Anyway it's The Godfather, Francis Ford Coppola's magnum opus about the importance of not forgetting the cannoli. Now I should pause at this moment to point something out: If a film is very long, it's going to have more 30-minute chunks, and therefore more stills in the 30MFFC. And as EVERY still has to impress, longer films stand less chance of passing. Just something to contemplate when suggesting potential test subjects. OK, that said...
0:30:00 Here's Jack Woltz steadfastly, and perhaps ill-advisedly, refusing to give Johnny Fontane a part in his film. His horse is just out of shot, begging him to give the bugger the role. This shot's alright isn't it? God knows what he's wearing though.
1:00:00 Oh dear. Here's Michael visiting his Dad, only to discover that all the guards have suspiciously been given the early off. Unbearably tense scene; boring shot.
1:30:00 Here's the Don being told how the family business is going down the crapper. In the spirit of the rest of The Godfather's cinematography, it's moody, low-key and leaning towards darkness, not unlike the Corleone family. It also shows off Brando's flabby jowls, which is nice.
2:00:00 Here we are in lovely Sicily, where cinematographer Gordon Willis ditches his muted browns and greys for bright, sharp golden sunny delights. And look, there's Michael's great pal Fabrizio wondering how to blow up his boss's wife! Smile for the camera Fabrizio, you're on the 30MFFC!
2:30:00 The Godfather bows out of the 30MFFC in style. Here's Tom watching his Don being buried while Michael's beadies are on the treacherous mafiosi hanging around at his Dad's funeral like flies round a dead horse's head. This shot doesn't just look great but - in context - tells us a coffinload about the characters to boot.
Sorry Mr Tittlewhistle, but it was pretty much Game Over from the second shot. While The Godfather is exceptionally beautifully shot, especially considering its ugly subject matter, even it can't get past the viciously tough judges of the 30MFFC. Maybe choose something shorter next time people; after all three of these stills might have passed, but the other two let them down with their gloomy corridors and peasants staring at the ground.
So come on, what's next?
"Leave the gun, take the cannoli" by Tim Doyle
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