A trip to Italy opens up long-festering emotional wounds for a seemingly happy couple in Roberto Rossellini’s fascinating, historically groundbreaking film, long acclaimed as the key link between Italian neorealism and the modernist, subjective cinema of the early sixties. Dapper professionals Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders find their trip to Italy to sell a family mansion somewhat taxing, either due to the Italians (“What noisy people!”), the poverty (“Could we get malaria?”), or, more to the point, their sudden realization that they no longer love one another. With two powerhouse actors under the command of Rossellini, Voyage in Italy merges the particular gloss of Big Hollywood-style studio melodrama with the quieter, observational strains of Italian neorealism; its intuitive focus on the mounting alienation of the modern couple, however, anticipates Antonioni, and was indeed a profound influence on that director and many others. As French director Jacques Rivette wrote, “With the appearance of Voyage in Italy, all other films immediately grew ten years older.” —Jason Sanders, BAM/PFA
Rossellini was one of the directors of the Italian neorealist cinema, contributing films such as Roma città aperta (Rome, Open City 1945) to the movement.
In 1937, Rossellini made his first documentary, Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune. After this essay, he was called to assist Goffredo Alessandrini in making Luciano Serra pilota, one of the most successful Italian films of the first half of the 20th century. In 1940 he was called to assist Francesco De Robertis on Uomini sul Fondo.His close friendship with Vittorio Mussolini, son of Il Duce, has been interpreted as a possible reason for having been preferred to other apprentices.
Some authors describe the first part of his career as a sequence of trilogies. His first feature film, La nave bianca (1942) was sponsored by the audiovisual propaganda centre of Navy Department and is the first work in Rossellini’s “Fascist Trilogy”, together with Un pilota ritorna (1942) and Uomo dalla Croce (1943). To this period belongs… read more
Clearly had a huge impact on 60s European cinema, especially Contempt and Antonioni in general. It's certainly a worthy predecessor; like many of those films it's a very astute study of relationships. I have mixed feelings on the ending, it was nice but seemed rather abrupt.
Despite more bizarre dubbing, I found this to be much more accomplished than the other works I've seen by Rossellini. There is a certain composure and clarity and patience to the shots and editing that just wasn't in the earlier films. The background music is less intrusive too. I loved the various shots from car. Those indeed felt very "modern". The ending, however, was once again terrible and held back the film.
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