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Giuseppe Tornatore

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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF | November 26, 1999
There's a ton of joy in "The Legend of 1900," the story of a piano prodigy, born on board a trans-Atlantic steamship, who never sets foot on land and eschews the fame his talent would normally lead to. But it's laid on so thick that one ends up more numbed than stirred, overcome by one too many Hallmark moments.Italian director Giuseppe Tornatore is on familiar territory here. His movie love poem to a neighborhood film house, "Cinema Paradiso," tugged at many of the same heartstrings, and it was both a popular favorite and a Best Foreign Film Oscar winner for 1989.
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By Mick LaSalle and Mick LaSalle,San Francisco Chronicle | August 1, 2008
Writer-director Giuseppe Tornatore's latest, The Unknown Woman (La Sconosciuta), finally arrives here, two years after its Italian debut. It's a departure of sorts for the filmmaker, who is best known for lush romance, period pieces and Sicilian settings, with films such as Cinema Paradiso and Malena. His new film takes place in northeastern Italy and is a suspense thriller about a Ukrainian woman with an unknown past. She's brooding and quietly driven, but the nature of her plans isn't quite clear, at first.
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By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | September 3, 1999
Tonight's the night we've all been waiting for: The Open-Air Italian Film Festival will screen its official final film, "Cinema Paradiso," Giuseppe Tornatore's beguiling 1988 film about a boy's coming of age working in a tiny outdoor cinema in a small town in World War II Italy. The only thing more charming than watching this moving memoir is watching it in the very kind of outdoor theater it depicts.The show starts at 9 p.m. at the corner of High and Stiles streets. Admission is free and open to the public.
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By Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan and Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan,SUN STAFF | February 2, 2001
It is 1940 in the tiny Sicilian village of Castelcuto, and a ravishing, dark-haired beauty is inspiring unabashed lust among the dozens of men and boys who breathlessly await her daily, brisk walks across the town piazza. Her name is Malena Scordia, a woman so devoted to her husband away at war that she pays no heed to the hungry eyes of men as she cuts her seductive swath through town every day. And yet from the first moment 12-year-old Renato Amoroso lays eyes on Malena, he knows he must have her. Thus begins an achingly beautiful yet also enchantingly funny gem of a movie about a boy growing up in World War II Italy.
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By Mick LaSalle and Mick LaSalle,San Francisco Chronicle | August 1, 2008
Writer-director Giuseppe Tornatore's latest, The Unknown Woman (La Sconosciuta), finally arrives here, two years after its Italian debut. It's a departure of sorts for the filmmaker, who is best known for lush romance, period pieces and Sicilian settings, with films such as Cinema Paradiso and Malena. His new film takes place in northeastern Italy and is a suspense thriller about a Ukrainian woman with an unknown past. She's brooding and quietly driven, but the nature of her plans isn't quite clear, at first.
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By Stephen Wigler | August 22, 1991
None of the sobs that shook the Charles Theatre last year during the record-breaking run of "Cinema Paradiso" were mine. I thought that tear-jerker of a movie, with its clumsily told and over-long narrative, was filled with every cliche of Italian filmmaking.I dislike Giuseppe Tornatore's "Everybody's Fine," which opens today at the Charles, even more than his "Cinema Paradiso," and this time I think I'll have some company.Matteo Scuro (the great Marcello Mastroianni in a role that makes him look absurd behind fishbowl-thick eyeglasses)
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By Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan and Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan,SUN STAFF | February 2, 2001
It is 1940 in the tiny Sicilian village of Castelcuto, and a ravishing, dark-haired beauty is inspiring unabashed lust among the dozens of men and boys who breathlessly await her daily, brisk walks across the town piazza. Her name is Malena Scordia, a woman so devoted to her husband away at war that she pays no heed to the hungry eyes of men as she cuts her seductive swath through town every day. And yet from the first moment 12-year-old Renato Amoroso lays eyes on Malena, he knows he must have her. Thus begins an achingly beautiful yet also enchantingly funny gem of a movie about a boy growing up in World War II Italy.
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By Ann Hornaday and Chris Kaltenbach and Ann Hornaday and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN FILM CRITICS | September 22, 2000
Director William Friedkin's "The Exorcist," hits theaters today, with improved sound and 11 minutes of footage trimmed from its original 1973 release. And while the film has lost little of its psyche-jarring impact - there's a reason it frequently turns up atop lists of the most frightening movies ever made - this new, 132-minute version proves that restored scenes make for fine curiosities, but rarely add much to the movie. Of the scenes that have been restored, only one didn't deserve to be cut - the infamous spider-walk scene, in which Linda Blair's Regan, the little girl harboring a demon, scurries down a flight of stairs on all fours, running backward, with her hands and feet behind her back.
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By Ann Hornaday | September 24, 2000
The Little Italy Open-Air Film Festival will wrap up another stellar season on Friday with their traditional final screening, "Cinema Paradiso," Giuseppe Tornatore's 1989 film about the memories of a middle-aged man who fell in love with the movies in a small town in Italy. One of the most charming scenes in the film is when an audience gasps in wonder as a movie is projected on an outside screen; the Little Italy festival provides a magical opportunity to experience the wonder firsthand.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun Staff Writer | August 25, 1995
"A Pure Formality" is like a joke that takes way, way too long to tell. Halfway to the punch line, you've pretty much lost interest.The movie, opening today at the Charles, stars Gerard Depardieu's massive gut, Roman Polanski's sneer and the most driving rainstorm since Noah. It starts off promisingly enough, with a revolver shot aimed directly at the audience and an exhausted, lost and drenched -- the temptation to say this film is all wet is almost irresistible -- Depardieu being picked up by police on an isolated country road.
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By Ann Hornaday and Chris Kaltenbach and Ann Hornaday and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN FILM CRITICS | September 22, 2000
Director William Friedkin's "The Exorcist," hits theaters today, with improved sound and 11 minutes of footage trimmed from its original 1973 release. And while the film has lost little of its psyche-jarring impact - there's a reason it frequently turns up atop lists of the most frightening movies ever made - this new, 132-minute version proves that restored scenes make for fine curiosities, but rarely add much to the movie. Of the scenes that have been restored, only one didn't deserve to be cut - the infamous spider-walk scene, in which Linda Blair's Regan, the little girl harboring a demon, scurries down a flight of stairs on all fours, running backward, with her hands and feet behind her back.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF | November 26, 1999
There's a ton of joy in "The Legend of 1900," the story of a piano prodigy, born on board a trans-Atlantic steamship, who never sets foot on land and eschews the fame his talent would normally lead to. But it's laid on so thick that one ends up more numbed than stirred, overcome by one too many Hallmark moments.Italian director Giuseppe Tornatore is on familiar territory here. His movie love poem to a neighborhood film house, "Cinema Paradiso," tugged at many of the same heartstrings, and it was both a popular favorite and a Best Foreign Film Oscar winner for 1989.
FEATURES
By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | September 3, 1999
Tonight's the night we've all been waiting for: The Open-Air Italian Film Festival will screen its official final film, "Cinema Paradiso," Giuseppe Tornatore's beguiling 1988 film about a boy's coming of age working in a tiny outdoor cinema in a small town in World War II Italy. The only thing more charming than watching this moving memoir is watching it in the very kind of outdoor theater it depicts.The show starts at 9 p.m. at the corner of High and Stiles streets. Admission is free and open to the public.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler | August 22, 1991
None of the sobs that shook the Charles Theatre last year during the record-breaking run of "Cinema Paradiso" were mine. I thought that tear-jerker of a movie, with its clumsily told and over-long narrative, was filled with every cliche of Italian filmmaking.I dislike Giuseppe Tornatore's "Everybody's Fine," which opens today at the Charles, even more than his "Cinema Paradiso," and this time I think I'll have some company.Matteo Scuro (the great Marcello Mastroianni in a role that makes him look absurd behind fishbowl-thick eyeglasses)
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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,SUN FILM CRITIC | March 22, 1996
Lovers of Giuseppe Tornatore's brilliant "Cinema Paradiso" may be disappointed in his much slighter and less well-developed film "The Star Maker," which opens today at the Rotunda.Well, too bad, lovers of "Cinema Paradiso." It's not the same movie. Deal with it.The film has, nevertheless, some extraordinary pleasures, though they are far more casual and incidental than in the dramatically whole "Cinema." Like the preceding film, however, it too is built on the love of movies and the magical transformations that this most powerful, subversive and romantic of all media can make possible.
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By Lou Cedrone | August 22, 1991
Giuseppe Tornatore's ''Everybody's Fine'' is an interesting excursion about a father trying to re-connect with his children. Though Tornatore, who wrote and directed the film, takes his time making his point, the film has a gripping finish. It is hard to leave the theater feeling bad about "Everybody's Fine."Tornatore is the man who gave us the Academy Award-winning ''Cinema Paradiso.'' In this, his third feature film, Marcello Mastroianni plays a 74-year-old retired Sicilian named Matteo who decides to visit his five children.
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