A boy who grew up in a native Sicilian Village returns home as a famous director after receiving news about the death of an old friend. Told in a flashback, Salvatore reminiscences about his childhood and his relationship with Alfredo, a projectionist at Cinema Paradiso. Under the fatherly influence of Alfredo, Salvatore fell in love with film making, with the duo spending many hours discussing about films and Alfredo painstakingly teaching Salvatore the skills that became a stepping stone for the young boy into the world of film making. The film brings the audience through the changes in cinema and the dying trade of traditional film making, editing and screening. It also explores a young boy's dream of leaving his little town to foray into the world outside.Written by
The character played by Brigitte Fossey was included in the first theatrical version of the film (155 minutes, released in November 1988) but then dropped in the shorter re-release (124 minutes, May 1989), which was shown internationally. Her scenes were eventually reinstated in the extended version (173 minutes). See more »
When the film is borrowed from a neighboring theater, we see that the projector is apparently located in the balcony of the theater, not in an enclosed projection room. Furthermore, the projector has a "magnetic penthouse" sound pickup, an attachment used to play early stereophonic prints. This process would not be invented until 1953 and not used widely until years after nitrate film was phased out. See more »
Maria Di Vita - Older:
[on the phone]
Maria Di Vita - Older:
Yes, Salvatore di Vita. You mean you don't know him, Miss? That's right, and I'm his mother. I've been calling from Sicily, all day long. I understand, he's not there.
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Originally released in Italy at 155 minutes; after a very poor box office performance, the film was pulled out of circulation and shortened to 124 minutes. After it won the Special Jury Prize at the 1989 Cannes festival and the Best Foreign Film Oscar, it was re-released in Italy on video first in its initial 155 minutes cut and then in a special 170-minutes director's cut. See more »
A breath of fresh air blowing away the cobwebs of Hollywood "blah" films.
I have seen this film at least a dozen times and each time I am carried away to a small village in Italy, where the dreams of a small boy come true and we can join his spellbinding journey. The Italian language (it is subtitled) adds to the film's beauty and music, the characters are so real you can almost smell them. I am absorbed into "Paradiso" each time I watch it, so that when it is over, I am shocked into the realisation that I haven't actually been anywhere except right there, in my theatre seat. I am not a huge "art house" film fan or indeed enjoy subtitled films (it is hard on the old eyes!) but "Paradiso" is a gem and is worth seeing again and again.
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