Isabella Rossellini is bringing her quirky nature lectures focused on the sexual habits of animals she calls "Green Pornos" to Miami Beach.
In her shorts, which began online for the Sundance Channel, the former-model-turned-actress blends deep insights on nature with a cheeky humor and a lo-fi Michel Gondry aesthetic. They are both laugh-out-loud ridiculous but still profoundly ecologically consciousness with a dash of penetrating poetry. She's like Werner Herzog with a sense of humor.
In her shorts, she puts herself in the animal's skin to not only learn but find some empathy for them. She does not anthropomorphize. She does the opposite; with simple costumes that emphasize certain characteristics, she becomes a walking human caricature of the creature.
For instance, when she wonders about being a right whale preparing to mate, she dons a skin tight blue suit with a knee-length pink member between her legs. "A penis has disadvantages in water," she says as she "swims" in a sea of cardboard waves, "because it produces drag, and a dangling organ is in danger of being snagged," she continues as a toothy cardboard shark approaches.
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When these weird-o films first spawned from the mind of Rossellini in 2008, some wondered where this strange turn in creativity came from. Co-directed by Jody Shapiro and co-produced by Rick Gilbert, the works did not, however, surprise those familiar with the span of work by the ex-wife of David Lynch and frequent collaborator of Winnepeg's great film surrealist Guy Maddin. This is the sort of stuff Rossellini can channel with a natural ease. They should be a trip in a live setting as a one-woman show.
Follow Hans Morgenstern on Twitter @HansMorgenstern.