About Me

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It's not. About me, I mean. Really!
I avoid labels when possible, but here goes: SWF, 40'ish, 20 year Navy veteran. I have an inner ham and her name is Ms. Piggy.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Cinema Paradiso (US directors cut)

10 tissues
Holy moly, what a movie! If you haven't figured it out, I'm a movie nut; well I especially like foreign films, it's no mistake that many of my favorite movies are foreign films. Come to think of it, many of them are Italian as well. The US DVD of this movie is subtitled and I know that turns some people off; luckily I usually forget a movie is in subtitles within the first few scenes. Also, at 174 minutes it's a bit long, the directors cut adds the 'what happened to everybody' ending.
All that aside, the rest is just golden! Acting, casting, and especially cinematography were incredible, it's no surprise it won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1990. It's a love story, with lessons on loyalty; oh, and it's got history in it (another favorite subject), oh oh, and it's a movie about loving movies!
Apparently the movie bombed on it's initial release in Italy, so it was pulled from circulation and cut from 155 to 123 minutes. The US theatrical release was the 155 minute version. Some purists would say the 155 minute version is best, with a short sweet ending that leaves the fates of the lovers to fond memory; but I'm glad I saw the extended version. Apparently some DVD's have both versions, one on each side; but I didn't have a chance to check before I resealed the Netflix envelope to return it.
Besides the two gorgeous actors playing the lovers, on a personal level I liked best the way the film looked at loyalty in love. It takes me a long time to say the 'L' word to somebody I'm involved with, when I have it really seems to have meant something deeper to me than it did to anyone I've met so far. I'd enjoy some feedback about this. Is that how we all feel after a relationship breaks up, like nobody understands what love means to us? At any rate, to me it transcends conventions like monogamy or possesiveness, and is centered around honesty and a loyalty that says each person will be there for the other no matter what.
That's a big ticket to punch, one that many of us unknowingly punched a little too early; hence the tragedy that GID usually creates in our relationships. Bizarrely enough that wasn't how my own marriage was sundered, I only pursued transition after my ex decided she had her own immutable need she had to pursue, namely being with women. It was a cruel twist that she couldn't see me as one when she knew that's what I wanted; even though it left me free to pursue myself without the guilt so many of us harbor for being the source of the dissolution.
Maybe as a result I can't really talk to others about this guilt, but I think those in this position need to remember that we get cheated out of the chance to be honest about ourselves, both with ourselves and with our lovers, for most of our early lives. In the context of how our lives in this society play out, what choice did you have as you went through the wickets but to hide yourself? Run rabbit, run! It doesn't make it any less a tragedy, but I think we need to give ourselves a break on the guilt factor.