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Rossellini's War Trilogy

Criterion’s new edition of these crucially important films — “Rome Open City” (1945), “Paisan” (1946) and “Germany Year Zero” (1948) — has been in the works for a long time, but the wait was more than worth it. These films probably haven’t looked this good since they were first released, and “Paisan” in particular appears to have been brought back from the dead, thanks to the miracle of digital dust-busting. “Germany Year Zero” has lost its distracting Italian soundtrack and now speaks its native German for, apparently, the first time in North America. The set contains a generous serving of scholarly material as well, including “visual essays” by Tag Gallagher and Mark Shiel, Carlo Lizzani’s 2001 television documentary “Roberto Rossellini,” a booklet with essays by James Quandt, Colin McCabe and Jonathan Rosenbaum, and a lot more. Congratulations to producer Johanna Schiller for a daunting task triumphantly accomplished. My New York Times review is here.

206 comments to Rossellini’s War Trilogy

  • Barry Putterman


    I’m sure that Mike Grost sees the humor in your typo on his name. But seriously, that is the kind of oooooopps that you really want to avoid through proofreading. And this is coming from a guy whose spellings are shall we say, varied.

  • Kent Jones

    Ooh, Alex – I think you have missed the editorial window by 46 minutes. We will all take comfort in noting the proximity of the K and M keys on our laptops.

    Barry, I’m sure your spelling has never been THAT varied.

  • Alex Hicks

    Barry and Kent,

    I was about to switch the topic to diction by making the distinction between spelling and typing/proofing when –yikes!– a look at my actual gaffe dramatized rather clearly that sometimes and error is simply and error.

  • Mike Grost

    Don’t worry! I know it was only a typo.

    I always look forward to reading your posts – you know a lot about film history.

  • Alex Hicks

    Thanks, Mike.

  • jbryant

    Alex: Just be careful if there’s ever a thread here for BIGGER THAN LIFE.