ROSABELLA: ORSON WELLES YEARS IN ITALY now out on DVD
Ciro Giorgini has written to let us know that his fine documentary Rosabella is now available on DVD, with new interviews with Elsa Martinelli and Suzanne Cloutier as extras. It can be ordered from Minimum Fax in Italy For 19. Euros, and comes with the book Orson Welles: Interviews on the art of the Cinema .
CORRECTION: The DVD is in Italian and DOES NOT have optional English subtitles, so although it is worth having only if you understand Italian.
ROSABELLA: Orson Welles's Years in Italy
A film by Gianfranco Giagni and Ciro Giorgini
Italy 1993; 60 min.
Thanks to Tony for posting these notes to the messageboard that were written by the directors of ROSABELLA:
Rosabella is the absurd name given to Rosebud in the Italian version of Citizen Kane, but it may also indicate the contradictory relation between Orson Welles and Italy.
At the 1948 Venice Film Festival the disastrous criticism of his Macbeth made him declare: "This film is for an audience that understands. I am not liked in Italy. My love for this country is not returned".
Yet in the same Italy he lived for twenty years, and the life in Italy of Welles left a chain of memories in those who lived close to him at the time.
Thus our seeking of direct evidence became a fascinating journey across Orson Welles' Italian years, far from the folklore of the Dolce vita and the Restaurants of Rome.
Italian years that were mainly relations with cinema technicians (cameramen, editors) whom he involved in his endless projects, many of which - so many times - remained unfinished, often through no fault of his.
Cameramen editors and producers who lived for months or years with him as in a tunnel. After their Welles experiences some no longer worked, some changed their profession, others felt a certain responsibility for the rest of their lives. And his life in Italy was full of private sentiments. From Lea Padovani to his great love for Paola Mori who became his third wife. Then his attachment to Venice and other unexpected places: Tuscania, Viterbo, the castle of Bracciano, the EUR area of Rome, that we find transformed in films he completed (Othello), that remained unfinished (Don Quixote) or remained only projects (Julius Caesar).
Our attempt has been to trace the story of his life in Italy but this is also the story of a number of Italians who narrate how their lives were marked by Orson Welles, the one and only Welles, and how much they missed him.
Includes interviews with:
Gary Graver (cinematographer and friend of Orson Welles)
Alessandro Tasca di Cutò (producer, Chimes at Midnight, Don Quixote, In the Land of Don Quixote)
Suzanne Cloutier (actress, Othello)
Walter Chiari (actor, Chimes at Midnight)
Arnoldo Foà (actor, The Trial, Narrator for the Italian version of In the Land of Don Quixote)
Francesco Lavagnino (music composer for Chimes At Midnight, Othello, The Merchant of Venice)
Mauro Bonanni (editor, Don Quixote, Merchant of Venice, The Deep)
Renzo Lucidi (editor, Othello, Mr. Arkadin, Don Quixote)
Giorgio Tonti (Camera operator, The Deep, The Merchant of Venice)
Oberdan Troiani (camera operator, Othello)
Roberto Perpignani (assistant editor, Don Quixote, The Trial, In the Land of Don Quixote)
Mariano Faggiani (assistant editor, Don Quixote, In the Land of Don Quixote)
Maurizio Lucidi (sound editor Don Quixote, In the Land of Don Quixote)
Lello Bersani ( Journalist )
Rosalba Tonti (production secretary, The Deep, The Merchant of Venice)
and ORSON WELLES