115 of 119 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning bittersweet experience
Originally released in 1988 Cinema Paradiso , is a hymn to love .Not just the love of a man for a woman or vice versa , but the love between a boy and an adult and their mutual love for a medium -cinema. It's the sort of subject matter that would normally have me running for the cinema exit so fast that I'd be outside before my chair had flipped up. But persuaded to see...
Published on 26 Mar 2007 by russell clarke
37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great film, but no director's cut...
I wasn't expecting this Blu-ray to be available until January 2010, so you can imagine how surprised I was to see it sitting on the shelf of my local record shop when I rocked in there this lunchtime.
I've just finished watching it and picture quality is good overall, but not the best I've seen amongst older films put onto Blu-ray (not as good as 2001 Space...
Published on 6 Oct 2009 by M. Jaques
Most Helpful First | Newest First
115 of 119 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning bittersweet experience,
Originally released in 1988 Cinema Paradiso , is a hymn to love .Not just the love of a man for a woman or vice versa , but the love between a boy and an adult and their mutual love for a medium -cinema. It's the sort of subject matter that would normally have me running for the cinema exit so fast that I'd be outside before my chair had flipped up. But persuaded to see this at the cinema at the time by a friend I reluctantly went along. I was completely enraptured .Cinema Paradiso is a sumptuous film , funny, absorbing and moving.
The version I saw all those years ago was the truncated 121 minute rendering, foisted on the audience by a studio who thought American audiences would deem it too long. This they did by cutting off the end of the film thus robbing it of it's real emotional resonance .Even so it ,s still a magnificent movie. The directors cut restores the butchered 51 minutes and is the film as director Giuseppe Tornatore originally envisaged it so it makes more narrative sense .The cut version is wonderful but the directors cut is an absolute masterpiece. Both versions are on this DVD as well as a making of documentary and a CD version of Ennio Morricones sublime soundtrack.
An element of autobiography is surely integrated into the screenplay as Tornatore pays deference to his formative years in a small town in Sicily . Toto( an incredibly cute Salvatore Cascio) is a young altar boy who finds the whole thing a bit of a chore. He prefers to spend his time at the cinema , either watching the movies or harassing the projectionist Alfredo ( Philippe Noiret) His mother is a single parent as they both wait for his father to return from the Russian front and she struggles to contain the boys mischievous ways.
The towns cinema is a central place for the community, packed out for every screening,. Alfredo a believer that everyone should enjoy the magic of cinema even projects a film onto the white wall of a nearby building so all those locked out can see it too. The towns priest acts as a censor , viewing the films before the public and ringing a bell to let Alfredo know that a scene is unsuitable for the communal palate, usually scenes involving kissing .These Toto collects from the projectionist booths floor .
Alfredo and Toto form a bond and he trains the boy in his profession , even a tragic incident with flammable film stock that costs Alfredo dear doesn't destroy their camaraderie. Toto eventually succeeds Alfredo but his head is turned away from his love of cinema for the first time by the arrival of the beautiful Elena ( Agnese Nano) who he struggles to express his love for.
When Toto is called away for National Service he loses touch with Elena and when he returns home Alfredo tells him to leave for ever , to make the most of himself and follow his dreams .So we learn that Toto became a successful film- maker in his own right .But hearing about the death of his boyhood mentor Alfredo causes him to confront his past for the first time. Can he return home for the funeral and face all those memories of lost love and friendship. Here the film becomes a transcendent wallow in nostalgia as Toto re-watches all those snippets of the censored clips from his childhood. This is a scene so powerfully moving it has brought a lump to my throat the size of a golf ball just writing about it .Quite sublime.
A truly inspirational movie that had a dyed in the wool cynic like me gushing like the Trevi Fountain. It deservedly won an Oscar The Palme Dor at Cannes( it actually shared it with "Trop Belle Pour Toi") and a host of BAFTA,s. It's unsurpassed as a monument to lost love and the power and pull of memories , a quite stunning bittersweet cinematic achievement that will never be bettered in my opinion.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cinema Paradiso 25th Anniversary Remastered Edition [Blu-ray] ,
This review is from: Cinema Paradiso 25th Anniversary Remastered Edition [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Cinema Paradiso 25th Anniversary Remastered Edition [Blu-ray]  A CELEBRATION OF YOUTH, FRIENDSHIP, AND THE EVERLASTING MAGIC OF THE MOVIES.
A winner of awards across the world including Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, 5 BAFTA Awards including Best Actor, Original Screenplay and Score, the Grand Prize of the Jury at the Cannes Film Festival and many more.
Giuseppe Tornatore s loving homage to the cinema tells the story of Salvatore, a successful film director, returning home for the funeral of Alfredo, his old friend who was the projectionist at the local cinema throughout his childhood. Soon memories of his first love affair with the beautiful Elena and all the high and lows that shaped his life come flooding back, as Salvatore reconnects with the community he left 30 years earlier.
Presented in both the original award-winning cut and the expanded Director s Cut incorporating more of Salvatore s backstory, newly restored from original negative materials.
Cast: Philippe Noiret, Salvatore Cascio, Marco Leonardi, Jacques Perrin, Antonella Attili, Enzo Cannavale, Isa Danieli, Pupella Maggio, Agnese Nano, Leopoldo Trieste, Nino Terzo, Giovanni Giancono and Brigitte Fossey
Director: Giuseppe Tornatore
Producers: Franco Cristaldi and Giovanna Romagnoli
Writer: Giuseppe Tornatore
Cinematographer: Blasco Giurato
Composer: Ennio Morricone and Andrea Morricone
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
Audio: Italian: 5.1 HD-DTS Master Audio and Linear PCM 2.0 Stereo
Region: Region B/2
Running Time: 174 minutes and 124 minutes
Number of discs: 2
Studio: Arrow Academy
Andrew's Blu-ray Review - The successful Italian film director, Salvatore `Toto' Di Vita, returns to his home village of Giancaldo, Sicily for the funeral of his old friend, Alfredo, who was the projectionist at the local cinema throughout his childhood. As he returns to the old haunts, and as his girlfriend begins to ask him who the mysterious `Alfredo' was, Salvatore flashes back to his childhood in a post-war Italy, and soon memories of his first love affair with the beautiful Elena and all the high, lows and passions that would shape his adult life come flooding back, as Salvatore reconnects with the community he left 30 years earlier.
For what forms almost the entire first hour of the film, the action concerns itself with Salvatore's childhood years, firmly establishing both his newly discovered love of the cinema and his growing relationship and deep friendship with the father-like Alfredo, whilst his relationship at home with his own mother grows increasingly more fraught in the wake of his father's absence at war, before a clever visual device instantly advances the film a decade and introduces us to the now adolescent Toto.
Upon its original Italian release the film ran to a total of 155 minutes [2:35:00], however due to a poor box office performance in its native country the film was withdrawn and cut considerably, to a more manageable length of 123 minutes, for its international release which subsequently became an instant success, and it is this theatrical release which garnered the film's numerous awards and widespread acclaim.
In 2002, film audiences saw the release of a third cut of the film, the arguably superior extended `Director's Cut', which runs at a fairly lengthy 174 minutes and incorporates a good deal more of Salvatore's back-story, effectively expanding on his relationship with Elena and incorporating a moving scene in which the pair reunite after a lengthy separation, adding both a greater sense of dimension and thematic depth to the overall piece.
Not only does Giuseppe Tornatore prove himself as a director of great quality and vision, he also ascertains himself as a master storyteller and fine screenwriter, charting Salvatore's coming of age tale with great skill and fine attention to detail, suitably evoking a strong emotional response from the audience and beautifully balancing moments of humour and pathos; Tornatore deservedly picked up the BAFTA film award for Best Original Screenplay for his work.
Of course in watching the film, one of the great joys for any true cinephile is in both identifying all the films screened at the eponymous Cinema Paradiso, from Jean Renoir's `Les bas-fonds' [The Lower Depths]  to Luchino Visconti's ground-breaking Neo-realist drama `La Terra Trema'  and Mario Mattoli's now rarely-seen musical comedy `I pompieri di Viggiù' [The Firemen of Viggiu] , and picking up on all the various quotes and subtle cinematic references weaved throughout the film.
Performances across the board are quite superb, from Philippe Noiret's impeccably judged, BAFTA Award-winning performance as Alfredo, to Salvatore Cascio, Marco Leonardi and Jacques Perrin's respective performances as the child, adolescent and adult incarnations of Salvatore, with the BAFTA Award-winning Cascio (Best Actor in a Supporting Role) delivering one of the most memorable child performances in cinema as the wide-eyed young Toto.
Lensed by cinematographer Blasco Giurato, Cinema Paradiso proves quite the visual treat, perfectly capturing the alluring quality of the tonal Sicilian vistas, carefully observing how life within the village has evolved over the course of the film and cleverly juxtaposing the magic-realist quality of the cinema with the Neo-realist tones of contemporary Italian society with his own beautifully composed original photography.
Ennio Morricone's beautifully orchestrated, string-heavy score is a work of both great beauty and emotional power, accompanying the visuals with stirring effect, and the fact that he was overlooked for an Academy Award-nomination for his composition is a great travesty; not to mention the fact that the film received only a single Academy Award nomination - but then again, what do awards matter?
Shot on location in director Tornatore's hometown of Bagheria, Sicily, as well as Cefalù on the Tyrrhenian Sea, Cinema Paradiso proves an incredibly personal, powerful and affecting examination of friendship, love and cinema, and often described as a work of `nostalgic postmodernism', beautifully combines sentimentality, humour and pathos with a reflective and profound, generation-spanning coming of age tale to deliver what is without doubt one of cinema's greatest and most passionate celebrations of film, perfectly capturing the true essence of cinema and the endearing magical quality of movie-watching.
Blu-ray Video Quality - Cinema Paradiso was exclusively restored by Arrow Films for this release. The original 35mm camera negative elements were scanned in 2K resolution at Technicolor Rome, with all grading and restoration work completed at Deluxe Digital Cinema -- EMEA, London. In comparison to the previously released and reviewed Miramax edition of Cinema Paradiso on Blu-ray in the USA, I would say, there is no comparison. This new edition from Arrow wins hands down. It arrives in a beautiful 1080p image quality and while darks may have a little less detail extension, the result is an image that looks richer, and offers better contrast. The grain structure is also sharper, more textured, and detail extends farther into the background. In comparison to the Arrow Blu-ray, the Miramax looks very soft and smooth.
Blu-ray Audio Quality - The sound is much improved too. There are two lossless options for both cuts, the PCM stereo and master audio 5.1 mix. Now it's nice to have both, I found the 5.1 mix front loaded and lacking coverage in the rears. Finally the subtitles are not flawless in their translation with sometimes literal choices overcoming more appropriate options e.g. Does anyone say "cut your mouth out", surely its tongue!
Millicent Martin's commentary is fine if you are new to the film and want a companion who tells you the meaning of the action throughout with some biographical detail. She is supplemented by excerpts of Tornatore speaking in English, explaining things like Noiret's casting and the importance of certain producers. Her approach is not very critical though and for the cine-literate viewers her explanation of what film is showing in the cinema may seem obvious. The commentary is only available on the Theatrical cut.
2-DISC SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES:
Newly restored from the original camera negative and presented in two versions - the 174 minute Director's Cut and 124 minute Cannes Festival theatrical version
5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio options and uncompressed original Linear PCM 2.0 Stereo
Audio Commentary - More than once in the past I've remarked that I'm not always a fan of so-called 'expert' commentary tracks, though I usually say that to introduce one that is actually an enthralling listen. The one here is provided by Millicent Marcus, Professor of Italian at Yale University and author of a number of books on Italian cinema, and I'd love to tell you that this is just such a commentary, but frankly it's anything but. Most of the time Ms. Marcus simply describes what's happening on screen ("Here we have Don Ciccio, the proprietor of the Cinema Paradiso, arguing with his distributor") or observes the purpose of shots or edits, which should be obvious to even a half-aware viewer. At times it plays almost like an audio description for the visually impaired (an irony that will not be lost on those who've seen the film). Perhaps the most bemusing moment for non-Italian speakers comes when Marcus elects to stop talking for a while to allow us to listen to a story Alfredo is telling the teenage Salvatore, which is delivered in Italian and without English subtitles (you can call them up with the pop-up menu, but they're not on by default for the commentary track). Just occasionally Marcus breaks with her descriptive approach to offer a snippet of useful cultural detail, and at one point finds parallels between the adoration of cinema and religious belief, a frankly fascinating theory that deserves to explored in more depth that it is here. Best of all are some welcome contributions from director Giuseppe Tornatore himself, which while teasingly brief and sparsely located, are always interesting.
A Dream of Sicily [54:47] A documentary produced for either an Italian TV screening or home video release in which Giuseppe Tornatore explores the influence on his work of the Sicily of his childhood, which is illustrated with extracts from his films, including early documentary material shot in his home town of Bagheria. Rather thrillingly, this includes the very first footage he ever filmed, done on a borrowed camera at the age of 13 and whose framing and eye for arresting imagery puts the work of the average first year UK media student to shame. He charts his development through the people, places, events and films of the time and place, not in the style of a linear documentary portrait but the fragmented manner with which we tend to remember our past. It's an intriguing piece, although a couple of name captions are not translated (it is useful to know, for example, just who Peppino Ducato is to better contextualise his contribution), and Burt Lancaster's English monologue from Visconti's The Leopard [Il gattopardo] is curiously also subtitled in English, subtitles that retain the meaning of the speech but do not accurately reproduce the words.
A Bear and Mouse in Paradise [27:26] Tornatore recalls his first experiences of cinema and how the idea for the film came about, then focusses on the key roles of Alfredo and young Toto and the actors who play them, with actors Philippe Noiret and Salvatore Cascio (now an adult, of course) providing their own recollections. Noiret in particular has some engaging memories, describing Cascio as "a real brat because he came to be ruler of the shoot," but quickly tempering this with "He knew to be an actor he had to be a creator and a performer. He always invented new things. He was always spot on." His story of Cascio's hatred of his cigars is backed up by an extract from what looks like the Cannes press conference, and he describes the shoot itself as an exhausting experience. Tornatore also talks about the main square location and the difficulty of shooting two key scenes involving the cinema exterior. An illuminating extra.
The Kissing Sequence [7:01] Giuseppe Tornatore outlines how the idea of a priest censoring the films being shown in a provincial cinema was drawn from real-life (albeit stories told to him rather than first-hand experience) and discusses one of the film's most fondly remembered sequences, for which we're also given a textual breakdown of the actors and films involved - I can't reveal more without delivering spoilers for first-timers.
25th Anniversary Trailer [1:42] Headed by a Guardian reader poll that proclaims this "The greatest foreign film of all time" (I won't even start with what's wrong with that technically impossible claim) and a "timeless classic" (classics are always timeless), this does play on the film's romanticism and sentimentality, but is still a reasonable sell.
Director's Cut Trailer [1:22] "Experience the passion that spanned the years," the cheerfully warm narration for the 4:3 framed American trailer for the director cut assures us. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the love story is pushed to the fore here.
Special Booklet featuring new writing on the film by Italian cinema expert Pasquale Iannone, illustrated with original archive stills. The only negative aspect of this beautiful booklet, the wording is very hard to read, as it is printed in silver grey typeface against a black colour background.
Finally, Cinema Paradiso is such a great film with heart-warming performances from Philippe Noiret and Salvatore Cascio who is such a delightful little child that you can forgive his misbehaviour. The big question is: if you already own this on DVD, is it worth buying the Blu-ray? The Audio/Video quality is of such a high calibre standard that even the best looking DVD up-scaled looks poor by comparison. The inclusion of the isolated score is terrific as this is one of the very best scores that Ennio Morricone wrote in his long and illustrious career and makes up for the missing documentary. None of the previous releases have adequately produced a surround track to properly showcase the beautiful score and this is the first to do so. This is a classic film which has been given the presentation it deserves and, whether you own the DVD or not, this purchase is definitely highly recommended and a total honour to add this to my ever expanding Blu-ray Collection.
But as a final conclusion, as you know I sign off with the name of my home entitled Le Cinema Paradiso, well the reason for this is because Cinema Paradiso is such an all-time magical experience and one of my all-time favourite film and that is why I named my home after this glorious intelligent film, but of course I suspect you asking yourself why did I add the word Le, well I did it to make it sound something different and has worked, as I often get asked this particular question.
Andrew C. Miller - Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Projectionist's favourite,
What can I say, I cry every time I watch this film! Beautifully shot, acted and scored, it's a must for anyone in the film business or if you just love the atmosphere of the Cinema, I'm a projectionist so it holds a lot of happy memories for me. When 35mm projection finally bows out in about 5 years time this film will be a tribute to a lost art of projection, you don't just press PLAY you know! :-)
BUY IT, and have some tissues ready!
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unforgettable experience,
This review is from: Cinema Paradiso  [DVD] (DVD)
Every time I see this movie, it almost brings tears to my eyes. Essentially a simple story about the younger days of the boy Toto, his love of movies and the cinema, aswell as his relationship with Alfredo the projectionship. But it's much more than this.
The central part of the movie shows how Toto's life as boy/teenager has affected his attitude to life as an adult, e.g. love of movies, numerous girlfriends, etc. The combination of humour, drama, and tragedy all contribute to a masterful piece of cinematic history.
To those who haven't seen the Special Edition extended cut of the movie (adds nearly an hour to the original), I'd advise you to see it at least once. Some people say it isn't necessary to the story as a whole, but I'd say it's inclusion is valid. It develops Totos life as a man further, and reveals a few things not really hinted at in the shorter variant.
Please let there be a DVD release of the extended cut in the near future. I'd like the choice to own my preferred version, and not just be offered the shorter movie.
50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical film presented in a super box set,
Many box set deluxe editions are something of a disappointment, the barell being well and truly scraped for a morsel of an extra which will justify the repackaging and re-labelling of a film. Not this one. This edition offers both the original theatrical release, the far superior extended cut, a disc of great extras and the CD of the film's memorable score. The packaging is also quite innovative with a nice double page opening type of thing, not one I have seen before. I really don't think there is anything more to ask for in a de-luxe edition.
In terms of the film, it is masterful and touching with just the right mix of emotion throughout. The film is beautifully shot and the director's eye for detail and attention to the images are evident in almost every shot. The acting is brilliant, especially from the two lead actors.
This package is worth double the price and it is a great presentation of one of the best Italian films ever made.
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect,
This review is from: Cinema Paradiso  [DVD] (DVD)
This is without doubt the best foreign film I have ever seen, with the possible exception of Das Boot (for which the latter falls into a totally different category anyway). Even if you are not facinated by cinema, don't let this put you off, because the shear quality story, acting, direction and romantic passion drive this film like a beautiful Ferarri. The locations are stunning and the story one of the best ever written. If you aren't really keen on films with subtitles. Please give this one a chance, because if any foreign film can sway you to watch more foreign films it is surely this one. It is nostalgic, romantic, beautiful and above all simply perfect. Buy it or rent it now! You will see what I mean.
48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime cinema,
This film is one of my favourites of all time, and I'm glad it's finally been done justice with this... a huge improvement to the picture and sound compared to the previous version, and the extras are fantastic - really informative documentaries and features, and it's almost worth buying just for Morricone's stunning soundtrack!
I can't rate this highly enough, and it's obviously been lovingly put together... recommended to all!
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stolen kisses,
If Nuovo Cinema Paradiso isn't one of your favourite films, you probably haven't seen it.
With the Paradiso serving as the focal point for a small Sicilian village, its changing sense of community and values beautifully realised and mirrored through the changing cinematic trends, few modern films have so many wonderful moments - the village priest censoring movies with his hand bell ever at the ready; a villager asking another what a rolling title says only to find out that he's illiterate too; the young Toto acting out a film while he holds a discarded strip of celluloid to the light; that great final montage... the list could go on for ages.
Still a deeply emotional experience, some of the film's most moving moments are its most understated, such as the young Toto editing out a newsreel reference to war dead in Russia to save his mother's feelings or the sadness in Alfredo's face as he watches the villagers in the square marvel at the film he shows on a townhouse wall.
But the version that won its way into the hearts of millions of filmgoers and critics alike in 1990 was not the original film. Originally called Nuovo Cinema Paradiso, it made its bow in Italy at 156-minutes to appalling reviews and bad business before being cut by half an hour for the foreign markets and taking the Cannes Film Festival by storm and later causing a minor storm of controversy after it won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film (since then, films re-edited from their original version are no longer eligible for the award). Such was the film's success that by the mid-90's, Giuseppe Tornatore was able to not only restore the deleted footage but add other scenes he was forced to cut in a near three-hour director's cut. While some of it is merely additional shots or, in a couple of cases, redubbed dialogue, the film's last act was massively extended as the grown-up Toto (Jacques Perrin) meets his first love Elena (Brigitte Fossey, cut out of the two hour cut entirely) and learns what really happened and gets the chance to give their love story a proper ending...
Is it a better film? In many ways yes, though it is a much darker, more melancholy one with more of a sense of loss and missed opportunities. The cuts had the effect of making sections of the film give in to nostalgia, which this version undercuts more adeptly. This is more about the terrible price that the love of cinema exerts - Alfredo's sight, Toto's one true love. When Salvatore returns from the village at the end of the picture, he has no-one to return to or anything to return to but a film award, the glittering prizes of work devalued as he realises he has no life but film. One of the all-time great endings, the stolen kisses at the end of the film now seem that much sadder and carry a much more real and painful sense of loss.
This recent 4-disc UK boxed set from Arrow is at least the fifth time round on DVD for Giuseppe Tornatore's perennial, though if you already have it you may be able to rationalise buying it yet again on the grounds that it was worth it for the CD of Ennio Morricone's hauntingly emotional score or the extras. Containing remastered transfers of the two-hour overseas theatrical version and the superior three-hour version (both now bearing the original title Nuovo Cinema Paradiso, unlike previous issues) as well as a disc with a good documentary on Tornatore's Sicilian films, a half-hour retrospective on the making of the film featuring Phillipe Noiret and a grown-up Salvatore Cascio, a featurette on the kissing sequence, stills gallery and director's cut trailer, it's certainly the best presentation of the film to date - but with the original two-and-a-half hour version that played to disastrous business in Italy still unreleased, don't be surprised if somewhere down the line there'll be a sixth issue `ultimate edition' to get people to buy it all over again.
And now Arrow have released their second Blu-ray version, which includes all the features from their 4-disc DVD set except for the CD of the score and adds an audio commentary by Giuseppe Tornatore on the shorter version. Unfortunately the new 2K scan for the theatrical version of the film is mildly disappointing - not terrible but with rather more digital noise in places than there should be in a specially sourced scan taken from the original negative. Black and white sequences from old movies shown in the Paradiso suffer particularly badly from the 'firefly effect' in parts of the frame that should be either pure black or grey, though it's nowhere near as bad as some of their earlier releases of Italian movies like Deep Red.
59 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A film about a film lover loved by a film lover,
This review is from: Cinema Paradiso - The Director's Cut  [VHS] (VHS Tape)
As a film and media studies graduate, you are expected to like everything from Eisenstein to Spielberg, but we all have our favourites. This is mine.
It tells the story of a little Italian boy, who becomes obsessed with film through his inquisitive nature and friendship with the local cinema projectionist. This film tells a beautiful story, in the form of a flashback. Very European in that respect but follows a timeline like any other 'mainstream' picture.
This is the longer version of the film, but it is the way that it was meant to be viewed before it was butchered for overseas video release. Despite this butchering, the film went onto win the 1989 oscar for best Overseas movie.
Johnny Vaughan states " If you don't watch this film on your first date, then your'e not serious about love."
Even if you cannot stand films in foreign languages (this being in Italian), just get this film, the story it tells is so beautiful, that it overcomes this obvious barrier to English Speaking Audiences.
Even if you are not a film lover, like myself, just buy this one movie. I'm sure you'll fall in love with it, like I have
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hope & Love,
This review is from: Cinema Paradiso [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I first saw Cinema Paradiso by chance - I was at Manchester University and a member of the Film Society that put on obscure art house films - having sat through some truly dreadful movies - one particular Japanese film was an epic hell! My expectations were tempered. The hall in the student union had bad plastic seats a fairly small screen with a dreadful sound system. (With hindsight this probably added to the romance of the film Manchester's own version of The Paradiso.)
From the opening credits I was captivated - I now have 1 VHS copy 1 DVD and 1 VHS - Directors Cut - and before that I used to rent it out from the Library.
This film is a masterpiece - every shot makes you believe and feel that you are in that little town.
The music captivates your spirit and will forever be entwined with the images.
For men that believe they should not be seen to cry at a film - do not go as you will fail. I cried for the last half hour of the film - tears rolling down my face - and then for about half an hour afterwards - My new girl friend at the time - who seemed far less affected was incredibly embarrassed - she did not last long!
This film is a full mental regression from youth through puberty and beyond - the directors cut feeds the mind with more detail and tragedy than I could have coped with on the first viewing - but as the blinkers are removed you never want to go back - I love both editions.
This is my favourite film - because it is the Mona Lisa of cinema.
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Cinema Paradiso 25th Anniversary Remastered Edition [Blu-ray] by Giuseppe Tornatore (Blu-ray - 2013)