Cinema Paradiso

The real-life inspiration for the Oscar-winning film, Cinema Paradiso, passed away today at the age of 86. His name was Mimmo Pintacuda. Pintacuda worked for years as a projectionist at a an Italian village movie-house called "Cinema Vittore" and taught Paradiso's director, Giuseppe Tornatore, how to use a film projector.

When people ask me if I am the real Alfredo I can say 'yes'. I remember Tornatore very well. He was as curious and proactive as Toto; he wanted to find out everything he could about photography and cinema. I was happy to teach him all I knew and, once, I gave him a camera as a present.

Cinema Paradiso is the beautiful story of a young boy's lifelong love affair with the movies. Set in Italy, Salvatore 'Toto' finds himself enchanted by the films at the Cinema Paradiso, yearning for the secret of the cinema's magic. When the projectionist, Alfredo, agrees to reveal the mysteries of moviemaking, a deep friendship is born. The day comes for Salvatore to leave the village and pursue his dream of making movies of his own. Thirty years later he receives a message that beckons him back home to a secret and beautiful discovery that awaits him.

If you haven't seen this incredibly moving film, watch it now.

Rest in peace, Mimmo Pintacuda.

| via The Guardian