while things are settling down in the US, i found myself back in the audio-visual room of the college of fine arts for another session of film appreciation. screened by CAM (camera as art movement) this afternoon was “cinema paradiso,” the italian film that won the best foreign-language film in the oscars in 1989. i’ve heard so much praise about the film and is continued to be cited to this day. and like, wow! (there i go again with the wow, but i think i can’t further explain in another word how i feel about the film). this time i cried in the movie.
the film followed the story of this man who, as a boy found an unlikely friend and father figure in alfredo, the cinema projectionist. inspired by his passion for film, this boy would continually bother the burly man until he gives in and shares the magic and secrets of film. i always thought there is a certain magic lent by foreign languages on film, there becomes this spirit that so fills the senses of which i never feel in filipino and american films. anyhow, another film that i could relate to cinema paradiso in ‘feeling’ is the french film, “les enfants du marais” (children of the marshland), which also tells its story in a flashback of sorts. both films elicit nostalgia and despite alfredo’s strong reminders not to give in to it, we will always go look for home and eventually return to it, even for a short while. there we realize that even though the more things change the more they stay the same (that’s from interview with the vampire, by the way…) in any case, do watch cinema paradiso and les enfants du marais (shown in last year’s french film fest in shangri-la) and relive the innocence of childhood and the magic of the movies.