Una Breve Vacanza


1h 50m 1973

Brief Synopsis

A women lives a miserable life in the basement of her Milan apartment, with her boring inlaws and two children. Her husband has been injured. Her bleak life takes a turn for the better when she is diagnosed with tuberculosis and has to go to a sanatorium in the Italian Alps. There she meets a handsome aristocrat and they have a passionate love affair. All good things must come to an end. When she is cured, she has to return to that rathole from which she only briefly emerged.

Film Details

Also Known As
Brief Vacation, A, Holiday, The
MPAA Rating
Release Date
1973

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 50m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)

Synopsis

A factory worker discovers her self worth while recuperating from a lung disease in a sanatorium in the Alps.

Film Details

Also Known As
Brief Vacation, A, Holiday, The
MPAA Rating
Release Date
1973

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 50m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)

Articles

Vittorio De Sica's A Brief Vacation on DVD


By the time Vittorio De Sica directed his first film in 1940 he had acted in about two dozen films with titles like But It's Nothing Serious, I'll Give a Million and The Cuckoo Clock. His earliest films as director continued more or less in this line of mild entertainment until in 1944 he teamed with writer Cesare Zavattini on The Children Are Watching Us, one of the earliest efforts at shaping the naturalist, anti-entertainment genre that would be called neo-realism. Immediately after the war, De Sica made Shoeshine and The Bicycle Thief, establishing both his international reputation and neo-realism.

Jump ahead a few decades to De Sica's next-to-last effort, A Brief Vacation (1973) again co-scripted by Zavattini, and you can see both impulses at work. The film focuses on Clara (Florinda Bolkan, a veteran of films by Visconti and Lucio Fulci, surely the artistic extremes of Italian cinema), a harrassed factory worker with a less-than-pleasant home life. She develops a weakening illness and despite fear of losing her job finally visits a doctor who sends her to a sanitarium in Northern Italy to rest. Clara meets a variety of people, has a brief fling with a younger man and basically sheds her cramped thinking. Will she return to her family?

The opening of the film has the feel of something much like neo-realism. The colors are muted, the landscape decayed urban, the weather a continual drizzle and people mostly self-absorbed or mean. Life is a struggle, not red in tooth and claw but more a sombre brown. Once Clara heads north into the mountains the film undergoes an almost Wizard of Oz change into bright soap opera and glossy 60s-styled light comedy. Her fellow inmates have such interesting problems as they dress in solid, sparkling colors and drive around through the clean snow discussing which doctors are most attractive. They chat, flirt, discuss their personal lives, develop even more deadly diseases, argue. Everything changes and moves. You could argue that this stylistic change represents the expansion of Clara's perception of life or you could claim that De Sica and Zavattini didn't really think the whole thing through.

Home Vision's DVD is a solid effort. The image is crisp, capturing mist in the dim light of early morning just as easily as the blaring whites of a snow-coated mountainside. The sound is good though the lipsynching is at times noticably off, most likely a problem from the original production. (Italian films are shot silent with sound added later, essentially making them dubbed even in the original language.) The subtitles appear to be complete. The only extra are a couple of short extracts from De Sica's 1967 English-language Shirley MacLaine comedy Woman Times Seven, possibly to promote a forthcoming DVD.

For more information about A Brief Vacation, visit Home Vision Entertainment. To order A Brief Vacation, go to TCM Shopping.

by Lang Thompson
Vittorio De Sica's A Brief Vacation On Dvd

Vittorio De Sica's A Brief Vacation on DVD

By the time Vittorio De Sica directed his first film in 1940 he had acted in about two dozen films with titles like But It's Nothing Serious, I'll Give a Million and The Cuckoo Clock. His earliest films as director continued more or less in this line of mild entertainment until in 1944 he teamed with writer Cesare Zavattini on The Children Are Watching Us, one of the earliest efforts at shaping the naturalist, anti-entertainment genre that would be called neo-realism. Immediately after the war, De Sica made Shoeshine and The Bicycle Thief, establishing both his international reputation and neo-realism. Jump ahead a few decades to De Sica's next-to-last effort, A Brief Vacation (1973) again co-scripted by Zavattini, and you can see both impulses at work. The film focuses on Clara (Florinda Bolkan, a veteran of films by Visconti and Lucio Fulci, surely the artistic extremes of Italian cinema), a harrassed factory worker with a less-than-pleasant home life. She develops a weakening illness and despite fear of losing her job finally visits a doctor who sends her to a sanitarium in Northern Italy to rest. Clara meets a variety of people, has a brief fling with a younger man and basically sheds her cramped thinking. Will she return to her family? The opening of the film has the feel of something much like neo-realism. The colors are muted, the landscape decayed urban, the weather a continual drizzle and people mostly self-absorbed or mean. Life is a struggle, not red in tooth and claw but more a sombre brown. Once Clara heads north into the mountains the film undergoes an almost Wizard of Oz change into bright soap opera and glossy 60s-styled light comedy. Her fellow inmates have such interesting problems as they dress in solid, sparkling colors and drive around through the clean snow discussing which doctors are most attractive. They chat, flirt, discuss their personal lives, develop even more deadly diseases, argue. Everything changes and moves. You could argue that this stylistic change represents the expansion of Clara's perception of life or you could claim that De Sica and Zavattini didn't really think the whole thing through. Home Vision's DVD is a solid effort. The image is crisp, capturing mist in the dim light of early morning just as easily as the blaring whites of a snow-coated mountainside. The sound is good though the lipsynching is at times noticably off, most likely a problem from the original production. (Italian films are shot silent with sound added later, essentially making them dubbed even in the original language.) The subtitles appear to be complete. The only extra are a couple of short extracts from De Sica's 1967 English-language Shirley MacLaine comedy Woman Times Seven, possibly to promote a forthcoming DVD. For more information about A Brief Vacation, visit Home Vision Entertainment. To order A Brief Vacation, go to TCM Shopping. by Lang Thompson

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1973

Released in United States 1973