn't I use actors. How did you get the non-professional such as the ones you used to speak Thai rates speeches that lasted so long. Many ways. That built little radios and we put in the ear. And you spoke to do I have a microphone. I can interference engine what you are doing. Slow down. And so they were hidden in the woods. Well, you seem to place a higher value on information per se than on attitude toward information or I'm sure you get into arguments with Marxist to say the thing is not to understand the world but to change it or what why would you reply to that buy land? And from there you can go on but we leaving the tremendous confusion. I think I am confused. Only person confused in the world soul. Try to put in order some of my ideas and I hope that somebody else like Wellwood could want with this be a fair conclusion from sing rise to power Louis XIV but politics is a matter of putting on and taking off clothes or Powers a matter taking on and putting off clothes here. You wouldn't agree to that would you well that he was a very shrewd man and he knows man much better than me and you know very well that to appeal to the wrong way to seduce then you know, because the reality is Too Faced was LeBron and was the Revolt of the noble against the king that was so pretty in the main purpose was to reach the juice that the novels and he knows very well and I learn to him that they would have used vanity. Yes or no? What was the role of the the script script writer as it's changed from open City to check on when you put in film from that moment is impossible to change your no because otherwise it cost too much. So I must leave myself free till the last moment. I know what flight at what I have to say. I have the documents I have that is dialogue. Appreciate you seeing I have the argument of the scenes. And the last second I Leave myself completely free and the dialogue are written down to the final dialogue everything down just before the take. Is that dialogue invented? Do you have to deal with the material that you bought dialogue? How did you discover it? How did you come up to to make the thing very clear? That's the only thing you know one thing goes and it's tied to the older the whole thing turn to be very clear and very logical. That's the only Apple TV trade you do. no importance 9 ball I am a man and I have Accepting kinds of bad or good capacity of making fieldman images that say, I'm not enough. That's I'm sure I have not and I refuse to be an artist and I'm just a worker. That's all how do you understand the word artist the way everybody understand, you know, this is a God or demigod as illumination. He knows everything leaving them on Converse and liking the spaghetti is UC. White wine on actors and have you done this for several years, but because I am with the known actors work with an actor and when you work with an unknown actor. And actor yes, he's on capacity. You knows how to do things. But he's full of fear because he wants to have a note so you can you have too much bound to him. With a known actor is a poor innocent comes there is little hope to win the lottery. That's all funny. Economic economic consideration. I save a lot of time, you know, and I was not allowed to do any sort of extra work. They were on strike for the extra work everyday. No like that because he's so boring to work. I want to get rid of my work as soon as possible. There was one over here. It is be more voice, please. Better you see fortunately unfortunately, we're always human being and they have a tremendous capacity to be intelligent and to be stupid than to be in the middle of those kind of things that change the kind of thing. They had the car with the horses and now we had the car with the pollution, but then that's Is Louis XIV typical of the kinds of things that can be seen on the talion television and how successful are those kind of Television organization in Europe are different. So because they're sick television yet the way to bargain of to push them to do certain kind of thing. So that must satisfy certain kind of social me. One of the needs is a game called you but they called culture and it's so true that you can push them to to put some money on those kind of thing. And I know that's so happy because the audience react quite well to those kind of thing. The audience accept this kind of names before they have the conception the dog in Cesar. Is a Dom's Jupiter absolutely incapable to pick up saying and sell drinks are there excetera and you must feed the habit of the Hawkins? Honestly, they have the same number of neutrons in their own brain, and so they're capable to reason. Yeah people that they are more ignorant and people have less ignorant because they have prosciutto and I pretend to be to be wise. Is there any possibility of your other? 1015 films of made-for-television perhaps equal to the Quality Inn. Walterrific notice of Louis XIV. Is there any chance of these films ever being seen in America? You've probably been in conversation with again? Because I am always so short of money try to sell. But I don't know if it can achieve any way. If you want to see the film anything is possible to see the field as soon as I ever throw glove man of to survive is 12 hour. So I think that nobody has the courage to go through 12 out of projection that you can split in pieces coffee cost a lot of money. So as soon as I have a copy available, I'll send it to you. I know that. in Italian people there's a question. How long and how much for the budget of phase I was nearly $80,000 very high budget for me at the moment. How much was Louis? Lewis was 130,000 something. Cost of a short septic me and I used it. You have made several projects, which you you're still planning to shoot. One of them. The Conquistador is another the Industrial Revolution another Caligula signs of the journey through science knowledge and one on student revolt. I know for instance that you were very moved by the student action in Paris in 1968 and the set you to thinking about the entire problem. What do you attribute it to get married at in general? Most probably they have the courage to say what we when we were students. We have not the courage to say that the school was tremendously boring. I think the year of school very boring not understanding. What was the purpose of the school? The highest the teacher sleeping with open eyes. And I we had not the courage to say that's is boring and I we don't see the purpose of that school. And now some people they have the courage to say that's the difference and I'm not there now. You see mainly just school today or yesterday morning. What was the school before? So the school was conceived for the world was absolutely still have to pass through. To reach Copernicus and Galileo do they say that the Earth was not the center of the universe and after centuries to get another Muse, you know, so that Humanity was built on the past and the school the main purpose of the school was yesterday. And now that I've said we need to put aberration of the men for tomorrow. What's the Dakine Dove switch and change bent and again, I think it's absolutely right, but not anymore Consular is a preparation of life. But as a part of our life. so he's exactly what I'll try to do it with my feelings, you know, so back to us because we are the result of What's up with all our IDs all all our political views? And I've we must look even a little bit to the present and clever and I in the future or at least to the fact that they are protecting the future. And that's a fact that in those last two centuries since the Industrial Revolution the main need for the development that the Pluckemin mainly of technique excetera. Excetera Wasn't Man absolutely specialized something just to speed out. New kind of thing coming up now. We have collected so many so much knowledge. That we must use that knowledge so that the needs are different. We don't need anymore, especially but we need people who they are capable to. To see the world. We should discontinue producing specialists in certain areas. Well, I think you said great need of today to do we don't need any more especially continue to build a specialist, but I think that we don't need any more special. Everybody's hoping for a new kind of humanism. What means when you kind of humans means nothing or means everything, you know, so that's one of the do I have to be ready to understand a lot. And to be oriented in that lot. Yes, there's a question. No, I thought some of which I did not even. Beliefs so far from my capacity, you know, I am a great admirer. Well, you see Ben White to go to Apple Orchards Apple of Z's in English word. Allegory why to go through allegory because you see my English is completely guess. I know if I use an Italian word and I pronounce that done to be English. Allegra-D. Forenza is another sense, but it's an ear. So why to be a lagodich when you have a chance to be inside of the thing is more exciting. I agree with you, but why you don't do the living like imagine film? Mechanic of the kingdom of 14 years invented we know a little bit but if the way that you build the things you said absolutely nothing to which we are living today. The relevance said in fire this fashion and having lunch. They would someone who knew and worked Under the Kennedy administration. You may remember that Kennedy always appeared in the bitterest cold weather without a top coats and without a hat and I learned a bunch today that Kennedy always wore long underwear and therefore he looked very first and the weather in this was part of the image. So I really don't think that it's quite so irrelevant. You said that you are not an artist and you don't want to be one. I was wondering whether you would Define the artist according to what we have always thought of as being an artist in other words whether the artist for you is the one who is using symbols. You're just trying if I understood your film and if I understood you, right you're just trying to tell a story and Ted it as clearly as possible without any intrusion or as few intrusion intrusions as possible on your side. Now. It's very easy to understand that Jean-Luc Godard. For example or Pasadena himself are doing really the country office. They are really presenting symbols that must be interpreted and that show reality in their opinion much better then just telling a story because they are the real reality their opinion symbols are much much more Representatives than reality itself itself. So is this your way to to say that you are not an artist. Is this what you mean? When I when I say I'm not that I mean that I'm not. Till the last century the man who was doing. Through his own capacity of representing the things. If you go to any yeah, no not a single Monument is signed by somebody. The man was made. The thing is absolutely important. He's the thing they're they're not the man was down to thing. Michelangelo and that in the Romantic. Start that idea of the artist is semi God somebody eyeball old old old old old human being and somebody having the power of God, you know going with his own fantasy and judging and saying you go to hell you go to the to the paradise you go to the I don't know why you know so and was very important before because was the expression of the of the team going on no more than that. If you never had the chance to go to Pisa for example is an Italian town. You were there. You come from Visa Buddies. Thank you and have a media was destroyed by phosphorus bombs, you know and just fries cause liver damage now the clouds 13 Center and everybody knows that in the time that you have. No knowledge of the perspective no knowledge of anatomy etcetera now get out of the world the painting and back the Remain the design. And you see the dean the design the Artist as a deep knowledge of anatomy of perspective and everything, but he was so aware of you in a way that would have been completely Intel understandable for everybody. You know who he's on personality. You didn't made it a piece of bread or convey a message and that's why anything is the right position and I did time those men that were not call. Are you spell the word call autism? That's the reason why I want I pretend to be an artist and I don't want to be a synagogue. Does one part of that question I'd like to expand on the question of the part that the lights to go. I might add up Lucci. I think employing symbols. Artificially concocting an image in order to express an idea that I think that you touched her and say that this idea is more truth than simply reporting facts. Would you comment on it? That's a point of view. I am for freedom and everybody's free to do what you think is good to do but my point of view is different art should simply Is there a danger in art that represents a strong statement? I don't want to be a Seducer. That's all. Why is it dangerous? Because if you seduced you you deprived how do you say is no more intelligence working, but it is only motion. You mentioned it that it was necessary to have a dialogue. I wonder if we could you can be big things. But if you have should use somebody that man. Arthur certain truths of fiction that might register more powerfully than the statement of the fact or the analysis at the causes. DOD, but please allow me to be myself. Examples of what in films would be seductive and cut off dialer the age of Seduction of him. So I was looking at it or what she was saying. That was just looking it up. What about in in film technique? What is know what you can say? What is the technique of the of writing or anything is different. If you type instead to use the bank getting out with one of the things you say you reject this suspense. or the fabric are you trying at are you implying that your way of making films that what we really miss today is a popular in the scent of purple ladder part that is understandable to everybody that there shouldn't be this kind of very complex and therefore edit are art because that was the ground from which rise the song time a very high artistic expression generally said that that's the thing. So we must try to reform the popular because the popular are exactly the expression of everybody. And then she said very for 5, you see. Let's try to get someone else. Is there a possibility to come back to this popular art now in the state of? easy if we allow the human being to be human and totally human. And not a crowd of people following that thing or that other things if we ever really the conception of freedom of each individual. From that freedom surely will start with Whitney start the game the expression of each individual and our little group of individual. I think one of the main point you see we are here. I don't know how many 200 or 300 people and When you will see me in a crowd of 10,000 people are at 1 I will see one of you in the middle of millions of people each one of you I can recognize you need to leave because I know very well that you are a human being but you out of a little bit different from all the others of all the millions that they are around you. So that means that each one of us is something very peculiar to him. And that's is a great weakness. Why to suppress that the richness? The vet said that that's a very important point I think eating open something he was mentioning. But I mention I mentioned first of all, we don't want the people that come to the school to adapt themselves to the school, but we want to add that outside to the to the students. That's one starting point, which I think is important because I think it's important to see if the personality of each one. And to save the personality of each one into give to each one the chance to develop inside of you have to offer him the chance. You said to impose him to copy mother? No, no. No... Now that experience is going on in the area and we get some results from that. Results positive and negative but we are trying to solve the problem. But we try to solve two two two two understand the problem, please now from next year. We do another kind of Staff we we why that kind of experience. So we will be as the school much more in research. The idea is to found something new. And something you that means ideas expression Styles and everything. So give that chance a lot of people. so jumping is asking some. What are you doing? No, I want to reach your point. So. I'm done in the weather going to be in a certain way, but one part. The school one part of ourselves and the students will be available. Do Supply Royce to each one? From anyone from outside want to say something? So we have that at the disposal. No. Because I'm doing things. You know, I'm not. I work more or less 20 hours a day and is not enough. But unfortunately, I have not yet get the Abbot's not to work with 24 hour. I am incapable. So I'm doing the thing and I'm very little time. to do what I want to accomplish so You mentioned that you had seen the film that you would buy. MP3 Juice Yes, but you see if I get that position. I accept that seduction. I'm finished completely. I will start to do things to build my own Monument. I I don't care about my own money went missing when did curiosity life and the every second has a new kind of curiosity. This is a test. How does a film students get financial support from the school? Is it state school and we have Not a very large budget, but we have enough. While I did now that those last two here, we have only 29 students because the main thing was to use our budget property and to do some good for Easter to do a lot of bad for a lot. You know, that's the point. Drummond back there Well it because you got a condom. So, you know better than me that the two main point in the resistance, they where the Communists and the Catholics and that you'd like to do. Can you hear a communist communist people supported the resistance much more than the Catholic people. For example. And your own resistance was just at the beginning they were present at 9 Oddity. I agree with you. But those that where the two. We are on our way to get you mad or nah. We have time for a few more questions to ask Jessica. it look like yeah. Yeah. Why did you choose that particular one meter in 50, so I don't know what you said 35036. I don't know. Can you do? Get an audition. Did you test no, no, never never do that. Never do that. I take the chance. What interest do you have in your own films? Do you own the rights? Your old ones in your old film and what do you own the rights ch1 of my dreams so you see that I am not making choice. I refuse to see anyone who knows me very well never. I never I don't I don't want to see it anymore. If you'll miss finishes finish forever. That's all. All right. The cartridge Revelation what because of your interest in education and TV. Have you given much thought about the coming cartridge Revolution homes and information in cassette that you can buy them at the feet of making these in a crisis wrong. Try not so wrong. That a lot of thought about but that not existing. Not the single of the system is capable to bring. Thousand and thousand and thousand of 100 cup of coffee since you know, so that means he's not exist. While I'd that moment we have to sing what to put inside of the cats at. One more question. I want to thank all of the panels particularly Mr. Rossellini for excellent performance, and that wonderful dialogue I learned I hope you did. Thank you very much. I would remind you that there will be other events in the Arts and politics series including tonight at convocation rock as a reflection of American politics at 8 in Northrop Auditorium.