The Months of November and December: Kiss of Death

Being that it’s New Years and I’m woefully behind on reviews, I feel compelled to deliver one last shot of the month for 2013. My last shot comes from the classic mobster picture The Godfather Part II, and wouldn’t you know it, the shot emanates from a New Years Eve party in the film. Talk about fantastic parallelism on my part! Anyways, the scene, which is a trademark moment in film history, finds a gravely disappointed Michael Corleone unearthing the culprit who put a hit on his life earlier in the film. The poor rat bastard set to meet death is Michael’s own brother Fredo. Juxtaposed against a jubilant backdrop, where the past is anxiously forgotten in a rush of booze and falling confetti, Michael metaphorically drains the blood he shares with his directionless brother, replacing love with venom. Michael’s departing kiss is tragic, as the  dear memories he shares with his brother are now useless. In many ways the party is effectively a funeral, as brotherly love suffocates and loneliness creeps up behind raucous cheers. Unlike the partygoers surrounding their showdown, the brothers realize  there’s no future to celebrate.

Cinematographer: Gordon Willis

Director: Francis Ford Coppola


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