by Roberto Rossellini
A rich English couple, Katherine and Alexander Joyce, travels to Italy for an inheritance sale. Their relationship is aloof and conventional and far away from home their unstable balance seem to definitely break. Their personal experience of the journey to Naples is very different: the husband is utterly absorbed in his business; the wife on her own visits museum and archaeological sites that profoundly hit her. When all seems lost and their separation inevitable, during a procession, Katherine and Alexander find themselves in each other’s arms, perhaps destined to remain together.
With the appearance of Journey to Italy, all films have suddenly aged ten years; nothing is more pitiless than youth, than this unequivocal intrusion by the modem cinema, in which we can at last recognize what we were vaguely awaiting. […] Is there to be a Rossellini school? And what will its dogmas be? I don’t know if there is a school, but I do know there should be; first, to come to an understanding about the meaning of the word realism, which is not some rather simple scriptwriting technique, nor yet a style of mise en scene, but a state of mind: that a straight line is the shortest distance between two points.
Jaques Rivette (Cahiers du cinéma, 1955)
Black and white, 1954, 87′
Original Language: Italian, English
Vitaliano Brancati, Roberto Rossellini
Director of Photography
Ingrid Bergman, George Sanders, Maria Mauban, Anna Proclemer, Paul Müller, Leslie Daniels, Anthony La Penna, Natalia Ray, Jackie Frost
Roberto Rossellini (1906-1977), director and screenwriter among the most important in Italian and European Cinema, directed Journey to Italy in 1953, after Roma città aperta (1945), Paisà (1946) e Germania anno zero (1948), three films dedicated to war that marked a turning point in his career and contributed to the birth of Neorealism. The film made wide use of improvisation, with the daily help of Vitaliano Brancati who curated all dialogues. When released, in 1954, Journey to Italy received a very cold welcome in Rosselini’s home country; French critics of the Nouvelle Vague, on the contrary, immediately loved and acclaimed its innovative drive.
Filmografia Roberto Rossellini