Back then, he won the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, as well as five BAFTA Awards, five David Donatello Awards, the Special Prize of the Cannes Grand Jury (exaequo with Too Beautiful for You by Bertrand Blier) and many more awards . And more than three decades after its premiere in 1988, it continues to maintain its status as one of movie lovers’ favorite films. With Cinema Paradiso, Giuseppe Tornatore has signed a love letter to the seventh art that is as wonderful as it is unrepeatable.
Unrepeatable? Maybe not because the same Italian filmmaker plans to write and direct a miniseries based on the same original story. The one about the extraordinary friendship that will form the young Totó, who will eventually become a respected director, and Alfredo, the experienced projectionist from Giancaldo, a small town in Sicily.
As Variety was promoted exclusively, the series would consist of six episodes, covering the same thing, as explained by producer Marco Belardi, but adding other different storylines, particularly regarding the residents of Giancaldo and their experiences after World War II, in a country which was undergoing both physical and psychological reconstruction and in which cinema played an important role as entertainment. And in its plot we will continue to find themes such as “the strength of a mother, the solidarity of a friend, sex as taboo, forced relocations, escapes and pronounced social differences,” Belardi has pushed.
Released in Italy on November 18, it hit our cinemas more than a year later, on December 18, 1989. The film originally ran 152 minutes, but it was a commercial and critical failure upon its Italian release. The footage was cut from two and a half hours to just over two hours and had to await its presentation at Cannes in May 1989 to begin its already phenomenal journey, which was greatly received by critics and audiences internationally. Later, in 2022, the director’s extended version would be added at 45 minutes. The new footage was 173 minutes long.
And alongside the unforgettable composition of Philippe Noiret as Alfonso, we had Totó played by three different actors: Salvatore Cascio as a child, Marco Leonardi as a teenager and Jacques Perrin as an adult.
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