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Cinema Paradiso

Movie Information

The Hendersonville Film Society will show Cinema Paradiso at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 22, in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing Retirement Community (behind Epic Cinemas), 333 Thompson St., Hendersonville.
Genre: Drama
Director: Giuseppe Tornatore
Starring: Philippe Noiret, Marco Leonardi, Salvatore Cascio, Jacques Perrin, Roberta Lena
Rated: R

Unabashedly sentimental and nostalgic, Giuseppe Tornatore’s Cinema Paradiso (1988) is one of those rare subtitled art-house movies that—at least in its shorter crowd-pleasing version (the one being screened)—managed to enter the broader public consciousness. People who normally say things like, “I don’t go to the movies to read,” have been known to adore this one. It’s not hard to see why, even though this is a film I hadn’t seen until recently. I keep thinking that I would have gone gaga over it 20 years ago, even though I’m not quite that far gone on it now. Then again, the older I get the more sentimental I seem to be, so maybe my response now is as good as it gets. That is to say I liked this sweet-tempered movie about a filmmaker remembering his small town life, the old projectionist (Philippe Noiret) who took him under his wing, his own days as projectionist at the title theater, his first love, etc. In fact, I liked it a great deal and would easily recommend it to anyone, but I’m just not crazy about it—no matter how crazy I am about individual parts of it. It’s a little too obvious in the final analysis, though that doesn’t keep it from working. The film is more than a little inspired by Fellini’s Amarcord (1973), though it’s in a different key altogether and some of its echoes of that earlier film don’t feel like they belong here. Overall, though, it’s a nice little movie. See for yourself.


About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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