Yoga classes and Italian film as sacred ritual...
One of the most beautiful films of all time is a Sicilian film by un regista siciliano: Giuseppe Tornatore. It happens that it won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film in 1989, but that is not why it is to be loved.
If you want a touching story in the truest sense, with humor, wit, love in a romantic sense, a family sense, and a friendship in its purest sense, and if you would appreciate a musical score beautifully set to old black & white kissing scenes, then this is a film that you'd deeply enjoy.
This film is Tornatore's own homage to the history of cinema - and to the history of a young boy (himself) and an entire nation falling in love with movies.
Turn the volume up and listen to the graininess of the voices, the signature music of Ennio Morricone, and the jeers and laughs of the crowd at the cinema. Lots of drama happening in the Cinema Paradiso in small-town Sicilia: There is definitely a healthy mix of strong personalities, humor, and innocence - and in the film we see the first experiences, identifications with and reactions to films and the cinematic experience. Be sure to watch the cinematic version (not the extended director's cut released in 2002).
I still remember my father taking my mom and brother and I to see this film while we were in Montreal. The sounds and sights were so familiar though I hadn't yet traveled to Sicily to meet my family there. My dad told me I was seeing his homeland in this film, where he came from, and to pay attention. I still learn a lot about life (not just Sicily) every time. And so, each year & semester when I was French & Italian professor at EIU, I would find time outside of class to show this film to my students. They would be excited to see it from the way I talked about it. I don't think they - or I - were ever disappointed in it, as I would hear them rave about how cute the little boy Toto was for weeks. Our key word to describe this little boy: furbo.
Everyone got something real and deep from this film. That's why you may want to take me up on my suggestion - whenever you're looking for a meaningful film and a delight, whenever the moment is right for you, this is it. In this way, it is much like yoga: it brings you joy, a sense of life, a feeling of indescribable passion and adoration. There are sacred rituals and practices that can help us in life: help us to align with the guiding principles and fascinations, depths and poetry that is tucked within the human heart. And this film, like yoga, is one such ritual, at least for me and some other film lovers. I'd like to share both of these core-nurturing rituals with you.
(And if you are interested then come to the Ballston Spa area near SPAC and find us at AAC Wellness, 402 Rowland Street, in the downstairs studio. Classes: Monday 9-10am, Wednesday 9-10am, Saturday 9:30-10:45am)
Imagine doing some cat/cow, butterfly, and seated forward folds while listening to an instrumental from the film in class that you will find to be so sweet....
once you have seen Cinema Paradiso.
Come especially to the Yoga & Italian class Saturday morning at 9:30 and hear some of the bella lingua as I throw Italian phrases in class for you to laugh at and learn and as we listen to Amedeo Minghi, Vasco Rossi, Lucio Battisti, and Dean Martin.
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