Cinema Paradiso (1988)
Director: Giuseppe Tornatore
The ending of Cinema Paradiso is wonderful love-letter to cinema, showing us how it enhances our own experiences of life. The whole film is itself one long celebration of cinema-going, as the cinema in this film sits at the centre of life in Giancaldo; people grow-up in front of the films, meet each other, learn more about the world and ultimately come together as a community. Salvatore ('Tolo') experiences all these things at the cinema, accompanied by the projectionist Alfredo, who teaches him that real life and cinema are inextricably linked.
I watched the international cut of this film; apparently there is a longer version that follows the romance between Salvatore and Elena. In all honesty I am not sure I want to see the extended cut; the story didn't feel incomplete. The lack of closure to Salvatore and Elena's romance felt more realistic and portrayed the film's wariness of nostalgia.
While my own experience of film watching is not nearly as communal as Salvatore, I certainly understand that love of film. I have had experiences in a cinema similar to some that he experiences, particularly with all the kids laughing at the comedies. I imagine that anyone who loves films will recognise themselves in Salvatore. This film also made me feel nostalgic for film stock; digital just is not as beautiful or romantic (though I am incredibly fond of my DVD collection!). A lovely film for film lovers everywhere!