Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Silent Controlled Fury

For all my love of cinema there were titles and trends that I've purposely ignored. Some I probably rightly intuited my disinterest in and others possibly because they were just too obvious. There were a few times I came around to watching some of the films I originally dismissed and then genuinely enjoyed them (I went through film school completely ignoring the French New Wave, only to become a late convert). So a couple of winters back, I thought, "What the heck," got out a bottle of red wine and watched The Godfather. I'm not a fan of mob movies or male-centered films where women seem to barely have supporting roles. The Godfather is all of those things but I still enjoyed it- and I especially liked The Godfather 2. I adore Diane Keaton and appreciate her in the Godfather films, but as Michael Corleone pushes her away, we don't see her as much. She had a strong monologue in Godfather 2 though- the "Our marriage is an abortion" scene.
What I liked the most and what surprised me, was Al Pacino's performance. I guess I was used to his louder, expressive performances like in Scarface or Scent of a Woman.

I didn't know he could be so quiet.

Quiet, controlled. There was so much weight and power to his portrayal of Michael Corleone. He was this imposing magnet that the camera, the supporting characters and the viewer gravitate towards. It's actually one of my favorite performances. It taught me a lot about acting and the comportment of the silent actor.