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My Voyage To Italy

My Voyage To Italy

By Patrick Samuel • October 15th, 2012
Static Mass Rating: 5/5
MY VOYAGE TO ITALY (DOCUMENTARY)
Miramax Films

Original release date: September 11th, 1999
Running time: 246 minutes

Director: Martin Scorsese

Writers: Kent Jones, Raffaele Donato, Suso Cecchi d’Amico, Martin Scorsese

Cast: Martin Scorsese

My Voyage To Italy

Italy has long been on my list of destinations I’ve been wanting to visit. I’m not sure why it hasn’t happened yet, maybe it’s something to do with my pennies just not stretching that far. It’s a place so rich in three things I enjoy – architecture, food and film.

Here we have one of my all-time favourite directors, Martin Scorsese, showing us what Italy has to offer for someone looking to get a taste of least one of those three things. In My Voyage To Italy, he walks us through the nation’s cinema history and shares with us his personal stories; when he first saw certain films, what they felt like, what they meant to him and how they’ve influenced, not only him, but Italy and the world in general.

Scorsese pays specific attention to the Italian neorealist period, and for me, this is an area of cinema history I find to be among the most fascinating and rewarding in terms of their stories and visual style. It comes as no surprise when he turns his focus to filmmakers like Michelangelo Antonioni and Luchino Visconti, but my interest is peaked when he comes around to Federico Fellini and the film that people most often recall in connection with Italy, La Dolce Vita (1960).

There are also fascinating insights when it comes to Vittorio de Sica and The Bicycle Thief (1948). Scorsese takes time to explain the mise-en-scène and how de Sica was also influenced by the early German expressionist movement. Of the film, he says,

”This was the movie that many people around the world regarded as the peak moment of neo-realism.”
The Bicycle Thief (1948), dir. Vittorio de SicaThe Bicycle Thief (1948), dir. Vittorio de Sica

A lot of time is spent on Roberto Rossellini films, showing an obvious affection for his work with discussion on Roma, Città Aperta (1945), Paisà (1946) and Viaggio In Italia (1953); Blasetti’s 1860 (1934), Fabiola and La Corona di Ferro (1941).

It’s a lengthy documentary and my only disdain is that it’s far too long, but given that Scorsese speaks so passionately and that this is something directors of his stature rarely do, I’m more than ready to overlook it. In fact, it would be great if other directors could follow in his footsteps with their own film/travel logs.

Anyone who is interested in cinema history would be careless to miss this. There’s much that can be learnt here, not just about Italian films, but in the way Scorsese has viewed them over the years, absorbing them and allowing them to ferment in his consciousness which he then feeds back to us with his own masterpieces like Taxi Driver (1976) and Raging Bull (1980).

Patrick Samuel

Patrick Samuel

The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is an emerging artist with a philosophy degree, working primarily with pastels and graphite pencils, but he also enjoys experimenting with water colours, acrylics, glass and oil paints.

Being on the autistic spectrum with Asperger’s Syndrome, he is stimulated by bold, contrasting colours, intricate details, multiple textures, and varying shades of light and dark. Patrick's work extends to sound and video, and when not drawing or painting, he can be found working on projects he shares online with his followers.

Patrick returned to drawing and painting after a prolonged break in December 2016 as part of his daily art therapy, and is now making the transition to being a full-time artist. As a spokesperson for autism awareness, he also gives talks and presentations on the benefits of creative therapy.

Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and science fiction, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.

Patrick Samuel ¦ Asperger Artist

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