Rossellini's History Films: Renaissance And Enlightenment - Eclipse From The Criterion Collection
In the final phase of his career, Italian master Roberto Rossellini embarked on a dramatic, daunting project: a series of television films about knowledge and history, made in an effort to teach, where contemporary media were failing. Looking at the Western world's major figures and moments, yet focusing on the small details of daily life, Rossellini was determined not to recount history but to relive it, as it might have been, unadorned and full of the drama of the everyday. This selection of Rossellini's history films presents The Age of the Medici, Cartesius and Blaise Pascal - works that don't just enliven the past but illuminate the ideas that have brought us to where we are today.
The Age of the Medici
This three-part saga evokes the social, economic, and religious life of fifteenth-century Florence through two of its leading lights: banker Cosimo de' Medici and art theorist Leon Battista Alberti.
Rossellini's portrait of "the Father of Modern Philosophy", Rene Descartes (in Latin, Renatus Cartesius), depicts the seventeenth-century thinker's agonized struggle to assert the primacy of reason.
In this evocative, atmospheric biography, Rossellini brings to life philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal, who, amid religious persecution and ignorance, believed in a harmony between God and science.