TS: Godfather vs Godfather II

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ah, that explains it. been too long since i saw first one.

all i gotta do is akh nachivly (darraghmac), Monday, 3 January 2011 05:50 (3 years ago) Permalink

5 months pass...

http://vimeo.com/24595172

sam fuller doing a screentest as hymen roth

Princess TamTam, Saturday, 4 June 2011 15:51 (3 years ago) Permalink

That's really something. I was expecting the worst, but as an actor, Fuller's suprisingly okay--better here than in Pierrot le fou. The problem is that he looks criminal. One of the things that makes Lee Strasberg so indelible is that he's just a kindly-looking old man watching college football on a Saturday afternoon.

clemenza, Saturday, 4 June 2011 16:05 (3 years ago) Permalink

7 months pass...

As a drama assignment, I always have my grade 6 students perform famous movie scenes (picked by me, of course--we run a top-down operation around here). A couple of my boys did the big Michael-Fredo scene from GFII this year:

One of them was a kid who's generally very quiet, but much to my surprise, he really pulled out all the stops. You just haven't lived until you've seen an 11-year-old cry out, "I was your older brother, Mike, and I was stepped over!"

clemenza, Wednesday, 18 January 2012 15:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

the Max Clemenza Fischer Players

Dr Morbois de Bologne (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 18 January 2012 15:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

3 months pass...

serious question: do you folks think that the godfather part ii is enjoyable/comprehensable even if you haven't seen part i? i'm tempted to show the 2nd part in a college course but i don't want the folks (i imagine at least 50%) who haven't seen the first one to feel alienated.

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 01:51 (2 years ago) Permalink

I think most of your students who hadn't seen I (hard for me to believe, it's on TV so incessantly) would still experience II as a great stand-alone film. What they'd miss are resonances and echoes that they wouldn't know they're missing. And I'm sure I'm not alone in having found parts of II confusing even after seeing I. (Think I finally figured out everything eventually.)

clemenza, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 02:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

my second guess is that less than 25–30% of them will have seen the first. of course, i can always suggest that in the weeks leading up to the 2nd one, that they find 3 hours and watch the first one. i don't think anyone would mind that.

it's not important that they grasp every last plot point, just that they not be so distracted by what they're missing that they'll feel resentful or alienated, or tune out.

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 02:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

I always have my grade 6 students perform famous movie scenes

Very curious to see what scenes you force 12 year olds to perform.

jungleous butterflies strange birds (Eric H.), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 02:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

I think GFII has a tighter script and a somewhat more compelling story arc. The cast seems stronger, too. Brando was not at his top form in GF. Last Tango was in the rear view miror and Superman was just over the next horizon. otoh, Pacino reined in his histrionics much more than he usually did and it helps GFII a lot.

Sure, go ahead and show II. It can stand alone.

Aimless, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 02:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

amateurist: is there any reason you're not just showing the first one?

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 02:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

Blue Velvet, Straw Dogs, like that--and yes, forcibly, often to the point where they're in tears.

Other answer: Duck Soup, The Wizard of Oz, Breakfast at Tiffany's, The Graduate (the "Oh no, it's completely baked" scene), Lost in America (interview for crossing-guard job), It's a Wonderful Life, The Hustler ("You owe me money..."), Ninotchka, etc. The GF II scene above and Marge's interrogation at the dealership in Fargo are about as far as I push it. (xpost)

I had the same question--wouldn't it just be easier to spend an extra three hours and show both?

clemenza, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 02:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

Last Tango was in the rear view mirror

So to speak...

clemenza, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 02:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

Just a bit of chronological fudging on my part. Both released in 1972. Not sure when they were each shot. Tango is easily the more estimable Brando performance. Far less gimmicky.

Aimless, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 02:33 (2 years ago) Permalink

i'd kill to see a college prof/TA have his students act out scenes from zardoz ... though it's obv not appropriate for sixth graders (not even in this time and era).

Nu Metal is the best music there is, the rest is pussy shit. (Eisbaer), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 02:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

I was referring to an infamous scene, Aimless.

clemenza, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 03:33 (2 years ago) Permalink

amateurist: is there any reason you're not just showing the first one?

― (The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Monday, April 30, 2012 9:14 PM (1 hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

a few reasons: i've got the early '70s covered, a lot of folks have seen #1 already, and most important, #2 helps me make some points i want to make better than #1. although part of me wants to show "mandingo" or "foxy brown" for the mid-70s.

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 03:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

xp to clemenza

(a fly wends in and out of Aimless's mouth, unmolested, as he gapes, glassy-eyed)

Wuh? Oh. Yup a yup! Gotcha! Sumpin' doin' wit' butter, or sumpin'.

Aimless, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 03:38 (2 years ago) Permalink

what other films are you showing?

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 06:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

i don't even want to go through it since it's really in flux right now. can someone think of a good film to use to teach about fairly early (mid-90s?) digital postproduction (in particular, CGI but not exclusively CGI) that's not Jurassic Park??

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 21:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

not that i have anything against j.p.

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 21:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

T2 was 92 wasn't it?

Philip Nunez, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 21:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

maybe you can show a few key scenes from the first one?

ryan, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 21:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

on topic: maybe the first one is an objectively greater movie, but the melancholy drift (that slow and steady way we become someone we hate) of part two is always very moving to me.

ryan, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 21:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah i think part II is even more of a hybrid between a traditional american genre and a European-style art film than the 1st. it's the ambitious narrative structure, languid pacing, etc.

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 21:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

part ii seems snappier and more action oriented than part i, though. just in terms of pacing it feels a lot more like superman ii than superman i, even though superman i is the one that has the idyllic old country scenes and the backstory and whatnot.

Philip Nunez, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 22:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

there are definitely more and bigger action setpieces, but it's also like 4 hours long

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 22:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

i think i might have watched the chopped up tv version.

Philip Nunez, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 22:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

hell maybe i'll watch the two godfathers tonight, make a night of of it.

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 22:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

or at least pt. 2.

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 22:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

i've been meaning to revisit them myself -- tbh i've always found them a little hard to love, as great as they certainly are.

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 22:25 (2 years ago) Permalink

see, i think the tv version (which arranges everything chronologically) basic saps out all the lyricism from part 2. also this is a bit of an idiosyncratic reading, but i always imagined that the flashbacks in part 2 were Michael's romantic imaginings of his father's rise, hence the final flashback which does seem to be Michael's memory.

ryan, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 22:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

it's not very romantic, though! papa corleone is pretty much a thug.
is the video game worth playing? it was supposed to incorporate some weird brando resurrection technology.

Philip Nunez, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 22:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

Ryan's interpretation is interesting--I've never heard that proposed before.

clemenza, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 22:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

i've been meaning to revisit them myself -- tbh i've always found them a little hard to love, as great as they certainly are.

― (The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Tuesday, May 1, 2012 5:25 PM (5 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i completely agree, but it's hard to avoid them if you're teaching a class.

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 22:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

I thought the second one was "objectively" the better one, in the sense that it's got qualities most critics prefer: less pulpy, slower, emphasis on chiaroscuro, foreign languages.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 22:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

i guess the game is not so good:
'They never asked me if I thought it was a good idea. I went and I took a look at what it was ... What they do is they use the characters everyone knows and they hire those actors to be there and only to introduce very minor characters. And then for the next hour they shoot and kill each other. I had absolutely nothing to do with the game and I disapprove. I think it's a misuse of the film.'

Philip Nunez, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 22:51 (2 years ago) Permalink

hard to agree that de niro's corleone is presented as a thug, tbh.

Newsy of the Worldy (darraghmac), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 22:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

Youth lends a certain glamor to thuggery. Also, golden, suffusing light.

Aimless, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 22:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

in the context of the story more effort is arguably put into making his descent into violence understandable or sympathetic than in justifying much or all of the other violence we see?

Newsy of the Worldy (darraghmac), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 23:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

imyo

Newsy of the Worldy (darraghmac), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 23:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

vito's or michael's descent?

Philip Nunez, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 23:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

Lots of shots of Vito and his family enjoying their company (to emphasize their father's love) and bitter at their poverty so that the audience accepts why he chose crime. Also: the local obese white-suited Italian boss is made a sleaze compared to hollow-cheeked taciturn Vito.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 23:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

yep, and the backstory from the old country etc also.

Newsy of the Worldy (darraghmac), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 23:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

Vito's whole shtick since Part I is that family absolves all sins, but i dunno if the audience is meant to buy it, except to the extent that Michael destroys his family.

Philip Nunez, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 23:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

and to the extent that Michael even loves his family.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 23:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

3 months pass...

Watched I and II over the weekend.

I - I adore Brando, not so much his delivery but all the small things he does to add color to Vito. The way he casually brushes off Solazzo's pants at the sit-down, that opening scene with the cat...he feels like a real person, somehow? I read Kael's review and I like the thing she said about how Brando internalizes all of the power of the Don. It's like his violent past is buried deep in his old man soul so you can feel his power just by him being in the room. And the quietness of Pacino just gets me. He's so measured and good in the beginning, and then measured and ready, and tough; and then measured and calculating.

II - I've only seen it once before. I def found the details of the story a lot more confusing, especially the Roth connections and the double-play Michael was making about his suspicions on who shot him up at Tahoe...but the DeNiro scenes were fantastic. And the way it was like the thread you were watching going forwards with DeNiro, by contrast wtih Pacino it's like even though he's building that empire you're seeing him lose everything that Vito gained. All through I, Vito is surrounded by associates and family and friends adn everyone is so close to him, the parties seem like huge extended families...but Michael has everyone on a pending kill list, even his own family. I have been thinking a lot about what exactly it was that bred that impulse in Michael, as though he misinterpreted the shooting of his father as a call to arms to shoot everyone who crossed his path from then on.

The last couple of scenes of II really slayed me though. That table scene with Sonny, Fredo, Michael and Connie and I'm kind of teary just on the weight of seeing them all alive again, lol. And then Michael staring out at the lake alone at that big mansion.

Oh, and I adore the score. Adore it. Maybe moreso in I than II though. I it was much more noticeable, felt much more like a radio melodrama with its musical cues.

sorry for the blather I've just had it in my head all day and had to get it out!

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 20 August 2012 21:13 (1 year ago) Permalink

It was only over many viewings that that most of the details in II started to fall in place--there are probably still a couple that I couldn't fully explain. (E.g.: Why does Michael go off on Pentangeli the way he does during his "In my home" tirade? He seems to have made up his mind by that point that it was Roth who set him up, not Pentangeli.) My favourite line from the flashback dinner scene: "Talked to my father about my future? My future."

clemenza, Monday, 20 August 2012 21:29 (1 year ago) Permalink

YES. That killed me.

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 20 August 2012 21:39 (1 year ago) Permalink

I loved Fredo's speech in the chair to Michael too, the one you said some of the kids in your class performed upthread; the way he's flailing around helplessly in that stupid chair while simultaneously pleading for respect was hilarious and sad.

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 20 August 2012 21:41 (1 year ago) Permalink


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