The Age of the Medici | Chicago Reader

The Age of the Medici

Roberto Rossellini's three-part film on Renaissance Italy parallels Cosimo de' Medici's rise to power as Florence's most influential banker with the revolution in art led by Leon Battista Alberti. The trilogy, made for Italian television in 1973, is an attempt to document, in Rossellini's words, “the customs, fears, aspirations, ideas, and agonies of an epoch and a place.” Rossellini called it an “educational film”; it is that, but it is also much more. It is an attempt to discover a form of narration and to invent a visual style that can contain the overlapping complexities of a historical world.


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