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Writer/director Giuseppe Tornatore
Starring Phillippe Noiret, Enza Cannavale, Antonella Attili
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Arrow Films’ beautiful remastering of both the theatrical and director’s cut of this Italian cinematic classic is stunning.

It follows famous filmmaker Salvatore, who returns to the small village he was raised in for the first time since he was a teenager. Then known as Toto, he became fascinated with the local movie house in the immediately post-war years, and grew up in and around the cinema, to the initial chagrin of projectionist Alfredo, who would go on to become his strongest mentor and dearest friend.

Giuseppe Tornatore’s film is a love affair with cinema itself: early scenes show how important the cinema was just after the war, giving poor people who had lost everything hope, inspiration, titillation and often their only news from the outside world.

Salvatore reminisces how he became a man, had his heart broken, and came to avoid the town of his family, even confronting the woman who he believed deserted him.

Tornatore uses their relationship as a metaphor for film and cinema itself, and the result is never less than intensely moving and stunning, even encompassing hilarity and tragedy and all of life’s ups and downs. Essential.


Filed Under: Movie & Theatre Reviews

About the Author: Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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