Filmmakers throughout Europe tapped into the galvanizing power of cinematic realism to grapple with the devastation of World War II, but few can claim to have changed the course of the art form as radically as Roberto Rossellini did with Rome Open City, Paisan, and Germany Year Zero. With their combination of unvarnished visual style, profound moral inquiry, and the use of predominantly nonprofessional actors, these defining works of 1940s world cinema ushered in the golden age of the neorealist movement, which strived to give voice to victims of poverty and oppression and to depict their lives with urgency and authenticity. Among the first wave of young cinephiles to be inspired by the director’s example were Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, who were both teenagers when Rossellini made his breakthrough and would later explore the legacy of World War II in their own masterwork The Night of the Shooting Stars. In an interview featured on our box-set edition of The War Trilogy, which we just issued on Blu-ray this week, the Taviani brothers describe their first encounter with Germany Year Zero, an experience that left them speechless and went on to shape their artistic sensibility as a filmmaking duo.
How Ron Shelton Did Justice to the “Talking Sport”
The director of Bull Durham explains the ins and outs of bringing baseball to the screen and why Kevin Costner is the finest athletic actor he’s worked with.
The Birth of a Hollywood Bad Girl
The product of consummate artistry and savvy promotion, Marlene Dietrich’s salacious image opened up erotic frontiers for a generation of moviegoers.
The Hope That Fueled Bowling for Columbine
How much can a film turn the tide on American violence? Michael Moore and archivist Carl Deal reflect on the moral urgency that gave rise to one of the most talked-about documentaries of all time.
Bringing the Grit to Philippine Cinema
For Philippine master Lino Brocka, casting a mix of nonprofessional and professional actors was key to achieving his brand of unvarnished naturalism.
This Kiss: Filming an Intimate Moment in The Virgin Suicides
What goes into staging the perfect on-screen kiss? Director Sofia Coppola and actors Kirsten Dunst and Josh Hartnett look back on shooting a passionate make-out session in The Virgin Suicides.