Cinema Paradiso - Director's Cut (1988)
Told in flashback, it tells the story of the return to his native Sicilian village of a successful film director Salvatore for the funeral of his old friend Alfredo, who was the projectionist at the local "Cinema Paradiso". Ultimately, Alfredo serves as a wise father figure to his young friend who only wishes the best to see him succeed, even if it means breaking his heart in the process.
The film intertwines sentimentality with comedy, and nostalgia with pragmaticism. It explores issues of youth, coming of age, and reflections (in adulthood) about the past. The imagery in each scene can be said to reflect Salvatore's idealised memories about his childhood. Cinema Paradiso is also a celebration of films; as a projectionist, young Salvatore (a.k.a Totò) develops the passion for films that shape his life path in adulthood.
Cinema Paradiso was a critical and box-office success and is regarded by many as a classic. It is particularly renowned for the famous 'kissing scenes' montage near the end of the film. It won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 1989. The film is often credited for reviving Italy's film industry which later produced Mediterraneo and Life is Beautiful.