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Cinema Paradiso by Giuseppe Tornatore

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Cinema Paradiso produced by Giuseppe Tornatore and released in 1989 is a film which embodies all aspects of life. Giuseppe Tornatore, not only celebrates friendship, growing up, and loss of innocence within a small community, he also incorporates the magic of the silver screen. Clearly, the cinematography used in Cinema Paradiso creates an ambiance in which the audience can relate to the relationships explored within the film.

The opening scene of Cinema Paradiso conveys a sense of grimness which in essence is symbolic of the film. As the camera zooms in and the music is playing, the first thing the audience sees is a single bulb growing in a bowl centered on a balcony and behind it, a peaceful sea. A curtain dances in the breeze. As the camera zooms out slowly, music is playing; the French windows and a bowl of fruits on the table are shown. The sign "Nuovo Cinema Paradiso" as well as the opening credits are superimposed on the scene of the inside of the house. As the camera continues to move, the audience hears a voice, the camera moves to the right and reveals an elderly woman on the phone. At this point in the scene there is a close-up shot of her face as well as contrast in the colors. As the elderly woman continues to speak on the phone, it is revealed that she is Salvatore's mother. The voice on the other end informs her that he is not available and at this point, the camera now shifts to a younger woman who is Salvatore's sister. Once Salvatore's mother is off the phone, the dialogue between mother and daughter reveals that Salvatore has not been home in thirty years. As the audience becomes enlightened the light changes from dark, dim, to bright.

The next scene opens up with music and gradually reveals Rome at night. The music is mellow yet dramatic and evokes a myriad of emotions. As the camera zooms in, the audience catches a glimpse of man in a Mercedes driving down the road, who turns out to be Salvatore di Vita. At this point the audience is aware that Salvatore is a man of substance.

In scene three, the audience is taken into a dimly lit apartment. Salvatore quietly moves through the lavish apartment as if unwinding from a hard day at work. A windchime can be heard as he looks outside the window. He turns off a light and goes into the bedroom. Salvatore turns the light on in the bedroom and a beautiful woman in a large bed is revealed. She informs him that his mother called. The camera moves into a medium close- up of Salvatore as he is lying in bed with his hands behind his head. The woman begins to tell Salvatore about the phone conversation she had with his mom. Salvatore is listening and continues to relax as she tells him that his mother wishes to visit him in Rome. Salvatore asks "She called just to say that?". The woman turns the light off , responds with "No" and breaks the news about Alfredo's death to Salvatore. As Salvatore



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