I found two different sections during the movie, that sum up what my main paper is going to be about. The civil rights movement during the 1960’s, and Robert De Niro as an actor and as a director. Throughout the entire movie, Calogeros friends all hate the black people that live on the other side of town. They hate their music, and the way they dress, and they don’t want them coming through their neighborhood. In the beginning of the movie when Calogero and his two friends are sitting on his stoop, the bus comes by, and there is a black boy on the bus. Calogero’s two friends run after the bus, harassing the boy.
Throughout the movie Calogero is the only one out of all of his friends that stands up for the black people, and says that they aren’t bothering him or his friends, so his friends should leave them alone. In the middle of the movie, Calogeros friends are sitting outside in their social group, and a couple of black boys on bicycles ride by on the street. Calogeros friends grab the boys off of their bicycles and beat them up.
The police come, and his friends run. Later that day, Calogero finds out that one of the boys that was beaten up was the brother of Jane; the girl that Calogero met on the bus. One of the final scenes in the movie shows the turbulence of the sixties, and what hatred went on between the races. Calogeros friends ride into the black part of town, and set fire to a store. As they ride away a black man throws a stick that is on fire into the car.
The boys have a flammable substance in the car, and the car explodes, and all of Calogeros friends are killed. I like this scene because it shows what happens when a dislike for someone goes too far. Calogeros friends didn’t like the black people because his friends were afraid they were going to take over the neighborhood. Their hate for these people went so far, that they wanted to kill them. Calogero’s friends were looking at guns one day, and one of the boys picked up a gun saying “I’m gonna shoot someone one day”. These boys were anxious to get these people out of the way, so they wouldn’t have to worry about them invading their neighborhood.
Romantic music is played as they walk down the street holding hands. The scene is very dark, with just the overhead street lights. Short dialogue, with no long speeches. Camera follows from the front of them, so they are walking towards the camera. Camera focuses on one person at a time as they speak. Jane reaches over to open car door in slow motion, when Calogero opens door for her, his shadow reflects on the car. Calogeros friends drive into neighborhood, shot comes from point of view of person driving car. All of sudden the music changes the James Brown. Music continues to play throughout the entire scene of store being shot at and torn up.
Many cuts throughout the scene of various places being destroyed. Many sound effects of broken glass, and shattering windows. Bright colors contrasted against the dark night sky. Colors of fire, and bright Tiffany’s lamps. As the fire comes into the car, there is slow motion. Continuous scene of guys on fire in the car, showing different angles, two shots of car exploding. Music changes, becomes very comber. Lights of police and ambulances fill the sky with colors of red and yellow. No structure of people, everyone together gathered in chaos.
The next scene I chose to do, is Lorenzo and Calogero on the bus. Calogero always used to ride the bus with his father, and this scene shows them going all the way to city island, which is the last stop. It shows them spending time together, and developes the father-son relationship even more. It is filmed on location as you see, the water and the boardwalk in the back round.. Soft music is playing. Calogero is the narrator during the scene. When riding in the bus, you have the window to look out of, and at the same time you have the mirror, to see what is passing by too. Back round music, now becomes the baseball game on the radio.
Shot of Lorenzo looking through mirror to see Sonny and his friends. Shot of Lorenzo and Johnny Whispers from overhead mirror on bus. Scene changes to nighttime, with Lorenzo and his wife on their terrace. Music plays softly, with the camera focusing on one person at a time. Shot goes inside house where you hear voices of people downstairs at funeral, and you see Calogero, but hear him as a narrator. Shot changes to Calogero in confession, shows gate between the priest and Calogero. The scene ends with Calogero running out of the Church, very happy that he got an easy punishment.