Cinema Paradiso

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Terence Gavish


  • --corinne-- 2 years ago
    643 of 655 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    What’s Different about the New Version, March 9, 2004
    –corinne– (Virginia) –

    Cinema Paradiso is one of my favorite movies. I finally found the new version available for rent through Netflix when I couldn’t find it in any Blockbuster.
    For those who have already seen Cinema Paradiso it needs no introduction. For everybody else, it won the Academy Award for Foreign Language Film in 1989 and features one of the most nostalgic treatments of the role of movies in people’s lives. Ennio Morricone’s theme song has also been recycled in countless commercials and movie montages and trailers.
    What’s good about the Director’s Cut or “New Version” DVD is that one can view the director’s cut with added scenes on one DVD side and the originally released version on the other.
    For those of us who wanted some kind of closure to Toto and Elena’s relationship, the Director’s Cut has it– there’s about an hour more of footage of their relationship. The new version also more footage of Toto’s military service and his adulthood. The added scenes somewhat mute the focus of the movie, so I could see why they were originally cut out. But, at the same time, the added scenes fill in the blanks that originally made a lot of us think, “Hey– What about…?” And although Toto’s childhood scenes are, as far as I can tell, unchanged from the original version, we also find out more about Alfredo.
    After finishing the New Version I appreciated the original version better. I highly recommend the new version not because it makes Cinema Paradiso more of a masterpiece, but because it adds more characterization to what, arguably, is a masterpiece. The added scenes can be a bit superfluous, but they show how important editorial decisions are to shaping the structure and momentum of a movie.
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  • D. Movahedpour 2 years ago
    223 of 235 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Begs the question: When is a movie too long?, February 24, 2003
    D. Movahedpour (CA United States) –

    I became aware of the existence of over 50 minutes of additional scenes in this film in the past two years. The original, pruned version received the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1990. I have owned the video for a decade. Then, last summer, the “new version” was shown in limited release, and a DVD was promised. With the addition of the deleted scenes, an entirely different film is created. Owning this DVD is owning a brand new version of the film’s events.
    Initially, the film was considered too long, and massive scenes were cut, removing any and all references to whatever happened to Salvatore’s great love, Lina. The original version of the film focused mainly on the young boy, fatherless in post-WWII Sicily, bonding with the childless cinema projectionist, Alfredo. The young Toto grows into the teen-aged Salvatore, who falls in love with the beautiful and unattainable Lina. They are parted. That is the last we see. Salvatore returns to his village many years later to attend the funeral of Alfredo, and the film is told nearly entirely in flashback.
    In this version, Salvatore is reunited with his lost love when he returns for the funeral. To think that this entire plot was removed from the film initially is almost unthinkable. There are other parts of the film that could have been edited to keep these additional scenes in. I don’t know what the producers, directors or the studio were thinking when they edited a huge part of the movie out.
    Well, now the film is complete. Whereas the original version focused mainly on the relationship of Toto and Alfredo, we now see a conclusion to Toto and Lina as well. And, we understand the ending of the film in an entirely, much less sentimental light. Salvatore has spent the bulk of his life mourning his lost love, not returning to his village, and not knowing of Alfredo’s hand in the matter. He is facing life-changing decisions, and must ultimately dip into a pool of acceptance and forgiveness. Without the addition of these scenes, the point is lost.
    This was an excellent film to begin with, now it is nearly perfect. It is bittersweet and touching, and all the more realistic with the deleted scenes returned. If you own the original version, you must own this version. You will see this film in a completely different light.
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