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Parlagreco, man of miracles in cinemas: from Troisi’s “discovery” to the new “Cinema Paradiso”

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Messina – Not just “I start on three”. Gianni ParlagrecoAs director of “Garden”, in 1981 he decided to bet on Massimo Troisi’s film only against or almost everyone. Many thought that no one would understand that young comedian, with his Neapolitan countryman firmly in his presence. But, a few years later, in 1988, as director of the “Aurora” cinema, Parlagreco always felt that Giuseppe Tornatore’s “Nuovo cinema Paradiso” deserved a chance in theaters, despite the initial failure. From the past to the present, the “Iris” complex created by Gianni Parlagreco (highlighted in the photo during the works of the Ganzirri cinema) led by his son Umberto after the death of its founder, has dedicated a room to Troisi. Parlagreco’s choice to screen the film as a preview was also mentioned, despite the national exhibitors’ distrust. However, in 2014, as a guest in Messina, it was Tornatore who remembered that it was the “Miracle of Messina” that implicated him personally. When only the owner of the cinema had so much faith in the film that he offered the audience to pay for the ticket just in case “Nuovo cinema Paradiso” liked it, at the end of the vision.

Culture consultant Caruso and Umberto Parlagreco discover the painting dedicated to Massimo Troisi and Gianni Parlagreco in Iris

On that occasion, the Oscar-winning director emphasized: “When I go back to Messina, for me, I feel at home. I feel at home, perhaps too spoiled. I remember with fondness the feelings of that time, when I was the producer and producer New Paradise CinemaFranco Cristaldi, we felt lost because although the movie looked good to us, no one was interested in it. At that time the release of the film caused me much suffering since the total collection, all over Italy, was about a hundred million. As if we say, at the present time, that a movie is released in theaters and collects forty thousand euros. An insignificant number, in short. Usually, with a score like this, the director is done with his job. Not surprisingly, at that time I said to myself: “I made my second and last film, the first, ‘Photographer’, and now the last.” Reading the economic data, Cristaldi and his right-hand man Fabio Rinaldo and I saw that only in Messina the film was making money and we asked ourselves: “But what is going on there?”. We also read the wonderful review by film critic Franco Cicero Southern Gazette And we were amazed. Only Caprara and Morandini, as well as Cicero, would have appreciated the film, otherwise judged by critics. So we didn’t know how to explain this reaction. I remember it from then New Paradise Cinema It was only released in Sicily in Messina, and a Catania distributor agency was also contacted because it was thought, for a moment, that the receipts were fake, to help the film. But that was not the case.

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Parlagreco offered the audience to pay for the ticket only if they liked Cinema Paradiso. And it was a success.”

Tornatore always recalled: “Therefore, the character of Messina was unique throughout Italy. Cristaldi calculated that if the film had been collected in other Italian cities as in Messina, the figure would have been really great. The manufacturer himself advised me to go to this city and check this anomaly Then I found out that the director of the cinema AuroraGianni Parlagreco, for whom Heaven Cinema He was well liked, and he was the architect of this success. In the early days, in fact, receiptsAurora It was similar to the disappointments in other cities. That’s it Parlagreco, sorry for the failure, had an idea: he invited the public of Messina to enter his cinema, to watch New Paradise CinemaHowever, without a ticket, he suggests paying him only if the movie is liked. Now, it would be the sympathy aroused by this initiative, or it would be Messina’s word of mouth, the film, in a few days, made a large sum. By the way, in the arena scene, with the guys in the boat, V.I New Paradise CinemaIt is jokingly indicated that the ticket is only paid after watching the movie. Parlagreco may have been inspired by this joking situation, who knows.”

“I dreamed that Mycenae was the whole world”

Tornatore therefore went to Messina, in January 1989, and participated in a meeting promoted by the cultural association Melanie By Nini Panzera. For me it was a foreplay in slaps times thanks to the warm welcome from the people of Messina. On that occasion, I declared, today we can say prophetically, that I dreamed, the night before I fell asleep, that Messina was the whole world and that the success of New Paradise Cinema In this city sprawled everywhere. The populace of Mycenae was perplexed to find that there was no interest in this story elsewhere, which instead shocked them and brought them here. There are still many months left before everything changes with the Cannes Film Festival. ” Then the Oscars and the worldwide receipts.

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