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Bingeable: Green Porno 

When? 2008-09

What's it rated? Not rated

Where's it available? Sundance TV, YouTube

Did you know that hamster mothers often eat their babies? That male bedbugs stab their mates with knife-like penises and then ejaculate into the bloodstream? Or that snails have both vaginas and penises?

click to enlarge IF I WERE A PRAYING MANTIS: In Green Porno, Isabella Rossellini explores the sexual nature of animals and insects while dressed as those animals and insects. - PHOTO COURTESY OF SUNDANCETV
  • Photo Courtesy Of SundanceTV
  • IF I WERE A PRAYING MANTIS: In Green Porno, Isabella Rossellini explores the sexual nature of animals and insects while dressed as those animals and insects.

Those unusual facts are the main focus Green Porno, the Sundance TV miniseries in which Isabella Rossellini explores the sexual nature of animals and insects.

Yep, you read that correctly. Isabella Rossellini: the Italian actress and model famous for her captivating roles in movies like Blue Velvet (1986). The same Isabella Rossellini whose face has graced covers of Vogue and whose parents are film legends Ignrid Bergman (Casablanca, Spellbound) and Roberto Rossellini (Rome, Year Zero). She's the very same Isabella Rossellini who wrote, directed, and starred in every episode of Green Porno.

When I first heard about Green Porno, I imagined a nature documentary—rugged landscapes, impeccable cinematography—all narrated by Rossellini. It didn't seem strange since Americans love nature docs narrated by hosts with foreign accents (I'm lookin' at you Steve Irwin and David Attenborough), and Rossellini's Italian intonation is almost as recognizable as her face.

But after the first episode of Green Porno, which looks at the mating habits of bees, it became clear that my assumptions were wrong. The episode starts seemingly normal, then almost immediately cuts to a wide shot of Rossellini dressed as a giant queen bee.

Rossellini goes on to not only describe how bees reproduce, but acts it out while dressed like different kinds of bees. It's an insane juxtaposition—an icon running around in a bumble bee jumpsuit, humping papier-maché bee figurines. While Rossellini illustrates how bees mate in flight, her paper bee penis falls off inside the female.

"But pulling out from her, my penis would break off!" Rossellini shouts, looking down at her wound through bug-eye goggles. "It would get stuck in her vagina like a cork in a bottle, but it would prevent other males from mating with her."

It's the best thing that has ever been filmed in all of history.

The rest of the three-season series is more of the same, and Rossellini dives into and acts out the strange, and often aggressive, mating habits of spiders, dragonflies, and whales (which can get 6-foot erections). In season three, she focuses on sea creatures that are being impacted by overfishing.

That's the thing about Green Porno—it's completely ridiculous but incredibly informative. Unlike most shows today, the episodes only run a few minutes each, making the show digestible and forcing Rossellini to break down the information into its most understandable terms.

Admittedly, it seems like a strange project for a rich and famous senior citizen to put time and energy into, but in a behind-the-scenes interview, Rossellini says she simply loves animals.

"Do I do this because I have a sexual obsession? Do I do this because I have to learn how to behave sexually?" Rossellini asks as she laughs. "I don't do it for that at all. I always wanted to make films about animals."

But while people aren't necessarily interested in biology and animals, Rossellini said they do love sex. ∆

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