Cinema Paradiso: the meta-cinematic experience that left us all in tears...

On Friday 14th July we ran our Foreign Language Garden Cinema Night, showing Cinema Paradiso (1988). The beautiful golden evening, with the sun setting as the film began, paralleled the film's simple majesty.

I have to say this is one of my favorite films, and I didn't think it could have been better, yet the atmosphere of the outdoors and being huddled in blankets made the experience even more poignant. As the evening darkened the definition and colour of the projection intensified. You simply couldn't help being drawn further into the elegant story.

The only mistake we might have made in planning the evening was not providing complementary tissues. By the end of the film, I struggled to see even one dry eye!

The film's message about the significance of the cinema in the small Italian village of Palazzo Adriano was all the more keenly conveyed as we sat in our own little Marston cinema. What are in my opinion the best scenes in the film are the montages of audience members in the Cinema Paradiso. You see how people of all different groups in Palazzo Adriano are drawn together in the Paradiso to escape their daily lives and enter another world for an hour or two. Yet in the midst of this escapism, relationships are formed, babies are nursed, business transactions are made and an elderly man dies. All aspects of life occur in the Cinema Paradiso. It is a little world in itself.

Money raised from the event: £112. Thank you so much to all who came!


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