Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Alida, Ingrid, Isa, Anna play themselves!

SIAMO DONNE (WE, THE WOMEN). A 1953 Italian compendium of 4 stories, in a nice fresh print. The 4 actresses are Ingrid Bergman, Anna Magnani, Alida Valli and Isa Miranda all playing “themselves” in little anecdotes from their lives, and we start with auditions for young beauties for parts in the film.

The first is a nice little satire on stardom as Alida is back from America and bored with all the showbiz parties and events she has to attend. Her masseuse invites her to her engagement party that evening, but Alida has another boring company event to attend; on a whim she leaves and arrives all glamorous at the engagement party, which turns out to be a horror of a different kind. She can’t relax and be natural as the star-struck ordinary people make a fuss of her, demand autographs and bring in everyone to meet her. She grabs her mink stole and flees back to her rarified existence (after imagining she could have a normal life with the masseuse’s fiancĂ©).

Ingrid tells an amusing little story about a neighbour's chicken who keeps eating her roses, and it is a nice fictional snapshot of her life in Italy at the time, directed by Rossellini. Its quite funny seeing Ingrid and the chicken squaring up to each other.

Then we have Isa Miranda dedicated to her career and her lovely apartment and the archive of her achievements but suddenly she has to look after a sick child and his siblings and realises what she is missing as she returns to her lonely apartment.

Then its Anna Magnani’s turn, directed by Visconti (as in BELLISSIMA) as the star always late at the theatre as she gets into an escalating row with her taxi-driver who wants to charge her extra for her lapdog. Then Anna sings wonderfully when she finally gets on stage. I enjoyed it all enormously, and its made me interested in Isa Miranda whom I only saw in her later smaller roles.
Next: back to BOCCACCIO 70 and some early Fellini.

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