Monday, May 10, 2010

The Godfather

Amy White asked everyone on Facebook why do men like The Godfather so much. A few other women piped-in with yeah, what's with that, anyway. Amy White is a writer. She's a good enough one to where I said well I can answer that. A "good enough" writer to me means that I notice that she can figure everything out for herself, from what I've seen. If she's stuck on something - being the good writer that she is - I have a duty to get her moving-along on this if I can. So I will.
Here's the deal on The Godfather. It's the American Western brought into the city. Except it's not the lone cowboy fighting against injustice and winning the West and taking care of business with a gun, it's now a band of Lone Cowboys taking-on the smothering by The Law of the America that The Cowboy won. Now it's impossible to set-aside the cast of talent that was involved in this. It was like everyone in it was determined to do their best and work as a team: just as the Mob itself does. There is never one boring moment even when nothing is happening: there's just too many people personally capable of monopolizing the screen with their "presence." Marlon Brando is chasing some kid around in the tomatoes and you can't take your eyes off him. He's like a kindly grampa but he's making horrible monster sounds and trying to laugh - like it's an alien experience to him. In fact it kills him. His one Normal Human Moment and he drops dead from the strain. Him and Richard Conte in a different scene are talking to each other in two simple chairs like two evil emperors but neither one is acting tough. Brando actually picks some lint off Conte's trouser knee. It's the most important confrontation in the whole two movies, these two malevolent entities of immense power and one is grooming the other - like two mighty primates - calmly. In fact it's the more dangerous of the two acting subservient. The whole movie is like this. So it's done really well for one thing. For another thing it's Male Bonding on a dramatic scale. Most of it involving members of the same family. Talk about American Family Values. The work-a-day-world of organized crime is never shown. Loan sharks, pushers, enforcers, take-overs, hijackings, union shennanigans, are never shown or discussed. It's all upper level politics. It's executive-level competition in the only actual free-enterprise entity left in America: the black market. It's about enterprising Americans dedicated to delivering products to customers. This is never made explicit, this is me talking. But it's part of the subconcious attraction that men feel toward this play. And The Godfather is basically a dramatic presentation of how choices have to be made and the consequences of them. It's a presentation of a successful Free Enterprise at constant war not only with competitors but with a Government that has taken the Moral High Ground even though by its nature it is more corrupt than the Mob. By it's very nature. The government has no product. The government has no service. The government just confiscates. The Mob negotiates. And in the movie the Mob moves the Feds around on the chessboard with cunning while the Government can only succeed by out and out attack and eradication and confiscation. Of the two mobs the Italian one is the more noble. This is sensed by the average man. Though if you asked Mr 9-to-five "You like the Mafia?" he'll go o lord no they are terrible people and then he's alone watching The Godfather for the fiftieth time and he doesn't know why. Men also notice that the Mob "job" is one where you don't get fired because you are an asset. You get promoted. And if you're worthless you get killed. There's no backstabbing. Because all charges are investigated very effectively and without the person being investigated even knowing it's happening. For another thing you have to be "manly" to be in the Mob. You have to fight. You have to brawl. You have to risk. You can't say that's not my department. You can't say oh that was Sam's fault. Everything is your department. Everything is your fault. You have to make real tough decisions that your life hinges on every day.
You don't have the option of "going to the authorities;" you either ARE the authority in your own little cubicle or you're a corpse.
You don't get fired for making a bad decision if you are up front about it. You are corrected. And then sent off to make more decisions. The rules don't change from day to day like in a "lawful" job. You don't get transferred. You don't get an annual appraisal. You dont pay taxes. There's no paperwork. In fact if you're keeping files you get killed. You have to have a brain filled with facts and data. You have to be, in other words, a superior employee. A Mob guy working at a restaurant would have half the customers beaten up for being pricks to the help and then half the help would be beaten up for being worthless. The Mob guy would then hire new people off the street just by looking at them. He could tell the worthless "applicants" from the superior ones without an interview or a resume. That's how it is in the Mob. And then there's the gunplay. Guys like that in movies. But it's never haphazard in The Godfather. It's orchestrated. Because it's Against The Law. There isn't even one pair of exposed tits in either movie and nobody cares. A movie has to be a damn good one to play that game, the no cheesecake game. It hardly has any females in it at all in fact. There is only one male-female back-story going on at all and that is with the heir apparent and his wife. And he chooses his job over his wife. Men like that. Men would prefer their wife be behind them in their work, to be like a crazed feral dog defending her den regarding her man. But if he has to choose, he chooses the job. At least in THIS movie. He damn well better in that line of work. Also everyone dresses really well. Really good Italian suits. I hope this has been helpful to you Amy, goodnight and have a pleasant tomorrow. Give my worst to your mom.


At May 10, 2010 at 11:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello~Nice to meet you~..................................................

At May 13, 2010 at 1:26 PM , Blogger Backwater said...

Trouble with laughing is people can hear you. Pfffft. Can you hear me now?

At August 28, 2012 at 11:28 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday... who the fuck is this backwater prick anyway?


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