Cinema Paradiso (Nuovo Cinema Paradiso) Reviews
I went into this with high expectations and was pretty disappointed. There were definitely a few charming sequences, but there were just as many sequences that I totally didn't understand or get. And, overall, I am not sure I understood the whole point of the movie. It seemed to jag in different directions and I can't really say what the point was.
Bummed I didn't enjoy it more.
These differences between yesterday and today and the here and there are marked in "Cinema Paradiso", which honors the not so remote past of attending the cinema and testify it as today is no longer done. Giuseppe Tornatore, with a free exercise of adapting theatrical techniques to his project, manages to recreate a successful environment of an Italian village that after the second world war suffers from a slow recovery, where problems due to lack of money accentuate the life of the majority of its inhabitants. The title, as can easily be identified, refers to the cinema not only as a paradise as it is the marvelous place where night by night various great films of the time are relayed, but rather works as an outline to the social phenomenon of watching the movie, to react and play with it and to be able to interact with the rest of the spectators through these actions, turning every moment into a collection of events with all sorts of meanings. The experience of the cinema does not go back in the individual experience, but in the collective one.
This text analyzes only the original version of "Cinema Paradiso", since in 2002 Tornatore releases an extended and edited version of the same film that many acclaim as one of the best in the cinema. Better or not than the first version, it is important to analyze the first one in isolation, to rescue the most relevant points of the film before getting involved with the second one. The story places Salvatore (Salvatore Cascio) as a kid who lives solely with his mother, and who studies at the local elementary school, but is also an altar boy in the local church, where he spends his afternoons supporting a hilarious and highly conservative priest at the masses of this church - from this first scene we are filled with tender and beautiful images that make us realize the flow of the film as one that keeps a theatrical style to move - the father goes to Cinema Paradiso during the nights. It is the only cinema in town, and he sits to watch with momentum and admiration the tapes prepared by Alfredo. (Philippe Noiret) Only the priest is able to authorize their reproduction. He makes a bell ring every time there is a kiss because for him, every scene of that kind must be cut out.
Sneakily, Salvatore attends this cinema. He does so because the priest denies him entrance, but with audacity and innocence, the child manages to squeeze where Alfredo is to witness how the magic of cinema is projected night after night. Although his relationship at first does not seem to work, as Alfredo insists that the child cannot enter the place, time allows them to get along well to the point that Alfredo allows him not only to get in, but he also teaches how the mechanisms work to play a movie from the cinema booth. Soon, they reach a captivating friendship.
What enriches and makes this project so special is the perspective in which cinema is seen within the cinema. While it might sound very boring to watch a movie of people watching more movies, what Tornatore generates is a voracious achievement of creating spaces capable of tracing a person regardless of their time, location, or social stratum towards a bubble of audiovisual mosaics, which abound in references to classic European and North American films of the time. There are dozens of films that are mentioned and from which are shown brief fragments, and what is more fascinating is the fact of spending so much time capturing and evidencing the impressions of the people with everything they contemplate. From their looks of astonishment to their reactions of spontaneous and energetic response.
The film is essentially divided into two. The first part talks about Salvatore and his foray into the cinema thanks to Alfredo. All this characterized by the gift of Tornatore to put his magic as a base for the quality of the plot. The second part, which is marked by a disastrous event for the characters, offers a twist in which everything seems to become a melodrama in which much of what is achieved decreases in intensity but does not succumb and ruin the film after all.
What gives value to this film is to speak about our ability to create links with people and with the things that we want. Although this is tried to be destroyed and forgotten, the past in one way or another will return to adjust the slopes that have gone blank. "Cinema Paradiso" acts to conquer the public and insist that thanks to the spectators, the seventh art achieves its final mission. Those who come to this cinema really marvel at what they see. They feel scared, they laugh, they spit, they cry, they complain, they cause and they boo - and this is the everyday situation.
Salvatore as a young man (Marco Leonardi) falls in love for the first time, and Alfredo will be a guide for him. Circumstances will make the young man to leave, and after a while without returning to his hometown, the new Salvatore (Jacques Perrin) will be forced to reconnect with what he left and now different things must be faced. Thanks to an Italian soundtrack that with effervescence raises and vibrates this adorable and delicate piece of film, every movie lover shall reproduce it and judge it at least once with the simple aim of letting go. Its end is spectacular and full of memories. This is a tribute to the cinema and thanks to its intimate and unforgettable appeal, what one must do is to be captivated by the smiles and tears that this will provoke on you, arising the encounter of a warm but changing game between romanticism, innocence and occasional oddity that is polished to reward not only what some do for this art, but also those who appreciate it, that is, all of us. 87/100
People who love cinema will likely enjoy this very much. How film critics, film professors, normal movie goers, etc. got interested in movies can be a very nostalgic memory to think about. That's why I was interested in seeing this movie as its plot showed some promise. It was a pretty good experience watching it.
After a famous filmmaker named Salvatore "Toto" Di Vita gets a call that a friend of his as a child named Alfredo died, he recalls his childhood. The film shows how he got into film, how he became friends with Alfredo, a theater projectionist, and other things he experienced as a child while growing up.
His friendship with Alfredo continued to grow throughout the film. At first, he didn't like his presence and tried to get rid of him. However, as the film continued on, he began to value his company. Their friendship was very interesting. Since Toto's father wasn't with him, and since he supposedly died in the war, he looked up to him as a father figure, and he viewed the theater as his mother. If his mother were to tell him not to visit Alfredo anymore, he would disobey her, and continue to do it. This was an interesting way to show how movies were a very big part of his life.
The part of the film where he bonded with Alfredo was the best part of the movie. It is full of delightful touches such as Toto stealing a frame of film behind Alfredo's back or Toto helping him cheat on an exam so he'll let him back into the projectionist booth. The movie theater is displayed almost as a centerpiece where everyone would like going to it late at night to be entertained. The people who go to them are interesting. There are people who always sigh when a kissing scene is censored out of the film by order of the priest. Also, there is a man who only goes to the theaters to fall asleep, causing the kids to wake him up. After the viewer sees how unruly the crowd can be, it makes them wonder how they'd really act is the movie were to ever show a kissing scene. Also, the first act ends with a memorable scene where Alfredo projects the movie onto a wall outside the theater so a group of people can watch the film even after the theater closes. What follows that is a scene which is a perfect way to end the film. I won't spoil it though, because it's best to see it come as a surprise.
After that, the film moves forward 10 years into the future to show Toto as an older teen. The movie still manages to maintain its charming moments such as the scene where 2 boys are told to stop touching themselves by their father after the theater finally shows a kissing scene, only for him to do it a bit as well. Also, there's a scene where Toto is having trouble getting a movie to start. The people in the audience grow anxious to watch it. One person tries to tell everyone the plot to the film as he's already seen it before right as someone drops something on his head from above to get him to stop. These are many delightful touches which makes the viewer really like the lovable audience, despite how unruly they are. These comedic touches help the film, because they give the viewer extra reasons to enjoy the film.
However, the main part of the 2nd act is to build a relationship between Toto and a girl he loves named Elena. This isn't necessarily a bad thing for movies to do as it could give them further charm. However, I really didn't care for the scenes with her. This was the part of the movie where it started to feel a little cheesy and schmaltzy. I felt like some of the scenes from their relationship were a bit corny. One scene was where he waited outside Elena's house every night, hoping for her to change her mind as she said that she didn't love him when he originally asked her. He did this to imitate something that Alfredo told him in a short fantasy story he heard once. The story didn't sound all that bad when Alfredo said it. However, what works in one medium might not necessarily work in another. If someone were to do that in real life, it would look disturbing. There were a couple other scenes that I didn't like as well. However, I think that the biggest issue I had with their relationship was that while it didn't appeal to me, it also took a lot of Alfredo's screen time out of the movie. If the romance sub-plot was done very well, I might not have had an issue with it in limiting Alfredo's screen time, but since it wasn't done very well, it obstructed the movie's impact on me even more.
In conclusion, this was a very great film well worth my time. The relationship between Toto and Alfredo was done very well. The theater scenes had charm to them, and they provided some brief comedic relief at times. It managed to keep this throughout the majority of the flashbacks. Even though the romance sub-plot didn't appeal to me, I still liked this film a lot. Once you get to the very end, the famous final scene lets you walk away from the film in a positive manner by showing you a well-done montage. Overall, this was a pretty nice movie which I thoroughly enjoyed.
I'm fine with sentimentalism... just not phony sentimentalism. I really, really dislike this movie. It's not even that it's too sappy. It's too crappy.
(the shorter version) The score is magnificent. Completely empty melodrama with brilliant music.
Una de las declaraciones de amor más bellas al cine. A pesar de tener ciertos clichés que en mis tiempos los detesto, la esencia de la película tocará los nervios de todos los amantes del cine.