Roberto Rosselini’s elegant 1953 masterpiece is the tale of a couple spending a week in Naples whilst trying to sell the house of a relative. Whilst there, the pair’s emotionally distant marriage is put under the microscope and a riveting portrait of a marriage in crisis emerges. Journey to Italy was lambasted on release, and shunned by audiences of the time, but is grand and brave filmmaking decades ahead of its time. Moving away from the traditional Hollywood stereotypical storytelling of the period, Rossellini filmed his two stars, George Sanders and Rosselini’s then-wife Ingrid Bergman in unconventional fashion, denying them rehearsal time together and keeping the script away from them in advance. The result is a compelling movie and one of the key works of modern cinema.
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