Some of Me

Some of Me

5.0 1
by Isabella Rossellini
     
 

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She writes of her mother, Ingrid Bergman: "Second to acting, Mother loved cleaning, which is not to say she loved even that above me. I'm sure she loved me more than cleaning, but what made her happiest was combining the two."

She writes of her father, Roberto Rossellini: "My father was a Jewish mother ... When we were children (there were seven of us)…  See more details below

Overview

She writes of her mother, Ingrid Bergman: "Second to acting, Mother loved cleaning, which is not to say she loved even that above me. I'm sure she loved me more than cleaning, but what made her happiest was combining the two."

She writes of her father, Roberto Rossellini: "My father was a Jewish mother ... When we were children (there were seven of us) one of our favorite games was throwing ourselves into Daddy's body. Lying on his side, he pretended to be the sow and we were the piglets."

She writes about her famous nude scene in David Lynch's Blue Velvet, and of posing for such world-renowned photographers as Richard Avedon, Bruce Weber, and Steven Meisel. About being fired as the face of Lancome because she dared to become forty, and about the two years of scoliosis that blighted her adolescence. She talks — candidly but discreetly — about the men in her life: her ex-husband Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, and Gary Oldman. And she conducts intimate and extended dialogues with her beloved dead parents.

This book is utterly original, human, and provocative. Like the author herself.

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Editorial Reviews

Charles Taylor

As celebrity bios go, Isabella Rossellini's Some of Me at least has the virtue of quirkiness. As the title implies, Rossellini is only offering part of her story. In this case, though, it's more than a case of simply holding a few things back. Rossellini warns us up front that what's here may or may not be verity: "Don't expect confessions, revelations, not even the truth," she writes. "It's a habit of mine to embellish and color events until I lose sight of what really happened. Even when I was a child my grandmother always had to ask me ... 'Truth or fantasy?' If you want to eliminate my grandmother's kindness and put it more bluntly, I lie. I always did."

Some of Me proceeds anecdotally (how could it not, since Rossellini seems too young to have written a memoir), and for a while, her stories are enough to keep the book engaging. Put it this way: Rossellini's light and charming manner would make a perfect late-night talk show interview. If she reveals anything about herself, it's that she leans more to the Mediterranean than the Scandinavian side of her lineage. She's amusingly truculent toward the people who ask her what it was like to grow up as the child of Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini. Since she never knew anything else, she asks, how could she say? And though she's blunt, palpably (and justifiably) angry when she writes of how Lancôme dropped her because they thought she was becoming too old to be their model, there's no malice when she writes about the men in her life, like David Lynch and ex-husband Martin Scorsese.

But although Rossellini claims to have inherited her mother's passion for cleaning and order, the narrative has a scattershot quality. Rossellini's own idiosyncrasies aren't enough to sustain the book and the imaginary conversations she constructs between herself, her father and her mother get to be a bit much. Sometimes, it's better for stars to remain a mystery. -- Salon

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Awkwardness is this memoir's greatest flaw; but it is also its greatest virtue, as actress and model Rossellini rambles charmingly about her life, loves and career, evidently without the aid of a ghostwriter. Anyone looking for literary polish or even a narrative is likely to be disappointed, but those who enjoy something that reads like the after-dinner talk of a beautiful and worldly celebrity will find much that is entertaining. There are detailed instructions on dishwashing from Rossellini's mother, Ingrid Bergman, pronouncements on art and politics from her father, the Italian filmmaker Roberto Rossellini, and a memory of young Isabella and her siblings (including her twin sister, Ingrid) flinging rocks at paparazzi. Rossellini speaks with affection but not much detail about her relationships with filmmakers Martin Scorsese and David Lynch, and provides what even she calls "boring" detail about her long association with Lancombe cosmetics and its unpleasant ending. Along the way are goofy digressions about ants and aphids, a few forgivable displays of celebrity petulance (four pages on how she hates being told she looks like her mother) and, throughout, imaginary dialogues, including several fictional conversations between her father and Scorsese. Here and there Rossellini's table talk takes on weight, as when she discusses her childhood battle with scoliosis, but readers are most likely to come away from this pleasant, ephemeral volume with a vivid memory of Rossellini's voice and striking face (the book is liberally illustrated), but without quite remembering what she said.
Library Journal
Rossellini is a personality in every sense. As the daughter of Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini, she was famous by default even before she forged her own career by design, most noticeably as Lancome's cover girl. In this lisless work, she ruminates on such diverse, rather banal subjects as aging, pets, her mother's hand-me-down fur coat, and the sex lives of garden insects. Her recollections of her family and of influential people around her are occasionally moving, and the sensitivity with which she created her roles in the films Blue Velvet and Wild at Heart makes for an interesting aside. Rossellini's insight into the fashion industry is trenchant: advertising campaigns are shown to be the ultimate postmodern compliment to legendary women. Belied throughout is the author's truly cosmopolitan upbringing in Paris, Rome, and New York. More of a musing than a memoir, this slim volume is candid and intimate but not terribly profound. Of interest to those fascinated by the cult of personality. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/1/97.]Jayne Plymale, Univ. of Georgia Libs., Athens
Kirkus Reviews
A collage of autobiographical recollections by the model and actress, featuring wry insights on her professions (for her first Vogue cover, in 1982, she was paid $150; there are some fascinating glimpses of her work with the director David Lynch, "the Jimmy Stewart from Mars"), reflections on her famous parents (the director Roberto Rossellini, who conducted much of his life from his bed, even keeping a film-editing table next to it, and the actress Ingrid Bergman, who "loved acting most and above all"), droll, chatty passages on everything from bras to the true meaning of glamour, and frank descriptions of such matters as the therapeutic uses of lying and her idiosyncratic habit of holding discussions with her "ghosts" (principally, her mother and father) at particularly stressful moments. The relaxed, breezy, straightforward tone of these brief pieces is startlingly effective: It's rather like spending a long evening listening to a hectic, disarmingly honest (and charmingly ironic) stream-of- consciousness monologue.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780609000427
Publisher:
Random House Value Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date:
07/15/1999
Series:
Rhvp-Remainder Ser.

Meet the Author

Isabella Rossellini grew up in Paris and Rome. She moved to New York at the age of nineteen, and began her modeling career at twenty-eight, when she was photographed by Bruce Weber for British Vogue. She has appeared in eighteen films, including Blue Velvet, Cousins, Wild at Heart, Fearless, Immortal Beloved, and, most recently, Big Night -- as well as several made-for-TV movies. After being the exclusive model for Lancome for fourteen years, Rossellini is now working to develop a new line of make-up, skin-care, and fragrance with the Lancaster Group. She lives in New York City with her two children.

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Some of Me 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having always been fascinated by Ms. Rossellini's career, her book was a rare treat to read. I am looking forward to a second writing..'More of Me'!