PSYMegan: Cinema Paradiso (13th January )
Cinema Paradiso was the cornerstone of entertainment in the town, and Toto and Alfredo's relationship started off as a tug-of-war. The final victory came to Toto when he secretly aided Alfredo during an exam in exchange. Sentimental in all the right ways, Cinema Paradiso presents a and work very effectively in constructing the relationship between Toto and Alfredo. which should have substantially tested the lead's relationship with Alfredo. Cinema Paradiso was a critical and box-office success and is regarded by . It deals with the relationship between Toto and Alfredo, which.
It was, for him, the type of romantic love story he had seen in films many times — love at first sight. He never really recovers from this and cannot maintain a steady relationship with any other woman he meets later. Every time his mother telephones, a different woman answers the phone.
As only a mother can tell, she says to Salvatore when he returns, that not one person who answers the phone is in love with you. When Salvatore reruns the old film clip he had of Elena, his mother peeping in at the door understands.
As the film ends with Salvatore viewing the passionate kisses from the old films, he seems to be more at peace with himself and ready to let go of the past. At first the people are simple and ignorant of modern life and almost worship the power of the cinema with awe.
Cinema Paradiso () - IMDb
They take what they see literally and repeatedly view the same films over and over again. As the cinema develops, so do they and they demand more variety. The old and rather tame Romances are rejected and a more vibrant genre takes its place.
Now they are watching westerns, thrillers and passionate love stories. These changes in Sicily, mainland Italy and, indeed, throughout Europe may not be welcomed by all but they are seen to be inevitable. At the end, as Toto gazes at the old square which he knew as a boy, now filled with cars and noise and bright colours, we can sense his sadness.
The most shocking part occurs when the cinema is knocked down to make way for a car park. That says it all. It symbolises the transition from the old way of life to the new. The cinema, which stood for the old cultural values, is gone.
It deals with realistic relationships and gives a realistic view of Sicilian society. It depicts the modernisation of Sicily in the post-war period, emphasising the rapid changes. The only real conflict is within the central character, when he struggles to make his decision to break from Alfredo and leave Sicily.
This film is also biographical, which makes it a narrative story in the form of a film. It is quite a conventional plot at face value: There is one main flashback which tells most of the story until the end, with a couple of additional minor flashbacks. Most of the film is set in the cinema or in the square outside. Toto is occasionally seen in the streets nearby. There are some brief glimpses of the surrounding countryside and there is also one very significant scene where Toto takes the blind Alfredo to the sea after his return from military service.
Sicilian architecture features significantly in the film, both outdoors and indoors. Early on in the film some of the sequences are shot in the church and then they move to the cinema, which closely resembles the church.
The cinema is carefully designed to fit in closely with the buildings of the time and, by implication, its ethos. Towards the end of the film, the structure of the new cinema deviates from this with its many garish qualities, neon signs, etc. The stone carving of the lion is striking as it symbolises power and strength maybe a reference here to the Metro Goldwyn Meyer lion? At dramatic points in the film, there is a quick cut to the lion, perhaps to remind us that film is a powerful medium of information and influence for the people.
Two very memorable visuals are the quick flashes of Elena and Salvatore in a bed of greenery, sharing food and love, followed by the lovers running through a cornfield, laughing and calling to each other.
The brevity of the shots may have been intended to emphasise the brevity of the relationship. Cinema Paradiso has a varied selection of camera shots and angles.
On screen, we are shown the history of film and we can see the development and progression of film techniques in clips from a selection of films. Within the cinema itself, the audience are viewed by the use of under shots, over shots and side shots often taken at unusual angles.
There is something very unsettling in this, which illustrates how Toto is wasting his life in the confines of the Cinema Paradiso. At the end of the film, the technique of superimposing one picture over another is used and with brilliant effect, giving the impression of a reflection in a car window as Salvatore looks out on the countryside.
We see a very clever variation on a camera angle at the funeral when the shot is taken from inside the hearse looking out at the mourners. It resembles a television screen as the rear window of the hearse frames the picture. Towards the end of the film there is a greater variety of camera techniques displayed, showing the viewers that things have really changed and advanced since Salvatore left thirty years ago.
Now everything is presented differently. Read the excellent review on Cinema Paradiso by Barbara Poyner — it is very good in this area. The lighting in Cinema Paradiso is very cleverly manipulated to echo the content of the film. Lighting constantly changes in this film. We see it changing within the films themselves shown on screen, and also inside and outside the actual cinema. Much of the film is set in the small room in the cinema where Alfredo and Toto are either cutting and splicing films or showing them.
The projection room is small and usually dark or shadowy. One moment we can see Alfredo and Toto in the shadowy reel room and suddenly it changes to the square outside; we almost have to blink to adjust to the change in lighting. When the cinema becomes modernised and Toto takes over, suddenly the room is bigger and awash with light.
The film begins with Salvatore in his bed, beginning to dream of home in the dark. At the end we see him in his own private viewing room, in the dark, viewing his legacy from Alfredo — the reel of stolen kisses. The sound effects in Cinema Paradiso are extremely appropriate.
The outstanding feature in this area is the music of Ennio Morricone which is as much a part of the film as anything else and which does so much to create the emotional responses sought by its director, Tornatore. The soft music at emotional moments often deliberately muffled to suggest poor and primitive sound systems emphasises the strength of the relationship between Alfredo and Toto and between Toto and Elena.
One instance where the music is light-hearted is where Toto is racing from one village to another and back again, against the clock, to get the second part of the film. The music is racing too, as speed is the important issue here and so the suspense is very well conveyed. Often, there are silences when something significant happens.
- Cinema Paradiso (1988)
- Tag: Alfredo and Toto
- Giuseppe Tornatore’s Cinema Paradiso explores the magic of movies
A sound of thunder contrasts with this after Salvatore hears the news that Alfredo is dead. Also at the funeral, silence is used effectively. It is interesting to note that the flashback sequences in the film are announced by the sound of chimes or bells and this is a very clever use of sound.
So now, take a break — sit back and luxuriate in the haunting music of the soundtrack! The whole film is spoken in the Sicilian dialect, and subtitled for English speakers; therefore much of the richness of the language is lost on the non-Italian speaker.
It aims upon emotions and sentiments of the characters. It portrays that whatever we do in the past, has certain effects on our future and coming times. Its experiences that make us the man we are, the journey of childhood, teenage and then finally an adult life. Toto develops a very deep friendship with Alfredo, local projectionist of a cinema. When Toto is an adult and a big shot director, he hears the unfortunate demise of his dear friend and mentor Alfredo.
He then remembers his past, his childhood life, his friendship with alfredo, the love of his life Elena, and how is life went to lead him to his current status. Through the fatherly guidance of his mentor, he falls in love with movies, cinema and the art of film making.
After a failed pursue of love, Alfredo advices Toto to leave the town, chase his dreams and erase the memory of the people that were associated with his past. Through this journey of his, he is encountered by family problems, passionate love and relationships. He encounters familiar faces, faces that he considered as a forgotten memory, and realizes that no matter how much you try to forget the past, it does stay with you, but one has to move on. In the end, his beloved cinema is demolished and he receives a box of negatives before going back.
The script of the film is outstanding, it is a fine example of good story telling and writing. The plot of the film is thrilling, enjoyable and filled with nostalgia. The script has a lot of dialogues, but it is as heavily visual as the dialogues. The script has a lot of, humor and comic factor. For example the school scene, where Toto helps Alfredo cheat in the exam. From an emotional point of view, the script really holds the viewer.
It is an immensely emotional film; example of this can be the scenes when the adult Toto returns home. As the film pays homage to classical film making, the film itself carries classical film narratives structures in the script, such as tragic romanticism and themes where the protagonist finds his true love but ultimately ends up losing her. It shows the cinema culture very well, it puts emphasis on collective experience and how cinema can bring people together.
It also discusses, how in early times films faced censorship, when the priest and church used to view them for censorship but eventually it overcame religious barriers and showed kissing and intimate scenes, in other words cinema went bold.
A scene, when there is a funeral being taken away, escorted by the priest and child Toto, there are some people who are photographing the scene. It showed that even a culture so dominated by religion; images and visuals were still able to integrate themselves in the society.
Upgrade to hide ads
Such is the power of cinema. The dialogues are very well written. They are very humorous, smart, comic and enjoyable with a dramatic touch in emotional situations. All characters have their distinctive style of dialogue, which the actors deliver remarkably. The film is technically very sound, and is masterfully crafted.