An Anna Magnani retrospective screens at Film Society of Lincoln Center from May 18 – June 1, 2016.
About Anna Magnani
Anna Magnani (1908-1973) was an Academy Award-winning stage and film actress who was the symbol of Italian post-war cinema. Magnani (sounds like Mañana with an “ee”) played working-class women with fiery Latin passion. She could be funny, but was known for being explosive. Some filmmakers consider Anna to have been one of the greatest screen actresses of all time.
Her performance in Roberto Rossellini’s Rome, Open City (1945) made Magnani an international star. In it, she plays a woman trying to protect her resistance fighter husband from the Nazis.
American playwright Tennessee Williams liked Anna’s work so much that he wrote the play The Rose Tattoo for her. She didn’t accept the 1951 Broadway role because of her limited English at the time. However, Magnani’s performance in the 1955 film opposite Burt Lancaster earned an Academy Award for Best Actress. Magnani plays a widowed mother trying to protect her teenage daughter while processing the loss of her cheating husband.
Magnani’s final film was Fellini’s Roma (1972). It is a surreal insider’s look at Italian culture.
If you have a Latin woman in your life, you will recognize the fiery character of Anna Magnani.