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My Voyage to Italy

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

One of the most acclaimed directos of our time, Academy Award nominee Martin Scorsese (Gangs of New York, 2002; Good Fellas, 1990; The Last Temptation Of Christ, 1988; Raging Bull, 1980), directs and narrates this remarkable in-depth look at the careers of great Italian filmmakers and their profound influence on him. With My Voyage To Italy, Scorsese takes the viewer on a fascinating journey highlighting the classics of Italian cinema, from the neorealism of postwar Italy through its transition into opulent period drama and surrealist fantasy. Illuminatd by insightful movie clips and his own impassioned commentary, Scorsese's deeply personal observations offer not only an absorbing lesson in the history of Italian film, but its idrect connection to the best in contemporary filmmaking as well. As inspiriring as it is richly detailed you'll never look at movies the same way again once you've experienced this landmark documentary!


This survey of Italian cinema by Martin Scorsese is a worthwhile follow-up to his 1995 documentary A Personal Journey Through American Movies. Packed with insight and film clips, Voyage covers Italian cinema from World War II through the early '60s, the time that the young Scorsese watched these films before starting his career. The heart of the documentary is the Neo-Realism movement--not the lightest of genres, but Scorsese's passion helps considerably. He introduces us to his family and Sicilian ancestors via photos and home movies allowing us to understand how powerfully these films affected him and his family. He talks about how he saw the films, often through inferior prints on television, and calls out details to observe. The filmmaker spends upwards of 15 minutes on a single film, with the bulk of the history centering on five powerhouse directors: Roberto Rossellini (Open City), Vittorio De Sica (The Bicycle Thief), Luchino Visconti (Senso), Federico Fellini (8-1/2), and Michelangelo Antonioni(L'Avventura).

Scorsese's four-hour-plus survey should come with a college credit for film history. He examines the major films but also spends time on films that may be hard to find on home video (at least at this time): Rossellini's six-part Paisan, a heart-breaking look at the last days of the war; De Sica's episodic The Gold of Naples; Fellini's atypical I Vitelloni, which was a major influence on Scorsese's own Mean Streets; Antonioni's Eclipse with its radical ending; and Rossellini's Voyage to Italy, an examination of a marriage that failed worldwide as a film but was a touchstone for the French New Wave movement. The final results are not as accessible as Personal Journey but, at worst, a viewer will have working knowledge of more than 20 Italian films (and be able to cheat their way through a discussion). At best, these are four hours that will end too soon and leave you hungry to view these films that have fueled Scorsese's cinematic vision. --Doug Thomas

Special Features


Product Details

  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Buena Vista Home Video
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000092T5D
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,885 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "My Voyage to Italy" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

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This is an excellent documentary for anyone that is a film buff and a lover of foreign films.
Diaspora Chic
He shows you pictures of Italians in America from film and documentaries he saw in America and pictures of his own parents, uncles, grandparents,their lives,rituals.
The directors and films Scorsese discusses are stung together in a way that entices your interest in Italian movies.
Richard Brzostek

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By J. Christal on June 25, 2003
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.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Christopher J. Jarmick on May 29, 2006
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.
Read more ›
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By C. A. Talley on August 17, 2004
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.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By The JuRK on October 11, 2004
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.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Doug Anderson VINE VOICE on August 27, 2006
Format: DVD
This is a very personal introduction to Italian neo-realism and the new directions of Italian cinema in the early 1960's. Scorcese's affection for Italian cinema is obvious and his discussion of the directors (Rossellini, De Sica, Visconti, Fellini, Antonioni)and their films is informative and insightful if also a bit tedious at times. Scorcese does not pretend to be a film scholar and he does not pretend to be offering a critical analysis of the movement or of the directors or of their films; instead he offers a film fans (albeit a very knowledgable film fans) enthusiasm for the subject matter. This approach has its strengths as Scorcese's enthusiasm is at times infectious, however, I, at times, wanted to hear a more critical appraisal/assessment of these films instead of merely a plot summary (Scorcese gives very detailed plot and theme summaries of several key films: My Italian Voyage, I Vitelloni, L'Avventura, L'Eclipse, La Dolca Vita, 8 1/2). I also wanted to hear a bit more about what was going on in other national cinemas during the same period (other national cinemas are mentioned only once and even then only very briefly). This is a documentary about Italian cinema but an occasional reference to French and American, as well as Indian, Latin and Japanese cinema may have allowed us to contextualize neo-realism. World Cinema became a phenomenon for the first time after WWII and it seems worth noting that there was a lot of cross-cultural influence going on especially in the 50's and 60's. The French specifically had their own very interesting pre- and post-WWII cinema and there were plenty of gritty noirs coming from America and England in the 30's and 40's. I think a mention and comparison of these parallel movements may have proved interesting and insightful.Read more ›
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