If you haven’t seen Martin Scorsese’s celebrated documentary ‘My Voyage to Italy‘ (1999) you should grab your copy now before they get out of stock. This is by far the best introduction to Italian Neorealism I have ever seen. Starting with the early precursors of this movement, ‘Ossessione’ (1942) and ‘La Terra Trema’ (1948) by Luchino Visconti, the early masterpieces like ‘Bicycle Thieves’ (1948) and ‘Umberto D’ (1952) by Vittorio de Sica, ‘Rome Open City’ (1945), ‘Paisan’ (1946), ‘Stromboli’ (1950) and ‘Voyage to Italy’ (1954), Scorsese takes us on a journey to his filmmaking routes, the brilliant cinema of Italy.
The documentary lasts for incredible 237 minutes and manages to explore some of the most renowned filmmakers the world has ever seen. Exploring Visconti’s beautiful early colour film, ‘Senso’ (1954), Scorsese sets the scene for the detailed discussion of the absolute giants of Italian cinema: Fellini and Antonioni. In-depth analysis of Federico Fellini’s ‘I Viteloni’ (1953) – one of my favourites, an absolute gem of ‘La Dolce Vita’ (1960) and the incomparable ‘8 1/2’ by Fellini give you a flavour of what to expect from this incredible documentary. The film concludes with the most iconic shots of ‘L’Avventura’ (1960) and ‘L’Eclisse’ (1962) – one of my most favourite films of all times.
Even if you have seen half of the films discussed by Scorsese, as I have, the film is an incredible experience and will definitely give you the very best possible introduction to Italian Neorealism you could ever get.