Books and Movies Reviews

The Godfather

The Godfather is the story of a Mafia family.It follows the rise of Michael Corleone within the family.Michael was once a war hero and did not want to be involved in the family business.When his father is shot though, Michael takes revenge on the people who did it and becomes a part of the Mafia lifestyle.When his older brother is murdered, Michael ascends to become the boss of the family, and proves to be more ruthless than his father and brother combined.The scene that I am analyzing is one where Michael is becoming his nephew's godfather at his baptism.
The Godfather is a traditionally edited movie.This particular scene however uses Eisenstein's method of montage editing.Francis Ford Coppola uses hard cutting in order to show a stark contrast in the main character Michael Corleone.The scene begins with a shot of Michael's godson.In the Catholic religion, a newborn baby is born with original sin.At the moment of its baptism, it is the most pure thing on earth; it has no sin.The godfather is the baby's guardian into life.The scene cuts to all the different assassins Michael has deployed to take out his enemies.It cuts back to the baptism and the priest asks Michael if he believes in god, Jesus, and the church.Michael replies yes.The scene cuts back to the assassins.The voice of the priest is heard giving the ceremony as the assassins prepare to kill.The scene cuts back to Michael and the priest asks Michael if he rejects Satan and all his works.Michael replies yes and the scene cuts to the assassins, on Michael's orders, killing his enemies.
There are no special camera angles, with the exception of a few close-ups.The camera remains stationary.The meaning of the scene is inferred through the editing and the content.Coppola uses this montage in order to give the audience an insight into Michael.He contrasts religion and murder in order to show the complexity of

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