The Transitional Films (1948- 1950)

After leaving behind what critics called his Neorealist Trilogy, Rossellini went to search for innovative and original methods for portraying reality. L' Amore and La macchina ammazzacattivi were two films made after Rossellini's conclusion of his Neorealist Trilogy. They served as important transitional steps in the evolution of his film career toward a new period of psychological realism. In discussing his sudden change in focus, Rossellini explained his position: 'I think that one must discover a new and solid base for constructing and for representing man as he is, in the marriage that exists in him between poetry and reality, desire and action, dream and life' (Films 87).

L'Amore is a two episode film that centers on actress, Anna Magnani. In this film, Rossellini first made use of a plan-sequénce technique of filming his subject. This method consisted of starting with an extreme close-up shot of his subject to define her as the primary focus of the scene, then gradually proceeding outward to define the subject's environment. This was in direct contrast to the typical Hollywood approach where the environment was shot first and then the subject was drown out of the environment.

La macchina ammazzacattivi is a discourse on the ability of the cinema to portray reality and truth. As his most original film, Rossellini inserted the theme of morality for the first time as a continuous theme. Balancing these two intense threads, Rossellini relied upon vibrant exaggerated action and senseless humor. The use of this Commedia dell'arte style contrasted greatly with Rossellini's past films which reflected somber events.

Rossellini's Transitional Films: A Step Toward a New Reality