Friday, April 26, 7:30 pm
LCCC Film Society presents
1988 (R) 170 min. Italy/subtitles
Director: Giuseppe Tornatore
Cast: Marco Leonardi, Salvatore Cascio, Philippe Noiret, Antonella Attili
“Cinema Paradiso” offers a nostalgic look at films and the effect they have on a young boy who grows up in and around the little village movie theater in this Italian comedy drama that is based on the life and times of screenwriter/director Giuseppe Tornatore. The story begins in the present as a Sicilian mother pines for her estranged son, Salvatore, who left many years ago and has since become a prominent Roman film director who has taken the advice of his mentor too literally. He finally returns to his home village to attend the funeral of the town’s former film projectionist, Alfredo, and, in so doing, embarks upon a journey into his boyhood just after WWII when he became Alfredo’s unofficial son. In the dark confines of the Cinema Paradiso, the boy and the other townsfolk try to escape from the grim realities of post-war Italy. The town censor is also there to insure nothing untoward appears onscreen, invariably demanding that all kissing scenes be edited out. One day, Salvatore saves Alfredo’s life after a fire, and then becomes the new projectionist. A few years later, Salvatore falls in love with a beautiful girl who breaks his heart after he is inducted into the military. Thirty years later, Salvatore has come to say goodbye to his life-long friend who has left him a little gift in a film can. In 2002, over a decade after the film’s original release, director Tornatore brought the original 170-minute director’s cut to American screens for the first time. “Cinema Paradiso” is a beautiful work of cinema that’s unforgettable.
From LCCC Film Society Director, Robert Dudash: On a personal note, this is perhaps my favorite film, a birthday gift to myself as I turn 80 on May 1. An enchanted village, a wonderful friendship, star crossed lovers, and the magic of the movies.
“Recent changes to cinemas which have seen the projectionist’s art sidelined in the digital age add a further layer of poignancy to the magical memories.” – Mark Kermode, OBSERVER (UK)
“One of the most delightful and affecting of all movie endings.” – Brian Viner, DAILY MAIL (UK)
“You leave ‘Cinema Paradiso’ with that feeling that’s kind of like getting kicked in the stomach, but nice. It’s one of those breathless, swept-away-by-a-movie experiences that you might have once a year, if you’re lucky.” – Mick LaSalle, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE