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ニュー・シネマ・パラダイス 完全オリジナル版 [DVD]
切り取られたフィルムは、当映画において非常に重要な役割を果たしています。一つは、上述した通り、幼少期のトトの思い出です。二つは、焼けてなくなってしまったシネマパラダイスと、取り壊されてしまったニューシネマパラダイスの遺産です。三つは、アルフレッドが映写技師として働いていた時の遺産です。そして最後に、アルフレッドのセリフである「これ（フィルム）は全部お前にやる だが私が保管する お前は ここにくるな」、と掛け合わせたものです。アルフレッドは、街を出ていったトトが帰ってこないように、という意味を込めてフィルムを保管していたのだと言えます。
Name-checked by the ludicrously-well-balanced readers of England's "The Guardian" newspaper in 2007 as their favourite-ever Foreign Language film - Giuseppe Tornatore's "Cinema Paradiso" was already the stuff of celluloid legend less than a decade after its release - and rightly so.
I remember the first time I saw it - I bawled my eyes out like a big girl's blouse - and it's been emblazoned in my heart and top five ever since. I make no bones about it - if "The Shawshank Redemption" is the greatest film ever made (and the absolute people's champ according to the IMDB database) - then "Cinema Paradiso" is the most 'beautiful' film ever made - and my number two with a bullet.
First aired in Italian cinemas in 1988 at 155-minutes - "Nuovo Cinema Paradiso" (its original title) was not well received at the box office. So edited down to a more manageable 123-minute length and given a shortened name - it was then re-presented by a terrified and weary Director at the Cannes Film Festival in 1989. The results were magical. The cast was literally cheered and applauded by hardened film critics as they walked from the screening to their hotel rooms. It won the Jury Prize at Cannes that year, then the Baftas, followed by the Oscars and subsequently garnished some twenty-plus awards in Europe alone (they run like a role of honour before the film starts)...
Told in flashback and subtitles - an elderly Italian lady phones her son in Rome who is now a big movie director. A local man has died and his funeral is the following day - she feels he must attend. Failing to get through - her daughter who is sat beside her mum reasons that maybe he's doesn't want to remember - after all he's been away from home for over 30 years? But as she dials again - mother insists - Salvatore will make an exception for Alfredo. When the middle-aged but still devilishly handsome Salvatore Di Vata lies on his pillow beside his beautiful young starlet partner in his suitably plush apartment - the camera closes in on his guilty face as he remembers who and what got him there...
And so the story begins - we're introduced to Salvatore as a precocious young 8-year old boy (nick-named Toto) who lives in the small Sicilian coastal town of Giancaldo. As his mother Maria stoically waits for her husband to return from the Russian Front of the Second World War - she darns socks and makes ends meet (subtly played by Antonella Attili). Meanwhile Toto sneaks away from his alter-boy duties with the town's priest - the hotheaded and sometimes comical Father Adelfio (brilliantly played by Leopoldo Trieste) to his real obsession - being with the wily old Alfredo in the projection booth of the local flick emporium 'Cinema Paradiso'. Childless himself, but big-hearted to a fault when it comes to the permanently inquisitive boy - Alfredo is a surrogate father to Toto and a hugely positive influence in the child's formative years (veteran French actor Philippe Noiret putting in a towering and endearing performance).
But more importantly - Alfredo makes Toto feel wonder. All those glamorous movie stars and the exotic locations they inhabit - their fabulous lives with all that possibility. Then there's the community who gather in the cinema - characters who spit - kids who drop spiders down the open mouths of sleeping patrons - hookers who sell their wares in the booth at the back. Onscreen there's Edward G Robinson gangsters - John Wayne cowboys - Charlie Chaplin comedians - gunshots followed by laughter (a few in the back seats of the cinema are timed to match those onscreen). And in between the feature films are newsreels that show war and horror and political change - but somewhere else. Then there's the really good stuff - like love and kissing and sex - if only the priest didn't vet it out with the shake of a bell ("Twenty-years! And I've never seen a kiss on screen!"). And as he peers out through the carved lion's mouth beneath the projection booth onto the gathered patrons below basking in that swirling combination of light and cigarette smoke - Toto gobbles it all up. Until one evening when Alfredo does the crowd a favour and the highly flammable film stock catches fire and changes the course of everyone's life...
Although accused of being a little over romanticised in places (young women wash their hair in fountains, happy kids carry books up school steps in glorious sunshine) - Tornatore is saying that this is an Italy of old where things seemed simpler. There are inkwells in school desks and children have their heads shaved in public to rid them of lice - but there's also laughter in the town square as people gather of an evening. And as the movie progresses with the decades - so some of that innocence and community is brutalized and lost (the final fate of the building itself, the town lunatic still prowling the square that no longer seems quirky but sad). "Cinema Paradiso" is also funny and poignant - a lot. The teacher banging the dullard kid's head against the chalk blackboard because he can't get his sums right - night-student Alfredo trying to skive answers off Toto as he sits an exam that only young children should be taking - the town lottery-winner who looks up at the burned-out shell of a building and thinks I can rebuild this...
But it's the relationship between Toto and Alfredo that drives the movie and is full of remembrances and sweetly observed moments. The scene where the child Toto rides in the basket on Alfredo's bike down the hill towards the town will make many think of the love they feel for their own parents. Toto then grows into a handsome 18-year-old who falls madly in love with a girl who gets off a bus as he's filming. Agnese Nano plays Elena and while Salvatore's initial advances are spurned, the beautiful Elena eventually comes around - only to have their love parted by fate and a banker father with other ideas for his daughter (their story as adults is considerably fleshed out in the extended 'Director's Cut'). Finally - the young Salvatore is told to leave this dead town and curdled past behind - go forward and create - never look back. Alfredo loves him enough to make the ultimate sacrifice - let him go - be his own man. The later half of the film is admitted very sad (especially the crushing of dreams) - but on it goes to an end-sequence that is quite possibly the best cinema has ever made (the celebrated `kissing' sequence).
25th ANNIVERSARY ISSUE:
The 2009 single-disc BLU RAY contained the 'Theatrical Version' only and 'some' of the extras from the 2003 4-Disc DVD box set. This new 2-disc "25th Anniversary Edition" BLU RAY released Monday 16 Dec 2013 has both the 'Theatrical Version' (124 minutes) and the 'Director's Cut' (174 minutes) which extends the story of the older Toto massively. The print has been literally frame-by-frame restored with the liner notes telling us that thousands of instances of hair, dirt and scratches have been removed with damaged frames fixed and density and stability issues corrected. The film was shot in European Widescreen which is aspect ratio 1.66:1 which means that on a modern widescreen TV - there's skinny black bars on the left and right sides of the picture frame (they are very small and don't really intrude that much). The audio is also majorly restored with both Italian 5.1 DTS Master Audio and 2.0 Stereo mixes really bringing out the beauty of Ennio Morricone's magnificent score and the film plays in the Italian language with English subtitles to the bottom of the screen (optional on or off). In fact in appears that this major release has only ENGLISH as its lone Subtitle (odd that). Although digital technology was used in restoration - care was taken to keep all the original issues in place. All in all it's an exemplary handling of the film.
But as I suspected - the restoration goes both ways - producing results that are both GORGEOUS and in some cases worse than before. Filmed in 1988 on a less than monstrous budget - the wildly varying picture quality as locations jump and change is now ruthlessly shown up. One moment its glorious with shots of full-on Sicilian summer sunshine - children running through the town square to school - the funeral procession on the hill with donkeys - Elene kissing Toto in the rain by the river as the thunderstorm breaks - these are truly beautiful to look at. But once you get indoors the grain and fuzziness is incredible at times. The opening shot of the elderly mother phoning Salvatore is a perfect example - beautifully framed and now massively improved - but then it instantly turns to the daughter at the table - and the grain and picture disappears into an almost unwatchable fuzz. But I must stress this - I've seen this wonderful movie so many times - and at last "Cinema Paradiso" is truly shining like a diamond. It's just that those expecting visual miracles here may be somewhat disappointed - and should allow for what they had to work with.
The outer glossy card wrap with lovely new Toto artwork (so easy to smudge) houses a 3-way foldout inner digipak with a 32-page colour booklet. Both the card box and the booklet are a joy to look at with new liner notes by Italian film expert PASQUALE IANNONE, colour stills of set outtakes, reproductions of the two posters and huge amounts of info on the cast, the film's history and the restoration process.
Fans will recognise the "A Bear And A Mouse In Paradise" and "The Kissing Sequence" features from the 2009 Blu Ray reissue. Both are hugely informative and entertaining featuring interviews with the cast and director - a history of the film and how the famous montage of scenes at the end came about (naming each source fim). But the new 52-minute documentary "A Dream Of Sicily" is odd to say the least. It features home footage from Director Tornatore and is mostly about him and Italian political corruption at the time and although it features clips from other movies (with Paradiso occasionally referenced) - the whole premise seems wildly out-of-place and self indulgent to a point where it's a chore and has little to do with the movie or its celebration. There's also the feeling that all Sicilians are stark raving mad - and that's where they get their 'dreamers' quality from. Although credited as featuring Tornatore - the Commentary (which is only on the 'Theatrical Version' and not the 'Director's Cut') features MILLICENT MARCUS speaking alone. She's a Professor of Italian at Yale University and Author of several books on Italian cinema. Her delivery is scholarly and full of dry details (some of which are obvious) but it would have been far more insightful if the actual filmmaker himself was telling us what's going on and why.
Lumping in almost a full hour's worth of extra material - the "Director's Cut" is a strange and unwieldy beast. As a lover of the film - I ate it up - but others will inevitably find it overly long. What you do get is a huge amount of hole-filling scenes that focus on the young adult lovers Toto and Elena and what happened next (why they parted). But more importantly it properly fleshes out how Alfredo truly set Toto free by pushing him out of Giancaldo to his destiny as a movie maker. I haven't watched this long version in years but it was fab to return to it - especially looking this good. The subtitles are again only in English the audio has the same two settings as the shorter version. The lone extra (if you could call it that) is the trailer for the 'Director's Cut'.
Why does "Cinema Paradiso" resonate with audiences so much? I can't help but feel that it's the poignancy of the loss as much as the joy that touches us. Young love - young dreams - still fresh - still uncorrupted by life and its disappointments. The famous 'kissing' sequence that ends the movie sums it up best. It was apparently shown to the actor Jacques Perrin (who plays the adult Salvatore) without him knowing what he was going to see. His reactions of being blown away are real - and we in turn were exactly the same when we first saw it - blown away. Frankly Scarlett - if you're not in floods of tears by the time that sequence ends - check your pulse, you could already be dead...
"Cinema Paradiso" is a masterpiece - and sure this 25th Anniversary BLU RAY reissue of it is a little flawed (could have included the soundtrack lads) but I have to say that re-watching it looking all sparkly like this has been a joy for me. I cried like a sop again - and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Beautiful and then some.
PS: make sure you use the actual Barcode in the search box on Amazon to get the 'right' issue - the 'UK and Europe' 25th Anniversary Edition BLU RAY of "Cinema Paradiso" is 5027035010557 and is REGION B Locked (US customers will need an All-Regions player)
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 [Philippe Noiret], 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 “Toto” Di Vita [Jacques Perrin] reconnects with the community he left 30 years earlier.
Presented in the newly restored original camera negative materials and presented in two versions, which are the expanded 174 minute Director's Cut, incorporating more of Salvatore's backstory, and 124 minute Cannes Festival theatrical version.
FILM FACT: Awards: 1989 Cannes Film Festival Grand Prix du Jury. 1989: Golden Globe® Awards for Best Foreign Language Film. 1989: Academy Awards® for Best Foreign Language Film. 1991: BAFTA® Awards for Best Film (Not in the English Language). Best Actor: Philippe Noiret. Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Salvatore Cascio. Best Original Screenplay: Giuseppe Tornatore. Best Film Music: Ennio Morricone and Andrea Morricone. 2010: 20/20 Awards: Nominated: Best Picture. Won: Best Foreign Language Picture. Won: Best Cinematography. ‘Cinema Paradiso’ was shot in director’s Tornatore's hometown Bagheria, Sicily, as well as Cefalù on the Tyrrhenian Sea. The famous town square is Piazza Umberto I in the village of Palazzo Adriano, about 30 miles to the south of Palermo. The ‘Paradiso’ cinema was built here, at Via Nino Bixio, overlooking the octagonal Baroque fountain, which dates from 1608.
Cast: Antonella Attili (Young Maria), Enzo Cannavale (Spaccafico), Isa Danieli, Leo Gullotta, Marco Leonardi (Adolescent), Pupella Maggio (Older Maria), Agnese Nano (Adolescent Elena), Leopoldo Trieste (Father Adelfio), Salvatore Cascio (Child Salvatore), Tano Cimarosa, Nicola Di Pinto, Roberta Lena, Nino Terzo, Jacques Perrin (Adult Salvatore), Brigitte Fossey (Adult), Philippe Noiret (Alfredo), Nellina Laganà, Turi Giuffrida, Mariella Lo Giudice, Giorgio Libassi, Beatrice Palme, Ignazio Pappalardo, Angela Leontini, Mimmo Mignemi, Margherita Mignemi, Giuseppe Pellegrino, Turi Killer, Angelo Tosto, Concetta Borpagano, Franco Catalano, Giuseppe Tornatore (Projectionist uncredited), Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle (archive footage uncredited), John Barrymore (archive footage uncredited), Isa Barzizza (archive footage uncredited), Ingrid Bergman (archive footage uncredited), Mario Castellani (archive footage uncredited), Charles Chaplin (archive footage uncredited), Gary Cooper (archive footage uncredited), Olivia de Havilland Vittorio De Sica (archive footage uncredited), Kirk Douglas (archive footage uncredited), Errol Flynn (archive footage uncredited), Jean Gabin (archive footage uncredited), Clark Gable (archive footage uncredited), Greta Garbo (archive footage uncredited), Vittorio Gassman (archive footage uncredited), Massimo Girotti (archive footage uncredited), Farley Granger (archive footage uncredited), Cary Grant (archive footage uncredited), Georgia Hale (archive footage uncredited), Laurence Harvey (archive footage uncredited), Helen Hayes (archive footage uncredited), Louis Jouvet (archive footage uncredited), Anna Magnani (archive footage uncredited), Silvana Mangano (archive footage uncredited), Marcello Mastroianni (archive footage uncredited), Amedeo Nazzari (archive footage uncredited), Suzy Prim (archive footage uncredited), Donna Reed (archive footage uncredited), Jane Russell (archive footage uncredited), Rosalind Russell (archive footage uncredited), Yvonne Sanson (archive footage uncredited), Maria Schell (archive footage uncredited), Norma Shearer (archive footage uncredited), Simone Signoret (archive footage uncredited), Alberto Sordi (archive footage uncredited), James Stewart (archive footage uncredited), Totò (archive footage uncredited), Spencer Tracy (archive footage uncredited), Claire Trevor (archive footage uncredited), Rudolph Valentino (archive footage uncredited), Alida Valli (archive footage uncredited) and John Wayne (archive footage uncredited)
Director: Giuseppe Tornatore
Producers: Franco Cristaldi, Giovanna Romagnoli and Gabriella Carosio (delegate producer: RAI)
Screenplay: Giuseppe Tornatore, Vanna Paoli (collaborating writer) and Richard Epcar (English version)
Cinematographer: Blasco Giurato
Composers: Ennio Morricone and Andrea Morricone
Video Resolution: 1080p
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
Audio: Italian: 5.1 HD-DTS Master Audio and 2.0 LPCM Linear Stereo
Running Time: 174 minutes and 124 minutes
Region: Region B/2
Number of discs: 2
Studio: Arrow Academy
Andrew's Blu-ray Review: A famous Rome film director, Salvatore “Toto” Di Vita [Jacques Perrin], learns of the death of an elderly film projectionist, Alfredo [Philippe Noiret], and flashes back to his formative years growing up in a small post-war Sicilian village under Alfredo's tutelage. In the village of Giancaldo, Salvatore's childhood revolved around the local cinema, the Cinema Paradiso, and the elderly projectionist Alfredo [Philippe Noiret] who schooled the young Salvatore [Salvatore Cascio] on the magic of cinema and functioned as a father figure to the impressionable boy whose mother [Antonella Attili] pines for the husband she lost in World War II.
The successful Italian film director, Salvatore “Toto” Di Vita [Jacques Perrin], returns to his home village of Giancaldo, Sicily for the funeral of his old friend, Alfredo [Philippe Noiret], 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 “Toto” Di Vita 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 Cascio 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 Cascio'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."
‘Nuovo Cinema Paradiso’ [Italian pronunciation: 'nw''vo 't'i'nema para'di'zo], "New Paradise Cinema"], internationally released as ‘CINEMA PARADISO’ and is a 1988 Italian drama film written and directed by Giuseppe Tornatore. Upon its original Italian release the film ran to a total of 155 minutes, 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 proved himself as a director of great quality and vision, he also ascertains himself as a master storyteller and fine screenwriter, charting Salvatore Di Vita'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; Giuseppe 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 cinema aficionados 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 Salvatore Cascio for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and 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 Giuseppe 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 film-watching.
With this incredibly popular film, Giuseppe Tornatore’s made ‘CINEMA PARADISO’ one of the great statements on film, by a film. We see that, for some, a cinema theatre is more than just a location of passive entertainment. It’s a place where memories are made and shared, where people escape, where people fall in love, learn about life, feel happy, feel sad, and on and on. And knowing this, and constructing his film thusly, Giuseppe Tornatore’s creates a film that not only reproduces these sensations but has the potential to produce them as well. Fashionable and common in terms of the story it tells and how it tells it, ‘Cinema Paradiso’ is nevertheless an effective work, and a powerful one. Though it could be argued that these formulaic and romanticised aspects make for a less than challenging or substantial film, it could just as easily be contested that they epitomize what films do best: they move us, they inform us, and they hold us captive and then carry us away in delightful or despairing rapture. Giuseppe Tornatore’s film shows, and embodies, movie magic and its place in the lives of so many.
Blu-ray Video Quality – ‘CINEMA PARADISO' was exclusively restored by Arrow Films for this Blu-ray 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 in 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 Academy 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 Academy Blu-ray, whereas the Miramax release looks very inferior. Playback Region B/2: This will not play on most Blu-ray players sold in North America, Central America, South America, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. Learn more about Blu-ray region specifications.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – The sound is very much improved too. There are two options for both films, there is the 2.0 LPCM Stereo and the 5.1 HD-DTS Master Audio mix. It is nice to have both, but I found the 5.1 audio 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 it's the slip of the tongue!
Blu-ray 2-Disc Special Edition Features and Extras:
Audio Commentary with director Giuseppe Tornatore and Italian cinema expert critic Millicent Marcus: Millicent Marcus'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 Giuseppe Tornatore speaking in English, explaining things like Philippe 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. Sometimes in the past I am not always a big fan of so-called “expert” audio 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. Millicent 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 Millicent Marcus elects to stop talking for a while to allow us to listen to a story Alfredo is telling the teenage Salvatore Di Vita, 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.
Special Feature: A Dream of Sicily [52:00] This is a beautiful 52-minute documentary profile of Giuseppe Tornatore featuring interviews with director and extracts from his early home movies as well as interviews with director Francesco Rosi and painter Peppino Ducato, set to music by the legendary Ennio Morricone. The 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 and it is useful to know, for example, just who Peppino Ducato is to better contextualise his contribution, and Burt Lancaster's English monologue from Luchino 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.
Special Feature: A Bear and Mouse in Paradise [27:00] This beautiful 27-minute documentary on the genesis of ‘Cinema Paradiso,' the characters of Toto and Alfredo, featuring interviews with the actors who play them, Philippe Noiret and Salvatore Cascio as well as Giuseppe Tornatore. Giuseppe 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. Philippe Noiret in particular has some engaging memories, describing Salvatore 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 Salvatore 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. Giuseppe Tornatore also talks about the main square location and the difficulty of shooting two key scenes involving the cinema exterior. A very illuminating extra.
Special Feature: The Kissing Sequence [7:00] Giuseppe Tornatore discusses the origins of the kissing scenes with full clips identifying each scene. 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 and I can't reveal more without delivering spoilers for first-time viewers.
Original Director's Cut Theatrical Trailer and 25th Anniversary Re-Release Trailer [1:42] Headed by a Guardian reader poll that proclaims this "The greatest foreign film of all time" and I won't even start with what's wrong with that technically impossible claim, and a "timeless classic" and of course 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.
BONUS: Special Booklet: It has a beautiful designed 32 page booklet that features a new writing on the film by Italian cinema expert Pasquale Iannone, illustrated with original archive stills. The only negative aspect of this beautiful booklet is that the wording is very hard to read, as it is printed in a silver grey typeface against a black colour background.
Finally, ` CINEMA PARADISO ' is such a fantastic classic 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 ever 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 are asking yourself why did I add the word "Le," well I did it to make it sound something very special and different and it has worked, as I often get asked this particular question. Very Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Aficionado
Le Cinema Paradiso
it arrived that it had come from Thailand. As the film is old I accept that the quality may not be top rate but I was not happy with the subtitles. Some had good English but others were written or typed by someone who's English was not good. I do wish that I had chosen a different supplier but I don't know if that would have made a lot of difference. I have given 3 stars as that means the film was okay.
There are not enough superlatives to describe this wonderfully atmospheric, romantic, lost love, period film. The plot is straightforward. In a small 1940's village in Southern Italy, a small boy becomes obsessed with the local cinema. He does everything he can to go there and watch films but more importantly learn how the projection room works. Over time he learns from the old projectionist how the antiquated machines work and through this, a friendship begins between the old man and the young boy. Intermingled in the story are some wonderful comedic scenes looking at what was also happening in the cinema whilst a film was showing. By accident there is a fire and the small boy has to take over the running of the cinema. Through the passage of time from a junior through to adolescence the audience is shown a sweet love story full of pathos between the teenager and his first love. The story is beautifully shot and told. The young projectionist eventually grows up and leaves the village to go to Rome and learn cinematography.
The original film then shows the return of the now grown up famous film director going back to the village for the funeral of the old projectionist. The Directors cut makes the ending of the film completely different than the cinema released version. It is quite amazing how the two films differ so dramatically, as in the Directors cut the now famous film director goes in search of his first love from many years ago.
It is a beautifully shot film, full of pathos and atmosphere. The friendship between the young boy and the old projectionist is beautifully crafted so that it feels real. The script lifts you up and then fills you full of sadness towards the main characters, it is a real emotional roller-coaster of a film. My own preference is for the original cinema released ending, rather than the Directors cut. This version adds quite considerably to the timing of the film and makes the ending not quite as pleasant. I suppose you have to watch the film and then decide which ending you prefer.
This film is beautifully shot with a wonderful bitter sweet story, of what life was like in a Southern Italian village just after the second world war and what it is like for a successful person to go back to, a village, his past and his memories from a time of his life that could never be repeated. The film deserved more than the one Oscar it received. I cannot recommend this film enough, a beautiful story wonderfully shot with a fantastic script and incredible direction.
a disproportionate number of horror films).
Cinema Paradiso which I saw recently for the third time but for the first time in its director's cut form, is a splendid tribute to the films that have enchanted me since my summer days in Spain. Everything about it is wonderful: the village life, the characters, the beautiful facades of the village houses, the hot sleepiness of the days, the sultry nights, the measured pace of the inhabitants' life.
This is nostalgia at its best, without melodrama: nostalgia for the more gentle ways of days gone by, nostalgia for the great cinema giants. They are all there: Vittorio de Sica, John Wayne, Visconti, John Ford, Greta Garbo, Kirk Douglas, Ben Hur, Bogart..
Philippe Noiret is wonderful and the supporting cast equally good. There is laughter, mixed with emotions and tears, like in all the best Italian films. This is cinema to savoured: It runs for close to 3 hours but I wouldn't want a single minute of it to be cut .. or blacked out.
As for the film itself, I rather enjoyed the setting, in beautiful Sicily. The town the film is shot in looks like a fairy tale. We follow Toto from a child through to a successful film maker and his obsession with film. One can take many things from the film and I found myself thinking about it for a few days afterwards. It is not often this happens after watching a film, the ending was certainly thought provoking. The thing I took from it is that in life we should have balance. If you put everything into your career you will end up without the woman you love, as happened to Toto.
Perhaps others will take something different but that's what I took from it. I am also likely to watch the film again, something I rarely do with films. Recommended.
As of yet I'm still a little unsure exactly what happened to Salvatore and Elena, but don't be put off by this as it makes it more intriguing and something of a a challenge to find the answer.
This is a supreme film of early Cinema,Community, Childhood, love and...
My review is of the arrow films bluray release, which is simply outstanding. The clarity of image, depth of field and colour communicates the raw emotion of this film to the viewer in a way that other formats, including cinema, simply fail.
Consequently, this bluray is arguably one of the finest analogue transfers currently available.
It is so many things: a tender story of friendship, a beautiful portrait of a Sicilian village community and a "love letter" to the cinema itself. As uplifting and heartwarming as the story is, it still does show that an obsessive love of something (such as films) can also result in sadness and regret: a man is able to have two "loves" in his life, but success in one of them comes at the expense of the other!
There are actually two versions of this film that differ greatly: the original three hour Director's cut and the re-edited, two hour theatrical version which was the one that I saw when I first experienced this magical movie gem. I have since seen the longer version but (as is the case with Coppola's masterpiece "Apocalypse Now") the shorter version is crisper, more intense and makes the ending even more emotionally wrenching!
A boy Salvatore (Toto) who grew up in a Sicilian Village returns home as a famous film director after receiving news about the death of an old childhood friend. Told in flashback, Salvatore (as an adult played by Jacques Perrin) reminiscences about his childhood and his relationship with Alfredo (Philippe Noiret), the projectionist at the Cinema Paradiso.
Under the fatherly influence and guidance of Alfredo, Salvatore (played as a boy by Salvatore Cascio) falls in love with film making. Alfredo painstakingly teaches young Salvatore the skills that eventually become his "stepping stone" into the world of film making.
As the retrospective story unfolds we are are witness to Salvatore as a teenager (played by (Marco Leonardi) and his tortured relationship with the beautiful Elena (Agnese Nano). As this whole endearing human story is finally revealed we are also shown the changes in cinema due to technological progress and social factors. Most of all the film illuminates a young boy's dream of leaving his little town to foray into the outside world
Divided into three sections, it is the first section that was left almost intact in the short version. It is of course primarily concerned with the relationship between young Toto and Alfredo. It is full of delightful touches, such as Toto's spellbound face as he watches the footage that will be censored by the town priest. The cinema is portrayed as almost being the centre of life in the town (Giancaldo) in which the film is mostly set.
As the film moves forward several years to show Toto as a 16 year old, the wonderful cinema scenes are still present. However, it is mainly concerned with Toto's (now called Salvatore) courtship of and love for Elena, a love that is never to reach its full potential.
In the final section Salvatore, now a great film director, returns to Giancaldo as a middle aged man to attend Alfredo's funeral. His reunion with the older Elena (Brigitte Fossey) and his mother and his exploration of the cobwebbed, dilapidated cinema of his youth are extremely moving. And ... as for the final scene when Salvatore opens a certain gift Alfredo left him: it never ever fails to make the skin tingle and the eyes water profusely!
I am often asked why I love movies so much (and I too once looked for a definitive answer to that question); Cinema Paradiso gave me the answer! If you love movies, Cinema Paradiso will remind you why you do; if you don't love movies, it will tell you why you should!