Pope Francis lists Fellini and Rossellini classics among his favourite films

No Hollywood blockbusters made the pontiff's highbrow list

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The Independent Culture

Pope Francis has revealed his favourite films, and it seems the new pontiff's tastes tend towards the highbrow, with a particular fancy for post-war Italian cinema.

In an interview with Italian newspaper La Repubblica, the Pope played to his audience of local readers by picking out classics from Federico Fellini and Roberto Rossellini.

The leader of the Catholic Church has been credited with reaching out to young believers, but there was no sign of Fast and Furious or Transformers on the list.

Instead, he cited adaptations of Allessandro Manzoni's novel The Betrothed (including Mario Camerini's 1941 picture The Spirit and the Flesh) and The Leopard by Luchino Visconti.

Fellini's La Strada and Orchestra Rehearsal – both integral films in the Italian canon – earned the pontiff's blessing.

Rossellini's Rome, Open City was another of Pope Francis's childhood favourites, and he specifically mentioned the actor Aldo Fabrizi – the priest who tries to thwart the Nazis during the occupation of Rome.

The film, released in 1945, is also a favourite of Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese, who described it as "the most precious moment of film history".

Pope Francis's favourite films were those he watched in Argentina, where he grew up as the child of Italian immigrants.

"I liked those movies because I watched most of them when I was young, with my parents," he said.