by Jason Minton
Cinema Paradiso - 1988
The love of movies captured into film. Filmmaker Salvatore Di Vita returns home to the small Sicilian village he grew up in upon hearing of the death of an old friend. Salvatore Di Vita is played by Salvatore Cascio, Marco Leonardi and Jacques Perrin in different stages in life. Cinema Paradiso is the story of his life and his friendship with local film projectionist Alfredo (Philippe Noiret). Under Alfredo’s fatherly influence, Salvatore’s interest in film develops into a passion as in falls in love with filmmaking. A coming of age story to its culmination, the film simultaneously lets us watch Salvatore grow into the man he becomes while filmmaking itself grows and changes.
I don’t think I’ve seen a better tribute to the love of films in movie form. I’m a sucker for coming of age films and Cinema Paradiso brilliantly combines a tribute to film in a coming of age story. Writer/Director Giuseppe Tornatore captures the magical gleam in a child’s eye of the flickering screen and awaiting story to unfold on film. He also reminds us that the magical gleam can flicker in the eye of children of all ages. He’s able to capture such things on film because like many of us, he is that child. This is a really wonderful film for all movie enthusiasts. I generally don’t agree with movie award but there’s a reason this was the winner of best foreign language film. It has a bit of magic itself.
4 out of 5 Headless Critics
This Italian import from the 80’s has been restored from the original negative. It includes the original version and a Director’s cut with an additional half a hour of film. Audio commentary is provided with director Guiseppe Tornatore and Italian cinema expert and critic Millicent Marcus. The special features also includes two documentary running a combined length of a whole new feature, including A Dream of Sicily which is a documentary profile of the film’s director Giuseppe Tornatore.
4 out of 5 Horror Filled Features