In the 1960s, increasingly concerned with cinema's functions as an artistic and educational tool, Rosselini removed himself from the commercial arena and became the first major director to embrace the new medium of TV. Holding that the camera has the opportunity and duty to impart knowledge, he devoted his creative energies to TV films on science and history: The five-hour "The Age of Iron" (1964), "The 12-hour "Man's Struggle for Survival" (1967); "The 6-hour "The Acts of the Apostles" (1968), as well as biographies of Socrates, Blaise Pascal, Augustine of Hipp, Descartes, Jesus, and Louis XIV. Of these, only "The Rise of Louis XIV" (1966) received its due acclaim, mostly because it is one of the few films to get theatrical release. Stylistically, the TV work established the foundation for materialist cinema, the direct descendant of Neorealism.
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