“Cinema Paradiso” Lights Up the Little Theater

Isabella Bruni, Co-News Editor

The second installment of the newly implemented Global Film Series featured one of Italy’s most famous films, “Cinema Paradiso”from director Giuseppe Tornatore about the transformative power of movies through the eyes of a Sicilian boy.

The movie was screened in the Little Theater on Friday, Oct. 27 and students were able to snack on popcorn, gelato and arancini during the showing.

“Cinema Paradiso” was released in 1988, but tells a tale that can still be felt in 2017. The movie shows the changes in cinema and the dying trade, all while exploring a young boy’s dream to get out of his small town and experience more than what he already knows.

When movie director Salvatore receives the news of the death of a friend back in his small Sicilian hometown, he reminisces on his upbringing and key points in his life.

The projectionist at the local movie theater,(Cinema Paradiso) Alfredo, taught Salvatore all he knew about being a projectionist and influenced his love for movies. After many obstacles and heartbreak, Alfredo pushes Salvatore to leave for Rome to pursue his dreams for filmmaking.

Curator of the Global Film Series, Professor Douglas Cantelmo, explained why he chose to screen the Italian drama.

“What we’re trying to do throughout the Global Film Series is show movies through different perspectives and it’s something that’s really important and something we should treasure as diversity really is our [St. John’s] strength,” Cantelmo said.

He talked about the context of the film prior to the screening and explained that the film takes place in a post World War II Italy right before the Economic Miracle. This, he said, was when the northern and central parts of Italy were taking off economically, but the same could not have been said for the south, where the film takes place.

“The town you’re seeing in this film is living through that period and a lot of the prosperity is not touching that town,” Cantelmo said. “It shows the day to day life of that town and in addition the power of the Catholic Church too.”

An interesting fact about some of the actors in the film is that they were scouted in the actual town in which the movie was filmed, like the lead child actor Salvatore Cascio.

The event appealed to freshman Julia Connors as she said she would like to attend the next Global Film Series movie from France, “Welcome to the Sticks.”

“I liked it [the film] a lot. I would definitely go to another one; I liked it a lot,” she said.

“I liked that it was a mix of [being] funny and some drama and a bit of sadness in it,” added freshman Emina Bicic.

“Cinema Paradiso” will be donated to the Foreign Language Center for students to access if they could not make it to the Little Theater’s screening.