Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Godfather: A Thought

In response to this discussion on The Godfather:

For me The Godfather works tremendously well — as an opera, not as a film/Shakespearean interpretation per se. The incredible stylization, the fetishistic “funeral chic” of the film, the cult of the (male) gaze that would be campy were we not so thoroughly informed by and suffused with this film’s idiom, by its tremendous achievement in remaining (permanently?) relevant in the world of American, nay world, cinema — all of these would have been disastrous if the aim had been to make a naturalistic film. In the world of opera, however, these elements work superbly, creating a spellbinding experience. [Coppola seems to have made the implicit explicit by the end of The Godfather III: the climax takes place in and around an opera performance, one where a Corleone is both performer and audience-member, not to mention that the (off-stage) action while the opera is occurring is being “directed” (somewhat) by a Corleone as well, in a manner befitting a revenge opera.]

If you want to check out that opera sequence from The Godfather III:



Related Scene:

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