La Sicilia e il Cinema

Nuovo Cinema Paradiso

nuovo cinema paradiso
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Nuovo Cinema Paradiso – Sicilia
Nuovo Cinema Paradiso – Sicilia
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Nuovo Cinema Paradiso – Sicilia

Giuseppe Tornatore is the director of this memorable film released in 1988. Winner of the Oscar and Golden Globe for the best Foreign Film in 1990, of the Golden Globe and the Grand Prix Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Festival in 1989, and of 5 BAFTA awards in 1991 for its shortened version (123 minutes) for international release), Nuovo Cinema Paradiso was not a great success when it first came out in Italy, except in Messina where a cinema showed it free of charge, inviting the public to enter the cinema and pay at the end of the film only if they enjoyed it.

Some of the scenes from the film were included in the advert for the Fiat500 and the famed final “kissing scene” was used in the Stealing the first base episode in The Simpsons’ twenty-first season.

FILM SYNOPSIS
The film is the story of a friendship between Alfredo (Philippe Noiret), the projectionist at the local parish cinema in the village of Giancaldo in Sicily (actually the name of a mountain above Bagheria), and Salvatore (the child is played by Salvatore Cascio, the adolescent by Marco Leonardi, the adult by Jacques Perrin), who later became a famous film director in Rome. On receiving news of Alfredo’s death, Salvatore retraces his memories of the most significant moments of this friendship and decides to return to his village for the funeral. Cinema Paradiso, a meeting place for the two protagonists and the heart of Salvatore’s childhood film education, is at the risk of demolition following six years of inactivity. Alfredo’s funeral is the opportunity for Salvatore to retrace the salient milestones of his past, including his love for Elena (Agnese Nano, as an adolescent; Brigitte Fossey, in adulthood), the woman he met and loved in adolescence and lost due to her family’s opposition to their relationship, leading to Salvatore being forcefully enrolled in the Army. The rediscovery of a film reel takes Salvatore – a.k.a Totò – back into his childhood and provides a touching ending.

SICILY AND NUOVO CINEMA PARADISO
This film is imbued with Sicily, starting with the character Alfredo, inspired by Alfredo Vaccaro, a Sicilian puppeteer (from Syracuse) who supposedly met Tornatore and told him everything about his profession as a projectionist, with all the limitations of that time.
The village of Giancaldo, the setting for the story, is fictional as it is in fact the name of a mountain towering over Bagheria, in the province of Palermo. The scenes filmed in Giancaldo were actually shot in Palazzo Adriano, in the province of Palermo. Some scenes were filmed in Castelbuono, others in Cefalù and other locations in the province of Palermo (from Santa Flavia to Termini Imerese, passing through Chiusa Sclafani).

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The Godfather

Il padrino scena film Sicilia
marlon brando il padrino
il padrino
il padrino
Il Padrino film in Sicilia
 
Il padrino (The Godfather) is a 1972 film about gangsters, the first of a trilogy by Francis Ford Coppola with a cast including Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, John Cazale, Robert Duvall, Talia Shire and Diane Keaton, based on Mario Puzo’s novel of the same name.

The film was awarded three Oscars in 1973 – Best film to Albert S. Ruddy, Best Actor to Marlon Brando, Best Adapted Screenplay to Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo – and is considered a milestone in the history of cinema.

In 1998, the American Film Institute ranked it in third place in the classification of the best 100 American films of all time. Ten years the later the film climbed up one more place. Second place also in the classification of the Internet Movie Database, while Empire magazine considers it the best film ever, top of a list of 500 famous films.

The film ranks 20th in box office earnings in the history of cinema (more than 144,234,000 dollars worldwide) and together with Casablanca is the film that has been shown most often on TV (135 times).

FILM SYNOPSIS

New York, 1945. The story begins with Don Vito Corleone, the Godfather of a well-known Mafia “family” in New York, celebrating the “Sicilian” wedding of his daughter Connie, guarded by the “picciotti” (young men). His beloved son Michael (Al Pacino) has just returned home from the war, but has no intention of entering his father’s business. His organisation runs a huge network of illegal businesses. Don Vito involves: his quick-tempered elder son Santino, called Sonny; Fredo, his second and not very bright son; and his step son Tom Hagen, an ambitious lawyer who has become the Boss’ right-hand man. No violence, just an offer of friendship in exchange for total devotion and gratitude towards the undisputed head of the family. The country, however, is changing and not everyone is prepared to follow him, seeking out new alliances. One person, who later turns out to be an adamant rival of the Corleone family, wants to sell drugs in New York and needs the benefit of Don Vito’s influence to carry out his plan. Virgil Sollozzo, this is the real name of the dangerous drug trafficker called “the Turk”, affiliated to the Tattaglia clan, one of the five families of New York, asks Don Vito for protection and financial support in the amount of one million dollars so he can set up a large-scale drug business. The Boss refuses to provide support for this new business despite Santino and Tom being in favour. A ferocious war breaks out between the Mafia families with reciprocal attacks on the Bosses and their representatives. The traditional values of the Godfather are dissolving and there is a tremendous price to pay for the new turn in the family’s business…

TRAILER

Sicily and The Godfather

Most of the filming was done between 29th March and 6th August 1971, mainly in New York, for a total of 77 days’ shooting.The scenes set in Corleone were in fact filmed in the province of Catania, in Fiumefreddo di Sicilia, and precisely in Castello degli Schiavi (the castle of the slaves). Other scenes were shot in Forza d’Agrò, in Savoca and in Motta Camastra, in the province of Messina. In Savoca, the famous Bar Vitelli was the setting for the meeting between Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) and Apollonia’s father, and the Church of St. Nicholas hosted Michael and Apollonia’s wedding. The Cathedral of SS Annunziata in the province of Messina was the background for the scene where Michael Corleone and his bodyguards walk through the streets of Corleone.

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The Postman

Mario (Massimo Troisi)
Il Postino – Locandina
Neruda e Mario
Neruda e Mario

The film was inspired by Il postino di Neruda (Ardiente paciencia), a novel written by the Chilean author Skarmeta, and was the Italian actor, Massimo Troisi’s last film.

Set on a small Island in the South in 1952, where the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (Philippe Noiret) had been exiled. Mario Ruoppolo (Massimo Troisi), is a local youngster, one of the few literate villagers, who doesn’t want to be a fisherman and offers to be the postman for the enormous amount of correspondence the poet receives. Each day, delivering the mail becomes an opportunity for the two to converse and a beautiful friendship is established. Mario learns about poetry and metaphors and is fascinated by the magic of the poet’s verses. Mario is in love with Beatrice (Maria Grazia Cucinotta) and uses poetry to conquer her heart, leading to marriage. The poet returns to Chile and Mario and Beatrice discover she is expecting a baby boy, who is called Pablito, in Neruda’s honour.

Mario is requested to send some of the things Neruda left on the island and discovers his friend’s tape recorder and decides to record the magic sounds of his beloved island: the sea and the wind, even the Church bells. But not just sounds; Mario writes a poem for the poet, “Song for Pablo Neruda”, who receives the tape and Mario’s memoires five years later when he returns to the island. But Mario is not there to meet him. In fact, the postman was beaten to death during a communist political rally, leaving behind his wife and their five year old son.

Neruda meets the young boy in the local inn, attracted by the name “Pablito” that the boy’s mother called, clearly in his honour.

The film ends with a sad and solitary walk with Neruda overcome by the news and memories of the privileged friendship that changed his life and that of his lost friend.

TRAILER

Part of the multi award-winning film – Oscar (1996), BAFTA (1996) and David di Donatello (1995) – was shot in Salina, on the Aeolian Islands, and in Pantelleria. The Postman’s house is the one that overlooks the bay of Pollara in Salina, the setting for many of the natural landscape scenes. Pantelleria, on the other hand, is the background for Mario’s bike rides: mountains that flank the cobalt blue sea, the breathtaking panorama captured in the scenes of the film directed by Michael Radford. The stony beach that appears in many scenes, tucked in between the sea and the cliffs, is also in Salina and, in particular, the so-called “postman’s beach”, the one that looks out onto the island of Filicudi is characterized by a hole in the rock face that towers above it.

Sicilian is the setting for the film by which Troisi will always be remembered; Sicilian is the female protagonist, the actress Maria Grazia Cucinotta from Messina.

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