Paisan - Carmela Sazio, Robert Van LoonPaisan (1946) dir. Roberto Rossellini

Rossellini’s realism isn’t any less contrived or manipulative than classical Hollywood styles.  ‘Simplicity,’ rather than ‘realism’ might be a more accurate word in this sense.  The film still lies, ’24 frames a second.’

But its lie is convincing; Paisan feels much more natural and more ‘real’ than a different war film might have been.  We spend our viewing time thinking about the real Italians and Americans, without being distracted from the on-screen drama.

Paisan - Maria Michi, Gar Moore Paisan is more engaging than your average piece of Italian realism.  I had planned to watch the 6 different episodic stories in different sittings, but I ended up staying through the whole DVD.

Like with Rossellini’s similarly themed Rome, Open City, Federico Fellini assisted with the writing of Paisan, getting credit for the monastery scene.

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