Italian actor Isabella Rossellini will chair the A Certain Regard Jury at the Cannes Film Festival, which runs from May 13 to 24. This section -- only next in importance to the main Competition -- will screen about 20 movies that will be experimental, novel and visually different. A Certain Regard has often introduced debutant directors to the world, men and women who have gone on to become renowned and masters of the medium.
The list of A Certain Regard films -- in fact the entire official selection, including Competition entries -- will be announced in Paris on April 16. The other jurors in Rossellini's team will also be named then. The main Competition jury will be presided over by the Coen Brothers, Joel and Ethan, from America.
Rossellini, daughter of Swedish actor Ingrid Bergman and Italian auteur Roberto Rossellini, never attained the kind of fame her parents did. Who does not know Bergman, and who does not know the kind of unforgettable classics she had acted in. In fact, this September, she would have turned 100, and the festival's official poster has her smiling that spellbinding smile which one saw in movies like Notorious, Gaslight and Casablanca. Also, a documentary on her will be shown as part of the Cannes Classics, and Isabella will introduce it. A daughter's tribute to a mother!
Roberto was well known for his neorealist cinema as he was for the scandal he caused when he was in India during the late 1950s on an invitation from Jawaharlal Nehru to make a documentary. Though married to Ingrid then, he had an affair with a Bengali screenwriter, Sonali Dasgupta, who was married to filmmaker Hari Sadhan Dasgupta. The relationship caused such an uproar in India and in the West that Nehru had to ask Roberto to leave. Later, he married Sonali, but not before he had separated from Ingrid.
Isabella's career began with modelling assignments, and the one with Lancome caught the eye of many cinema celebrities. Her first role was in the 1979 The Meadow by the Taviani Brothers. She hit the international arena with White Nights by Taylor Hackford (1985), Tough Guys Don't Dance by Norman Mailer (1987), Les Yeux noirs (1987) by Nikita Mikhalkov, Blue Velvet (1986) and Wild at Heart (1990) by David Lynch, for whom she played a number of mysterious and tortured characters.
After a stint with television, Isabella returned to arthouse cinema with Abel Ferrara's The Funeral (1996) and Two Lovers by James Gray (2008), parts that were intense. In 2010, she appeared in The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Saverio Costanzo.
She was once married to Martin Scorsese.