Journey to Italy
(Viaggio in Italia)
(Voyage to Italy)
David Thomson is a noted film critic and historian who has authored more than twenty books.
Ingrid Bergman, George Sanders, Paul Muller, Maria Mauban,
A key link between neorealism and the subjective cinema of the early 1960s, Journey to Italy reveals itself anew with each viewing, so subtle is Roberto Rossellini’s integration of exterior and interior worlds. The camera’s cipher is a car window, then, as we get acclimated to the voyage, the eyes of Ingrid Bergman herself. Bergman and George Sanders are Mr. and Mrs. Joyce, an English couple in Italy to see to the sale of an inheritance, a villa outside Naples. The film is “about” the disintegration and regeneration of their marriage; on a deeper level, it is about the spiritual needs of modern men and women in a capitalist society where men are (in Rossellini’s view) more alienated and psychologically handicapped than women. Rossellini’s direct, intuitive cinema exploits the tensions between actor and character, characters and landscape, documentary and symbolism, in a way that is, for 1954, nothing short of revolutionary.
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