Screening the Silly:
The Christian Iconography
of
Roberto Rossellini’s Francesco,
giullare di Dio

By Peter Doebler

Endnotes

  1. On the dating controversy see George Kaftal, St Francis in Italian Painting (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1950), 20.
  2. See Giovanni Morello and Laurence B. Kanter, eds., The Treasury of Saint Francis of Assisi (Milan: Electa, 1999), 56.
  3. See Louise M. Bourdua, “Franciscan Order,” Dictionary of Art, vol. 11, ed. Jane Turner, (New York: Macmillan, 1996), 708.
  4. Parenthetical names of artists are inserted to point the reader to a good example of the motif mentioned.
  5. This fact may be influenced by the sources the art was based on, Celano and Bonaventure, as John Fleming notes: “In Bonaventure’s work the tendency to subordinate the biographical date of a single thirteenth-century life to the grand eschatological design of God’s working in history—a tendency already distinct in Thomas of Celano—is everywhere triumphant.” From Bonaventure to Bellini (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1982), 18.
  6. The Francis Trilogy, eds. Regis J. Armstrong, J. A. Wayne Hellmann, and William J. Short, (Hyde Park, NY: New City Press, 2004), 93, italics original.
  7. Although the identification of the Bellini painting with the stigmata is debated, which is part of the thesis of John Fleming’s From Bonaventure to Bellini.
  8. Bourdua, “Franciscan Order,” 710.
  9. See Guido Visconti and Bimba Landmann, Clare and Francis (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2003).
  10. See Adriano Apra, “Adriano Apra on ‘The Flowers of St. Francis,’” DVD (New York: Criterion Collection, 2004).
  11. Whom he met making Paisa in 1946. See Apra, “Adriano Apra on ‘The Flowers of St. Francis.’”
  12. At a screening in Paris with Monsignor Roncalli (later Pope John XXIII) sitting next to Rossellini, the former stroked the latter’s sleeve and said, “Poor man, you don’t know what you’ve done.” See Virgilio Fantuzzi, “My Conversations With Rossellini: An Interview with Film Critic Father Virgilio Fantuzzi SJ,” DVD (New York: Criterion Collection, 2004).
  13. “The Message of The Flowers of St. Francis,” in My Method: Writings and Interviews, ed. Adriano Apra, trans. Annapaola Cancogni (New York: Marsilio Publishers, 1992), 31.
  14. Ibid, 32.
  15. “From Open City to India, Television conversations,” in My Method: Writings and Interviews, ed. Adriano Apra, trans. Annapaola Cancogni (New York: Marsilio Publishers, 1992), 118.
  16. “A Discussion of Neorealism, an interview with Mario Verdone,” in My Method: Writings and Interviews, ed. Adriano Apra, trans. Annapaola Cancogni (New York: Marsilio Publishers, 1992), 37.
  17. Victoria Schultz, “Interview with Roberto Rossellini, February 22–25, 1971 in Houston, Texas,” Film Culture 52 (Spring 1971), 13.
  18. Ibid, 14.
  19. “In Defense of Rossellini, A letter to Guido Aristarco, editor-in-chief of Cinema Nuovo,” in What is Cinema? Vol. 2, trans. Hugh Gray (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1971), 100.
  20. “A Discussion of Neorealism, an interview with Mario Verdone,” 40–41. For this reason Bazin calls Rossellini “more a master of line than a painter, more a short-story writer than a novelists. See “In Defense of Rossellini,” 101.
  21. See “Adriano Apra on ‘The Flowers of St. Francis.’”
  22. See “Notes on My Father: An Interview with Isabella Rosellini,” DVD (New York: Criterion Collection, 2004).
  23. Two notes of interest on the monks are that Adriano Apra sees the monk who played Ginepro as one of the greatest actors in Italian film (see “Adriano Apra on ‘The Flowers of St. Francis.’”) and Isabella Rossellini recalls the monks who acted in the film, from the monastery at Maiori, when offered money for their part requested it all be spent on one big firework show for the local village (see “Notes on My Father”).
  24. “A Panorama of History, an interview with Francisco Llinas and Miguel Marias,” in My Method: Writings and Interviews, ed. Adriano Apra, trans. Annapaola Cancogni (New York: Marsilio Publishers, 1992), 197–98.
  25. See “A Discussion of Neorealism, an interview with Mario Verdone,” 40.
  26. Adriano Apra notes there were eleven episodes planned (the French title of the film attests to this) but one was cut at the last minute before screening at Venice, a scene where Francis meets a prostitute. See “Adriano Apra on ‘The Flowers of St. Francis.’”
  27. “The Message of The Flowers of St. Francis,” 40–1.
  28. I don’t know if the monk did his own stunts.
  29. “Notes on My Father.”
  30. The learned being beaten is seen in the advisor to Nicolaio, who says “I don’t understand these things” in response to Ginepro’s comments of his sinfulness, in as much as Nicolaio listening to the message of Ginepro trumps that of his advisor.
  31. I counted eight separate shots of running monks.
  32. See the data collected and posted by the author on the Cinemetrics website: http://www.cinemetrics.lv/movie.php?movie_ID=4752
  33. Isabella Rossellini comments that many of the monks couldn’t remember their lines and her father just had them count numbers. See “Notes on My Father.”
  34. Lawrence Cunningham, Saint Francis of Assisi, (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1981), 60.

 


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