Without any pretence at front-line criticism, Peter Wix presents a quarterly digest of armchair observations to help in your search for the best of old and new movies.
There is no more loving introduction to Italian movies than this 246-minute documentary put together and presented by a man of Sicilian stock and a director of no meagre importance in our times, Martin Scorsese. On his journey from the realism of Rossellini to the dreamlike revelations of Fellini’s 8 1/2, he lingers on many of the great works of this era, perhaps revealing so much of each movie you may feel you don’t need to see the whole picture. And a lot gets left out – he doesn’t even mention Pasolini, for example. But Scorsese does get across his love for Italian cinema, and many cogent reasons for such adoration. Without indulging in any highbrow explanations, he’ll help you to see why it worked so well and how it all fitted together right up to the days when European directors made films on an artistic call-andresponse basis around impulses led by the likes of Antonioni. I’d like to meet Scorsese. To be able to sit down with him, drink some wine, and listen to him tell stories and talk about cinema would be something very special. This little gem brings one a little closer to such an experience. If you love Fellini’s I Vitelloni, as I do, hearing Scorsese say how much he cares about the lovable good-for-nothings who inhabit the plot of this masterpiece is like sharing an observation with a friend. This tribute and history is really that warm. 8/10
My Voyage To Italy is released on DVD 26 September 2011 by Mr Bongo Films RRP £14.99