|The Camera That Kills Bad Guys|
I think I have the idea down. I take a picture of somebody. Then I take a picture of the picture of that somebody and they will die. Ok, let me look…found one! I guess I will find out soon if it works. In the meantime…
I am not going to lie to you. This is a bad movie, but it’s not from just any director. This was done by Roberto Rossellini smack dab in the middle of his golden age: after the war trilogy but before the Bergman trilogy not to mention The Flowers Of St. Francis. It’s like he decided to get the worst of his filmmaking out in a single picture. It’s about a cameraman in a small Italian town populated with corrupt, nasty, lazy, and any other bad word you can think of to describe people. The cameraman is visited by a supposed saint who gives him the power to kill people with his camera. He’s rather poor and idealistic so it doesn’t take him long to start killing the “bad” to bring the “good” to power. Of course the “bad” and the “good” are one in the same in every person you meet.
|Agostino Is Dead!|
The moral of the story is obvious, but Rossellini kindly points it out to us again with a voice over narration at the end of the film. But your not watching this for the moral. It’s the humor. For example, the film begins with some people deciding that since 50,000 Americans landed at this particular shore, and another 50,000 claim they did, then they have a built in base for tourism if they build a resort there. Then of course there are the three American tourists who ask several times for the toilet. My favorite discussion went from ‘where is the toilet’ to ‘use the terrace’ to ‘a toilet with a terrace!’ Oh, then there is the following scene:
It’s for certain, Ronnie James Dio did get the famous heavy metal sign from his Italian mother or grandmother. It wasn’t something evil. In fact, it was meant to protect yourself against evil.
If you have seen the best of Rossellini, then now it’s time to see his phenomenal screw up. Just approach it with caution.