The Trilogy According
to John Bailey

Jun 7, 2010

We’ve drawn your attention before to award-winning DP John Bailey’s informative, entertaining blog on the American Society of Cinematographers website, in particular his in-depth introduction to the previously unheralded “cinematographer of the New Wave,” Raymond Cauchetier. Now Bailey shifts focus to one of cinema’s most recognized greats, in part one of an essay called “Roberto Rossellini and World War II.” Covering our recent DVD box set Roberto Rossellini’s War Trilogy, Bailey writes, “The three visually dissimilar but thematically interlocked films made by director Roberto Rossellini, dramatizing the last days of the Second World War and its aftermath, constitute nothing less than the birth of a new European cinema.” In this installment, Bailey looks mainly at Rome Open City, and though he does so from many angles (touching on where the director procured film stock and Fellini’s experiences as assistant director, for example), it probably comes as no surprise that the cinematographer is at his most eloquent when sharing his insights into the film’s camera work and lighting—including “Rossellini’s startling but sparse use of the single long take with minimal coverage.”