The film Godfather 1 and 2 directed by Francis ford Coppola, some characteristics of his directional style are; cinematography with specific use of close up, cross-cutting, lighting and sound through a variety of different camera angles to enhance the audiences way of thinking and having a clear understanding of the key idea “Duality of man” of the characters in the film. Francis ford copolla incorporates cinematography within the scenes of the film as it represents different perspectives making the audience discover important aspects of what is happening in the film.
In Godfather 1 and 2 Francis Ford Coppola successfully uses cinematography such as the cross-cutting technique to enhance the audiences view of the characters which was in the “baptism scene” of Godfather 1 that features Michael Corleone in a ceremony of his nephew being baptised and the assassination of the 5 heads of the mafia family. Through this cross-cutting technique the audience can see the calm and innocent face of Michael Corleone as he is inside a cathedral taking the role of being godfather to his nephew.
As an audience Coppola is making us empathise with the “good” side of Michael Corleone making us think that he is an innocent man who has no affiliation with the business of his father by being present in a cathedral. Within the “good” side of the baptism scene it cross-cuts to the henchmen preparing to eliminate the five heads of the mafia families under the order of Michael Corleone, this shows the power of what Michael can offer showing dominance over the 5 families resulting in ending the mafia war.
In the opening scene of Godfather 2, the technique of extreme close up on Michaels face can be depicted as this shot represents the role of Michael being a powerful man, along with the extreme close up follows up with a close up shot o the office chair which also symbolises power and authority. The close up shot of the office chair is powerful as it represents the legacy of Michaels father Vito Corleone, in his footsteps he has the role on carrying on the business of being a mafia leader.
The use of cinematography on the character Michael Corleone in the baptism scene of Godfather 1 and the opening scene of Godfather 2 both share the role in understanding of the key idea “Duality of man” as it displays the power and authority of Michael Corleone. In the film Godfather 2, the role of the main protagonist Michael Corleone plays a significant role in contribution to the audience as we are viewing the power and authority he has to offer through the film. Francis ford Coppola skilfully does this by utilising the chiaroscuro effect to portray it.
In the opening scene of Godfather 2 the chiaroscuro effect is successfully carried out by Copolla to expose the dual sides of Michael Corleone where one half of Michaels face is dark and the other is light. This effect influences the audiences understanding of the key idea “Duality of man” as it is evidently shown on the face of Michael Corleone. The light side signifying the “public side” where he is seen as an innocent figure while the dark side indicates his “private life” behind closed doors where “business” is being planned.
The chiaroscuro effect is also used in the baptism scene in Godfather 1 where Michael is in the cathedral in a ceremony of his nephew being baptised, not only that but also the assassination of the five heads of the mafia family. Through this the chiaroscuro effect clearly supports the evidence as we can see the “good” side of Michael with the cathedral representing it and behind it is the illegal business being prepared by Michaels men. As an audience we are cunningly influenced by the killing but also rejoiced in the assassination of the five heads of the mafia.
The use of sound plays a significant role in setting the tone of a scene providing us a better understanding of the idea “Duality of man” in the Godfather 1 and 2. In the Godfather 1 the start of the film is presented by a haunting theme song alongside with the characters Bonasera and Don Corleone. After the theme song it breaks into silence between the conversation of Bonsasera and Vito Corleone. In this conversation Bonsasera is making a request for justice of his daughter because the American legal system failed him.
Silence is utilised effectively by Coppola which is evident as he has done it in a private office, the idea for Coppola was to build tension as silence allows for no distraction for the audience who have to emphasis on the power and meaning of the words being said by the two characters. There is also contrast between the silence in the private office and the sound of the wedding music outside, this indicates to the audience the dual sides of a man being good and bad at the same time.
The usage of sound which was also used effectively in the baptism scene of Godfather 1, religious music is played on the organ throughout the ceremony of Michael’s nephew being baptised. Michael who must act as a role model for his nephew professes his faith in God and rejecting in Satan however the assassination of the 5 heads of the family takes place the volume of the religious music increases as the cross-cutting comes back and forth of the baptism and the dirty work being done by Michaels men, the volume of the religious music increases greatly reaching its climax of the film.
The use of sound helps the audience understand the tension of music and contrast between the life in closed doors and life in public. The film Godfather 1 and 2 the key idea “Duality of man” can also relate on life experiences. In response to the theme the Godfather 1 and 2 aided the audience in understanding of being a powerful mafia leader where in life we are caught up in situations where we make choices that will either benefit ourselves or it can harm us.
Another example is when a person has power it can lead us to penalties where we have too much it gets uncontrollable we tend to ask for more. In conclusion, the Godfather 1 and 2 directed by Francis ford Coppola intelligently uses cinematography such as close up, cross-cutting, lighting and sound through a variety of different camera angles to strongly enhance the audiences’ way of thinking of the key idea “Duality of man”. Through the use of cinematography the theme is successfully portrayed which gives the audience a better understanding about life experiences.