“Travel is the most private of pleasures. There is no greater bore than the travel bore. We do not in the least want to hear what he has seen in Hong-Kong” said Vita Sackville-West.
Nevertheless, I was happy to see what Steve McCurdy saw in Italy!
This new DVD by McCurdy (the first of his that I’ve seen) is A Year in Italy and is far from being boring. It’s not a guide book or advert telling you where to go and what to see but a series of vignettes of the colours and tastes of Italy – a country I’ve been to three times.
Seems this travel journalist, like me, doesn’t always do the ‘must sees’ of many guide-books, and his comment that he often ‘finds answers to life’s problems when travelling’ resonated with me. I like the spontaneity and unexpected twists that this love story takes. And a love story it is: Steve McCurdy, says he, “like his father, was Italian in another life,’ and this personal montage is homage to Italy – a real celebration of Italian life and whether you have been there or not, I’m sure you too will fall in love with it.
As ‘travel writing’ with a difference, this is not a film to sit and take notes as to where you may like to go, but one that offers an overview of scenes, pictures, sounds, and views from a train. I’m sure even Vita Sackville-West would have loved this.
Steve McCurdy began his film and video production career in 1988 after graduating with a B.A. in Broadcast Communications. It seems that since 1994, he has pursued freelance work and started his own company, Creative Light Productions. Since then he has directed and filmed in over 20 countries. His work, just like this DVD, deals with people, places, cultures and the human experience. He has worked on several short films, and in 2003 completed his first feature travel documentary,
My only negative comments are these. At times the background music refuses to stay in the background and dominates, and secondly, the title is a well overused term, a cliché: Google came up with 185,000,000 sites. And, it was a shame a tour guide was given an advert on what had been ‘guidebook free’ until that point. Quibbles, maybe, but that’s what a review is about . . . the good, the great, and the not so good, just like all travel writing should be – an honest appraisal through my eyes.
A Year in Italy will be released today (20th April 2010) and is being distributed by Questar
If travel is a pilgrimage as suggested in this travel story, I’m sure McCurdy plans on a life of being a pilgrim.
A trip on the Weka Pass Railway is fun for all the family. Take a trip back through time in this 1880s railway line – through the Weka Pass .. past wonderful limestone formations such as Frog Rock with its tiny station.
Under an hour north of Christchurch, the train climbs over 200 metres during the 13k: the trip takes about two-hours.
Check the webpage (link above) for the dates and times of its trips – mostly Sundays and some public holidays.
See this slide show of some of my photos.