Many filmmakers have successfully translated their first, uniquely personal experiences of the wonder of cinema on to the screen but perhaps none with so much warmth and romantic affection as Writer/Director Giuseppe Tornatore with Cinema Paradiso. From its original release in 1988, Cinema Paradiso went on to transcend its arthouse/foreign language limitations and charmed mainstream audiences the world over, winning many awards along the way. Now, on December 13th 2013, Arrow Films is releasing a 25th Anniversary Edition of this very special film at cinemas across the UK – an opportunity to share the experience of loving movies with someone you love this Christmas.
Set, and filmed, in Tornatore’s hometown in Sicily, Cinema Paradiso is a generation-spanning story of friendship, love and filmmaking. Salvatore [Jacques Perrin], now a successful film director, returns home for the funeral of Alfredo [Philippe Noiret], his old friend and mentor who was projectionist at the Cinema ‘Paradiso’, the focus of his childhood imagination and adult reminiscences. Soon memories of his first love affair with the beautiful Elena and all the experiences that shaped his life come flooding back, as Salvatore reconnects with the community he left 30 years earlier.
Classic scenes throughout are imbued with humour and pathos — Toto peeping illicitly through the curtains as the priest censors every inflammatory love scene; the moment when Alfredo takes pity on the villagers unable to squeeze into the cinema and projects the film onto a building outside in the town square; and the heart-breaking final kissing montage – are all complemented by Ennio Morricone’s lilting romantic score and the sun kissed Sicilian locations.
Enchanting in every way, Cinema Paradiso on the big screen will make you wide-eyed with childlike wonder all over again.
Certificate: PG Distributor: Arrow Films
Dir. Giuseppe Tornatore, Italy/France, 1988, 155 mins, subtitles
Cast: Jacques Perrin, Philippe Noiret, Antonella Attili, Enzo Cannavale, Isa Danieli
Original UK Release Date: 1989