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The release of Cinema Paradiso was the point at which foreign-language film developed a new sheen for global audiences – complete with heartwarming stories and a hint of the exotic

Salvatore Cascio: 'Cinema Paradiso is about the power of dreams'

Cinema Paradiso: watch the trailer for the 25th anniversary edition

From the start, Cinema Paradiso carries itself like one of the classics its adorable scamp gazes at, open-mouthed, from the projection room. It has an adorable scamp, for starters – and plenty besides: the timeless Sicilian locations, the Felliniesque social carnival, the thunderbolt love affair, humanism lashed about as freely as olive oil. Giuseppe Tornatore's film is a cosy passeggiata down a celluloid Möbius strip looping art into life. When it arrived in the Us in February 1990 – all gilded sequences and grand themes – it seemed like the distillation of the idea of classic foreign cinema.

The two-hour cut – simplifying the characterisation, »

- Phil Hoad

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