• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

After examining the opening scene of "The Godfather" (Dir. Francis Ford Coppola, 1972) discuss how the director engages and holds our attention.

Extracts from this document...


After examining the opening scene of "The Godfather" (Dir. Francis Ford Coppola, 1972) discuss how the director engages and holds our attention. The beginning of the film "The Godfather" opens with a black screen, alternating with the introduction and the title. The change from the blank screen to the headings is slow and dignified. The blackness suggests death, darkness and night and therefore the audience knows straight away that it is a serious film. The stark, sharp contrast of the black background and the white titles gives an impression of hardness, there is nothing frivolous about the opening of this film and at this point the audience should have realised that the content of the film will be solemn and thought-provoking rather than casual and light hearted. When the first title appears the lack of colour again emphasises the serious tone of the film. The lack of the colour/visual stimuli all add to the sombre mood of the opening of the film. The audience hear a character's voice before they see him. ...read more.


The audience is aware that the mere presence of this man commands respect. He simply moves his hand slightly and out of the shadows a character gives Bonasera a drink and then merges back into the shadows. At this point the audience would be in suspense wondering what Don Corleone's reaction to the request will be. Also they would be eager to see what this character looks like. When the mise-en-scene changes to reveal a view of the Godfather's study the audience's impression would have changed from the opening shot. It is now obvious that this is not simply one character speaking his thoughts aloud. It is not a character in a court scene pleading for a fair trial. It is a Sicilian asking a favour from a powerful fellow Sicilian because the so-called American justice has let him down. The study itself gives the feeling of opulence and the shuttered window and figures hidden in the shadows give the audience an uneasy, threatening feeling. ...read more.


This shows that he does have men who, if instructed, would murder others for him. He grants people wishes because it is his daughter's wedding day, this must mean that he has the power and the means to do these favours for people. Minor actions in this scene also show the power of the Godfather such as a simple flick of the fingers and a drink is brought. When he stands up and moves around the room the men come out of the shadows and follow him, he grants the wishes and he gives the orders. He is calm and in control at all times he listens carefully and, when he feels ready he gives him a reply. He does not raise his voice but he remains in control throughout the scene. Overall, the opening scene to "The Godfather" is very effective because it sets the tone for the rest of the play. We meet the main character who "pulls the strings." It makes the viewer aware that there are two kinds of justice, firstly the American judicial system, which let Bonasera down, and the Mafia system of justice. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Plays section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Plays essays

  1. How do Peter Benchley and Steven Spielberg build up tension and suspense in the ...

    Her screaming and splashing that is caused by the panic is backed up by the intense "Jaws" music with screeching violins. She is jerked downwards under the water but the camera remains on the surface of the water, to make the audience feel like they are there and fully involved.

  2. Film Studies The Studio System

    also able to maximise income on B-movies by a practice known as "block booking". Basically once a studio had finished running a film in it's own studios that film was then available for other chains. In order to secure the rights to show an A-movie these other chains had to buy a package of this movie and multiple B-films.

  1. How does the director manipulate the audience’s reactions in the court scene of the ...

    The director has also put Craig and Bentley behind a high railing, this makes it seem as if their fate is already sealed, that they are already behind bars and this fact makes the audience feel pity for both Craig and Bentley.

  2. 12 angry men is a production about a murder trial.

    Luke played this character and I think he did a good job he had a good old mans voice. His characterisation was good he remained in his seat for the majority of the play which is what the old man did.

  1. How successfully do you think Tom Hanks engages the sympathy of the audience as ...

    Forrest has few friends through the years. The very best friend that Forrest had was Jenny; when no one would let Forrest sit next to them, the only person that did let him sit down was Jenny. Jenny and Forrest were meeting up more often, so they were best friends.

  2. Analyse and compare the opening sequences of 'The Bill' and 'Murder City'.

    'The Bill' has a musical piece that catches attention. The music is like a catalyst that makes the audience feel that the characters of 'The Bill' are like them and have similar lives and problems. They can then easily get adjusted into the atmosphere of 'The Bill'. 'Murder City', however, begins with calm and normal sounds that suddenly turn loud and pumping.

  1. How does the Director encourage the audience to feel sympathy for Derek and his ...

    The shouting character is later revealed to be Iris Bentley, Derek's sister. The family then dig Derek from the rubble, and the camera switches to a close-up shot of Derek's face. He seems to be having some sort of fit, and the camera persists in showing the audience the character suffering.

  2. In this coursework assignment I will be analysing and reviewing the effectiveness of two ...

    It is clear from this that Jimmy gave up on his childhood dream and has found himself working in a dingy, dirty factory doing manual labour, a far cry from playing football. This is clever as it makes the viewer frustrated, it was made clear Jimmy has the skills but

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work