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KC Movie Rec: Cinema Paradiso

September 23, 2011

My friend Jimmy recommended a movie to me that, although it’s not even close to being a new movie, I must recommend to Kiss Chronicles readers.

Cinema Paradiso is an Italian film, and it won the 1989 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. If you dislike reading subtitles, I recommend learning Italian because you should not miss this movie (like I did for the past 20+ years).


This film has a huge kissing motif running through it from start to finish. But more than that, it has a huge heart. The story is told in flashback from the perspective of Salvatore (a.k.a. Toto) as he recalls his childhood growing up in a small village and his relationship with Alfredo, the man who operates the projection machine at the cinema. We see how Alfredo is both companion and father figure to Toto, whose real father is missing in action.

What really struck me about this movie was that the village is a character. Through the experiences at the cinema, the village lives and grows and shows clear character development. If someone were to ask me who my favorite character in the movie is, I’d have to say the whole village. I’m a sucker for concepts like that; it’s just good storytelling.

But wait, back to what’s really important: the kissing. Two of the best scenes in the movie are Toto’s first kiss scene and the kiss in the rain. Toto loves watching cinematic kissing scenes, but he gets a couple fantastic ones of his own.

Check out this scene from the movie. This is what my friend linked me to in order to convince me to watch it. Here you see Salvatore (Toto) watching a mix of old film snippets. This clip doesn’t have subtitles, but you don’t really need them.

!!!!WARNING!!!! Brief nudity. If you don’t want to get flashed, skip this video. !!!!WARNING!!!!

!!!!WARNING!!!! Brief nudity. If you don’t want to get flashed, skip this video. !!!!WARNING!!!!

* * *

In other recent news, I’ll be volunteering for the Women of Hope event on October 1st. The day includes a walk to raise awareness and support for cancer survivors as well as a village community fair with various activities.

They still need more volunteers, by the way, if anyone in central Indiana is interested. 😉

I’m not sure what it’ll be like, but I’m excited for it! However, I don’t know anybody involved, I’m unfamiliar with the location, and I don’t know exactly what work I’ll be doing. This goes into the category of stepping outside of my comfort zone, but my comfort zone needed to be taken out back and burned a long time ago anyway. And then tarred and feathered. And maybe shot. Bye bye, comfort zone!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 23, 2011 3:46 pm

    I need to step way out of my comfort zone too! I get so anxious that sometimes I skip out on perfect opportunities. I hope that the event is fun for you!

    • September 30, 2011 1:33 am

      The event is in just two days. I have instructions to park in the “south parking lot” as a volunteer. I’ve looked it up on Google Maps and checked out the satellite view and can’t figure out where the south lot is.

      These are the silly little outta-the-comfort-zone things that I have to ignore more often. *offers a hand* Come, join me out of the comfort zone! It’s wild out here. 🙂

  2. Anonymous permalink
    September 29, 2011 11:16 pm

    You’re right — this is a phenomenal movie. My 14-year-old son and I watched it twice the same weekend, we loved it so much. (Incidentally, we watched it a day after your post here, tho I’d never seen this website.) I too missed this film for 20+ years, but it was so, so worth the wait. 🙂 (great soundtrack too)

    • September 30, 2011 1:38 am

      So glad you enjoyed it along with your son! Did you have the physical DVD? I wonder whether the DVD has any good extras. I watched it online steaming through Netflix (before giving Netflix the final kick to the curb for bad behavior).

      Absolutely worth the wait. This movie deserved its Oscar.

  3. September 30, 2011 1:30 am

    I saw this movie for the first time about 20 years ago and it has stayed in my heart ever since. Truly phenomenal experience and your description of the village as one of the leads is spot on. Gorgeous, gorgeous story telling. And if it doesn’t inspire much kissing in your future, not sure what will :)!!!

    • September 30, 2011 2:26 am

      You’re right, it really is just great storytelling. 😀 It has HEART, which I find is so often missing in movies today.

      For my future…yeah, some kissing would be great. That sort of movie makes me so jealous. Now I just have to get this mission rolling and make it happen for me.

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