Giuseppe Tornatore's intention was that this movie should serve as an obituary for traditional movie theatres (like the one on the film) and the movie industry in general. After the movie's success he never mentioned this again.
A sample of the line "Ora che ho perso la vista, ci vedo di più" in original language (in English it is "Now that I lost vision, I can see more") can be heard in the song "Take The Time" by Dream Theater.
When Salvatore returns to his home and looks at the room his mother prepared for him, there's a picture on the wall from the movie The White Sheik (1952), a Federico Fellini movie starring Leopoldo Trieste, who plays Father Adelfio in this movie.
The character played by Brigitte Fossey was included in the first theatrical version of the film (155 minutes, released in November 1988) but then dropped in the shorter re-release (124 minutes, May 1989), which was shown internationally. Her scenes were eventually reinstated in the extended version (173 minutes).