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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Paisan (1946) d. Roberto Rossellini

Paisan (1946)
d. Roberto Rossellini
Criterion Collection #498
Second film in Roberto Rossellini's War Trilogy box set, Criterion Collection #500

  I think there is a lot to really dig into in the Rossellini War Trilogy, but that there are very few people out there who are actively interested in Rossellini.   Paisan is very much an Empire Strikes Back style bridge between the powerful anchors of Rome Open City and Germany Year Zero.  Paisan is an episodic film about the Allied invasion of Italy in 1944-45(?).  Individual segments are 15-30 minutes apiece and range all over Italy, many of the segments deal with a small group of American soldiers and their interactions with various segments of Italian society.

  Rossellini blends professional actors with locals and non actors.  In Paisan there are American, Italians, Germans and English, all speaking their native language.  Taken together Rossellini's War Trilogy are impressively international productions.  Due to the lack of a traditional story, Paisan moves along at a Hollywood level pace.  It's a brisk ride and a watchable movie- perhaps easier to watch than either Rome Open City and Germany Year Zero though not as significant as the other two.

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