Thursday, July 14, 2011
mama knows best
1951's black and white drama 'bellisima' was directed by luchino visconti, the man who twenty years later created such a gorgeous colorful backdrop to his 'death in venice.' the italian actress of 'venice' (silvana mangano) had an ethereal beauty that blended so well with her calm aristocratic role. she flowed seamlessly through the sumptuous pastel interiors.
astonishingly natural and fiery actress anna magnani was a different story. her rich black hair and fair skin were meant to be seen in monochrome. even though anna can erupt like a volcano, she has an amazingly convincing sweetness that makes her very forgivable. like me!
'bellisima' is the story of a devoted mother who drags her little girl through every step it takes for her to win a contest that will place her in a movie being filmed at the fame cinecitta studios in rome. she hides it all from her husband and deafens her ears to her child's tears. she wants more for her girl! it is not a painful film to watch, if only because of anna's innate devotion that shines through her demands.
i must admit i was terrified of seeing magnani's response to the 'slight' trim administered by the barber's inexperienced relative.
photos: Anna Magnani and Tina Apicella (tina's only film)