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She’s all about the love bugs

Rossellini (The Spokesman-Review)
Rossellini (The Spokesman-Review)
David Germain Associated Press

Isabella Rossellini has established herself as the world’s most prominent specialist in the lusty behavior of bugs, barnacles, shrimp and starfish.

Her “Green Porno” short films have become a Web sensation, low-budget morsels about the reproductive habits of insects and ocean life, with Rossellini appearing mostly in costumes made of paper.

The minimalist style had two aims: To make the best use of the small budgets she had to make the films, and to create something simple enough to make for good viewing on the tiny screens of cell phones and other portable devices.

“We couldn’t photograph real sets, because there’s too many colors, too many things going, so it had to be almost two-dimensional, cartoon-looking,” Rossellini, 57, said in an interview at the Toronto International Film Festival, where a selection of new “Green Porno” films premiered last week.

The third and final season launches online on this week. The films then have their TV premiere on the Sundance Channel on Monday, with a “Green Porno” book accompanied by a DVD of the short films due out the next day.

A bird-watcher and insect enthusiast, Rossellini was keen to do something on nature but wanted a hook to really draw viewers’ attention.

“I wanted to talk about animals, but I know that a lot of people aren’t interested in animals. But everybody’s interested in sex,” she says.

“I wanted to have two reactions. I wanted people to laugh, but also, I wanted people to say after, ‘Oh, I didn’t know that.’ ”

The birthday bunch

Actor Jackie Cooper is 87. Comedian Norm Crosby is 82. Actor-sportscaster Merlin Olsen is 69. Actor Tommy Lee Jones is 63. Director Oliver Stone is 63. Actor Josh Charles is 38. Actress Amy Davidson (“8 Simple Rules”) is 30. Actor Dave Annable (“Brothers and Sisters”) is 30. TV personality Heidi Montag is 23.

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