Roberto Rossellini's 1953 film, Journey to Italy, seemed like a sure-fire box-office hit at the time of its release. Rossellini was already a big name, and he had recent Oscar-winner George Sanders and the luminous Ingrid Bergman as his stars and the natural beauty of Naples as a backdrop. But rather than film a frothy romance, Rossellini dug deeply into the dark corners of married life. Sanders and Bergman are Alex and Katherine Joyce, a long-married British couple in Naples to sell off a house that Alex inherited from an uncle. With a week of nothing to do but wait, Alex becomes restless and agitated; Katherine takes the opportunity to see the local sights. With ruthless honesty, we see their relationship crumble as they realize how loveless their shared life has become. This veracity submarined the film in the 1950s, but later critics hailed it as a milestone of modern filmmaking. Journey to Italy screens at 7:30 p.m. this evening in the auditorium of the Saint Louis Art Museum in Forest Park (314-721-0072 or www.slam.org). Admission is $3 to $5.
Fri., May 9, 2008