Storyline: A boy who grew up in a native Sicilian village returns home as a famous director after receiving news about the death of an old friend. Told in a flashback, Salvatore reminiscences about his childhood and his relationship with Alfredo, the projectionist at Cinema Paradiso. Salvatore fell in love with film making and Alfredo taught him the skills he needed to make a living out of that passion. The film brings the audience through the changes in cinema and the dying trade of traditional film making. It also explores a young boy's dream of leaving his little town to explore the outside world.
Heloisa’s comment: This is the last film I saw at the cinema before lockdown! It’s a really lovely story about life and death and beginnings and ends. Also, being set in an Italian village just gives you some good summer vibes.
Trivia: By the end of 1956, Italy had 17,000 cinemas, the most in Europe.
Storyline: Ben and Leslie live off the grid with their six children in the mountains of Washington state, USA. The parents have passed their socialist and survivalist ideals to their children so they live in the wilderness and follow a rigorous physical and intellectual education. However, Ben and his children are forced to leave this paradise and enter the world, challenging his idea of what it means to be a parent.
Heloisa’s comment: This film is just nice and makes you dream of a simpler life. If you’re a hippie at heart like me you’ll love it. This story makes us think of the absurdity of modern existence but also about the importance of family and compromise.
Trivia: During several parts of the movie, Viggo Mortensen's character is seen drinking Mate, a traditional South American beverage. The actor lived in Argentina many years, so this is probably a nod to his own past there.
Storyline: Amélie Poulain is brought up by eccentric parents who – incorrectly believing that she has a heart defect – decide to home-school her. To cope with her loneliness, Amélie develops an active imagination and a mischievous personality. She later on becomes a young woman and moves to the central part of Paris as a waitress. After finding a lost treasure belonging to the former occupant of her apartment, she decides to return it to him. After seeing his reaction and his new found perspective - she decides to devote her life to the people around her. The film is a whimsical depiction of contemporary Parisian life, set in Montmartre.
Heloisa’s comment: One of my favourite films, I grew up in France and I watch it when I feel homesick! This film tells the story of ordinary people’s lives through a lens that makes everything seem strange and wonderful. The colour palette in the film is also really interesting.
Trivia: Whenever this film was shot on location, the crew would clean the area of rubbish so that the real settings would match the fantastic nature of the film. This was an especially difficult task when it came time to shoot at the huge train station. Paris isn’t the cleanest of cities!
The Full Monty
Storyline: In the decaying steel mill town of Sheffield in Northern England, friends Gaz and Dave, both now unemployed after the closure of most of the town's steel mills, are trying to find other ways to get some money to make ends meet. Seeing the long line up of women clamouring to get in to see a touring Chippendales styled dance troupe, the two friends think they can solve their financial problems by forming their own male exotic dance group with some of their fellow ex-mill workers. Their goal is to try and put together a dance strip act that women would pay to see, but they realise that they have to offer something that the "real thing" doesn't... so these guys are going "the full monty", which means going totally nude!
Heloisa’s comment: This is really funny! A nice story of friendship and family. It also gives a good glimpse into the lives of 1980’s working-class Britain.
Trivia: A number of U.S cinemas had special leaflets printed containing translations to some of the British slang in the film so that audiences would be able to follow the dialog more easily.
Storyline: In 1962, Tony, a working-class Italian-American bouncer, is looking for work when his nightclub is closed. The most promising offer turns out to be the driver for the African-American classical pianist Don Shirley for a concert tour into the Deep South states of the USA. Tony is a racist and isn’t excited about working for a black man, but he accepts the job and they begin their journey armed with ‘The Negro Motorist Green Book’, a travel guide for safe travel through the USA’s racial segregation. The two characters can barely get along with their clashing attitudes to life and ideals but as they witness and endure the appalling injustices on the road, they find a newfound respect for each other's talents and start to face them together. In doing so, they would nurture a friendship and understanding that would change both their lives.
Heloisa: If you cry when watching films you’ll probably cry. This is a really touching story that deals with so many facets of society like race, class and sexuality - but it still manages to have really funny scenes! Also, it paints a really clear picture of the injustice of life in 1960’s USA.
Trivia: The film is dedicated to "Larry the Crow," a bird that hung around the shooting location.