My Voyage to Italy
Il Mio Viaggio in Italia
review by Carrie Gorringe, 21 June 2002

28th Seattle International Film Festival

Director Martin Scorsese takes viewers on a long trip through the history of Italian Cinema in My Voyage to Italy. Concentrating upon three legendary filmmakers (Roberto Rosselini, Luchino Visconti and Vittorio de Sica), Scorsese illustrates the effects that these Neorealist filmmakers had upon his own work and, tangentially, his sense of his own Italian heritage. He reverently instructs the audience on the merits of these filmmakers' talents, from Rome, Open City, to 8 1/2. The entire enterprise has all of the hallmarks of a master class, with the director carefully leading his "class" through the cinematic intricacies that marked Neorealist cinema. Yet, for all of its breadth of knowledge (some four-and-a-half hours worth), the documentary seems somehow devoid of depth. The film's repeated use of the same material, with barely a shift in interpretive method, tends to make the film's point of view seem somewhat reductive and redundant. Those who are already familiar with the development of Italian cinema will not find much to enlighten them from a historical perspective. Although the film never fails to inform, and its pacing never flags, there is a lifelessness at its core that prevents it from truly presenting either Neorealism or the psychological development of the director himself. As a result, the audience leaves the theater with only a minor improvement in the understanding of either.


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Directed by:
Martin Scorsese

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NR - Not Rated.
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