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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Autobiography of a film fan
Scorsese provides a useful guide to his American-Italian family's native background. He tells you how as a young man growing up he discovered a lot of these films on TV,then as he got older sought them out.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.He...
Published on 5 Oct 2011 by technoguy

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring journey, with a few bumps
This documentary offers an inspiring reminder of the glories - lost glories - of post war Italian cinema. Scorsese's voice over analysis is often brilliant. It is a shame that the sequences shot with Scorsese in Little Italy are directed in such an unimaginative way - and that his editor uses wipes to transition from scene to scene in the beautiful clips: it's very...
Published on 3 Nov 2011 by C. Hale


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Autobiography of a film fan, 5 Oct 2011
By 
technoguy "jack" (Rugby) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: My Voyage to Italy - (Mr Bongo Films) (1999) [DVD] (DVD)
Scorsese provides a useful guide to his American-Italian family's native background. He tells you how as a young man growing up he discovered a lot of these films on TV,then as he got older sought them out.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.He drew so much from Italian neo-realism as did his family.De Sica's early films like The Bicycle Thieves,Umberto D have a special resonance in terms of people's struggle to survive,poverty and dignity.Rosselini has a special place with his neo-realistic classics,Rome Open City,Germany Year Zero and Paisan. His two later film Stromboli and Voyage to Italy leave a deeper impression on him of an Italy of the soul.Visconti the aristocrat who learned film from Jean Renoir covered early neo-realism in Ossessione and La Terra Trema,but Scorsese gives a lot of time to Senso a more melodramatic colour film,giving lots of scenes from the film.The last two directors,Fellini and Antonioni,are compared and contrasted,both equally impressing him. Antonioni comes out as more mysterious and challenging,but he loves the way Fellini treats the sources of artistic inspiration and memory. Scorsese gives you 10 to 15 minutes of scenes from each film,often giving away spoilers.It gave me the desire to search out Senso,Rome Open City,Voyage to Italy,The Bicycle Thieves,I Vitelloni,81/2,and to revisit L'Avventura and L'Eclisse.This is 4 hours of an impassioned essay by a film fan,a monument to the history of film.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a beautiful film about beautiful films, 31 Oct 2011
By 
Richard J. Brzostek (New England, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: My Voyage to Italy - (Mr Bongo Films) (1999) [DVD] (DVD)
My Voyage to Italy brings us on a personal journey with Martin Scorsese. Scorsese was influenced by his parents and grandparents in a subtle way that shaped the way he viewed cinema. They did not do much specifically to teach him about his Italian heritage other than watching Italian movies on television or at the cinema together. As Scorsese explains, Italian cinema took him beyond Hollywood and showed him an alternative. He very convincingly shows us of the importance of world cinema (and how world cinema even influences Hollywood to some degree).

In a way, My Voyage to Italy brings us on a journey to Italy too. We see and experience so many Italian films that it is like a crash course on Italian cinema. Talking about films, especially when done by scholars, can be very dull as they try to impress you with their vocabularies. Scorsese, although speaking with expertise, is as far from dull as possible. He speaks eloquently and his straightforward commentary shines light on the subtle, and not so subtle, things we should pay attention to while watching the clips. The directors and films Scorsese discusses are stung together in a way that entices your interest in Italian movies. My Voyage to Italy is a beautiful film about beautiful films.

I highly recommend My Voyage to Italy for not only those who love Italian movies, but also for everyone who appreciates world cinema. The clips presented are both in Italian (with English subtitles) or English dub, with Scorsese's narrative being in English also. Although it runs for about four hours long, it stays just as interesting from its beginning to its end. Even if you have watched a couple of Italian films, or a dozen like myself, you will probably be very impressed with the movies presented and have a deeper appreciation for Italian cinema after watching My Voyage to Italy.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring journey, with a few bumps, 3 Nov 2011
This review is from: My Voyage to Italy - (Mr Bongo Films) (1999) [DVD] (DVD)
This documentary offers an inspiring reminder of the glories - lost glories - of post war Italian cinema. Scorsese's voice over analysis is often brilliant. It is a shame that the sequences shot with Scorsese in Little Italy are directed in such an unimaginative way - and that his editor uses wipes to transition from scene to scene in the beautiful clips: it's very distracting, and misleading.

That said, the spirit of this documentary and its sensitivity to the values of these great films eventually outweighs these glitches.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Voyage To Italy, 6 April 2011
By 
C. W. Hall (uk) - See all my reviews
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A personal, passionate and profound documentary about neo-realist cinema and Scorseses relationship with it. Told with the energetic mix of biographical reflection of an Italian American boy growing up in the post-war years and from the point of of view of the most gifted filmmaker of his generation. Scorseses documentary acst new light on the generation of Italian filmmakers known as the neo-realists and similarly adds to the understanding of the great mans work as well.

A beautifully crafted documentary.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Review of Italian Cinema, 4 Oct 2013
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This review is from: My Voyage to Italy - (Mr Bongo Films) (1999) [DVD] (DVD)
Just to echo most of what is said here, this is a wonderful journey through Italian cinema with Scorsese. I'd love to see the same thing done for the cinema of other countries, particularly France & Japan.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Scorsese's guide to movie making and Italy, 14 Jun 2013
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This review is from: My Voyage to Italy - (Mr Bongo Films) (1999) [DVD] (DVD)
Martin Scorsese manages to build an introduction and overview of the post war Italian cinema that became the game changing Nero-realism. Both enlightening and gripping.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Primarily a reference set best suited for a circulating library, 15 Oct 2011
By 
Ronald Haak (Cork, Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: My Voyage to Italy - (Mr Bongo Films) (1999) [DVD] (DVD)
This endless "voyage" is Narcissus looking into the pond, entranced by his own reflection. We're taken back to Scorcese's baby days, with scrapbook photos of his grandparents and parents. We're shown a replica of a TV set with its tiny screen. This is the kind of TV set that Scorcese watched his first Italian movie on! But wait, there are more revelations to take our breath away. There's a genuine film clip of his grandmother carrying a shopping bag along a NY market street when Marty was just a tyke! And one of his grandfather wearing an apron and entering his store! Marty shares another breathless confidence --- many of the Italian films that made it to U.S TV screens were grainy and badly lit, but he was riveted all the same. His cinema consciousness was being formed and he doubts not that these formative experiences will be of comparable interest to us. We're shown clips from those Italian films (roughly 1945-1947) that drew the Italian neighbours to the Scorcese TV set, packing their tiny living room, to find out what Italy had gone through in the WW2. The theme of these various movies was the same --- Italy had no fascist past, there's no inclusion of the pro-Mussolini years with parades and packed squares of thousands roaring support for il Duce, the speaker. You'd never guess that Italy was Hitler's closest ally for a decade. The unvarying theme of the movies that drew neighbours to the Scorcese TV screen 1945-1947 showed a heroic Italian people resisting Nazi thugs who machine gunned unarmed women in the city street and other outrages that have become standard fare to the present day when depicting Nazi occupations. Message: Italy was a victim of fascism on par with the other nations of Europe. Italy's 1926-1943 fascist years were blotted out. But the focus is on the startling cinema realism and Marty's growing fascination with it. We're invited to see the above and all the subsequent cinema history he presents through his personalised and selective memories and preferences. There's nothing inherently sneaky or objectionable about this --- he invites us into his personalised world and we're treated to the tastes and recollections of a great film director who keeps his life and development welded to his experience of Italian films that preceded his. And the films chosen and commented on are outstanding and often landmark achievements.

The weakness of this 2-DVD set is that Scorcese has a surer visual and cinematic sense than an analytic and verbal one. His commentary is often banal and expendable. And the cinema triumphs he presents will be best appreciated by the connoisseur who already knows how to recognise visual treats; beginners are likely to get little out of the disconnected snippets that are presented. It bears repeating that the choice of Italian films is solid and worthy, and there will be rewards for non-initiates who are gifted and ripe for this dense look at a period of cinema history that gives stimulating treatment to Senso, la Terra Trema, la Dolce Vita and 8-1/2. This is a film for training the eye, for awakening the spirit to cinematic possibilities. It's meant to launch you on a separate search to hunt down and attentively watch the films in their entirety. And because it's an introduction, it's unlikely a person will want to watch it repeatedly when they are meant to graduate and seek out the full length films themselves, which is Scorcese's intent. In short, a film for a circulating library, not for purchase by an ordinary film buyer. In the final minutes, Scorcese claims he's succeeded in avoiding a trudge through didactic cinema history and that this presentation is full of vitality. For me, he succeeds in this for a half dozen examples, but I found time dragging as the presentation carried the freight for 3+ hours. Again, this is best suited as a semi-reference set to borrow once from a circulating library and then branch out on your own. For a valid and more objective account of the contents, see the fine accompanying view by "technoguy Jack", whose opinion and evaluation I respect.
"technoguy Jack"
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