Run time: 124 mins
If ever a film came from the heart, it is Giuseppe Tornatore’s nostalgic Cinema Paradiso (1988).
We are taken back to a Sicilian childhood with a scamp called Toto/Salvatore played to perfection by Marcus Leonardi.
Learning to love the magic of cinema, he gets in the way of the reluctant old projectionist, Alfredo (Philippe Noiret, France’s most faultless actor with the gentlest eyes. He died in 2006 aged 76).
In the dark confines of the Cinema Paradiso, young Toto and the other townsfolk escape grim post-war Sicily to crowd into the tiny cinema in the town square.
Funny, affectionate, nostalgic, heart-breaking, and winner of the ‘Best Foreign Language’ Oscar in 1989, it is a love letter to bygone village life, always in the top 10 best International films lists.
“It is a wonderful and open-hearted tribute to the beauty of cinema… one of the finest films about innocence ever made, a perfect picture of a time when cinema was a rare source of laughter and joy. The roaring, spitting, smoking, groping, crying and laughter in the old Paradiso might come from any culture at any time, but just not now, not ours…” (CL ST Culture) The only choice to re-open The Rex.