Thursday, March 31, 2011

In search of Cinema Paradiso

Cinema Paradiso was Sicilian director Giuseppe Tornatore's love letter to cinema, which won the Oscar for best foreign film in 1989. It tells the story of the arrival of cinema in a small Sicilian village, and the impact this has on one young boy.

Parts of the movie were shot in Palazzo Adriano, a tiny hamlet that sits on a ridge at 700m above sea-level. Being fans of the movie, we couldn't come to this part of Sicily and not take the winding trip up the mountainside to see the village for ourselves. After a seemingly endless series of serpentine roads, beautiful views and yet another wonderful pasta lunch in a friendly trattoria hidden in the mountains, we finally arrived.

The square looked familiar, but we'd be lying if we said that it looked exactly as we remembered from the movie.

We're not sure if this is because it's been a few years since we've seen Cinema Paradiso, or because the director worked some movie magic with fake facades and clever camera angles. Perhaps it's a bit of both. In any case, we've promised ourselves that we're going to refresh our memories by watching the movie again as soon as we get back to Sweden.

Walking around the picturesque little village we got the distinct impression that the locals were eyeing us with suspicion. Perhaps the flood of tourists the village experienced during the Nineties has slowed to a trickle, and now tourists are an unusual sight in the village again? Or was it just that we were an unusual sight in our short sleeves on that cloudy afternoon, when the italians were still dressed in their winter coats?

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