Through different forms of cinematography, along with different styles of rhetorical elements in dialogue, Copula was able to effectively portray the post- colonialism oppression against immigrants while explaining the necessary respect hen dealing with the Italian mafia in order to achieve an effective argument in this situation. When looking at American history, it becomes clear that immigrants came into America in waves and were discriminated against, due to the immense size of these immigration waves. During the early sass’s, Italy had the largest influx of immigrants coming into America at the time.
Because of this, many were discriminated against in terms of Jobs, housing, and medical care. To protect themselves from the outside world and create more Jobs for their relatives immigrating to America; the Italians name together to form the mafia. As explained by Karen Jeanne, “Copula’s Godfather epic may have had a richer miss en scene and grander ambitions-?the depiction of the immigrant, tribal Mafia’s evolution into a multinational corporation as a metaphor for the saga of Americanization” (Citron 423).
This means that this film was used to show the fact that even though the immigrants were against impossible odds, they used teamwork and loyalty to still strive to the top. This is the “American dream” adopted by many immigrants, but is risky because of the level of illegal activity. The mafia was used for organized crime creating a new market for revenue that did not exist prior because it was illegal activity. In the film, Vito Cicerone is the don of the mafia and is portrayed as a man who has morals. At the same time, he will do anything for the good of the mafia itself.
He is shown as a man who deserves to be feared and respected through his actions on screen. He does this by explaining how he should be approached and is implied by the extent of his power. Copula’s style of cinema can be observed through a post-colonialism lens that is seen wrought the duration of the film dealing with oppression of these immigrants. In the first scene of The Godfather, a man tries to convince Vito Cicerone to put a hit out on some men that beat up his daughter when she refused to have sex with them.
At first the man explains his story and he describes how he is being taken advantage by the American government because he is an immigrant. This is showing the post-colonialism lens that Copula is trying to implement in the film because many immigrants felt like they were discriminated against. The explanation the man ivies is very sad and appeals to pathos because of how much emotion the man uses. Vito Cicerone responds by being very cold and explaining that the man is not his friend, but only comes to him when he needs a favor.
He goes onto say that he has priorities over this issue because it is the day of his daughter’s wedding. Vito Cicerone explains that the man should have come to him first instead of the police. This shows that he believes the mafia is more powerful and more effective at getting things done compared to the police. The man consistently says he wants Justice for he actions done against his daughter, but Vito Cicerone is very logical in his responses. He says that his daughter was not killed so it is not Justice to kill these men. The man then asks him to make them suffer instead because that is more logical.
Vito Cicerone states many problems he has with the conversation he is having with the man in many different subtle ways, and eventually the man slowly begins to pick up on them. He is forced to do what he asks, complies, and is able to get what he wants because he has given the respect that Vito Cicerone deserves. At iris the man is all business, but he does not realize that Vito Cicerone wants respect. There are many problems with the way the man handles the situation: he does not call him Godfather, he consistently asks how much he needs to pay, and he does not try to be his friend, but tries to make it a business transaction.
He finally realizes at the end of the scene that he needs to: call him Godfather, kiss his ring, show respect, become a friend to Vito Cicerone, and because of this, he is even able to get this favor done for free. The scene is showing how the man grows as a person throughout heir conversation. It could be said that he has never gone through this type of thing before and is not sure how to handle it. Once he stops appealing to emotion and stops being emotional altogether, he is able to get what he wants.
In Italian immigrant’s times of need due to oppression, they would go to Vito Cicerone for help rather than taking normal actions because they knew that he could get things done. The opening scene of The Godfather is mainly affected by a tone of fear from the initial man on the screen, due to his demeanor and the lighting. The frame starts out in an extremely dimly lit room and is almost black except for the top half of a man in a black suit. As the camera slowly pans outward, the audience sees more of an office that has more black in the background, the back of Vito Coroner’s head, and half of his office desk.
This is showing that this is an office of business and issues presented at this place are taken very seriously. The first form of lighting happens when the frame is changed to the view of looking into the face of Vito Cicerone. He looks upset, UT the light protruding behind him makes it seem as if he is the man of solutions and is a contrast to the sad man who is almost completely covered in darkness from the beginning of the scene. Consistently throughout the scene when the focus is on the original man, the lighting is dark and seems focused from above due to one strong light on the top of his head.
This highlights the desperation of the man and shows he has nowhere else to turn. When the focus is on Vito Cicerone, the room is a better-lit frame and it is portraying him as the man to turn to when one’s life is in humbles. One of the biggest influences of tone in a film are the camera angles and the way things are presented on the screen. In The Godfather in particular, the camera starts close in on a man who is depressed about his daughter getting beaten up and slowly pans outward. It pans out until it is an over the shoulder view of Vito Cicerone where one can see his desk, his right hand, and the right side of the back of his head.
The slow outward pan keeps the main man in focus, but shows that he is not what is important in the scene because it seems he is talking to an authority figure. The view is also slightly downwards, which makes it seem as if the man is not as important as whooper’s shoulder the audience is looking over. The frame shifts to the face of Vito Cicerone contemplating the man’s offer. When this happens, it is apparent that Cicerone is a very serious businessman because of his consistent frown, and obvious need for respect.
The frame changes to a full view of the office, which shows the fancy wooden desks and the rest of the dark room. This explains the importance and the high-class lifestyle of Vito Cicerone. The angle then closes too view of Just Cicerone explaining himself to show the intensity of the situation. From this point, Vito Cicerone stands up and walks the man out of his office. The view from this moving panel helps show his change of heart because they have made headway in their relationship together and then he shows him out of his office to end the scene.
This scene depicts the conversation between a man that is overcome with emotions because of his daughter’s situation, and his encounter with Vito Cicerone. Although the rhetorical argument the man gives is successful eventually; throughout the scene he learns how to get what he wants by Vito Cicerone needing to walk him through the situation to make him give the argument effectively. The man grows during the conversation and becomes more logical in his approach, realizing that he has not shown respect to Vito Cicerone on multiple occurrences. Once the man corrects his ways and shows respect, Vito is able to help him with his situation.
This movie as a whole can be seen through a post-colonialism lens because there would e no reason for the man to come to Vito unless the police were discriminating against him. In addition, the man knows that Vito is a very important man and can get things done, due to his experience with organized crime. It is unclear what a critic might say about how this scene could get more effective, because every element is necessary in order to make the argument effective. In addition, Copula’s style of cinematography gives him the power to make the audience feel Just as intimidated as the man in the scene.