The Godfather Film Analysis Essay

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The Godfather (1972) is said to be one of the greatest films ever made. When this movie was released in 1972, it was nominated for Ten Academy Awards and it won three: Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay. The film was adapted from the book with the same name written by award winning author of mafia fiction, Mario Puzo. This film takes place in a span of ten years following the life of Don Corleone, the head of the Corleone Crime Family. It was a film that changed the history of cinema, introducing a very talented filmmaker and several acting legends in the telling of a story of a Sicilian Crime Family. The most memorable scene in the film is the opening scene of the movie which is also my choice of scene to elaborate on mise-en-scene.…show more content…
This creates a contrast with the darker and lighter parts of the scene, and creates the subject of the scene to be hidden in the shadows. This lighting technique is perfect for a gangster film such as the Godfather. Francis Ford Coppola’s has made apt use of lighting in this scene. In this scene, almost all the frames are low lit, especially the scenes where Don Corleone’s eyes are darkened. The Godfather series has always counted on Gordan Willis for its cinematography. He deliberately darkens Marlon Brando’s eyes (Vito Corleone) while lighting up the rest of his face. He does this by lighting his face from above which creates high contrasting shadows over his eyes which make us view him as an enigmatic man. This helps us to discern the personality of the Don, gives us an insight into his sinister and manipulative ways. The use of contrast and the play with light and darkness is fascinating. It has a great psychological effect on the audience. The Don Corleone’s office is submerged in darkness and the characters in the scene come in and out of the light, thereby directing the focus onto them. A very large part of the film is shot in low key lighting, to emphasize on the theme of the film which is essentially, the life story of the Mob in
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