George Sanders! George Sanders! George Sanders!voyagetoitalyiTunes ♦ Stitcher ♦ Player FM ♦ TuneIn

We are very pleased to welcome back to the show author and film historian Professor James Naremore. Naremore joins host, Lady P, for a discussion on Roberto Rossellini’s 1954 JOURNEY TO ITALY. Upon its initial release, JOURNEY TO ITALY was generally panned or dismissed by critics. However, in the intervening years, its esteem has risen tremendously, and it now sits comfortably in the Top 50 in the Sight and Sound Critics Poll. Lady P and Professor Naremore discuss the film’s post-war trauma subtext and its allusions to the work of James Joyce. They also touch on the degree to which the film’s depiction of marital strife mirrors the real-life relationship between Rossellini and his then-wife, JOURNEY co-star, Ingrid Bergman.

For the second topic, Lady P and Naremore talk about character actors. JOURNEY TO ITALY co-stars George Sanders – the greatest actor to ever to grace the silver screen*. For some reason, Sanders is often described as a “character actor” rather than a leading man. But what exactly is a character actor, and what is the distinction between a character actor and a movie star? Professor Naremore explains the origins of the character actor moniker and talks about the nebulous difference between a character actor and a marquee topping name.


And if you’re interested in hearing James Naremore on other episodes of Flixwise be sure to check out our podcasts on MULHOLLAND DRIVE and PSYCHO.

About the author: Lady P

Founder, President, and Head Film Snob at Flixwise Podcast

1 Comment

  1. Hi Lady P,

    I recently discovered your podcast thanks to the recommendation of a friend (more film crazy than me ^_^), and as I am also at the moment discovering the Sight-and-Sound-List, I am combining my own film watching and listening to your podcast.

    As an academic at an university, I am very interested in Stars and Acting, and therefore I found this episode super interesting. I actually found that our library has an e-book version on James Naremore’s book on acting, and I think it will help me a lot with my own research and my enjoyment of films.

    On the topic of character actors (and I had to laugh when you mentioned the character actress from Bojack Horseman): As I work on Japanese cinema, it has to be someone from Japan. I think it is Haruko Sugimura, who you will know as the oldest daughter Shige in Ozu’s Tokyo Story. She also appears in a lot of other classic movies of the time, mostly playing characters that are not truly bad but somehow unlikable. I have to read more about her, but she was actually a famous stage actress, and now I am intrigued to find out if she had a different stage persona, i.e. whether or not she would play the leads here. It’s hard to imagine her as a Juliet, but who knows? 🙂

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