Cinema Paradiso will hang around Tornatore’s neck like a lead weight for the rest of his career. But you sense this is his most personal work. He weaves a sprawling tapestry to create a working class epic paying tribute not only to his old neighbourhood Bagheria (Baarìa is the slang term), but the Sicilian national character. He’s proven to be a highly influential film-maker since the late 1980s with his focus on romanticised depictions of his country’s culture and way of life.
There is a less healthy influence,