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Film Review - Cinema Paradiso

            The film Cinema Paradiso is an Italian drama that was written and directed by Giuseppe Tornatore. As a general synopsis of the film the story opens with a scene of famous Italian filmmaker Salvatore Di Vita (Jacques Perrin) returning to his home on a late night. His current girlfriend tells him that his mother called to tell him someone named Alfredo has died. Salvatore goes into shock and the majority of the rest of the film is told through flashback stories of Salvatore's childhood when he lived in the small village of Giancaldo, Sicily. Nicknamed Toto the younger Salvatore (Salvatore Cascio) falls in love with film at the local movie house called Cinema Paradiso. There he befriends the much older projectionist Alfredo (Philippe Noiret). Toto's father is presumably dead from serving in World War II and Alfredo becomes a father like figure to him throughout the early years of his life. The adolescent Salvatore Di Vita (acted by Marco Leonardi) is required for military service and when he returns from it he is surprised to be told by Alfredo to leave and never return to Giancaldo. Alfredo tells him he will never accomplish his dreams there and Toto does what Alfredo demands and never returns until he hears of the passing of Alfredo himself.
             I have fallen completely in love with this film. There are just so many things about it when I watch it that gives me such a magic and nostalgic feeling and Rita Kempley also states that the film gives off a nostalgic aura (Kempley). I remember before the first time I watched the film with my Dad he informed me that the dialogue was Italian and was completely subtitled. This was more than four years ago putting me somewhere around fourteen. Back then I was far more narrow minded in my approach and enjoyment of watching films. If you would have asked me then if a foreign movie from the 80's would now be my favorite movie of all time I would have called you crazy.

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