The Exquisite Cinema Paradiso

Posted by M ws On Thursday, June 14, 2012 2 comments
In my entire life, my favourite movie is definitely Cinema Paradiso - a 1988 Italian drama film written and directed by Giuseppe Tornatore who is certainly my favourite film producer as well! If you have yet to watch Cinema Paradiso, you can WATCH THE WHOLE MOVIE IN 13 PARTS HERE. Then, you may begin to realize what it means to live, to love, to chase your dreams and to make peace with your past.

Starring Jacques Perrin, Philippe Noiret, Leopoldo Trieste, Marco Leonardi, Agnese Nano and Salvatore Cascio, Cinema Paradiso was produced by Franco Cristaldi and Giovanna Romagnoli.

It is of particular significance to me because like Salvatore, I spent a big part of my childhood at the cinema with my parents and cousins. As a result of watching sword-fighting epics and other movies, I picked up Cantonese and Mandarin. To me, Cinema Paradiso is a nostalgic reminder of my personal experience at the cinema in the 1960's and a sentimental perspective of how one's priorities can change with age.


From the beginning to the very end, Cinema Paradiso shines because of the fantastic performances from the cast. Brimming with nostalgia, this movie is DEFINITELY a must-watch because almost every aspect from the script, to plot,, cinematography, soundtrack and all you want to see in a film is SUPERB and SUCCESSFUL!

It radiates with its own greatness and splendour with a wonderful cast namely Philippe Noirette and Brigitte Fosey in the key roles. The exquisite cinematography is of exceptional beauty and appeals to those of us who are sentimental because it is about life and of the important moments people face. Although it is in Italian (but with English sub-titles), Cinema Paradiso has romance, drama, humor, marvelous script, direction, good music and cast in the best combination for the BEST MOVIE you can ever hope to experience!

Exuding much simplicity, "Cinema Paradiso" is a film that makes its viewers cry. Personally, it is beyond criticism and is one of the best films ever made. While watching this movie, one cannot help but react personally to the depth, emotion and themes in this movie such as nostagia, sentimentality, the loss of innocence in the rite of passage and the importance of cinematography in society. Naturally, any viewer would   look into his/her soul and think about his/her own life.

An endearing film, I love Cinema Paradiso because it is a timely tribute to the magical magnificence of movies - a large part of which has made many of us the creative creatures we are today - at least for me! Recreating the experience of cinema in a small Italian village, Cinema Paradiso shows us the powerful influence of the cinema over not just our lives but wider society. I have watched this film about seven times and at the final scene, I weep! No kidding. Watch it for yourself and experience that unbelievable reaction! It is not something that you can hold back because the cathartic effect hits you just when you least expect it!

For your information, Giuseppe Tornatore, an Italian film director and screenwriter, is also the director of Malena, The Legend of 1900 and a few other notable productions. The soundtrack written by Ennio Morriconeand his son Andrea (Ennio, an Italian composer and conductor, has written music for more than 500 motion pictures and television series, in a career lasting over 50 years) always gives me goosebumps and such a cathartic outburst of tears.

According to Wikipedia:

Cinema Paradiso exists in multiple versions. It was originally released in Italy at 155 minutes, but poor box office performance in its native country led to its being shortened to 123 minutes for international release; it was an instant success.

This international version won the Special Jury Prize at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival and the 1989 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. In 2002, the director's cut 173-minute version was released (known in the U.S. as Cinema Paradiso: The New Version).

Shot in director Tornatore's hometown Bagheria, Sicily, as well as Cefal├╣ on the Tyrrhenian Sea, and told largely in flashback of a successful film director Salvatore to his childhood years, it also tells the story of the return to his native Sicilian village for the funeral of his old friend Alfredo, who was the projectionist at the local "Cinema Paradiso". Ultimately, Alfredo serves as a wise father figure to his young friend who only wishes the best to see him succeed, even if it means breaking his heart in the process.

Seen as an example of "nostalgic postmodernism", the film intertwines sentimentality with comedy, and nostalgia with pragmaticism. It explores issues of youth, coming of age, and reflections (in adulthood) about the past. The imagery in each scene can be said to reflect Salvatore's idealised memories about his childhood. Cinema Paradiso is also a celebration of films; as a projectionist, young Salvatore (a.k.a. Tot├▓) develops the passion for films that shapes his life path in adulthood. READ MORE HERE.

Hear Josh Groban sing the Love Theme from Cinema Paradiso AT THIS LINK.

Watch Ennio Marricone conduct an orchestra that performed the Theme from Cinema Paradiso in St Mark's square in Venice. Simply astounding!!!!



If you are game for some heavy stuff, CLICK HERE to visit Winona State University's site on Cinema Paradiso.

I love this movie and hope that you will seriously consider watching this movie. You will have no regrets and will surely recommend this to the people you love! Enjoy!

Take care and have a lovely evening!

2 comments to The Exquisite Cinema Paradiso

  1. says:

    joshua.w Hi MWS,

    A good film review. Makes me want to go out and buy the film.

    I'd watched "Malena" a long time ago. To this simple mind it's just a simple story. Monica Bellucci does look good in the film though.

  1. says:

    masterwordsmith Hi Joshua

    I only have a vcd copy. I am still trying to look for a DVD version and when I do, I will certainly buy a copy for you.

    I love Malena and have 4 copies haha...2 vcd versions and 2 dvd versions.

    Take care and thanks for swinging by!! Stay in touch, ya?

    Cheers

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