Roberto Rossellini



As profoundly simple as its hero's famous statement "I think, therefore I am," Roberto Rossellini's Cartesius is an intimate, psychological study of obsession and existential crisis.

Film Info

  • Italy
  • 1974
  • 162 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.33:1
  • Italian

Available In

Collector's Set

Eclipse Series 14: Rossellini’s History Films—Renaissance and Enlightenment

Rossellini’s History Films—Renaissance and Enlightenment

DVD Box Set

4 Discs


Ugo Gardea
René Descartes
Anne Pouchie
Kenneth Belton
Isaak Beeckman
Vernon Dobtcheff
Astronomo Ciprus
Renato Montalbano
Constantin Huygens
Gabriele Banchero
Servo Bretagne
Roberto Rossellini
Renzo Rossellini
Roberto Rossellini
Luciano Scaffa
Marcella Mariani
Script consultant
Ferdinand Alquie
Mario Montuori
Jolanda Benvenuti
Mario Nascimbene
Marcella De Marchis


From the Rossellini Archives
From the Rossellini Archives
With his mix of documentary-like immediacy and profound moral inquiry, Roberto Rossellini became a pioneer of Italian neorealism, a movement that transformed the way filmmakers captured the fabric of everyday life and and grappled with the most urgen…
Inside the Court of Louis XIV
Inside the Court of Louis XIV
This week marks the long-anticipated release of Roberto Rossellini’s beloved The Taking of Power by Louis XIV, the crowning achievement of the filmmaker’s remarkable end-of-career endeavor to capture the history of human knowledge in a serie…


Roberto Rossellini

Writer, Director

Roberto Rossellini
Roberto Rossellini

A founder of Italian neorealism, Roberto Rossellini brought to filmmaking a documentary-like authenticity and a philosophical stringency. After making films under Mussolini’s fascist regime early in his career, Rossellini broke out with Rome Open City, a shattering and vivid chronicle of the Nazi occupation of Italy’s capital, followed by Paisan and Germany Year Zero, which round out his “war trilogy.” Rossellini’s adulterous affair with Ingrid Bergman led to the biggest controversy of his career (they were both condemned by the United States Senate) but also to another trilogy—Stromboli, Europa ’51, and Voyage to Italy, all starring Bergman and all about spiritual crises; they were dismissed at the time of their release but are widely praised now. Through the 1950s, Rossellini experimented with different forms, offering an ascetic religious film (The Flowers of St. Francis), a documentary about India (India), and a wartime melodrama that was one of his biggest hits (Il Generale Della Rovere). In the final phase of his career, after calling a news conference and announcing, “Cinema is dead,” Rossellini turned to historical television dramas about major subjects and figures (Louis XIV, Blaise Pascal, Descartes, the Medicis), made with a rational, almost scientific approach. As always, he yearned to show life’s minutiae unadorned, bare and pure. Echoes of Rossellini’s approach to filmmaking are still felt in movements around the world, from China to Iran to South America to the United States. It’s fair to say modern cinema wouldn’t exist as we know it without him.