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Cinema Paradiso Blu-ray Review

Cinema Paradiso Blu-ray

“Cinema Paradiso” is a poignant Italian film.

Having released numerous cult films under their Arrow Video label, the fan favorite home video company has developed a new offshoot for prestigious film releases titled Arrow Academy. One of their first titles under this new branch is the acclaimed 1988 award-winning Italian film “Cinema Paradiso.”

For those that aren’t familiar with writer/director Giuseppe Tornatore’s “Cinema Paradiso,” the story begins with a middled aged filmmaker (Salvatore) who learns that a man named Alfredo has passed away. The story then flashes back to his youth in Giancaldo, Sicily where he spends his time as an altar boy, a troublemaker and a frequent patron of the town’s local cinema house. Over time, Salvatore (who is a bit of a troublemaker) begins to develop a bond with the movie theater projectionist (Alfredo) while also helping out at the theater. I won’t go into further details about where the story goes, but it should go without saying that the film further explores other periods of Salvatore’s life as he ages.

“Cinema Paradiso” is often herladed as one of the best world cinema films, and while I wouldn’t quite go that far, there’s no denying it is an exceptional work of art. What makes it so rewarding isn’t necessarily the story which feels like an amalgam of other films, but rather what the story has to say and how it makes you feel. The themes about friendship, community, life, home and the power of cinema really tug at the heart strings and make the move come alive. Now, one can argue that the theatrical version (and the director’s cut version for that matter) is a bit sluggish and features some weird scene transitions, but it never ruins the overall experience of absorbing the film.

Note: This set contains the 124 minute theatrical version and the 174 minute director’s cut.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.66:1 1080p. How does it look? A very clean transfer overall. The exterior scenes really showcase how good the transfer really is.

Audio Tracks: Uncompressed Italian 2.0 and Italian 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How do they sound? Whether you go with the Mono or 5.1 track, you’re good either way as they both deliver.

Extras:
* A booklet featuring credits, film stills, behind-the-scenes photos and an essay by writer Pasquale Iannone.
* “Cinema Paradiso” 25th anniversary and director’s cut trailers.
* “The Kissing Sequence”- The interesting story behind the “stolen kisses.”
* “A Bear And A Mouse In Paradise”- A documentary featuring cast and crew interviews. Subjects range from projectors to set experiences.
* “A Dream Of Sicily”- Director Giuseppe Tornatore recollects about Sicily and shows some home videos.
* Commentary by Italian film expert Millicent Marcus with a few brief comments by Giuseppe Tornatore. Millicent seems extremely nervous at doing a commentary but she does provide an interesting analysis of the film.

 

 

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March 22, 2017 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , ,

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