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Cinema Paradiso

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A director recounts his boyhood, when he fell in love with movies at his hometown’s theater and formed a great bond with the projectionist.

Giuseppe Tornatore wrote and directed the 1988 coming-of-age drama film Cinema Paradiso. The film is set in a tiny Sicilian town and revolves around the friendship of a little kid and an old projectionist who works at the namesake movie theater. Philippe Noiret, Jacques Perrin, Leopoldo Trieste, Marco Leonardi, Agnese Nano, and Salvatore Cascio feature in this Italian-French co-production. Ennio Morricone and his son, Andrea, wrote the film score, which marked the beginning of a partnership between Tornatore and Morricone that lasted until Morricone’s death in 2020.

Cinema Paradiso is credited with rejuvenating Italy’s film industry and has been named one of the best films of all time by Empire magazine. It was a financial success and received multiple prizes, including the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival. It received 11 BAFTA nominations and five wins, including Best Actor for Philippe Noiret, Best Supporting Actor for Salvatore Cascio, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Foreign Language Film.

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