Cinema Paradiso

Last updated

Cinema Paradiso
CinemaParadiso.jpg
Original release poster
Directed by Giuseppe Tornatore
Produced by
Written byGiuseppe Tornatore
Starring
Music by
CinematographyBlasco Giurato
Edited by Mario Morra
Production
company
Distributed by Miramax Films (US)
Umbrella Entertainment
Release date
  • 17 November 1988 (1988-11-17)
Running time
155 minutes
173 minutes (director's cut)
124 minutes (international cut)
CountryItaly
LanguageItalian
English
Portuguese
Sicilian
BudgetUS$5 million [1]
Box office$12,397,210 (US only) [2]

Cinema Paradiso (Italian : Nuovo Cinema Paradiso, Italian pronunciation:  [ˈnwɔːvo ˈtʃiːnema paraˈdiːzo] , "New Paradise Cinema") is a 1988 Italian drama film written and directed by Giuseppe Tornatore. The film stars Jacques Perrin, Philippe Noiret, Leopoldo Trieste, Marco Leonardi, Agnese Nano and Salvatore Cascio, and was produced by Franco Cristaldi and Giovanna Romagnoli, while the music score was composed by Ennio Morricone along with his son, Andrea. It won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 62nd Academy Awards. [3]

Italian language Romance language

Italian is a Romance language of the Indo-European language family. Italian, together with Sardinian, is by most measures the closest language to Vulgar Latin of the Romance languages. Italian is an official language in Italy, Switzerland, San Marino and Vatican City. It has an official minority status in western Istria. It formerly had official status in Albania, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro (Kotor) and Greece, and is generally understood in Corsica and Savoie. It also used to be an official language in the former Italian East Africa and Italian North Africa, where it plays a significant role in various sectors. Italian is also spoken by large expatriate communities in the Americas and Australia. In spite of not existing any Italian community in their respective national territories and of not being spoken at any level, Italian is included de jure, but not de facto, between the recognized minority languages of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Romania. Many speakers of Italian are native bilinguals of both standardized Italian and other regional languages.

In film and television, drama is a genre of narrative fiction intended to be more serious than humorous in tone. Drama of this kind is usually qualified with additional terms that specify its particular subgenre, such as "police crime drama", "political drama", "legal drama", "historical period drama", "domestic drama", or "comedy-drama". These terms tend to indicate a particular setting or subject-matter, or else they qualify the otherwise serious tone of a drama with elements that encourage a broader range of moods.

Giuseppe Tornatore Italian film director and screenwriter

Giuseppe Tornatore is an Italian film director and screenwriter. He is considered as one of the directors who brought critical acclaim back to Italian cinema. In a career spanning over 30 years he is best known for directing and writing drama films such as Everybody's Fine, The Legend of 1900, Malèna, Baarìa and The Best Offer. Probably his most noted film is Nuovo Cinema Paradiso, for which Tornatore won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. He has also directed several advertising campaigns for Dolce & Gabbana.

Contents

Plot

In 1980s Rome, famous film director Salvatore Di Vita returns home late one evening, where his girlfriend sleepily tells him that his mother called to say someone named Alfredo has died. Salvatore obviously shies from committed relationships and has not been to his home village of Giancaldo, Sicily in thirty years. As his girlfriend asks him who Alfredo is, Salvatore flashes back to his childhood.

Rome Capital city and comune in Italy

Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country's most populated comune. It is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.

Sicily Island in the Mediterranean and region of Italy

Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 20 regions of Italy. It is one of the five Italian autonomous regions, in Southern Italy along with surrounding minor islands, officially referred to as Regione Siciliana.

A few years after World War II, six-year-old Salvatore is the mischievous, intelligent son of a war widow. Nicknamed Toto, he discovers a love for films and spends every free moment at the movie house Cinema Paradiso. Although they initially start off on tense terms, he develops a friendship with the middle-aged projectionist, Alfredo, who often lets him watch movies from the projection booth. During the shows, the audience can be heard booing when there are missing sections, causing the films to suddenly jump, bypassing a critical romantic kiss or embrace. The local priest had ordered these sections censored, and the deleted scenes are piled on the projection room floor.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Alfredo eventually teaches Salvatore how to operate the film projector. Cinema Paradiso catches fire as Alfredo is projecting The Firemen of Viggiù after hours, on the wall of a nearby house. Salvatore saves Alfredo's life, but not before a film reel explodes in Alfredo's face, leaving him permanently blind. The movie house is rebuilt by a town citizen, Ciccio, who invests his football lottery winnings. Salvatore, still a child, is hired as the new projectionist, as he is the only person who knows how to run the machines.

<i>The Firemen of Viggiù</i> 1950 film by Mario Mattoli

The Firemen of Viggiù is a 1949 Italian comedy film directed by Mario Mattoli and starring Nino Taranto.

About a decade later, Salvatore, now in high school, is still operating the projector at the "Nuovo Cinema Paradiso". His relationship with the blind Alfredo has strengthened, and Salvatore often looks to him for help – advice that Alfredo often dispenses by quoting classic films. Salvatore has been experimenting with film, using a home movie camera, and he has met, and captured on film, Elena, daughter of a wealthy banker. Salvatore woos – and wins – Elena's heart, only to lose her due to her father's disapproval.

As Elena and her family move away, Salvatore leaves town for compulsory military service. His attempts to write to Elena are fruitless; his letters are returned as undeliverable. Upon his return from the military, Alfredo urges Salvatore to leave Giancaldo permanently, counseling that the town is too small for Salvatore to ever find his dreams. Moreover, the old man tells him, once Salvatore leaves, he must pursue his destiny wholeheartedly, never looking back and never returning, even to visit; he must never give in to nostalgia or even write or think about them. They tearfully embrace, and Salvatore leaves town to pursue his future as a filmmaker.

Conscription Compulsory enlistment into national or military service

Conscription, sometimes called the draft, is the compulsory enlistment of people in a national service, most often a military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names. The modern system of near-universal national conscription for young men dates to the French Revolution in the 1790s, where it became the basis of a very large and powerful military. Most European nations later copied the system in peacetime, so that men at a certain age would serve 1–8 years on active duty and then transfer to the reserve force.

Salvatore has obeyed Alfredo, but he returns home to attend the funeral. Though the town has changed greatly, he now understands why Alfredo thought it was important that he leave. Alfredo's widow tells him that the old man followed Salvatore's successes with pride and he left him something – an unlabeled film reel and the old stool that Salvatore once stood on to operate the projector. Salvatore learns that Cinema Paradiso is to be demolished to make way for a parking lot. At the funeral, he recognizes the faces of many people who attended the cinema when he was the projectionist.

Salvatore returns to Rome. He watches Alfredo's reel and discovers it comprises all the romantic scenes that the priest had ordered to cut from the movies; Alfredo had spliced the sequences together to form a single unreduced film of aching desire and lustful frenzy. Salvatore has made peace with his past with tears in his eyes.

Cast

Philippe Noiret French actor

Philippe Noiret was a French film actor.

Salvatore Cascio Italian actor

Salvatore Cascio is an Italian actor. His most famous performance was in Cinema Paradiso (1988), for which he received critical acclaim and a BAFTA Award.

Marco Leonardi is an Italian actor.

Production

Cinema Paradiso was shot in director Tornatore's hometown Bagheria, Sicily, as well as Cefalù on the Tyrrhenian Sea. [4] The famous town square is Piazza Umberto I in the village of Palazzo Adriano, about 30 miles to the south of Palermo. The ‘Paradiso’ cinema was built here, at Via Nino Bixio, overlooking the octagonal Baroque fountain, which dates from 1608. [5] 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, the projectionist at the local "Cinema Paradiso". Ultimately, Alfredo serves as a wise father figure to his young friend who only wishes to see him succeed, even if it means breaking his heart in the process.

Seen as an example of "nostalgic postmodernism", [6] 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 the scenes can be said to reflect Salvatore's idealised memories of his childhood. Cinema Paradiso is also a celebration of films; as a projectionist, young Salvatore (a.k.a. Totò) develops a passion for films that shapes his life path in adulthood.

Releases

The film 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. [7] This international version won the Special Jury Prize at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival [8] 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).

Director's cut

In the 173-minute version of the film, after the funeral, Salvatore glimpses an adolescent girl who resembles the teenage Elena. He follows the teen as she rides her scooter to her home, which allows Salvatore to contact his long-lost love Elena, who is revealed to be the girl's mother. Salvatore calls her in hopes of rekindling their romance; she initially rejects him, but later reconsiders and goes to see Salvatore, who was contemplating his rejection at a favorite location from their early years. Their meeting ultimately leads to a lovemaking session in her car. He learns that she had married an acquaintance from his school years, who became a local politician of modest means. Afterwards, feeling cheated, he strives to rekindle their romance, and while she clearly wishes it were possible, she rejects his entreaties, choosing to remain with her family and leave their romance in the past.

During their evening together, a frustrated and angry Salvatore asks Elena why she never contacted him or left word of where her family was moving to. He learns that the reason they lost touch was because Alfredo asked her not to see him again, fearing that Salvatore's romantic fulfillment would only destroy what Alfredo sees as Salvatore's destiny – to be successful in film. Alfredo tried to convince her that if she loved Salvatore, she should leave him for his own good. Elena explains to Salvatore that, against Alfredo's instruction, she had secretly left a note with an address where she could be reached and a promise of undying love and loyalty. Salvatore reveals that he never knew of her note, and thus lost his true love for more than thirty years. The next morning, Salvatore returns to the decaying Cinema Paradiso and frantically searches through the piles of old film invoices pinned to the wall of the projection booth. There, on the reverse side of one of the dockets, he finds the handwritten note Elena had left thirty years earlier.

The film ends with Salvatore returning to Rome and, with teary eyes, viewing the film reel that Alfredo left.

Home media

A special edition of Cinema Paradiso was released on DVD by Umbrella Entertainment in September 2006. The DVD is compatible with all region codes and includes special features such as the theatrical trailer, the Director's Cut version, scenes from the Director's Cut, the Ennio Morricone soundtrack and a documentary on Giuseppe Tornatore. [9]

An Academy Award edition of Cinema Paradiso was released on DVD by Umbrella Entertainment in February 2009. It is also compatible with all region codes and includes different special features such as Umbrella Entertainment trailers, cast and crew biographies and the Director's filmography. [10]

In July 2011 Umbrella Entertainment released the film on Blu-ray. [11] Arrow released a remastered special edition Blu-ray of the film, with both theatrical and extended cuts, in 2017.

Reception

Cinema Paradiso was a critical and box-office success and is regarded by many as a classic. It is particularly renowned for the 'kissing scenes' montage at the film's end. Winning the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 1989, the film is often credited with reviving Italy's film industry, which later produced Mediterraneo and Life Is Beautiful . Film critic Roger Ebert gave it three and a half stars out of four [12] and four stars out of four for the extended version, declaring "Still, I'm happy to have seen it--not as an alternate version, but as the ultimate exercise in viewing deleted scenes." [13]

Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 90% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 70 reviews, with an average score of 8/10. [14] The film also holds a score of 80 based on 20 reviews on Metacritic. [15] The film was ranked #27 in Empire magazine's "The 100 Best Films Of World Cinema" in 2010. [16] The famed "kissing scene" montage at the end of the film was used in "Stealing First Base", an episode of The Simpsons that aired on March 21, 2010, during its twenty-first season. The scene used Morricone's "Love Theme" and included animated clips of famous movie kisses, including scenes used in Cinema Paradiso as well as contemporary films not shown in the original film. American progressive metal band Dream Theater 1992 album Images and Words's song Take The Time features in the lyrics the sentence spoken by Alfredo after the fire ora che ho perso la vista, ci vedo di più! (Now that I became blind, my sight improved).

Awards

French poster, by Jouineau Bourduge, the last film poster to win a Cesar Award Cinema Paradiso poster.jpg
French poster, by Jouineau Bourduge, the last film poster to win a César Award

See also

Related Research Articles

Ennio Morricone Italian composer, orchestrator and conductor

Ennio Morricone, Knight Grand Cross is an Italian composer, orchestrator, conductor, and former trumpet player, writing in a wide range of musical styles.

Cinema of Italy

The Cinema of Italy comprises the films made within Italy or by Italian directors. The first Italian director is considered to be Vittorio Calcina, a collaborator of the Lumière Brothers, who filmed Pope Leo XIII in 1896. Since its beginning, Italian cinema has influenced film movements worldwide. As of 2018, Italian films have won 14 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film as well as 12 Palmes d'Or, one Academy Award for Best Picture and many Golden Lions and Golden Bears.

<i>Life Is Beautiful</i> 1997 film by Roberto Benigni

Life Is Beautiful is a 1997 Italian comedy-drama film directed by and starring Roberto Benigni, who co-wrote the film with Vincenzo Cerami. Benigni plays Guido Orefice, a Jewish Italian bookshop owner, who employs his fertile imagination to shield his son from the horrors of internment in a Nazi concentration camp. The film was partially inspired by the book In the End, I Beat Hitler by Rubino Romeo Salmonì and by Benigni's father, who spent two years in a German labour camp during World War II.

<i>The Stendhal Syndrome</i> 1996 film by Dario Argento, Luigi Cozzi

The Stendhal Syndrome(Ital. La Sindrome di Stendhal) is a 1996 Italian horror film written and directed by Dario Argento and starring his daughter Asia Argento. It was the first Italian film to use computer-generated imagery (CGI).

<i>Cyrano de Bergerac</i> (1990 film) 1990 film by Jean-Paul Rappeneau

Cyrano de Bergerac is a 1990 French comedy-drama film directed by Jean-Paul Rappeneau and based on the 1897 play of the same name by Edmond Rostand, adapted by Jean-Claude Carrière and Rappeneau. It stars Gérard Depardieu, Anne Brochet and Vincent Pérez. The film was a co-production between companies in France and Hungary.

<i>The Star Maker</i> (1995 film) 1995 film by Giuseppe Tornatore

The Star Maker is a 1995 Italian film. It was produced by Rita Cecchi Gori, Vittorio Cecchi Gori, directed by Giuseppe Tornatore, while the title role was played by Sergio Castellitto. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Jacques Perrin French actor and film producer

Jacques Perrin is a French actor and filmmaker. He is occasionally credited as Jacques Simonet. Simonet was his father's name and Perrin his mother's.

Lajos Koltai Hungarian cinematographer

Lajos Koltai, ASC, HSC, is a Hungarian cinematographer and film director best known for his work with legendary Hungarian director István Szabó, and Italian filmmaker Giuseppe Tornatore. He was nominated for an Academy Award in 2000 for his work on the film Malèna.

Francesco Rosi Italian film director

Francesco Rosi was an Italian film director. His film The Mattei Affair won the Palme d'Or at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival. Rosi's films, especially those of the 1960s and 1970s, often appeared to have political messages. While the topics for his later films became less politically oriented and more angled toward literature, he continued to direct until 1997, his last film being the Primo Levi book adaptation The Truce.

The 44th British Film Awards, given by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in 1991, honoured the best films of 1990.

"Gabriel's Oboe" is the main theme for the 1986 film The Mission directed by Roland Joffé. The theme was written by Italian composer Ennio Morricone, and has since been arranged and performed several times by artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Holly Gornik, and Brynjar Hoff, among others. The theme has been called "unforgettable" and a "celebrated oboe melody". Vocalist Sarah Brightman begged Morricone to allow her to put lyrics to the theme to create her own song, "Nella Fantasia". In 2010, Morricone encouraged soprano Hayley Westenra to write English lyrics for "Gabriel's Oboe" in her album Paradiso.

The Nastro d'Argento is a film award assigned annually, since 1946, by Sindacato Nazionale dei Giornalisti Cinematografici Italiani the association of Italian film critics.

<i>The Unknown Woman</i> 2006 film directed by Giuseppe Tornatore

The Unknown Woman is a 2006 Italian psychological thriller mystery film, directed by Giuseppe Tornatore that depicts a woman alone in a foreign country, haunted by a horrible past.

<i>Il camorrista</i> 1986 film by Giuseppe Tornatore

Il camorrista is a 1986 Italian drama directed by Giuseppe Tornatore. His film debut, it is based on the true story of the Italian crime boss Raffaele Cutolo, and adapted from the novel by Giuseppe Marrazzo. The International version is shorter than the original Italian release.

Agnese Nano is an Italian film, TV and theater actress. Her first appearance was in 1987 but she became famous after her role as the young "Elena" in Cinema Paradiso by Giuseppe Tornatore, in 1988. Nano felt that playing Elena "was a deeply nurturing experience, crucial for the development of her future career."

<i>Everybodys Fine</i> (1990 film) 1990 Italian film directed by Giuseppe Tornatore

Everybody's Fine is a 1990 Italian drama film directed by Giuseppe Tornatore who co-wrote the screenplay with Tonino Guerra and Massimo De Rita.

<i>Baarìa</i> (film) 2009 film by Giuseppe Tornatore

Baarìa is a 2009 Italian film directed by Giuseppe Tornatore. It was the opening film of the 66th Venice International Film Festival in September 2009.

<i>Wheres Picone?</i> 1983 film by Nanni Loy

Where's Picone? is a 1983 Italian comedy film directed by Nanni Loy.

References

  1. Vancheri, Barabara (March 26, 1990). "Foreign-movie nominees discuss money, muses". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette . p. 10. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  2. "Cinema Paradiso (1990) - Box Office Mojo".
  3. "The 62nd Academy Awards (1990) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  4. Porter, Darwin; Danforth Prince (2009). Frommer's Sicily. Frommer's. p. 132. ISBN   0-470-39899-X.
  5. "Cinema Paradiso film locations (1988)". The Worldwide Guide to Movie Locations.
  6. Marcus, p. 99
  7. Bondanella, p. 454
  8. "Festival de Cannes: Cinema Paradiso". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
  9. "Umbrella Entertainment - Special Edition DVD". Archived from the original on 28 August 2011. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  10. "Umbrella Entertainment - Academy Award DVD" . Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  11. "Umbrella Entertainment - Blu-ray" . Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  12. Ebert, Roger (March 16, 1990). "Cinema Paradiso Movie Review & Film Summary". Chicago Sun-Times . Retrieved August 9, 2018 via Rogerebert.com.
  13. Ebert, Roger (June 28, 2002). "Cinema Paradiso: The New Version Movie Review". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved August 8, 2015.
  14. "Cinema Paradiso (Nuovo Cinema Paradiso) (1988)". Rotten Tomatoes . Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  15. "Cinema Paradiso Movie Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More". Metacritic . Retrieved 2011-01-26.
  16. "The 100 Best Films Of World Cinema: 27. Cinema Paradiso". Empire.
  17. Awards IMDB

References