Once every week or so, I look to the classics. Specifically, I look at the classics from the angle of the visual.
When I set out to do these posts, I’ll skim through the film and earmark interesting shots. Sometimes these shots are iconic, but more often than not they are more fleeting moments. On several occasions, these moments might not immediately identify what film they are from. However, as I look at these films in this way, I’m struck by many thoughts. While these thoughts begin with the story unfolding on-screen, they soon drift into our reality and our history – which is the power of film. It has the ability to take us out of cinemas and living rooms and out into the bigger collective, and sometimes it can do this with something as simple as one great shot.
Today marks the fiftieth image in the series, and in honour of the half-century mark, I decided to keep it simple: I’ve gone with my favorite shot from my favorite classic. There are dozens of other iconic shots from THE GODFATHER that I could have chosen, but for me, so much about America is said in this one frame.
All around it is the untamed natural environment it came from. Front and centre is one of the game-changing inventions that made it great. Inside of said invention, we have a glimpse of the violence that has defined it for more than 200 years. In the background, the promise of what it could be, what it wants to be, and what so many want to deny it being.
I could write volumes on what else this shot makes me think about in relation to America, and that’s without even getting to the classic line that punctuates this scene. But if you’ll permit me, I’ll just leave this shot to speak for itself.
This isn’t my most popular series of posts on this site, so if you’ve ever dropped by and read my thoughts on these slivers of classic film I’m deeply thankful.
In lieu of the usual “three more”, here are the previous forty-nine for the road. Click any one of them to jump to its original post and read my thoughts…
This collection of fifty images is inspired by the “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” series at The Film Experience. Do check out all of the awesome entires in their series so far