VOYAGE TO ITALY (1954)

Dir. Roberto Rossellini

The Italian countryside becomes the catalyst for a troubled marriage in this largely forgotten classic, screened in a recent restoration from Cineteca di Bologna. For this tale of an estranged English couple (Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders) touring Italy while trying to sell an inherited villa, the director combines documentary-style footage of their travels with glossy, Hollywood-style close-ups of his stars. Critics saw this as a betrayal of Neo-Realism, and the film failed at the box office initially. But French critics like future director François Truffaut hailed VOYAGE TO ITALY as the first truly modern film for its use of small details to dramatize the characters' shifting emotional lives. The film is also deeply autobiographical, with its depiction of a couple who are strangers to each other after eight years of marriage reflecting tensions in the director's controversial marriage to Bergman. The film anticipates Ingmar Bergman's mature works with its probing look into the leading characters’ souls, while its portrait of ennui set against the Italian countryside also serves as a bridge between Neo-Realism and the films of Michelangelo Antonioni.

In attendance: Matt Tyrnauer.

Presented in partnership with:

VOYAGE TO ITALY
TM and ©2012 TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES A TIME WARNER COMPANY ALL RIGHTS RESERVED