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Giuseppe Tornatore: The Hollywood Interview

Giuseppe Tornatore Remembers as Cinema Paradiso Turns 25

By Alex Simon

Giuseppe Tornatore’s Cinema Paradiso won the 1990 Best Foreign Film Oscar after setting box office records the previous year all over the world. Paradiso had a rough journey on its road to glory, however, with the then-32 year-old writer/director being forced to cut nearly 30 minutes from its original running time and facing critical excoriation and box office indifference upon its original release in Italy. It’s a fitting metaphor for a film that has become a classic tale about fate, perseverance, and destiny.

Set in Sicily beginning in the years just after Ww II to the late 1950s, and framed by modern-day flashbacks of a renowned film director (French actor/director Jacques Perrin) returning to his Sicilian town for the first time in 30 years, Tornatore’s hero (and alter-ego) is pint-sized Toto, who finds himself obsessed with the movies,

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