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With: Martin Scorsese
Written by: n/a
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some images of violence and sexuality
Running Time: 246
Date: 09/11/1999

My Voyage to Italy (1999)

4 Stars (out of 4)

His Italian Job

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

For over four hours, Martin Scorsese unfolds his perpetual passion for movies with this tribute to five Italian directors and more than 20 of their collective films. He plays long clips from classics ranging from Neo-realist works by Roberto Rossellini (Open City) and Vittorio De Sica (The Bicycle Thief) to more elaborate achievements by Luchino Visconti (Senso), Federico Fellini (8 1/2) and Michelangelo Antonioni (L'avventura). Unfortunately, he eliminates genre filmmakers like Leone, Corbucci, Bava and Argento, and he stops at the early 60s, leaving out modern talents like Bertolucci and Moretti. Scorsese narrates the chosen clips, offering his view of what's happening and how it affects him personally. Thanks to help from editor Thelma Schoonmaker, he takes care not to obliterate the original dialogue, but he doesn't think twice about giving away the endings to many of these classics. Ultimately, My Voyage to Italy is less analytical or comprehensive than the wonderful A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies (1996), but it's far more personal. Indeed, it begins with old home movie footage introducing us to Scorsese's elder relatives, many of whom came to the US speaking only Sicilian. In this context, Scorsese's documentary becomes less a clip show and more a private diary about exploring his Italian heritage and widening our horizons through world film. DVD extras include both English language and Italian language tracks plus optional English subtitles.

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