isabella_rossellini

Above, we see two recent pictures of the lovely and talented Isabella Rossellini. On the left, she is the new face of the Italian fashion industry. On the right, she is mounting a housefly.

Perhaps further explanation is required.

The Italian fashion industry has taken a beating lately as a result of buyouts, corporate consolidation and increasingly visible sweatshops, so they appealed to Ms. Rossellini in a bid to recapture Milan’s aura of old world elegance. The daughter of an Italian neorealist and one of Old Hollywood’s most beautiful actresses, Rossellini seemed like an ideal choice to bring back memories of the industry’s artisinal past without seeming hopelessly old-fashioned.

Only, Rossellini isn’t too old-fashioned herself. Best known for playing the unstable vixen in Blue Velvet, Rossellini has always been more adventurous than she has to be. Unfortunately, her latest endeavor is surfacing at an awkward moment.

Having dwelled on the festival circuit for some time, Rossellini’s series of bug-minded shorts is finally making ripples. Affectionately dubbed “Green Porn,” the shorts follow the reproductive process of various insects, portrayed in cartoonishly simple, contrast-heavy graphics. The approach is self-consciously childlike, designed for cell phone or iPod screens, which Rossellini & co. refer to as “the third screen.”

In short, it’s pretty arty stuff, and possibly not the image Milan had in mind. The woman on the left is the image of restrained glamour, but she’s representing a world that doesn’t exist anymore. If it did, Rossellini would be making prestige pictures instead of bug flicks for iPod screens.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom