CINEMA PARADISO 4K Blu Ray Review

Giuseppe Tornatore masterpiece of the youthful magic of cinema and the poignant reflection of its relationship with the viewer. Yes it won Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, 5 BAFTA Awards including Best Actor, Original Screenplay and Score, the Grand Prize of the Jury at the Cannes Film Festival and many more. But the film has a strange and compelling past. As much as its onscreen story has us transfixed to the light and shade.

Salvatore is a successful film director. He returns home from the big city, back to the village that was his home as a child. He is there to attend the funeral of Alfredo. An old man who ran the local cinema and befriended him as a child. When Alfredo was a projectionist, Salvatore was a helpful and obsessed child. Loving to help with the reels, looking through viewing pane and being a number two to the man who was his friend. 30 years on from this, he begins to remember lost loves, the flickering myth, the beard of his friend.

You know the whole story and I will simply say, in my review that I love the film. I love it in both forms, that is the tighter, theatrical version, edited by the Weinstein’s no less and that is often rightly forgotten. The directors cut, more slower and richer. A tender study of the love of film and the power of friendship. Innocent as it is, it is profound and touching.  The really more pertinent point is to do with the new 4K restoration. You and I are wondering again, why am I paying for yet another restoration?

DISC

The 4K restoration is, in its way, excellent. They have chosen to invest in the right version and with the savvy to focus on the sad drain of colour and that horrid blue. Both have gone and so has the other issue of the previous version, bloom. Light that punches out the frame is gone. Thank God. A Christmas miracle.

SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS

  • New 4K restoration of the theatrical version from the original camera negative, supervised by Giuseppe Tornatore and 2K restoration of the Director’s Cut version
  • 4K (2160p) UHD Blu-ray presentation in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible) of the 124 minute theatrical version
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the 174 minute Director’s Cut
  • Uncompressed original stereo 2.0 Audio and 5.1 surround sound options
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Audio commentary with director Giuseppe Tornatore and Italian cinema expert critic Millicent Marcus
  • A Dream of Sicily – A 52-minute documentary profile of Giuseppe Tornatore featuring interviews with the director and extracts from his early home movies as well as interviews with director Francesco Rosi and painter Peppino Ducato, set to music by the legendary Ennio Morricone
  • A Bear and a Mouse in Paradise – A 27-minute documentary on the making of Cinema Paradiso and the characters of Toto and Alfredo, featuring interviews the actors who play them, Philippe Noiret and Salvatore Cascio as well as Tornatore
  • The Kissing Sequence – Giuseppe Tornatore discusses the origins of the kissing scenes with clips identifying each scene
  • Original Director’s Cut Theatrical Trailer and 25th Anniversary Re-Release Trailer

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