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My Voyage to Italy

4.7 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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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:
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: Buena Vista Home Video
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000092T5D
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,730 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "My Voyage to Italy" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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.
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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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This superb documentary by a master filmmaker is unfortunately out of print, but the full film is available at youtube (link in the Comment.) Instead of enumerating the ways this documentary excels, I will simply list the films mentioned, roughly in the order of appearance. (Note though that often a film is mentioned more than once, so a choice must be made.) Any reader who is interested in following Martin Scorses's guided tour can do so following the list. And Scorsese is really an excellent guide. He points out a great many of things I overlooked when watching some of these films.

As in his previous documentary A Personal Journey With Martin Scorsese Through American Movies, he stops at 1960's when he started his own film-making. In my opinion, this current film My Voyage to Italy is more successful mostly because he focuses on less films, and takes his time to walk us through the high points in each. The resulting analysis is thus more detailed and convincing (and deeply felt!) Naturally the list is much shorter.
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