Nuovo cinema Paradiso (1988)
Italy / Italian
"A celebration of youth, friendship, and the everlasting magic of the movies.
"A filmmaker recalls his childhood, when he fell in love with the movies at his village's theater and formed a deep friendship with the theater's projectionist.
The Loves Of 'Toto' Beautifully Told
After seeing this special edition DVD which shows the entire 174-minute
film (in addition to the 121-minute one that most of us had seen over
the years,) my rating of this film was elevated. This review is of the
longer "director's cut."
Most of the new footage involved the main's character's romance while
he was a young man. The story then is continued years later when that
character comes back to his hometown for a funeral and runs into the
woman he was in love with but never was able to get for his own. It
turns out to be a somewhat tragic love story.
The first part of the film, with Salvatore Cascio as "Toto" a young boy
is a love story about two people sharing their love of movies: the kid
and an adult "Alfredo" (Phillpe Noiret) who runs the local movie
theater. Their love of film bonds them for life.
The word "love" is used repeatedly in this review because that's the
dominant theme: the love people had for others and for the world of
film, something all of us on this website share.
The second and third parts of the film are the above-mentioned love
story of Toto (Marco Leonardi as an adolescent and then Jacques Perrin
as an adult) and "Elena" (Agnese Nano/ Brigitte Fossey). The first
third of this director;s cut edition is much livelier and interesting,
frankly, than the last two-thirds. Although not boring, it does drag in
a few spots but the longer version is better in the long run because it
makes the whole story much more meaningful.
It's very nicely filmed and you get a real feel for the Italian people
and their little town. The director of the movie, Giuseppe Tornatore,
went on to make other great visual films, two of which I also like:
Malena and The Star Maker.....but Cinema Paradiso, I believe, is
considered his "masterpiece."