Martin Scorsese narrates and presents a personal voyage through the history of Italian cinema, which had a huge influence on his life from an early age when watching it on his small television in New York when growing up, to the huge impact it has had on his esteemable career.
Featuring excerpts from many filmmakers he had enjoyed immensely; the neo-realism of De Sica and Rossellini, the surrealism of Fellini and the groundbreaking Antonioni.
The documentary is an epic in its own right, running to a mammoth 246 minutes (4 hours) of footage. The only downside is the inserted images of Scorsese himself; he looks like a gangster standing atop a building in Little Italy, but the black and white camerawork, itself a nod to the monochrome beauty of the Italian cinema. Yet there is a strange melancholy about the scenes of Scorsese, as if he is an omnipresent movie savant - in some quarters he is but unfortunately the scenes can be deemed a bit eerie.
What cannot be mistaken though, is the passion and enthusiasm of Scorsese's thirst to share his joy of these films with the masses. You can put on retrospectives and write it in books, but sometimes putting yourself on camera makes for a more convincing argument, his empassioned narration further does justice to the debt Scorsese and many of his contemporaries (Coppola especially) owe these Italian masters.
The DVD 'Voyage to Italy' is out on September 26th, and has a recommended RRP of £14.99 from the good people at Mr. Bongo Films