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My Voyage to Italy


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Amazon.com: 27 reviews
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Immensly impressive and fascinating history by Mr. Scorsese June 25 2003
By J. Christal - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
In the beginning and end of Mi Viaggio Di Italia (My Voyage to Italy), filmmaker Martin Scorsese explains, in good reason, that the way to get people more interested in film is to share personal experiences of viewing particular ones that had some kind of impact for a movie-goer's experience (much like a friend telling another that a new movie is out, go see it, it's good, etc). Scorsese used a similar approach to his first cinema lesson- A Personal Journey Through American Movies- and like that one, it's a long, detailed, and deeply felt documentary. Sometimes when he talks about these movies you can tell he's so passionate about them, and it's a good approach.
First, Scorsese gives the viewer a feel of how he saw so many of these films from Italy- how he could go from seeing a Roy Rogers western in the theater and come home to watch a Rossellini series or a De Sica feature on TV- then, he goes through a comprehensive tale of the progression of the neo-realist movement, also mentioning the silent film epics, the tragi-comedies, and how it progressed into the "new-wave" of Antonionni and Fellini in the early 60's. Like 'Personal Journey', it's long, possibly longer than the previous, and might not be watchable in one sitting (it's a two parter as I remember it from seeing it broadcast on TV). But for the avid movie-goer, fan of neo-realism, or someone wanting to get a glimpse of a better world in cinema in these days of cineplex garbage, it's highly reccomendable.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Superb rich personal and educational essay on Italian films. May 29 2006
By Christopher J. Jarmick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
My Voyage to Italy is Martin Scorsese's 246 minute love-letter to the Italian films he grew up watching with his family on Elizabeth Street in New York City. The knowledge passion and reckless enthusiasm you would expect from director Scorsese also serves to educate the audience to the best known and most important Italian films made between 1947 and 1963.

The un-enlightened or strictly visceral summer blockbuster film watchers need not bother with this one. You'll get over 4 hours of mostly black and white film clips with easy to read yellow subtitles.

If you have a passion for films that matter -as art, political statements, or film-maker's personal passions--then you will not want to miss this movie. If you recall seeing most of these films as part of college film study classes, in revival theaters, or on television in less than pristine form, you can relive seeing the films once again (in condensed film) with a brilliant narrator (Scorsese) who passionately explains what makes these films special to him--and perhaps will make them special to you as well.

Scorsese through his narration and with the help of Thelma Schoonmaker`s subtle editing, tells you how and why he fell in love with the movies. They showed him the land where his grand parents came from, they showed him the culture of his ancestry, they showed him the passion and art of making movies and how they could influence and affect the world. Movies had power and could mean something.

That doesn't necessarily mean that Scorsese is 100 percent correct in his passionate love for these films. He admits there are flaws to many of the movies he is showing, but that he also doesn't care about these flaws. He communicates to us very well why these films mean as much as they do to him, and shows off the best, most affecting scenes. He suggests ways that we might watch these titles to enjoy them, understand them completely. If you want to fall in love with Italian Neo-realism in particular, Scorsese makes it easy for you to do so.

The subject is very personal and we go deep into the works of five major post World War 2 Italian filmmakers. In the process we get mini-biographies of Roberto Rossellini, Vittorio De Sica, Luchino Visconti, Michaelangelo Antonioni and Frederico Fellini in the approximately 45 minutes that is devoted to each one. We learn where the filmmakers came from, their career arcs and we sample 4 to 6 movies from each. The movie stops at Fellini's 8 ½ after 246 minutes.

There is much more to this subject, then is covered in this one very long film. Scorsese could give us another 246 minute, Another Voyage to Italy and cover more Italian cinema classics and filmmakers post 1963 like: The Leopard, The Conformist, Pasolini, Bernardo Bertolucci, Mario Bava (mentioned very quickly in the first film), Leoni's Good, Bad and the Ugly, Once Upon A Time in the West and many others. Foolishly there has been so criticism on this project because of what Scorsese left out--even though usually what is missed is post 1963 films that were not part of the scope of this film in the first place.

Scorsese makes many films resonate with his comments, observations, memories and appreciations including: the Italian silent classic Cabiria,that was a major influence on Griffith's Intolerance, Rome: Open City, Paisan, Fabiola, The Gold of Naples ,Germany Year Zero, Stromboli, The Miracle, The Flowers of St. Francis, Europa '51, Voyage to Italy, Obsessione, La Terra Trema, Senso, Shoeshine, The Bicycle Thief, Umberto D, Marriage Italian-Style, I Vitelloni, La Dolce Vita, , L'Avventura, and L'Eclisse.and finally as a celebration of pure cinema Scorsese shows us clips from Fellini's 8 ½.

I would have really appreciated being shown less known films than the ones included on this documentary. I mean I have seen most of these films and at least half I've seen several times or own on DVD. However, Scorsese would have to deviate from his personal voyage to include more obscure films, for they would not be films he saw as a child. If you haven't seen a lot of the films that are being discussed here--you should. And if you watch MY VOYAGE TO ITALY before you see the films, you will be somewhat influenced by how the famous director views these images and what they mean to him. But maybe you wouldn't seek out these movies without seeing this movie.

If VOYAGE reminds people of the art and importance of film, then it is of course a good thing. However, I know that this is mostly a project that preaches to the choir. It is too long and not accessible enough for those who only have a casual interest in the subject matter.

I strongly recommend you watch this one--and I wish more of you would truly be interested enough to do so.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Magnificent!!!! Aug. 17 2004
By C. A. Talley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film, stands on its own. The longing and warmth Mr. Scorsese transmits to its audience (It feels its talking to you and your friends in your living room on a lazy sunday morning) is enough to get this work, not counting the editing and coments intersecting the pieces of gold plated italian films.

If you want to start to undestand Scorsese's work listen to the impression these films imprint on his brain and heart.

This DVD wont dissapoint nor cinematography students nor casual viewers.

Caveat: Its 4 hours. Be prepared.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Important Film History Lesson from Important Director Oct. 11 2004
By The JuRK - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I've always been curious about European film since so much has been written of it--and so little of it played here in the States!

Martin Scorsese has made an excellent DVD that touches on his earliest influences and provides a tour of the Italian cinema from its beginning to its critical zenith in the 1950's and 1960's.

I would recommend this DVD for anyone with any interest in foreign films. With Scorsese as a guide, you'll not only see the highlights and subtleties of each film, but you'll get historical details and a better understanding of the context from the narration.

I'll definitely be checking out Scorsese's previous "personal journey" after watching MY VOYAGE TO ITALY.
17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
If you care about film, art, and humanity, SEE THIS!!!!!! Sept. 15 2004
By JackOfMostTrades - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
If this DVD were required viewing (and I hope it is) in film schools, drama schools, in fact, any school with a "major" in art, it could perhaps revolutionize our cultural values. Am I being hyperbolic? I think not. By following the trajectory of Italian neo-realism to its later forms and permutations through the eyes of Scorsese, you learn a couple of things. One, you learn what how an artist forms his vision, interests, calling; in short, you will discover WHY an artist is compelled to follow his/her artistic inclination. You will also see why at least some art matters profoundly. You will see what a pale shadow modern moviemaking is compared to these older masters. You will see art within its spiritual, cultural, social, ideological context and how it mirrors, echoes, and fulfills the deepest aspects of the human condition like dignity, heroism, suffering, etc. You will also hear authentic, heartfelt commentary both regarding the significance that films can portray and an analysis of the modest methods filmmakers could use to create a vision and a reflection of society that rings so true, it will echo in your ears and mind's eye indefinitely. As our films and culture become more "WOW" oriented; when eight average Americans can hold the world's attention on TV via "Survival" simply by eating live octupus; and when the idea of a "good" film is "The English Patient" or "Sixth Sense," this DVD set perhaps can begin as an antidote to mediocrity. You can be "wowed" by "The Matrix" or discuss for hours on end the structure of "Momento" or "Sixth Sense," --when you are on your deathbed, are you going to say, "I am SO glad I got to see "Sixth Sense" one last time?

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