The Godfather Film Analysis

1299 Words 6 Pages
Chuqian Lin
Instructor: Karen Smalley
Spring 2016
The Godfather Film Editing Analysis Paper In the movie The Godfather directed by Francis Ford Coppola, Coppola uses a variety of brilliant and distinctive editing techniques to cleverly capture the story of the Corleone family. The famous baptism and murder sequence, in particular, includes parallel editing, use of sound, camera angles, subjective point of view, close-ups, and extreme close-ups to elicit dramatic and profound effects on the audience. The use of these various editing techniques demonstrate the transformation of Michael Corleone from an innocent family outsider to an inhuman and ruthless leader of the mafia Corleone family; it unveils to the audience that Michael’s
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This symbolically reveals his decision to replace his father as the new godfather of the Corleone’s family. At the beginning, the baptism sequence uses very traditional continuity editing: moving in from extreme long shot to medium shot, from medium shot to close-up, and showing the events happening in chronological order. The scene starts off with an extreme long shot of an interior building in a Catholic church; it serves as an establishing shot to inform the viewers about the location. In this shot, the diegetic sound of the crying baby is louder than the serene church organ, which is intended to foreshadow that ominous situations are to arise. Simultaneously, the contrasting sounds in this scene evoke anxiety and bewilderment within the viewers, and help create a sense of suspense and mystery. More importantly, the sound of the crying baby reappears right before the killing, and serves to maintain the audience’s attention and to alert us to the imminent danger. Accordingly, the sound of the organ music stays present throughout the preparation and killing of the five dons. The contrasting sound between the church organ and firing guns are meant to intensify the tension and incite …show more content…
When Cueno, another head of the families, is trapped at the hotel revolving door by a hitman, Coppola cuts to a subjective point of view of Cueno being shot by a gun. This point-of-view shot allows audience to witness the brutal murder through Cueno’s eyes as if they are the ones being shot by the gun. The use of subjective camera replacement here creates a breathtaking and traumatic effect and induces audience to identify with the assassin. It amplifies audience’s shock and fear while intensifying the barbarity of the murder. Moreover, the low-angle shot of the hitman displays his character as aggressive and dominant, showing that the hitman has power in that situation. As the last slaying of the five heads of the families ends, the disguised policeman runs to a car to escape from the scene. However, the escape is not captured in any previous murders. Coppola purposely includes the escape in the last murder scene to indicate that the executions of the five rivals are officially

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