Film: Bergman-Rossellini-Magnani love triangle in new doc

Patierno's War of the Volcanoes to screen at Venice Fest

03 August, 19:26

(ANSAMed) - ROME, AUGUST 3 - It was a famous star-ridden love triangle, and Italian filmmaker Francesco Patierno has made a documentary about it that will rock audiences at the Venice Classics section of the upcoming Venice Film Festival.

Titled The War of the Volcanoes, it's set in 1949 and it takes place on two different movie sets in the Aeolian archipelago north of Sicily: director Roberto Rossellini is shooting on Stromboli island with his new flame Ingrid Bergman, while his betrayed partner Anna Magnani is shooting on Vulcano island. ''It's a love story, and the protagonists are some of the most famous people in the world,'' Patierno told ANSA. '' I edited it by alternating pieces of Anna and of Ingrid, in a long-distance dialogue with Rossellini caught in the middle.'' In 1949, Bergman, then a Hollywood movie star fresh from the successes of Notorious and Casablanca, famously wrote Rossellini a letter brimming with admiration for his recent Neorealist masterpieces Paisa and Roma Citta Aperta, and offering her services as an actress. ''If you need a Swedish actress who speaks very good English, who hasn't forgotten her German, and in Italian only knows how to say 'ti amo,' I'm ready to come to Italy to work with you,'' Bergman wrote. Then at the height of his career, Rossellini was involved in a long-term relationship with his muse, actress Anna Magnani. The Neorealist master responded to Bergman in hopes that her Hollywood cachet would help him finance his next film, but the correspondence acquired a more intimate tone. They soon became the talk of the town, arousing the jilted Magnani's fury. Legend has it that once, watching Rossellini open a telegram from Bergman, she threw a plate of spaghetti in his face..

''Perhaps the most beautiful discovery I made was watching these two actresses communicate feelings that were their own,'' Patierno explained. ''They were not playing a role, they were playing themselves. By the end, you love them both.'' Produced by Todos Contentos y Yo Tambien with Cinecittà Luce, Wide House and the Center for Aeolian Studies, the documentary is distributed by Luce-Cinecittà and has already been sold in 12 countries. After Venice, it travels to film festivals in Toronto, London and New York. (ANSAMed).


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