Cinerama: Cinema Paradiso

Posted: September 11, 2009 in Cinerama

Cinema Paradiso

By Mike Derderain

Do dreams come in subtitles? A question that has been floating in my mind for the past weeks, a question that I’ve been wanting to ask you my dear reader. A question that I simply can say yes to, for on my part all my dreams come with starting and finishing subtitles, how is that possible! I’ll let you know in the end, however, I will give you a key word to the answer which is “Cinema.”

To love cinema is to love life. After all cinema is found on the other side of the mirror, sometimes the image that it reflects is realistic and grim, sometimes it’s not, sometimes it is beautiful and psychedelic and sometimes it’s just ugly.

It all depends on the angel from which you choose to see things, or the kind of film you like to watch. To me I’ve been watching movies ever since I can remember, black and white, Technicolor, classic films, and anything related to cinema.

My passion for the cinema grew stronger every year until I became addicted and deeply in love with it. Whenever I had the chance to see a film I would grab it no matter when or how.

I was the child who used to sneak out of bed in the middle of the night while his parents were asleep so that he can watch a film, like Salvatore who used to spend the milk money on cinema tickets instead of buying it for his mother. Hanging around the cinema theatre Salvatore, the little boy was fascinated by the images coming out on the screen from the projection room that he liked to visit to watch how Alfredo, the projectionist create the magic that people in his village experienced in a place called “Cinema Paradiso.”

Cinema Paradiso or paradise Cinema is an Italian film that won the 1989 academy award for best foreign film. It is a homage for cinema and to all those who love cinema for the great moments of fantasy that entered their lives ever since film making was invented.

There you find moments of joy and sadness, laughter and tears and most of all hate and love: for life, for people, for everything.

All these moments are packed in this movie who in collaboration with the renowned Italian Composer Ennio Morricone created a masterpiece that would inspire any one who has an affinity to cinema.

Directed by Giuseppe Toranatore, the film takes us through the three stages in Salvatore’s life—first we see him as an adult, a filmmaker who hasn’t seen his mother in thirty years, however, after a phone call from his mother, Salvatore reminisces the old days of his childhood and adolescence.

The film is in retrospect yet it is not narrative for we are allowed to see and observe how cinema was truly the dream machine of its time and how a little boy learns that life goes beyond a film reel.

Salvatore Cascio, the actor who played the role of Salvatore as a child, was remarkably convincing as the boy who truly loves cinema more than anything else and likes to spend time in the cinema with the wise Aflred, who was portrayed by the french actor Philppe Noiret.

Salvatore’s addictive love for cinema is evident in the scene where he is holding a discarded piece of film that he found in front of a gas lamp, pretending that he is watching and repeating lines from different films.

The film is packed with funny sad scenes to beautiful love ones , especially when the adolescent Salvatore falls in love with the newcomer after seeing her through his eight mm camera—eventually a beautiful love relationship will surface through the events of this fantastic film.

One of the greatest and bewitching scenes in this film is where the adult Salvatore is given a film reel prepared by Alfredo. Salvatore takes it and uses a projector to see what it holds. After realizing what it is, his eyes are filled with tears, I won’t tell you why he cried but I will describe the scene for you.

In a scene that will last more than three minuets all you will see is famous actors kissing and holding each other in passionate embraces, Cary Grant, Catherine Hebourne, Grace Kelly, Tyrone Power, Marylin Dietrich, Errol Flynn, Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable and all the legends on one role. We also see funny passionate scenes like when Charlie Chaplin faints after being kissed by a fair maiden, not to mention young couples in love and sharing kisses on a mountain cliff or a beach.

In the end “Cinema” is more than just actors who entertain us—sometimes it offers us sincere images of life, not in all cases anyway for after all it is the dream machine. So if you want to see subtitles in your dreams all you have to do is think like you are in a big production film called life and as Shakespeare said:

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women are merely players; they have their exists and their entrances.”

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