Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Hero: Isabella Rossellini

Hello blogosphere,

I've been preparing this post for a little while because I wanted to do justice to my subject. Isabella Rossellini is beautiful, no duh. She's a wonderful actress with an eclectic career and she was a successful model with a famous Lancome contract and a bazillion Vogue covers to her name. This is not why I'm featuring her. No, Isabella Rossellini gets a whole post to herself not just because she's super stylish but because she is batshit crazy in the acest possible way.

Not in the diva way, unfortunately. This is an old Dolce and Gabbana campaign.

I am always on the lookout for obscure fashion-related literature so when Francine Prose alerted me to Rosellini's autobiography in her neato how-to book "Reading Like a Writer" (books about writing/reading are my porn), I cyber-schlepped over to Amazon Marketplace, paid a teeny £3 fee and lo! "Some of Me" appeared on my doormat two weeks later.

"Some of Me" as any person of substance will, know, is a play on Katherine Hepburn's autobiography "All of Me." It's so called because the author acknowledges, she ain't telling the truth for no-one:

It's a habit of mine to embellish and colour events until I lose sight of what really happened. Even when I was a child my grandmother had to say: "Verita o fantasia?" ---- "Truth or fantast?" If you want to eliminate my grandmother's kindness and to put it more bluntly, I lie. I always did.

Friends, this is the finest celebrity memoir I have ever encountered. Better then that one Groucho Marx tried to ban because he was old and drunk and bitched and libelled up the ying-yang. This book is chock full of glossy photos, famous ex-boyfriends, philosophy and batshit conversations she has with her dead father.

Even the glossy stuff of Rossellini as super-gorgeous model is undercut by humour and a sense of the macabre.

Caption: The first advert where I did not have to use the wax from the undertakers to fix my broken teeth.

Oh god, oh god, I love the beauty industry. And I love Isabella Rossellini even more. On reading in the New York Times about the pristine condition of Lenin's head as preserved by Doctor Sergei Lubov (the doctor was quoted: "If a pathologist looked at samples of skin from Lenin and a fresh corpse, he could not tell which is which, it is so well preserved."), Rossellini cut out the article and sent it Lancome with a note: "Doctor Debov may be of some use to us." But, she adds, I got no response.

Bitch has 28 Vogue covers to her name. 78% have surprised eyes.

And have we even talked about Martin Scorsese and David Lynch? She married Scorsese and dated Lynch for about 7 years. How would we even deal with that in our celebrity-obsessed culture? If it happened today, we'd be forced to refer to them by some awful amalgamation of their names. Scor-bella or Isnch or some shit.



I really really have to do a "David Lynch Women" post - there's an insane amount of fashiony stuff to talk about in his films, his collaboration with Christian Louboutin and his latest adverts for Gucci perfumes. Still, this ain't his post, it's Isabella's and that bastard broke her heart. However, h did give her a couple of kick-ass roles in the meantime.

Dorothy in Blue Velvet - the film with "the severed ear in the heart of suburbia" as my A-Level film studies tutors were fond of saying INCESSANTLY

Perdita Durango in Wild At Heart

In addition to all of this eyebrow work, Lynch also gave Rossellini several pieces of his art. This one is my favourite - it's called "How to Assemble a Chicken"

I mean, don't you instinctively warm to a women who lovingly displays a rotted chicken carcass in her home? THAT'S frickin' style in my book.

However, among the many awesome attributes of "Some of Me,' one of the standout chapters concerns Isabella's obsession with insects' sex lives. Truly, I was edu-tained reading about spider masturbation, earthworm self-impregnation and snails that change gender.

"Don't think it was the frequent divorces, the homosexuality, the extra marital affais with the creation of half-brothers and sisters around the world all taking place within my family that forceme into being disrespectful of tradition and adopting unconventional attitudes. My pets helped a great deal. Once you've lived with dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, pig, you've seen it all.... Pets make you face the darkest, most hidden facts of nature. There have been sex crossings, species crossings, even sex with inanimate objects. Spanky, my pig, humped the living room furniture every night."

Isabella with Spanky and his canine companion.

This obsession this the sex lives of animals has taken a completely ace turn recently as Rossellini has just turned director and produced a number of shorts subtitled 'Green Porno' where she stars as a series of insects looking for love. The entire shorts aren't online but you can see an interview with clips here:

If this doesn't convince you that this woman is worthy of worship, then I don't know what to say to you. She dresses as a giant spider and simulates sex with a paper cut-out. What moe do you want? She's fearless, weird, cinema royalty* and she has a sensible haircut. A total out-and-out style hero.

Bug-out, friends,

*if I have to tell you she's Ingrid Bergman's daughter, I'll cry.


Imelda Matt said...

This is the most heaven post I've read in ages you had me at 'Sergei Lubov (the doctor was quoted: "If a pathologist looked at samples of skin from Lenin and a fresh corpse, he could not tell which is which, it is so well preserved."), Rossellini cut out the article and sent it Lancome with a note: "Doctor Debov may be of some use to us." But, she adds, I got no response.'

What's not to love about this woman?

The 'crazy popping eye's', I wonder what Miss Tyra would have to say about this???

Anonymous said...

Great post!
I love Isabella and David Lynch. Must buy that book right now!

WendyB said...

I like her but sometimes she has a seriously ugly hairdo!

bronwyn said...

Amazing post, totally enjoyed it!!!

Cellar Door said...

Fabulous post, well worth the effort! I've always admired the lady but I had no idea she was so bonkers. I, for one, will be on the look out for her autobiography. Plus, David Lynch is an obsession of mine so you must do a Lynch post.

Ariadne said...

This is fantastic. You are a genius bloggy person.