Cinema Arts Festival 2010

Porno at the MFAH? Isabella Rossellini screens Green Porno and accepts award

Porno at the MFAH? Isabella Rossellini screens Green Porno and accepts award

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Franci Crane, from left, Richard Herskowitz, Isabella Rossellini and Lynn Wyatt Photo by Michelle Watson/LastNightPics.com
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Isabella Rossellini
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Porno at the MFAH? At least it’s green.

On Friday night Isabella Rossellini showed audiences segments from her Sundance series Green Porno and Seduce Me, humorous short films depicting the mating habits of animals from house flies to ducks. The actress, filmmaker, model and environmentalist also received the first ever Cinema Arts Festival Houston's Levantine Cinema Arts Award for her achievements.

A packed theater gave Rossellini a standing ovation. Just as at Thursday night’s tribute to the Rice Media Center, where Rossellini commemorated the center's 40th anniversary, the event was sold out with eager patrons lining the MFAH’s hallways for tickets an hour in advance.

Many had come to see the screening of Isabella Rossellini – My Wild Life, a 2010 autobiographical film chronicling her childhood, career highlights, and family. The film also honored her father, filmmaker Roberto Rossellini, who she described as “the most important man in my life.” Although Isabella Rossellini attested to being equally close to her mother, Ingrid Bergman, she wanted to focus more on her father, saying she had different plans for her mother’s centennial in 2015.

The film featured snippets of her short film, My Father is 100 Years Old. In the film, she stopped mid-sentence to inform the cameraman, “My father would call this camera work immoral because it’s pretentious and unnecessary,” guiding him to a simple “Rossellini” shot.

In another scene the ever-playful Rossellini gazed at a caterpillar through a magnifying glass. “When I was a child I felt like a caterpillar with 1,000 legs, always exploring," she said. She was down to earth—quite literally. Her dedication to animals rang clear, from training service dogs in her New York home to protesting squid fisheries of South America. To Rossellini all life is fascinating and worthy of study, even the lowly bedbug.

Watch Isabella Rossellini's hilarious Green Porno and most recent work, Seduce Me, and share her vision.

Afterwards, Rossellini was the guest of honor at a private reception hosted by Lynn Wyatt at her River Oaks home. Rossellini received congratulations from Levantine ceo Jamail Daniel, Franci Crane, Michael Zilkha, Pat Breen and Francois de Menil. 

Rossellin toured the Menil Collection and the restored home of John and Dominique de Menil during the day. She recalled that she had stayed at home when she accompanied her father on an overnight visit as a child.

"I wanted to see if I remembered it correctly and I did," she said. "When I was a little girl I had not seen anything like it. Even now, 60 years after it was built, it's still an incredibly modern house. It feels so avant-garde today."