I saw Paradisco just once, last summer at the LGBT Film Festival in San Francisco. Three quick observations: First, it awakened in me a great nostalgia for the 1970s, of which I saw (or lived through) 5 years.
Second, it reflected on death and change in a way that was neither overly morose nor sugarcoated; what is fun in Paradicso is fun and joyous, and not judged in any way as being excessive, foolish, or dangerous. From that standpoint, there was a sense of innocence on the eve of the AIDS crisis, yet it was neither retrospectively judgmental nor naive. The feeling of moving on, both explicit and implied, was explored in a way that would make this film appropriate for some who are grieving or working through some other kind of loss.
Third, no matter the official intent, I read the two main characters, in their morning-after reminiscence, to be the same man, something of a before and after the party that was 20 years of one man's life.
Only the French can make something as dear as this little musical.
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