Voyage in Italy

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.”

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