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Cinema Paradiso

Reviewed By Chris Parry
Posted 03/30/99 16:08:36

"Utter, utter, utter genius. You must own this film."
5 stars (Awesome)

Anf confirmed film freak has seen this movie more times than Star Wars. Any film freak who hasn't seen Cinema Paradiso is missing a fundamental part of the movie experience.

Okay, it's subtitled. Yeah, it's a little aged. Okay, so it's long.

But you know what? It's unbelievably incredibly wonderful. And I'm a guy, so the word 'wonderful' doesn't come easily from my mouth.

Salvatore is a precocious kid in an Italian village that revolves around it's cinema. The Cinema Paradiso is the place all the villagers come to relax, meet, laugh and get taken away to another world. Salvatore is obsessed with the cinema and persuades the projectionist (Italian veteran actor Enzo Cannavale) to teach him all he knows about the movies.

So what's the story? There's basically none. It's a portrait of village life in early century Italy. It's a display of how movies *should* bring people together and expand their horizons. It's a look back into the way things were.

The people of this film are a story unto themselves. The village nutcase who thinks he owns the square. The priest who censors the films every time there's a hint of amore on screen. The old man who sleeps in his cinema seat to get some peaceful time away from his nagging wife. The girl who steals Salvatore's heart.

This is a film you can see over and over and never grow tired. The three hour directors cut is like stepping off a train and finding yourself in the movie.

And the ending is perhaps some of the most moving footage shot in the last fifteen years. Make the time to see this movie. Take the phone off the hook and turn off the pager. You won't be disappointed.

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