Segments in this Video

Connection With Animals (06:51)


Isabella Rossellini reflects on her lifelong love of animals and interest in their behavior; she is finishing college in this field. Diana Reiss has always wanted to study the minds of animals. Rossellini describes an action of her dog, and her interpretation.

Forms of Communication (09:11)

Reiss describes the process of training and communicating with a dolphin who can imitate her behavior; imitation shows understanding, and reflects the sensory systems. Rossellini compares the examination of emotion and action in theater to studying animal behavior, and argues that most of what actors and animals do to communicate is non-verbal.

Empathy in Animals (07:55)

Rossellini finds it hard to work with an actor who does not show emotion well because performance requires empathy. In the 1800s, scientists recognized that some animals could perform intelligent tasks; Reiss speculates that animals pick up subtle behavioral cues. Dolphins show empathy in reported rescues of humans.

Animal Creativity and Humor (06:22)

Reiss describes a dolphin that made an inexplicable performance of humor or deception. Another dolphin figured out how to create a ring with its blowhole and played with it.

Animal Intelligence and Self-Awareness (07:11)

Rossellini and Reiss discuss how a different set of senses shapes animal intelligence; trying to understand animals through a human lens is limiting. Christianity distorted understanding of animals by teaching that animals have no soul; Darwin’s suggestion that animals have emotions similar to humans received criticism. Reiss describes how dolphins recognize themselves in a mirror.

"Green Porno" (03:45)

Rossellini describes the short film series she created about the sex lives of animals. Grateful for the opportunity to study, she wants to share animal stories as an entertainer. Reiss agrees she is giving animals a voice.

Credits: The Performance Artist (00:04)

Credits: The Performance Artist

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The Performance Artist

Part of the Series : Brainwave: Mind Over Matter
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Later in January, art-house luminary Isabella Rossellini will appear at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in her one-woman show, adapted from the celebrated Sundance Channel series about the surprisingly kinky and confounding mating rituals of insects and marine life Green Porno. With day-glo costumes and paper puppets, Rossellini channels a host of reproductive oddities. Part nature documentary, part DIY cartoon, Green Porno is a cheeky, delightful zoology lesson brought vividly to life by Rossellini’s singular flair for storytelling. “It was my interest in animals,” she said in a recent interview. “I was kind of born with that. I went back to school to do a master’s degree in conservation and animal behavior, and it’s an ongoing interest of mine. The people who knew me as a model or actress didn’t know about this until recently. But my family was not surprised.” The daughter of Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini, she was a journalist for Italian television, modeled as the face of Lancôme and has appeared in over forty feature films, notably Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, and Death Becomes Her.

Length: 42 minutes

Item#: BVL143704

ISBN: 978-1-64347-353-6

Copyright date: ©2014

Closed Captioned

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