Journey to Italy

1954

Action / Drama / Romance

Journey to Italy (1954) download yts

Synopsis


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Cast

Ingrid Bergman as Katherine Joyce
George Sanders as Alexander 'Alex' Joyce
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696.60 MB
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Not Rated
23.976 fps
12hr 0 min
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1.23 GB
1920*1080
Not Rated
23.976 fps
12hr 0 min
P/S Unknown

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by chaos-rampant 8 / 10

No longer bodies, but pure ascetic images

This is the film that Truffaut writing for Cahiers proclaimed 'the first modern film', going on to praise Rossellini as the father of New Wave. If we don't want to be stridently literal about these things, I agree with him. A bunch of filmmakers who changed the face of cinema in the 60's are all connected to Rossellini and flow out from this film.

At the heart of it we have the familiar trope of a marriage falling apart, melodrama stuff. But modern, meaning understated and without the soaring emotion. We fill the gaps, providing our own understanding of how a relationship works. We participate as players.

So it's about this affair whose nothingness is revealed by the surrounding world, it withers away; the lavish villa with endless views of far horizon, the large, empty veranda where the two of them languish in comfortable lounge chairs. A little outside, it's the countryside of Naples that engulfs them with languid time and hot, lazy weather, a tabula rasa dotted with old ruins.

We're taken on a pilgrimage of these ruins, as the woman looking for a portent that will divine her predicament. The museum filled with statues, the old Roman fort, Vesuvius and Pompeii; Rossellini presents them as mute, ascetic images, images all pertaining to some austere representation into which the woman projects her own world coming to pass. None of them, of course, hold any answers, except as what they are - reminders of the perishable, impermanent world in which we try so hard to grow roots.

Meanwhile, back in Capri, the cynical husband is squandered in his own aimless voyage for something that will fill the time. He courts a woman, much like he did his wife perhaps all those years ago. He feigns and thrusts for desire. Finally he returns home with the same void gnawing inside. Passable stuff, as in La Notte some years later, but the important stuff is with the woman's journey; the Stromboli part of the film as it were.

It is all about the painful process by which ruins are made, time into memory. We are privy to one such enactment in ancient Pompeii (then still being excavated): into the hole once occupied by a dead body, that holds nothing now and is hollow except with shape, the archaeologists pour plaster in order to surmise the shape of that past. Yet what they retrieve is merely the replica of empty space.

Oh, there's the stupidly saccharine finale, no doubt imposed once again on Rossellini by his Italian distributors at Titanus. It's something to be on the lookout for, for how marvelously Rosssellini confounds his censors.

As the couple magically decide they finally love each other, the mob of peasants that surrounds them - participating in some local religious ceremony - cries out in jubilee about 'il miracolo!'. The two lovers are swept aside by people rushing to see, reunited in this nonsensical miracle. The final shot is of police offers looking stern as they inspect the scene, like the censors would the film. Whether or not we choose to accept the one miracle, boils down to whether or not we would the other.

I want to summarize Rossellini here; he's largely forgotten now - probably because when the cinema he envisioned finally took hold, he had already abandoned it. But he's one of the most important filmmakers we have known. You find out that so much of what eventually blossomed with film, grew first roots with him. His transcendent vision was exceptional.

The only misgiving - slight, very slight - is that everything is relatively precise with meaning. Empty space abounds here, the pure ascetic images, yet is mostly filled for us. We're left with simply unearthing the cast, reading the signs. Perhaps I'm saying this because he envisioned so far ahead that I'm comparing him in my mind with later filmmakers who abstracted deeper. No matter, Rossellini ushered cinema far enough.

Now it would be Antonioni's turn to shoulder it; he would supply the breathing, incomplete space into which the imagination can pour into. There is no cast that explains away with him, only the means of immersion into a space empty, waiting-to-be-filled with us (not by us). The ensuing voyage that finally brings us to The Passenger is one of the most fascinating that I know of, but that is covered elsewhere.

Reviewed by ackstasis 7 / 10

Rossellini's masterstroke

Even with the English language and two stars from Hollywood, Roberto Rossellini's 'Voyage in Italy (1954)' immediately distinguishes itself from every romantic drama to have ever come out of the United States. Rossellini was an Italian, and those Italians had a style that was all their own. The film opens with moving footage along a rough road, the camera mounted on the main characters' automobile. Shots like this lack the sheer smoothness and polish of Hollywood productions – which probably would have filmed everything before a rear-projection screen, anyway – and add an essential crudeness that breathes real-life into the settings and story; these are the lingering traces of Italian neorealism, which, by 1954, had already suffered an abrupt decline in popularity. Ingrid Bergman, then the director's wife, and George Sanders plays Katherine and Alex Joyce, a British couple who travel to Italy for a business/leisure trip. However, this disruption of their typical marital routine brings to the surface the couple's pressing conflicts and incompatibilities. Will the wonders of Naples sever or rejuvenate their love for each other?

'Voyage in Italy' is one of those pictures where nothing much happens, at least on the surface. However, this film is a narrow stream that runs deep. Behind every seemingly-inconsequential scene, every awkward glance, every moment of banal interaction, there lies the key to Katherine and Alex's marriage, and the reasons why it's falling apart. Katherine does a lot of lonely driving in Naples, observing the everyday comings-and-goings of the local folk from the vantage point of a passive, almost-nonexistent outsider. She counts the number of pregnant women in the street, and wonders dolefully whether or not her own refusal to bear children has torn apart her marriage. Alex, meanwhile, skirts the borders of infidelity, elevating his boredom by charming beautiful young ladies (none as beautiful as Bergman, it must be said) but thankfully pulling back at the crucial moment. If one were so inclined, the film also works just as well as a travelogue of sorts, exploring, with exquisite detail, the museums of Naples and Pompeii, and the Italian fascination with the dead.

By 1954, Ingrid Bergman had spent several years working in Italy, after her marital scandal with Rossellini temporarily lost her favour with American audiences. Here, as lovely as ever, she gives a subtle and touching performance, an unappreciated wife disillusioned by the lack of love in her marriage. George Sanders, the roguishly charismatic male suitor in countless 1940s dramas, here achieves a mature, refined level of charm, such that we're not surprised at his ability to woo even the younger ladies. Through their separate travels in Italy, both characters attain a catharsis of sorts, the focus to finally make a clear decision about the future of their relationship together. This leads to a simple but wonderful exchange of dialogue outside the Pompeii excavation site ("Life is so short"; "that's why one should make the most of it"), which seems as good a reason as any for the pair to abandon their seemingly-doomed marriage and start afresh. However, Hollywood sensibility here prevails over Rossellini's neorealism roots, and the realisation that life is fleeting instead encourages Katherine and Alex to reaffirm their love for each other.

Reviewed by Marcin Kukuczka 8 / 10

Fascinating Journey To Haunting Emotions and Desirable Reconciliations

At the Cahiers Du Cinéma, Francois Truffaut, a great representative of the New Wave in France, proclaimed Roberto Rossellini's production "the first modern film." What he meant by "modern" at that time is, perhaps, of little relevance nowadays: the film is black and white; the film's producers and cast represent the classic symbols of the past period. Moreover, it seems that we can afford more spectacular journeys to Italy than the one introduced here. The miraculous Sorrento Coast has been photographed and filmed in many far more impressive technologies. Nevertheless, Truffaut's viewpoint occurs to be relevant to many modern fans of this old yet 'modern' film.

To understand that, we have to underline something significant in that respect: although VIAGGIO IN ITALIA does not belong to the Neorealist films of the time, it appears to inspire and manifest the seemingly best period for Italian cinema that Neorealist movement was. The film art meant to address simple people with what they really experience in life. Therefore, the theme that is being developed in VIAGGIO IN ITALIA is so down to earth. We can still feel similar empathy with the characters that the 1954 viewers felt. Empathy with whom?

Two people appear to be in the lead, a married couple played by great cinema stars of the time: Ingrid Bergman (Rossellini's wife) and George Sanders. Although Ingrid Bergman was cast by Roberto Rossellini in more of his "Italian series" (e.g. STROMBOLI LA TERRA DI DIO), she is exceptional here. We get to see the couple in media res on their road (mind you the deliberate image of the road at the beginning) and gradually get to know them authentically through what they say and through what they do. Catherine (Ms Bergman) and Alex (Mr Sanders) experience the crisis of their marriage...although they are a couple, two people who should naturally love each other, they are as if strangers and feel like ones; although they are meant to be similar, they differ considerably. And there is one little step towards making this film an anti-marriage conclusion. Yet, Rossellini chooses something more demanding by listening to Italy's stones of history which seem to speak to us now. A woman and a man...having the same destination, will their ways face bitter separation?

Ingrid Bergman convincingly portrays a woman of sophisticated tastes, of intellect and feelings. Her character is the one to be liked and empathized with, particularly at the scene when she talks of her former love, a poet Charles. He is dead...yet, he seems to be alive in her, she follows his traces, she experiences the haunting whispers of the past. It is memorably executed in the overwhelming scene when she visits the museum of Naples. What a shot! We see Ingrid, a great beauty, walking among the grandiose sculptures, among the men of 2,000 years ago, people of the past who appear to be so much like the people of today. I think that this conclusion of hers which she shares with Alex is, as if, the quintessential message of the film. Although times change, people's desires and certain values are universal and timeless. We can say that Catherine is constantly haunted by her own past and by the past strictly linked to the places she visits...the echo of voices, the coldness of the catacombs, the might and power of the volcanoes, the chaos of the streets of Naples and the excavations at Pompeii. She dreams of a good life, an independent life, easy going life (the maxim 'how sweet it is to do nothing' makes some sense, at least an amusing sense for her); yet, the moments she sees mothers with babies in the streets fill her with unique nostalgia.

Alex is different....he does not find Italy very charming because of his practical, cold, unemotional view on life. He is a hypocrite-like master who has never seen 'noise and boredom go so well together.' He is bored and boring himself. He leaves because he has nothing to do...he has nothing to say and the stories about a dreamer, a poet make him both jealous and sarcastic. Yet, the experience with a chick he dates in idyllic Capri opens his eyes a bit and he changes within. He is strict and hilarious, particularly at the moment he searches for a glass of mineral water.... Work and duty that mean so much for him not necessarily mean much to Catherine...yet, does it mean that they have to be apart? His dominant role of a man is excellently directed towards the background and his egocentric desires are well crafted and manipulated both in the performance and the direction. Rossellini highlights Catherine more as the woman who goes through inner trouble but enlightens a lot within her inner self and in others. I wish the ending were more developed and not so condensed in the climactic idea of the movie...But the camera-work in the finale really escapes from the Hollywood cliché and it does deliberately and successfully so.

What does VIAGGIO IN ITALIA offer us? Good sense of humor with a bit of sentimentality, lovely views of Italian miracles, great performances of two celebrities among simple people, and the combination of the past and the present. It would be a lovely discovery to say that this film may be liked both by Americans and Europeans....because it is no chronology, no storyline, just a terrific combination of the past that haunts us and educates us, the present that follows us and influences us and the future that is the mother of the two and the mother of none alike. An old film with an ever 'modern' content.

The first shot of the film is the very first impression that highlights their way(s) which appear(s) to lead us to a certain moment...the final shot of the film is the last conclusion that focuses on people walking the paths of history with their own desires, with their own decisions.

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