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If you’re a film aficionado like myself, than it’s a safe bet you enjoy the masterpieces of David Lynch.  Need I mention Blue Velvet (1986)?  Yes. Of course I do.  Just thinking about that film makes my heart smile in a strange sadistic sort of way.  Where does one start with such a gruesome masterpiece?  We can discuss in length the opening sequence or the infamous aerosol huffing menace, Frank Booth, but not right now.  Today I’d like to bring your attention to a peculiar woman donning an outrageous wig half-heartily singing Bobby Vinton’s “Blue Velvet”… just who is this woman?

Blue-Velvet

ENTER: The Talented Isabella Rossellini

Born from cinema legends Roberto Rossellini and Ingrid Bergman, Isabella is firmly situated within cinema’s aristocracy.  Unfortunately, I’m not here to relish over one of my favorite films. But I will say this—I was always drawn to Rossellini’s character.  Her slight indifference offset by her accent and vaguely deadpan demeanor made her eccentric and an interesting object for the voyeur.  David Lynch introduced me to the world of Isabella Rossellini.  Blue Velvet opened up a door to an innocence that was uncanny yet guarded.  It wasn’t until then that I began seeing more of Isabella scattered throughout various films and channel surfing.  Her guest appearances on 30 Rock as Bianca, Jack Donaghy’s (played by Alec Baldwin) ex-wife was a match made in heaven.

Her offbeat humor, wit, and vast imagination have since made a debut in an all-original miniseries created and produced by Rossellini herself.  I’ll admit I binge-watched all of her Green Porno installments via Youtube… over and over, but it’s so worth it!  A Sundance Channel production, Green Porno began in 2008 as a compilation of short videos that examined various topics; mating habits, motherhood (Mammas), and sexual behaviors (Seduce Me) all within the animal kingdom.  Somewhere between early vaudeville and Beat poetry of the 1960’s lies Rossellini’s outrageous presentations of ‘making whoopee’ and giving birth.  But don’t let my meager synopsis deter you!  The videos will make you laugh at her unabashed performances, lavish costumes, and set designs.  One part abstract, one part elementary; it’s a great example of DIY aesthetics, quite contrary to the technologically saturated methods available to many filmmakers present.

Interacting with puppets, prosthetics, and costumed talent in a wonderful array of themes, Rossellini gets down with the facts of life with ease.  Have you ever witnessed the sex life of anchovies?  Or deer?  No?!!!?  I thought so.  Than you definitely should.  And if this isn’t enough to appease your sex-craved appetite, her installment titled, Mammas, covers motherhood and maternal instincts.  Though we probably will never see Rosselini perform “Blue Velvet” ever again, you do get to see her dressed as a hamster while devouring her babies.  Her whimsical and overly dramatic reenactments are matched with onscreen set changes in what seems like a hybrid of Sesame Street and Animal Planet on ‘shrooms.  Some viewers might be quick to stamp NSFW to her series, but I beg to differ.  She manages to keep it G-rated from start to finish.

isabella

Netflix’s recent arrival, Green Porno Live! chronicles Rossellini’s success as she begins her worldwide tour of her witty creation under the same title.  Its here we learn of her interest regarding animals since childhood.  In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Rossellini claims the idea of studying animal behavior ignited while she was fourteen years old, reading Konrad Lorenz’s King Solomon’s Ring.  However this particular discipline was absent from institutions at the time, so she reconsidered.  Sidelined by an early modeling career with Lancôme and showbiz, Rossellini immersed herself in her true passion during spare time and seized the opportunity to merge acting with biology when given the chance.  Make note, this endeavor is no publicity stunt or promotional scheme, she only wishes to share her knowledge with others in a way that is playful and very much unorthodox.  Driven by her success with the Green Porno collection, Rossellini recently enrolled in Hunter College’s Biology Masters program to pursue her interest in animal behavior.  And I can only imagine the possibilities surrounding her thesis!

Perhaps, Rossellini’s miniseries on animal behavior is a world seen through the eyes of David Lynch. But that would be selling Rossellini short of her vast quantity of skills and surprises.  Unlike the irony and macabre that permeated throughout Lynch’s cinematic career, Green Porno is devoid of all “Lynchian” elements.  Its obvious from the beginning, this series spawned from a talented and ingenious woman graced by virtuosic parents and the experiences gained from a melange of film productions—Rossellini has definitely found her niche in filmmaking and theatrics.  Even her style has proven to be a breath of fresh air amidst an era of green screen and post-production magic.

If you’re curious, you can view the Green Porno series on sundancechannel.com and stream her documentary on Netflix.  Sex has certainly never been as entertaining and eccentric as Rossellini makes it out to be, that’s for sure.

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