Everyone knows how Marty Scorsese should have won at least one Oscar by now. He will probably be in that small group of old timers hung out to wait for a lifetime achievement award.
In 2001, he made an extraordinary introduction to postwar Italian cinema titled My Voyage to Italy. In four hours, he excerpts and comments on over 30 films by Rossellini, De Sica, Visconti, Fellini and Antonioni, and leaves the viewer breathless to see them all. Beginning with Paisa’, the breakthrough film that created neorealism, he explains the impact of such totally conceived pieces as Stromboli, Viaggio In Italia, and L’Eclisse. The film is edited as expected by Scorsese’s longtime collaborator, Thelma Schoonmaker, who did win an Aviator Oscar while Marty watched and waited, and relies on footage and scripts provided by some of the original creators of these groundbreaking works, like Visconti’s screenwriter Suso Cecchi D’Amato. On Scorsese’s tour from Sicily to Rome (Rosellini) to Venice (Visconti) and back (Antonioni) there are side trips to early Italian epics of the teens and twenties. And a link to the next generation of directors who would stand on the shoulders of these giants: Godard, Truffaut, Bergman, Resnais and Oshima.
By the time you start Disc 2, you will have to get a membership to GreenCine, Le Video, or the Criterion Collection, the last of which is about to reissue L’Eclisse on DVD in April.