Isabella Rossellini emulates fish fornication at the ROM
The Institute for Contemporary Culture has installed giant paper animal penises in the ROM’s Michael Lee-Chin Crystal. The enormous phalluses are there to enhance Green Porno: Scandalous Sea, a series of short films written by and starring Isabella Rossellini presently screening at the ROM to coincide with the Toronto International Film Festival. Yesterday, there was a photography frenzy trying to capture Rossellini among the dangling anchovies (in between flashes, we overheard a maintenance man exclaim “Bella Isabella!”). It takes a lot to be distracted from such celeb royalty, but the enormous and anatomically correct male genitalia protruding from the Crystal’s cloister are just that distracting.
The two- to four-minute films, presented in partnership with TIFF’s Future Projections program, hope to change viewers’ understanding of eating seafood by means of watching fish fornicate. “Everyone is interested in sex…It’s a good way to start a discourse,” says Rossellini, who has stopped eating meat and fish and wants the world to know why: “Mostly the hormones.” Her biggest discovery during the process of making Green Porno was not of curious animal intimacy, but rather “how Richard [Gilbert] and Andy [Byers] had a way with paper” (art director and production designer, respectively). “We used a book called Animal Genitalia…for the shapes of male organs, then made them six feet tall,” Rossellini boasts of the sculptural likeness.
After browsing the organs and watching shots of Rossellini emulating shark prey with a puppet hat on, one may think twice before bolting across the Bloor Street for a Filet-o-Fish. The series contains frank language and simulated mating rituals. Visitor discretion is advised, although probably difficult to attain.