Cinema Paradiso

Cinema Paradiso is one of my favourite places in Chennai. It’s a DVD library at #5/77, C.P Ramasamy Road, across from Shilpi. It has recent Hollywood and Hindi movies (no Tamil films); but its speciality is its world cinema collection.


For me, part of a real education is a knowledge of and ability to appreciate cinema; and the best place for a non-film student to learn to do that in Chennai is at Cinema Paradiso. They have a good selection from the European masters of the sixties and seventies (Truffaut, Godard, Fellini, Bergman) the light, fun films of Erich Roehmer, some excellent Eastern European films (No Man’s Land, Kolya), Kieslowski’s great trilogy Blue, White, and Red. They have a good selection of Iranian films (Baran, the White Balloon, anything by Kiarostami). They have a lot of Kurosawa. You can see Eat Drink Man Woman, the wonderful film Ang Lee made before he went to Hollywood.

Anyway, I could go on and on, but just go there and dive in. The website link above allows you to browse through their collection, but not to search it, unfortunately. But finding something great without knowing about it in advance is wonderful too.

8 Comments so far

  1. Keerthivasan (unregistered) on July 1st, 2006 @ 11:17 am

    Its very expensive, isnt it ?

    Burma bazaar vaazhga !

  2. Nancy (unregistered) on July 1st, 2006 @ 11:41 am

    Membership Rs. 3000, of which 2000 is refundable when you leave; rental Rs. 75-100 – but will you find great world cinema at burma bazaar? I see a movie almost every day – for me, CP definitely works out cheaper.

  3. Keerthivasan (unregistered) on July 1st, 2006 @ 12:41 pm

    Yes Nancy. World Cinema (Run Lola Run, Bus 174, NO man’s land.. and more and more)!

    Process is very simple. you somehow become a regular customer of a shop there; Then you will be allowed inside, and you can shop at ease (like how we do in Landmark..)

    You’d get very good movies at very good clarity. 2 to 5 movies on a single disc.

    But then, Illegal. It is a punishable crime to sell and buy..

    We at work tried to sign up for the Cinema Paradiso’s corporate membership.. but then, we all went together to the bazaar and made a killer-hunt.


    Naanga Thirundharadhu konjam Kashtamdhaan !

  4. Nancy (unregistered) on July 1st, 2006 @ 12:48 pm


  5. nandhu (unregistered) on July 1st, 2006 @ 12:50 pm

    There is world cinema in Burma Bazaar. lots more than u might think. for the prize of renting a dvd at paradiso, u can actually own one bought from the bazaar. having send that paradiso is a very nice place to browse for dvds (no cds here!!!). kind of a place that instills the film-watching culture too. well, the crowd is good to look at too. and u cant say that for burma bazaar.

    and some mention must be made of paradiso’s pretty good (by chennai standards, guys) documentary collection. i find that charging 75 bucks for new english movies a bit steep. and if u are late, the fines are like astronomical.

  6. Nishanth (unregistered) on July 3rd, 2006 @ 2:12 am

    75-100 is quite reasonable when you compare it to the $ that you spend when you go to a multiplex to watch a film.

    Tic Tac is an another good DVD lending library in Chennai and they have opened a branch at Besant Nagar.

  7. Nandhu (unregistered) on July 3rd, 2006 @ 2:22 am

    Yes it is reasonable by Satyam standards. But in smaller theatres, which arent that bad either, the cost of a ticket is still low. but if the entire family watches the dvd, there is no way to beat that. but somehow i really wish that rentals and especially the fines were lower at the paradiso. it’s a really lovely place otherwise.

  8. Nancy (unregistered) on July 3rd, 2006 @ 11:00 am

    Tic Tac is good. It has a more lenient return policy, and the rentals are cheaper. When Cinema Paradiso irritates me, I go to Tic Tac for awhile – but I keep going back to CP, because they just plain have a vastly superior collection of the kind of ‘art’ films that I like.

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