Cinema Paradiso – An Appreciation

I rented this film again because I wanted my parents to see it. Fortunately my Grandmother and Maria we’re staying the night and they saw the film as well. I like the original 1990 version because I think the re-release (the version we saw Saturday night) gave away too much. But nevertheless, it’s still one of those films that never fail to capture me. This is also my late Uncle Arnie Lapinig’s favorite movie.

The film is about Salvatore, a successful film director who returns to his hometown and reminisces about his childhood and his love affair with movies. Cinema Paradiso affects us on many levels, but its strongest connection is with our memories. We relate to Salvatore’s story not just because he’s a likable character, but because we relive our own childhood movie experiences through him. Who doesn’t remember the first time they sat in a theater, eagerly awaiting the lights to dim? There has always been a certain magic associated with the simple act of projecting a movie on a screen. Director Guiseppe Tornatore taps into this mystique, and that, more than anything else, is why Cinema Paradiso is a great motion picture.

The marquis of the ‘new’ Cinema Paradiso.

The unforgettable scene of Alfredo projecting the movie outside as Salvatore gleefully watches.

Salvatore (as a teenager) in love with the subject of his film, Elena. Again, one of the shots I love.

Ah, the final scene! Such a moving moment when Salvatore (now the successful filmmaker) finally “sees” the late Alfredo’s gift to him. Truly unforgettable!

5 thoughts on “Cinema Paradiso – An Appreciation”

  1. Well I’m in San Fran, but if I had a car (and money for gas), and say you came here, it can be done. I brought Joanne Lim (BLD Oakland) to the lot. Actually give me ample time (like a week) if you want to come over so I can go to L.A. and take you to the Burbank WB lot. 


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