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 Posted:   Jul 30, 2020 - 7:49 AM   
 By:   Totoro   (Member)

Which one do you like the most?

The two versions are so differente form each other that it is very dificult to chose one...

The theatrical version is much more light and uplifiting.

The extended is darker and depressing, especially when we discover that it was Alfredo who acted to prevent the two young lovers to be togheter. This gives the final scene with all the kisses montage a very bittersweet taste, very different from the cinema version.

Just my opinion of course. Maybe others feell the oposite.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 30, 2020 - 8:00 AM   
 By:   KeV McG   (Member)

I've only ever seen the original cinema version, and based on what you've just written, I think I'm happy to keep it that way.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 30, 2020 - 8:07 AM   
 By:   amatalqa   (Member)

I love both versions. The shorter US theatrical cut is a tighter package, but always felt like it was missing a major chapter of the story, so I'm glad I got to see Tornatore's full intention. I don't think Alfredo's action to keep the lovers apart was bad. He believed that Toto was destined for something greater, and that if he stayed in the village for the girl, he would never pursue his destiny, but that comes with a price. The expanded version definitely has more depth. I love both.

 
 Posted:   Jul 30, 2020 - 8:12 AM   
 By:   Totoro   (Member)

I love both versions. The shorter US theatrical cut is a tighter package, but always felt like it was missing a major chapter of the story, so I'm glad I got to see Tornatore's full intention. I don't think Alfredo's action to keep the lovers apart was bad. He believed that Toto was destined for something greater, and that if he stayed in the village for the girl, he would never pursue his destiny, but that comes with a price. The expanded version definitely has more depth. I love both.

Indeed. But Toto ended up alone and bitter.
This makes us think about what is really important in life...

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 30, 2020 - 8:17 AM   
 By:   KeV McG   (Member)

Interesting. So Alfredo plays God with Toto's life, in the extended edition!!
Who made it his choice to decide what was best for Toto?
Hmmmmm...
I wouldn't trade MY happy/contented life of normality for a potentially more successful life with added bitterness/loneliness and I wouldn't want someone to decide this for me either.

 
 Posted:   Jul 30, 2020 - 8:41 AM   
 By:   Totoro   (Member)

Interesting. So Alfredo plays God with Toto's life, in the extended edition!!
Who made it his choice to decide what was best for Toto?
Hmmmmm...
I wouldn't trade MY happy/contented life of normality for a potentially more successful life with added bitterness/loneliness and I wouldn't want someone to decide this for me.


Indeed, it makes you think...

In the Extended version we discover that Alfredo kinda of ruinned Toto's life.
Not ok.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 30, 2020 - 10:17 AM   
 By:   KeV McG   (Member)

In related news (and I've mentioned this before) the track 4 Interludes is great, but the 3rd interlude especially, is one of the greatest things I've ever heard by Ennio Morricone.
It's just beyond life in it's brilliance.

 
 Posted:   Jul 30, 2020 - 10:25 AM   
 By:   W. David Lichty [Lorien]   (Member)

To be clear, and it's not our fault, we're misrepresenting these two versions by these designations. What we have are the original, at 171 minutes, the first version ever shown, at Cannes, and quickly restored back from a later 155 minute Italian cut to be the definitive version of the movie; and we have the US cut, at 124 minutes. It was edited down by Harvey Weinstein and the director, working together, but it remains the after thought of the two. What we have had delivered to us as 'Extended' would better be called 'Restored'.

That said, I have encountered, before this thread, exactly and only one person who preferred the original 171 minute version, which he saw on its initial release in his hometown of Italy. He found the chopped version to be a cowardly capitulation to the American Obsession With Happy Endings. He was, in point, a hater of any happy endings, whether earned or not by their narratives.

But that's it. Everyone else I've ever asked, which has been quite a few people, since I've wanted to watch the best one for my first viewing, and every review I've read, professional or on a weblog, comparing the two, has preferred the cut American version, whether they saw it first of the two, which most had, or they saw the original, longer version first. They all suggest that the US cut has fixed some big problems with the original. It is one of the most universally preferred hack-jobs I've ever heard of.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 30, 2020 - 11:01 AM   
 By:   brofax   (Member)

Absolutely no doubt in my mind. I enjoyed both immensely but I much prefer the longer version.

First saw the shorter cut in the cinema and bought the DVD. Subsequently bought both in one package and have never again watched the shorter version which, basically, is a lie smile .

I'd love to hear what the "big problems" with the longer version are - apart from Harvey Weinstein wanting more showings to fit into a day.

 
 Posted:   Jul 30, 2020 - 11:25 AM   
 By:   Totoro   (Member)

Indeed the Director's Cut (or Extended Version) is much more in the vain of almost all Tornatore's movies: sad, tragic and bitter.

The USA cut feel much more like a fabule, where the original cut is more realistic.

 
 Posted:   Jul 30, 2020 - 11:30 AM   
 By:   Totoro   (Member)

Absolutely no doubt in my mind. I enjoyed both immensely but I much prefer the longer version.

First saw the shorter cut in the cinema and bought the DVD. Subsequently bought both in one package and have never again watched the shorter version which, basically, is a lie smile .

I'd love to hear what the "big problems" with the longer version are - apart from Harvey Weinstein wanting more showings to fit into a day.


The only problem I see in the original cut is some gratuituous sex scenes.

And, like I said, this cut changes completely the relationship between Toto and Alfredo making the ending bitter.

 
 Posted:   Jul 30, 2020 - 11:34 AM   
 By:   Doug Raynes   (Member)

Indeed the Director's Cut (or Extended Version) is much more in the vain of almost all Tornatore's movies: sad, tragic and bitter.

The USA cut feel much more like a fabule, where the original cut is more realistic.


I agree. I saw the short version first but seeing the full version later was a revelation. A much deeper, truer, more meaningful film. Of course, many people just like happy endings...

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 30, 2020 - 11:36 AM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

Everyone else I've ever asked, which has been quite a few people, since I've wanted to watch the best one for my first viewing, and every review I've read, professional or on a weblog, comparing the two, has preferred the cut American version, whether they saw it first of the two, which most had, or they saw the original, longer version first. They all suggest that the US cut has fixed some big problems with the original. It is one of the most universally preferred hack-jobs I've ever heard of.

OK. I absolutely adored the 124 min. version for the maiden viewing and have continued to adore it upon subsequent viewings. Seeing that I am a big believer in Director's Cuts/Editions i.e. seeing it the way the director intended, however, I was compelled to see the long version and did so with much anticipation.

Bottom line recommendation for anyone who has yet to see it: Go for the 124 min. American-cut version as the man said above. The longer version with the whole sequence devoted to Toto's romantic pursuit is not worth it. And amatalqa is correct, Alfredo's concerns with Toto's future were noble-minded from the standpoint of a caring surrogate father, not that of a controlling parent who doesn't know how to let go. No way. And if memory serves, the celebrated ending was not diminished in the longer version in the sense that Toto ends up embittered and unfulfilled by the choice to marry filmmaking. On the contrary, for all his frustrations in the area of love and romance, what he saw affirmed his life's course. You see that in his face.

But I will take the challenge and re-see both to confirm all this.

 
 Posted:   Jul 30, 2020 - 11:49 AM   
 By:   Totoro   (Member)


And if memory serves, the celebrated ending was not diminished in the longer version in the sense that Toto ends up embittered and unfulfilled by the choice to marry filmmaking. On the contrary, for all his frustrations in the area of love and romance, what he saw affirmed his life's course. You see that in his face.

But I will take the challenge and re-see both to confirm all this.


Yes, the kisses made Toto happy and nostalgic and this is evident, but in a whole the Director's Cut makes it clear that his lost love made him an unhappy and bitter man, incapable of any true connections on an emotional level.

I lived something very similar in my life (even meeting her again in old ages) and, yes, when one true love is broken you kinda feel numbed for the rest of your life in this department. The movie captures this perfectly in the original version and it is very bitter.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 30, 2020 - 1:10 PM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

Oh there's no question he has regrets, but to the point that he regrets having chosen filmmaking as a failed life? I dunno. Reminds me of Donna McKechnie and what she did for love per famous stage play. As mentioned before, the price of success and all, sacrifices included.

 
 Posted:   Jul 30, 2020 - 1:27 PM   
 By:   Totoro   (Member)

Oh there's no question he has regrets, but to the point that he regrets having chosen filmmaking as a failed life? I dunno. Reminds me of Donna McKechnie and what she did for love per famous stage play. As mentioned before, the price of success and all, sacrifices included.

Just watch again the scene where his mother says to him that she never sees him happy. Toto's face confirms that. In the cut version, this scene makes no sense, but in the original version it is perfect.

And remember: he did not choose to be a filmaker over his love for Elena. She disappeared and he them moved to the big city following Alfredo's advice. But them we discovered that it was Alfredo who talked Elena out of his life.

It was not Toto's choice...

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 30, 2020 - 1:48 PM   
 By:   Dylan   (Member)

The Theatrical version felt like it was missing *something* - not to any great detriment, but the love story felt rushed and the Jacques Perrine scenes were oddly extraneous (except for the ending). However, it was such a lovely and whimsical film overall that these minor quibbles didn't matter. The score by Ennio and Andrea Morricone is of course magnificent.

When "Cinema Paradiso: The New Version" was released in the US in 2002, I was very intrigued by the idea of the expanded love story and more Perrine scenes, and I was hoping (perhaps even somewhat expecting) this version to remedy the flaws in the Theatrical. I saw it and was very disappointed. I found the added material to be so bitter as to render the entire elongated narrative uneven and messy, draining the film of its power. Bitterness of course isn't a self-evidently negative quality, but in this case it sunk the entire story (as opposed to adding an interesting, tragic layer that would elevate it).

By the way, I believe the Theatrical version was edited by Tornatore himself (in part due to the film's lukewarm reception in Italy) before Miramax picked it up at Cannes in 1989, so contrary to what some websites say I don't believe Weinstein is responsible for the Theatrical version (though I could be wrong). Weinstein, however, was responsible for the US Theatrical cut of Tornatore's "Malena" years later, resulting in a lot of scenes being cut.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 30, 2020 - 1:58 PM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

It was not Toto's choice...

He had no choice but to remain single after losing Elena? Granted, he was scarred...

 
 Posted:   Jul 30, 2020 - 2:12 PM   
 By:   Totoro   (Member)

It was not Toto's choice...

He had no choice but to remain single after losing Elena? Granted, he was scarred...


No, no. I just said he didn't choose his career over his love for her.
This traumatized him and he was not able to feel another emotional connection of the same intensity again.
That's what his mother told him at the end...

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 30, 2020 - 4:19 PM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

Gotcha. Although he had a poor self-image, I don't see him as embittered. Not fulfilled in life even as a celebrated director, yes. Without question. Alfredo's parting gift, as such, is a reminder that he succeeded in his life's ambition in that one area. The expression in his face had to have expressed more than simple nostalgia, in this regard. He had taken for granted the joy he had brought to others. He had passed on the gift given him as a youngster. It is an upbeat conclusion.

 
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