Friday Film (75)

‘Two Situations, One Accompaniment’, I called the technique; and once last week’s posting had appeared, it wasn”t long at all before a far-away friend of mine was in touch to mention what he considered a memorable example of its use. “I immediately thought of the baptism scene in The Godfather…”, he wrote.

I hope that my early morning reply (I hadn’t even had my wake-up Mochaccino at that point) seemed appreciative enough; but the truth is that I did feel the need to maintain a certain level of ambiguity in the message I sent back.

You see, much as I love this scene as a masterly piece of film-making within a terrific movie full of marvellous scenes, I’m not at all certain that it can function as an example of what we are talking about here.

Yes, yes, I know: nothing is more boring than someone coming up with a concept or category of some kind and then always declaring that everyone else’s suggested examples are inadmissable for all manner of specially made-up reasons.  But I honestly don’t think that’s what I’m doing.

Let me prove this by opening the discussion to ‘the floor’ as it were — and asking you, the readers of this blog, how you would assess this particular scene as a possible example of ‘Two Situations, One Accompaniment’.

To begin with, here’s a reminder in the form of the operative bit of last week’s example (from The Fifth Element, you will recall):

If you remember last week’s posting, you’ll know that I felt a little uneasy about considering this scene an authentic example of our technique — because the music is actually seen being performed within one of the two filmed situations, which rather weakens the significance of the ‘fit’. But, all the same, I was impressed by the overall effect when I first saw the film, and I still quite like it now. And, whatever definitional reservations one might have, it is still most definitely an example of one piece of music and two situations.

Now have a look at the Godfather scene…

It will take me a little while to list all the things going on in that scene that require to be discussed with regard to the music and its treatment; so let me pause here until next Friday and allow interested readers to spend some time thinking about it for themselves.

Oh, and in case you are curious about what the film’s composer Nino Rota (1911–1979) originally produced for part of that scene, here is a track from the ‘Original Soundtrack Album’…

More on this, too, next week…


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