Journey to Italy

The New Years Resolutions - Film #56
(Rossellini 2/5)

There's roughly 3 sequences in here which stand out as being absolutely genius (opening scene, that museum scene MY GOD, the first 'reconciliation'), but Rosselini's style is often rather dry (way too talky at times, most evident in the final excavation where a symbolic image of our central couple is revealed, only to have a tour guide needlessly explain it - 'seems like it's two people', 'perhaps they were husband and wife'. It's a moment which might have been tremendously effective had Rossellini played it differently; as is, it ends up feeling rather blunt and obvious) rendering many of the film's most potent themes dramatically inert.
Bergman's performance is a wonder, and the earthy cinematography is fantastic, but too often it feels like a dry-run for something Antonioni would go on to make except less subtle and more rigid. All that being said, the way location, atmosphere and emotion intermingle here was consistently captivating.
Might open itself up on rewatch, because when it's good, it's 'this is a goddamn masterpiece' good.

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