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Förening Film i Malmö presents
Dir. GIUSEPPE TORNATORE
Italian (Swedish Subs)
118min (Original, International version)
Soundtrack by ENNIO MORRICONE
“Cinema Paradiso” is the very best of the “movies about the movies”.
The story of an Italian WW2-orphaned named Toto, at three stages of his life: childhood, adolescence and middle age (with a different actor playing him in each case). Toto’s life is driven by the love of movies he acquires at the old local theater with cranky projectionist Alfredo (Philippe Noiret) becoming a surrogate father who teaches him about life and love while helping channel his interests into eventual success. “Paradiso” is also a great “first love” story and tackles other less personal but relevant themes, by portraying the parallel between the evolution of the cinemas of old and Southern Italy’s social customs.
Movies are the universal language understood in every corner of the world and they bring together the unique population of the Cinema Paradiso, along with their search for a communal experience in which they can not only laugh/cry at the same time but even whistle mercilessly at the projectionist when a technical malfunction occurs. For this town of modest means this is basically their only source of entertainment and main reunion site so there are plenty of other goings-on while the lights are dimmed such as courtships, attendees napping or making-out, the breast-feeding of babies, the sharing of an occasional cigarettes and even mafia-type hits. One could simply say that life doesn’t stop while movies are projected at the Paradiso. These concepts may sound preposterous to today’s audiences but fact is the theaters of old had their own, peculiar communities and the movie effectively makes theirs seem real and hilarious.
Review by Gerardo Valero