Ponder Picks: Cinema Paradiso

                              Cinema Paradiso

                       Guiseppe Tornatore: 1990

I could talk all day about Guiseppe Tornatore’s directing/writing in Cinema Paradiso, but if there is one thing I can take from this film it would be it’s beautifully presented story. Anyone who is interested in film or has at least half of an artistic capability will find enjoyment in watching this movie. With its developing characters and wonderful directing, Cinema Paradiso reflects upon the lives of its protagonists in a way that will captivate your emotions. Set in Sicily, the Cinema Paradiso Theater becomes close to home for a young boy named Toto. With the Cinema Paradiso as the only form of entertainment, the village in which this boy lives becomes heavily reliant on the theater’s consistency in showing films. Alfredo, the theater’s projectionist and Toto’s future father figure, comes to hate his long lasting responsibilities. Through Toto’s persistence, Alfredo unwillingly accepts him as his apprentice in becoming The Cinema Paradiso’s new projectionist. 


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Not only does Tornatore’s directing create a passionate story, but it also makes a statement. As time takes it’s course in this film the Cinema Paradiso becomes a motif symbolizing the old era that was left behind. The theater’s films along with its new era of technology create dependency in the village. The effect of time passing in the course of Toto’s life is perhaps the most important cinematic element in Cinema Paradiso. It is seen in the village’s improvements in technology and by Toto growing from an immature boy into an adult. Toto’s growing pressures to escape The Cinema Paradiso share parallelism between him and Alfredo, a man who became trapped, never to achieve what he wants in life. Toto’s character is not one that simply represents the changing ways of the new generation but one that beholds true potential in his life as an individual.

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