In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb same kind of different as me

Same Kind of Different as Me

It can be hard to disagree with the heart and events of this true tale, except for when the movie reveals itself to be mighty…

Thumb mv5bnda4ymmwmgity2mzos00odjilthmzdetyza5ngu4zjq5yjhixkeyxkfqcgdeqxvynjk5nda3otk . v1 sy1000 cr0 0 674 1000 al

Geostorm

God knows how many millions of dollars and hours of manpower went into making and remaking Geostorm but it turns out to have been all…

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives
Other Articles
Chaz's Journal Archives
Other Articles
Blog Archives

Reviews

Cinema Paradiso: The New Version

  |  

When "Cinema Paradiso" won the Academy Award as best foreign film in 1990, it was an open secret that the movie the voters loved was not quite the same as the one director Giuseppe Tornatore made. Reports had it that Harvey Weinstein, the boss at Miramax, had trimmed not just a shot here or there, but a full 51 minutes from the film. Audiences loved the result, however, and the movie is consistently voted among the 100 best movies of all time at the Internet Movie Database.

Now comes a theatrical release of "Cinema Paradiso: The New Version," with an ad campaign that promises, "Discover what really happened to the love of a lifetime." Considering that it was Miramax that made it impossible for us to discover this in the 1988 version, the ad is sublime chutzpah. And the movie is now so much longer, and covers so much more detail, that it almost plays as its own sequel.

Advertisement

Most of the first two hours will be familiar to lovers of the film. Little Salvatore (Salvatore Cascio), known to one and all as Toto, is fascinated by the movies and befriended by the projectionist Alfredo (Philippe Noiret). After a fire blinds Alfredo, Toto becomes the projectionist, and the Cinema Paradiso continues as the center of village life, despite the depredations of Father Adelfio (Leopoldo Trieste), who censors all of the films, ringing a bell at every kissing scene.

The new material of the longer version includes much more about the teenage romance between Salvatore (Marco Leonardi) and Elena (Agnese Nano)--a forbidden love, since her bourgeoisie parents have a better match in mind. And then there is a long passage involving the return of the middle-aged Salvatore (Jacques Perrin) to the village for the first time since he left to go to Rome and make his name as a movie director. He contacts the adult Elena (Brigitte Fossey), and finds out for the first time what really happened to a crucial rendezvous, and how easily his life might have turned out differently. (His discoveries promote the film to an MPAA rating of R, from its original PG.) Seeing the longer version is a curious experience. It is an item of faith that the director of a film is always right, and that studios who cut films are butchers. Yet I must confess that the shorter version of "Cinema Paradiso" is a better film than the longer. Harvey was right. The 170-minute cut overstays its welcome, and continues after its natural climax.

Still, I'm happy to have seen it--not as an alternate version, but as the ultimate exercise in viewing deleted scenes. Anyone who loves the film will indeed be curious about "what really happened to the love of a lifetime," and it is good to know. I hope, however, that this new version doesn't replace the old one on the video shelves; the ideal solution would be a DVD with the 1988 version on one side and the 2002 version on the other.

Popular Blog Posts

The Fall of Toxic Masculinity and the Rise of Feminine Consciousness

A special edition of Thumbnails detailing the recent sexual harassment cases in the entertainment and tech industries...

"Blade Runner" vs. "Blade Runner 2049"

A Great Movie is hidden somewhere within "Blade Runner" and "Blade Runner 2049."

Oscars Could Be Facing Dearth of Diversity Yet Again

A column on the lack of diversity in this year's potential Oscar nominees.

Tears of a Machine: The Humanity of Luv in "Blade Runner 2049"

No character in “Blade Runner 2049” is more relatably human than Luv.

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus