Stuck in a dying marriage, far from home – journey to misery is more like it. In this 1954 film, American couple Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders are visiting the Naples area to sell a late relative’s property and they come to feel lost in this rugged, foreign environment. They’re also barely at ease having to spend time together. But gradually the ancient, passionate landscape and customs – bristling with song, faith and sensuality – begin to make their mark, as Italian filmmaker Roberto Rossellini stealthily ushers us towards a sense of heady affirmation so primal that ‘romance’ isn’t a strong enough word for it. A founding influence on the French New Wave and adored by Martin Scorsese, ‘Journey to Italy’ (looking pristine in this restoration) has long had classic status, though newcomers should be warned to expect much tetchy, scratchy unease before this profound film’s real agenda reveals itself. Rossellini and Bergman’s own marriage was crumbling too, so in a sense this goes beyond mere artifice, reaching instead for a wrenchingly sincere expression of vulnerable togetherness in the face of time and mortality.
|Release date:||Friday May 10 2013|
Cast and crew
This is like a travel in time. Italian landscapes of the 50s. More real than any Chianti and pasta superficial tourist experience people in Brexit land will ever have when in Italy. The end is slightly disappointing: difficult to believe that a marriage as dysfunctional as the one of the central couple in the film can be saved by a mystical encounter in an alien to them Italy.