The Cinema Paradiso Story

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Jacob W. Haller

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Dec 27, 2003, 2:12:12 PM12/27/03
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Contains *S*P*O*I*L*E*R*S! Beware! I am an evil purveyor of
S*P*O*I*L*E*R*S!

The first thing you have to realize about this story is that I, myself,
have never seen Cinema Paradiso. (No, not even once.) However, I had a
friend who was in the Brown Film Society and manned the projector during
a showing of it, and I had another friend who was in the audience during
one of the showings of the movie (during which friend #1 was the
projectionist). But the description of the plot is all second-hand and
stuff so it's probably ALL WRONG.

To hear friend #2 talk about it, the plot of the movie is that after
World War II the protagonist, a child who lives in a small town in
Italy, goes to the movies a lot and develops a great friendship with the
projectionist. Ultimately there is a fire at the movie house which the
kid accidentally starts, and it burns down and his friend the
projectionist is blinded. (At this point, when my friend was telling
this story to a cow-orker, the cow-orker responded, 'heh heh, that IS
funny.')

The movie skips forward some years to a time when the protagonist is no
longer a kid but is instead a somewhat dislikable yuppie who appears to
have strayed far away from his small-town roots. Then he gets a phone
call and learns that his childhood friend the projectionist has died, so
he returns to the town for the funeral. This part of the film has its
climax at the funeral, where a long line of mourners makes its way to
the graveyard, or possibly away from it.

Now, despite the extremely sketchy and not-very-involving outline I've
given above, this movie is really touching and is maybe a bit of a
tearjerker, so at this point in the movie a large portion of the
audience was either crying or fighting back tears. It was, so they say,
very moving!

So in a way it was unfortunate that at this point a big dustball got
stuck in the projector, causing its projection to hover in the
upper-left corner of the screen. After a second or two, the
projectionist attempted to knock it out with a pen, but it was no go.
At this point a few people in the audience started to snicker a bit.

But this was nothing to what followed, as one of the mourners on the
screen looked up at the dust ball in awe and pointed at it. Slowly, the
other mourners began to look up and soon everyone in the crowd was
looking at the upper-left-hand corner of the screen where the dustball
was.

Well, this was too much for the audience, and in short order everyone
was laughing hysterically. My friend in the audience said it was
amazingly cathartic -- the audience went from the depths of sorrow to
the peak of sheer hilarity in a very short amount of time, and the
emotional impact was nothing short of astonishing, to the extent that he
still retells the story today, about ten years after the fateful
screening of the movie.

My friend the projectionist, on the other hand, remembers that day with
embarassment.

Hoping you all are well,
your friend,
jwgh.

--
"I don't advocate responding to rudeness with rudeness, but inducing
fear is always a good option."
-- Paula on alt.religion.kibology, 30 November 2003

kerri

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Dec 27, 2003, 4:28:12 PM12/27/03
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yo...@jwgh.org (Jacob W. Haller) wrote in news:1g6mp3g.vv0ldx6xoc1uN%
yo...@jwgh.org:


> The first thing you have to realize about this story is that I, myself,
> have never seen Cinema Paradiso. (No, not even once.)

ADD TO QUEUE!!

Also, when you do finally get around to watching it, be sure to watch the
OLD VERSION, not the insufferable new director's cut. The DVD will play
either version...so choose the ORIGINAL one, at least for your first
viewing. Please. Thank you.

--kerri

Oh, and P.S., you can't be my friend anymore until you see this movie.
Love and kisses!

Beable van Polasm

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Dec 27, 2003, 6:47:15 PM12/27/03
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yo...@jwgh.org (Jacob W. Haller) writes:
>
> My friend the projectionist, on the other hand, remembers that day with
> embarassment.
^^^^^^^^^^^^
TWO "R"s, TWO "S"s. IT'S NOT THAT DIFFICULT, PEOPLE!

--
Would you describe that as an embarrassment, Roy? -- HG Nelson
http://beable.com/

Paula

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Dec 27, 2003, 9:07:33 PM12/27/03
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On Sat, 27 Dec 2003 14:12:12 -0500, yo...@jwgh.org (Jacob W. Haller)
wrote:

>My friend the projectionist, on the other hand, remembers that day with
>embarassment.

Hey, it could've been worse. He didn't end up blind or anything.
Also, Cinema Paradiso is one of the BEST MOVIES EVAH!!!

--
Paula
"It was a scroll of destroy pants, you trickster!" --- Long Nose
Plier Man

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