Nuovo Cinema Paradiso – Part 3

By skiour / Posted on 01 October 2010

There is a haunted look in SALVATORE’s eyes, he is searching his memory for
something he can’t find, then suddenly sees, as if in a dream…his hand thirty
years before going through the routine gesture of hanging a receipt on the nail,
over the others, mechanically, without even looking…and he shuts his eyes as
if fearing the truth. Her last words have wounded him. He shakes his head, then
in a faint voice:

Oh, how I looked for you, Elena!
You’ll never know. I wrote,
telephoned, nothing. Nobody ever
answered. But I dreamt of you for
years! That’s why I went away…and
never came back here.
(And his anguish breaks
free, dissolving into
quiet, almost childish
tears. ELENA is startled
by his reaction. She
caresses him,
passionately. They embrace
and remain like that, she
with her face buried in
his shoulder, he leaning
on hers with his tear-
filled eyes.)
Even as the years passed, in all the
women I met, I was only looking for
you. I had success it’s true, but
there was always something missing…
(She is deeply moved, goes
on caressing him gently
until he calms down. The
car windows are steamed
up. The sea, the harbor,
the waves have
disappeared. Nothing
remains but the sound of
the storm. SALVATORE takes
her face between his
hands. They gaze at each
other, their faces
practically touching. He
I’d never have imagined that all this
had to end because of the man who was
like a father to me. A crazy lunatic!
(She gives a faint smile.)

He wasn’t crazy. In the beginning I
was upset. I think I really hated
him. But then, with time, I
understood what he said…and your
silence too.

SALVATORE whispers one last dreadful revelation. And it’s as if he had got a
terrible weight off his chest.

But I never saw that note!
(He squints, as if to
stress the absurdity of
the idea.)

I must have covered it with my hand,
without realizing it, that’s the only
(But strangely enough,
ELENA is not surprised.)

What difference does it make to find
an explanation? That’s the way it
went. But Alfredo didn’t betray you,
he was the only one who really
understood you. Salvatore, if you had
chosen to be with me, you’d have
never made your films. And that would
have been a pity! Because they’re
wonderful, I’ve seen them all.
(Her eyes glitter with
joy, then she smiles,
almost ironically.)
But you shouldn’t have gone and
changed your name. You should have
kept your own.

Tears stream down Salvatore’s cheeks. He gives her a look of longing, of

ELENA embraces him. They kiss with heartrending tenderness, with the same
passion of their first kiss amidst the strips of film brushing their faces, so
many years ago. And they make love, clasped in the cramped quarters of the car,
like two teenagers. Passionate kisses, embraces, deep sighs. Their hair
damp with sweat, their hands clasping, their fingers interweaving. Then the
frenzy subsides into a deep, tumultuous pleasure, of immense loving and immense
grief…As outside the wind and the waves go on rating around that car which
seems suspended in empty space.)

… … … …


ELENA stands near the window overlooking the little square, listening on the
phone to SALVATORE’S voice. She can see him through the transparent curtain
speaking on the phone down below in the café.

When are you leaving?

SALVATORE opens his eyes, tosses away his cigarette.

This afternoon. Elena, in the future
maybe we could…

ELENA interrupts him, speaks softly, tenderly.

No, Salvatore…there is no future.
There’s only the past. Even meeting
last night was nothing but a dream, a
beautiful dream.
We never did it when we were kids,
(Down in the cafe,
SALVATORE nods his head
slowly, desperately.)
Now that it’s happened, I don’t think
there could have been a better
(It’s farewell. SALVATORE
glances one last time at
that window.)

I’ll never agree with you. Never,







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