Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Isabella Rossellini and Blowhole Sex

What do you know about sex? You think you know a fair bit? A little here and there? A truck load?

Isabella Rossillini knows heaps. Yes, the Isabella Rossellini. But I never thought I would be sitting in a theatre listening to this glamorous, iconic woman dressed up as a common housefly. Or having her head bitten off by a praying mantis in the act of love.

IR before a captivated audience
Friends in Spoleto brought me along to her one-woman (and many fish/insects/birds) show called Green Porno, which you might like to read up about and - if you are lucky - catch a performance. I nearly died laughing. Rossellini spoke in husky Italian from the podium, lecturing in a simple black dress with several strands of pearls (later discarded when she changed into male attire on the stage), while she referred to filmed skits (her acclaimed series on animal sexual habits) on the big screen. These films, researched and directed by IR herself, showed her dressed as insects or animals to demonstrate her arguments - which spanned from hermaphrodites on Noah's Ark to the vaginal passages of ducks.

What? Isabella Rossellini dressed as a duck, enjoying copulation with a her favoured partner? Or, producing a tape

IR does her fly thang
measure to show the (astonishingly short) penis length of a gorilla? Or Isabella Rossellini dressed as a fly, spitting into a plate a food; or as a spider being eaten up by her itsy bitsy young? Or my favourite - Isabella Rossellini joining paper cut-out dolphins frolicking in the sea, where she showed us dolphin masturbation, dolphin gay sex, dolphin blowhole sex, indicating that imagination in the act of love is hardly restricted to humans.

Don't you remember this woman's flawless face - the face of Lancome, the face that was allegedly discarded when she passed the 40 year mark?

Talk about reinvention! This is a woman who has come a long, long way from her glamour puss Lancome days and her heady affair with David Lynch, her stirring role in 'Blue Velvet', the long shadow that her talented and scandalous parents extended over her life. I wondered about this transition, from feted actress to a biology degree and her spoofy child-like films - the lady even showed us photos of her Penis Exhibition in Toronto (if I'm not wrong), where she stood in the midst of a forest of pastel paper sculptures of every manner of penis under the sun.

Now she is a bird !
I wonder how many of us would have been able to transform from ageing actress to serious comedienne, a brave performer with such a cracking idea? Amazing and - somehow - a slap in the face to Lancome and the common belief that a woman's creative life is over once she hits fifty. Not at all - Rossellini, without stepping up on a soapbox, has outpaced that school of thinking in a witty, intelligent and enquiring piece that is absolutely worth seeing.

What was I doing in that neck of the woods? I'd been invited to a friend's art exhibition at the cultural hub of Spoleto, halfway down the Italian peninsula where they have a smashing festival each summer. Umbria. Olive trees and baked stone towns clasping hilltops. So far from the leafy, hazy north. But more on that next week.

For now I just wanted to tell about an unexpected evening of green porno and blowhole sex.


  1. Good grief! She's hilarious!! I just watched her Green Porno: Dolphin, Duck & Deer so funny! Nice to see people that don't take themselves so seriously!! It made me curious enough to check out more about her - she's quite a woman - even involved in training guide dogs - I think Lancome missed out when they let her go.

    1. Isn't she amazing? I could watch it over and over again and still laugh. Don't you love intelligent humour and a woman who is all grown up? I should read up some more about her too. And yes! How many of us would be buying Lancome from a woman who knows how to laugh and grow older? I would!

  2. Oh, Isabella! I have loved her since Cousins, but now I'm completely smitten. It's wonderful to see a gorgeous woman who hasn't let herself be confined or defined by her beauty.

    1. Now I must look up Cousins! Don't know what that one is. She was such a beautiful presence - apart from her outstanding beauty - and had so much of her mother's grace about her. I imagine she's a lovely person. And a bit of a nutter!

  3. She is my longest-standing Girl Crush (since I was twelve). I still love Isabella Fiorella Elettra Giovanna Rossellini - and I probably always will. ;)

  4. Ok. Maybe I'm not getting it. Maybe it was one of those experiences that required being fully there, to understand the humor. But the only reaction I had when I read this was UGH. Dolphin masturbation. Really?
    I always loved Isabella's face on the screen. God she has that 'something' that transcends beauty. But I found Blue Velvet disturbing on so many levels and I'm not a fan of David Lynch's stuff. I understand if artists prefer to act out their unresolved issues on the movie screen rather than seek therapy, but I don't find it necessarily entertaining.
    Yikes. I just re-read this and it sounds a bit harsh. Let's see, on a positive note I do love that she's an animal lover and anyone who trains service dogs is a kind soul in my world.

  5. I adore her. She’s so sparkly and fearless. I always applaud people when they embrace life changes and she’s a big inspiration. I have her Green Porno book and DVD here on the animal sex. Would love to see her live show. xx