Motto: C'e la luna mezz'a mare, mamma mia me maretare!
I've seen this filmi a coupla decades ago. Everyone was enamoured with it, I thought it pretty stupid but didn't say anything. I've watched it again yesterday. Everyone is still enamoured with it, I still think it's pretty stupid. I'm saying something this time.
First off, the celebrated Puzzo novel makes absolutely no fucking sense. It's a pile of contradictory crap. Consider : this putative don, essentially a rewrite of Calogero Vizzini except transplanted "to America"ii, holds his mafioso activities in little regard and aims to integrate himself in actual high society (that's the significance of the gubernatorial aspirations for his sons etc). That's the playbookiii. Nevertheless, in a dispute between a young dicklet without any serious profession and an established man of affluence, the don favours the young dicklet. Why ? Makes no sense, no fucking hardcore ET don of the 1940s was EVER going to side with a young man fucking an old man's teenaged piece of ass. Ever. Evvvvvvvver.iv
This putative don, that's a man of honor, that then takes the side of a contemptible shitclod that cries like a woman in his presence (never, you hear me ? nevvvvvvvvvverrrrrr!) in a dispute with another actual man of honor nevertheless treats some Turkish darkiev as if he were his peer.
But wait, there's more! Who has all the judges and politicians in New York floating about in his pocket like so many nickles and dimes ? Oh, I dunno, the FUCKING FIVE NEW YORK FAMILIES, PERHAPS ?! Nope. Midwestern Don Derpiglione. Why ? Because Deux Ex Fucking Puzzina, that's why. Director said so, that's how it is. Sense ? What sense! So why are they the five New York Families then ? Perhaps they should be the Five New Jersey families ? You know, the Barzini family, the Appleseed family (run by Johnny), the Kid family (run by Billy), the Boone family (run by Daniel) and the Crockett family (run by David). The five mobster families of the American Sicily, an island off the coast of Kentucky Bay in Sacramento. Stop asking so many questions, stop expecting things to make sense, stop wanting anyone to have done any reading or comprehend anything. Puzzochukcha no reader. Puzzochukcha writer!
In short, the nonsense in this blenderized product is staggering, I don't recall ordering word salad and I can hardly even recognize these mangled, battered pieces of other stories in all the sauce. Mario Puzzo puts himself in the situation of a waiter who delivers your order of lobster in the shape of a pile of lobster eyes and eyestalks, somehow inexplicably still animated. That's not food, but a natural curiosity, and this is not literature, but a commercial Frankenstein - and somebody really saved on the electric current, too!
Second off, the actors can't act! I don't mean a little, I mean a fucking lot. Yes Brando has the cunning audacity to prop his entirely absent gift with distractions - but that whitewash worked a fuckload of a lot better when he was raping Maria Schneider's juicy behindvi than it does here with all the bizarro hand gestures and body positionings. Diane Keaton apparently thinks herself in some sort of Dallas, playing Pamela Ewing or some shit. Al Pacino is burried under so much inept bullshit he can't even be seen. (In fact everyone fucking dying is the best thing that could have happened under the circumstances, with a crew like that the only good thing to do is kill the lot).
Third off... no but seriously. There's no third off. Just a stupid story put up by a second rate crew. I've seen highschool productions of better value - at least those chicks were sluttish, and eager. It's something.
Something a damned sight more than The Derpfather.———
- The Godfather 1972, by Francis Ford Coppola, with Marlon Brando, Al Pacino. [↩]
- Where ? The midwest, somewhere, right ? Because why ? Right. [↩]
- To understand each other : mafia existed in Sicily for very good historical reasons : it's a fucking island. As such, it's behind the mainland. Italy was a backwards shithole all through its post Odoacer history (it still is exactly that, today - a part of Europe like I'm part of the choir invisible), and so the poor island was still essentially feudal in 1848, at a point when capitalism was already centuries old. The reverberations of emergent capitalist work ethics and societal forms of organisation against the strong walls of feudal institutions and the narrow edges of the tiny island resulted in a particular institution, very much akin the Frontier cowboy. You needed men to uphold your rights in Sicily much the same way you needed men to uphold your rights in Californy or Arizony (or later the Ozarks). An' those men did the same things, essentially.
The Godfather'd have been much more honest, and thus an actual piece of literature, had it been plainly the story of Vail and the Empire ranch, fightin' that damn Injun varmint. Instead it gets to be the very contorted story of "Vail had he been Italian so Marlon Brando's bad English can be magicked away, and magically stuck in town because tumbleweeds aren't fashionable to the intended demo". I'd rather read the Celebrated Story of the 400 Jumping Short Stories Of Calaveras, myself, rather than this abomination stitched together by an overenthusiastic undertaker out of a day's worth of butcher's and fishmonger's offal. [↩]
- We're leaving aside the issue of whether a Sicilian would have even killed a horse. [↩]
- You have no idea. If even for a second you imagine a Sicilian of the period would classify in his own private Natural History the Turks above the frogs and the lizards you have absolutely no idea. You might as credibly propose that the old man was fond of giving himself a prostate massage every morning, with a stretcher dildo shaped like San' Francesco. [↩]
- Yes, that's exactly rape. The girl had no idea she was getting done in the ass. Nobody did. It was a spur of the moment thing, an idea that occured to Brando as he was handling a stick of butter. The girl didn't find an effectual way to say no in time, and so she got buttfucked, with the cameras rolling, for your private enjoyment. That's rape you're seeing there, and it doesn't really look all that bad, either, does it. [↩]