My Voyage to Italy DVD
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Directed by Martin Scorsese
Produced in 1999
Main Language - English
Countries & Regions - European Film, American film
Lavishly illustrated with clips, this wonderful 4-hour documentary sees Scorsese looking at the films he loves. His passionate love for Italian cinema is contagious, says Alexander Ballinger.
Everybody knows about Martin Scorsese the movie director, but as he approaches his three score years and ten it’s a good time to take stock of his parallel career as a gifted documentarian - especially when the subject matter is as dear to his heart as Italian Cinema.
My Voyage to Italy lasts 246 minutes and, guided by Scorsese’s expert navigation and passionate commentary, charts a leisurely course through Italian cinema. Starting with the director’s early exposure to Alessandro Blasetti’s super-spectacles and neo-realistic classics Paisà (1946), Rome, Open City (1943) and Bicycle Thieves (1948) it deftly weaves through Italian cinema’s subsequent two decades discussing the lives and movies of some of its greatest directors, Roberto Rossellini, Vittorio De Sica, Luchino Visconti, Federico Fellini and Michelangelo Antonioni.
Along the way Scorsese – aided by dexterous editor Thelma Schoonmacher – investigates the aforementioned classics and unravels compelling mini-essays on La Terra Trema (1947), Germany Year Zero (1948), L’Amore (1948), Stromboli (1949), The Flowers of St. Francis (Francesco Giulare di Dio, 1950), Europa ’51 (1952), Shoeshine (1946), Umberto D (1952), Gold of Naples (1954), Senso (1954), Ossessione (1943), I Vitelloni (1953), La Dolce Vita (1960), Voyage to Italy (1953), L’Avventura (1960), L’Eclisse (1962) and 8½ (1963). Indeed these parts are so generously illustrated with film clips that watching these movies (most of which are currently available on DVD) is virtually a necessity before embarking on My Voyage.
My Voyage is an exemplary introduction to Italian cinema but it is far more than just that. It is as much about how the Italian movies watched on the Scorseses' tiny television set in 1950s New York reconnected a community of Sicilian immigrants with their mother country. It offers insight after insight into the style of Italian cinema – from Senso’s nuanced lighting to Paolo Stoppa’s sublime comic timing in Gold of Naples and in so doing reveals how these films shaped the style and attitude of one of today’s pre-eminent movie- directors, preservationists and historians.
Watching Voyage is a sensuous experience, it knocks most hagiographic ‘movie’ documentaries into a cocked hat and is part social history, part autobiography but above all about one man’s profound and contagious love of Italian Cinema. Viva il cine Italiano!
Alexander Ballinger on 26th August 2011
Author of 33 reviews
Martin Scorsese presents My Voyage to Italy, a heartfelt documentary in which he discusses the Italian films that have had a profound impact on his moviemaking and his life. Less a documentary than an impassioned essay, it ultimately provides a portrait of a national cinema that doubles as a disguised autobiography.
Beginning with Roberto Rossellini's Rome Open City, My Voyage to Italy traces the development of Italian neorealism: its currents and its philosophy, its evolution and its descent, with Scorsese going on to look at films by De Sica, Visconti, Fellini and Antonioni in the context of emotion, style, staging, technique, politics and cinematic influence.
Publisher: Mr Bongo
Length: 237 mins
Cat No: MRBDVD043
Format: DVD Colour
by Barry Forshaw on 26th October 2011
Who better than Martin Scorsese, director of such films as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas and Gangs Of New York to helm this loving tribute to the Italian films ... Read on
Who better than Martin Scorsese, director of such films as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas and Gangs Of New York to helm this loving tribute to the Italian films that forged his cinematic consciousness? Scorsese gleaned much from the Italian films he watched as a boy, even fashioning the way he himself made movies. My Voyage To Italy is a nod to (among much else) the neo-realism of De Sica, the exuberance of Fellini and the cool, alienated work of Antonioni. If there's a caveat with the film, it's that Scorsese's potted versions of great films (with his insightful commentary) often includes entire plots (with the endings), and the historical usefulness may be vitiated by what sometimes seems like Readers Digest-style condensations of Italian classics. Hide