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Cinema Paradiso, written and directed by Giuseppe Tornatore, is a 1988 romantic drama about a famous Italian film director Salvatore Di Vita, who recalls his childhood when he fell in love with the movies at his village's 'Cinema Paradiso' and formed a deep friendship with the theatre's projectionist, Alfredo.
It also tells the story of his return to his native village for his friend Alfredo's funeral. Ultimately, Alfredo serves a a wise father figure to his young friend who only wishes the best to see Salvatore succeed, even if it means breaking Sal's heart in the process.
Cinema Paradiso contains examples of the following tropes:
- A Date with Rosie Palms
- Bittersweet Ending
- Chekhov's Gun: Twice - once when Alfredo talks about the dangers of fire in the projector room and it happens, then the censored bits of film make an appearance at the end, as Alfredo's last gift.
- Coming of Age Story: A rather bitter example.
- Confessional: Salvatore, though not a priest, sneaks into the priest side, and the girl he likes comes in the other side to make confession.
- Crash Into Hello
- Creator Cameo: Tornatore appears as a film projectionist working for adult Salvatore near the end of the film.
- Director's Cut: The first version of the film was unpopular with Italian audiences and reduced to 2 hours for its international cinema release, which was highly successful. Later, around 50 minutes were re-added for the director's cut of the movie, available on DVD.
- How We Got Here: Most of the film is taken up by Salvatore remembering his childhood.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy
- I Will Find You
- Moral Guardians: The village priest insists on previewing every film shown at the cinema and makes Alfredo censor all the "sexy" bits, including if the characters so much as kiss. The cut bits will later turn out as a tearjerking Chekhov's Gun in the end.
- Oscar Bait: Cinema Paradiso won most European film awards in 1989, and the Oscar for best non-English-language picture. It's a movie about the greatness of cinema, after all.
- Show Within a Show
- Stranger in a Familiar Land
- The Movie Buff: Alfredo loves the films he's projected, and can quote most of them extensively (in Italian, as they're dubbed).
- The Reveal
- Timeshifted Actor: Salvatore is played by three different actors (child, teenager, adult).
- Train Station Goodbye
- Unrequited Love
- Whole-Episode Flashback