(episode & 1st season series)
DIRECTED BY: Isabella Rossellini & Jody Shapiro
FEATURING: Isabella Rossellini
PLOT: A fly bides its time explaining to us how it escapes being swatted by humans, lands upside down on the ceiling, and spits into its food to dissolve it, until it sees a female and rushes to mate.
Complete short film, Green Porno: Fly. (Requires Adobe flash player).
WHAT MAKES IT WEIRD: The reproductive processes of insects are strange and sometimes gruesome, but Rossellini describes them in deadpan fashion with a sly and detached wit that accentuates their alien-ness even further.
COMMENTS: The first “Green Porno” series of eight short films ran as bumpers on the Sundance Channel in 2008. Each approximately two minute film describes the morphology and exotic mating habits of a different bug—spiders, flies, earthworms, snails, bees, praying mantises, dragonflies, and fireflies. Rossellini wrote, performed and co-directed the entire series. Fly is one of the better episodes, although they are all similar in quality. Although the films ostensibly have a documentary bent, the elegant, often childishly simple sets, costumes and art direction reveal that the series is inspired as much (if not more) by the theater as the classroom. Rossellini’s performances can be subtly hilarious: note the big smile she flashes while copulating, and the abruptly disconcerting way she ends this episode with the image of her severed head accompanied by her proud fatherly proclamation, “Our babies grow up in cadavers. They are called—maggots!” She also seems to recognize that seeing a former sex symbol turned grandmotherly matron of the arts gleefully humping a model fly is going to look a little weird, and takes to the task with relish. Although the films are meticulously clinical and entomological, depictions of insect beheadings, penetrations and S&M rituals among snails can be unnerving.
The entire series can be viewed on The Sundance Channel website. A second season, covering sea creatures like the barnacle, starfish and limpet is airing currently on the channel and can also be viewed at the website.
WHAT THE CRITICS SAY:
“…defying all existing categories previously known to any species Rossellini has embarked on an affectionate, raw when not surreal, often tongue in cheek and intermittently lusty exploration of creature erotic appetites.”–Prairie Miller, Newsblaze