After performing her “Green Porno” show in Vancouver, Germany and Spain, actor-director-producer-writer Isabella Rossellini arrives in Cannes to serve as president of the Un Certain Regard Jury at Cannes and to celebrate the centennial of her mother.
What was your involvement with “Ingrid Bergman, In Her Own Words,” which opens Cannes Classics?
I knew about the other films of Stig (Bjorkmann), including ones on Woody Allen and Ingmar Bergman. I ran into him when I was the president of the jury in Berlin in 2011 and told him that in a few years it will be my mom’s centennial and that there is a lot of material no one has seen, housed in the archives at Wesleyan University, including behind-the-scenes footage of “Stromboli” and “Journey to Italy” that she shot herself.
You have your own projects for her centennial too?
In 1979, my mother wrote an autobiography (“My Story”) that is now out of print. It captured her sense of humor and her wit. I will be doing a reading from that, along with an actor, in a number of cities, accompanied by clips and photos. In September, I will be in New York and London with Jeremy Irons, and in October, in Paris with Gerard Depardieu, and in Rome with Christian De Sica. Earlier, as a precursor to the centennial, I completed a book, “Ingrid Bergman — A Life in Pictures,” (Schirmer/Mosel) that has over 500 pictures drawn from the archive and other sources. And there will be a retrospective of my mother’s films at the Museum of Modern Art and other cinematheques around the world.
What other projects are in the pipeline for you as an actor and as a director?
I’ve been busy with projects for my mother’s centenary, and I’m on the way to Vancouver to do the monologue for my “Green Porno” films stage show. I will also be performing it in Germany and Spain. A documentary about my stage show, “Isabella Rossellini’s Green Porno Live!” will air on the Ovation network in the U.S. on May 17.
What do you enjoy about watching films?
It is two hours in a dark room and a chance to be transported somewhere else or to learn something completely new. I also look for innovation in narrative, a way of storytelling that is completely new, that breaks rules and makes a new style.
What are you looking forward to at Cannes?
Cannes and festivals in general are the best place to watch films. I’m looking forward to being totally dedicated to film watching with no other worries. I’m staying in a hotel, so not distracted by housework or the news of the day. I look forward to discovering emerging talent and seeing films that I won’t be able to see anywhere else.