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Edited by Aideen Devine, Wednesday, 18 Aug 2021, 19:27

The telly was so bad over Christmas with repeats of repeats of stuff that has been on for weeks already, so I succumbed and signed up to Netflix for the free one month trial.  This is the 3rd time I've had the one month trial but the first time I ever used it. 

I binged on Stranger Things, series 1 and 2, on recommendation from my son's girlfriend, and this was worth the monthly fee alone when I get around to paying for it.  Another recommendation was The Sinner which was enjoyable enough but the ending was a bit of a, not sure if it was a surprise or a let down, either way, it didn't end how I expected and with a few tweaks could have been better, more of the religiously demented mother would have been good and made the explanation more believable.  Anyway, it was worth a watch.

Then last night, I thought I would browse the classic movies and found a gem I had been looking at in HMV before Christmas and had put on my list to buy next time in Belfast, Cinema Paradiso (1988).

I had a vague recollection of watching this back in the day and have to say I thoroughly enjoyed watching it again.  It's the story of a young boy who loves movies and the film tracks the friendship between him and Alfredo, the projectionist, in the said Cinema Paradiso over the years.  It had some very beautiful moments and was a joy to watch and made me realise how over- stylised everything has become now in films.  I had the same thought when I watched Close Encounters again recently too.  Both films had good story lines and believable characters even though they are from very different genres but they were character driven not special effects driven, even though Close Encounters featured a lot of special effects.  A lesson for modern filmmakers maybe...

Cinema Paradiso is an Italian film and I remember back in the 80's, Channel 4 used to show foreign language films on a Thursday night and it was here that I watched one of the best films I've ever seen.  It was a Dutch film and the title, which I don't remember in Dutch but it translated in English as In For Treatment.  It was the story of a man who was diagnosed with cancer and it was about his life and treatment and it was the most moving film and I remember how I cried watching it.  The way it was done was so subtle and real, no over-emoting or contrived pathos, just the story of an ordinary man facing his own mortality.  I would love to see it again and I did try to find it online a few years ago but never managed to.  If anyone could ever get me a copy of this film or even let me know where I could get it, you would be a friend for life.

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