Oh, Isabella

On a Monday night not long ago I slicked on some red lipstick and headed into town to see Isabella Rossellini's Green Porno stage show. After watching the YouTube videos of Isabella dressed as a wriggling pink worm/a leggy grasshopper/a horny beetle I'd fallen in love with her simple, empathetic approach to animal behavioural studies. "I am an actor! It's the best way for me to try to understand diversity," she explained.

Interestingly though, what stirred me the most during the show -- which coupled videos and photos with live narration and an hamster costume -- was a picture of the young Rossellini family. Ingrid Bergman, Roberto Rossellini and their three youngsters (Isabella, her twin Isotta and younger brother Robertino); all blunt-fringed and lying atop one another in a sibling smush.

What took my breath away during the show was not the revelation of the size of a gorilla penis or the duck gang rape scene. It was this picture: showing Roberto nuzzled into Isabella's small face. She told us how her father had been completely and unabashedly maternal. He'd professed to being envious of a woman's capacity for birth, he lamented it was something that he'd never be able to experience.

I think it was the softness of his face that did it. All the talk of mating rituals and copulation and life-cycles had let me wander into a dry and scientific realm but that look on Rossellini's face calibrated me right back to my regular sappy, swooning self. 

The Rossellini family

The Rossellini family