HIDDEN GEMS: 3. THE GODFATHER

Hidden Gems is brings to light little known filmic gems and rarities that have somehow managed to slip through the collective cinematic consciousness. This week The Godfather. You’re welcome.

There have been some great films made about the Mafia. Analyze That, Oscar, Billy Bathgate. It’s impossible to measure the profound effect those classics have had on the genre but way back in the early 70s, a small time director called Francis Ford Coppola was living on stale bread dipped in week old pasta sauce and attempting to make the ultimate mobster movie.
As it turned out,  he accidentally ended up making the most expensive wedding video of all time but you can understand his decision to push the gangster stuff into the background. Brando turned up on set mumbling with his cheeks full of cotton wool after slicing his gums when he put a whole pie in his mouth and forgot to take it off the plate. Then they couldn’t get Redford or Nicholson to play the lead role of Michael so at the last minute Francis grabbed a random hippy called Al Pacino off the street, strategically shaved him and pushed the poor guy in front of a camera.
It’s difficult to find a review of the film online but after days of searching I found one reference in the Maryland Chronicle that describes Pacino’s performance as being like “A girl getting fingered for the first time in the back of her boyfriend’s Buick”. In hindsight that was a little unfair on Al but that one review knocked his confidence and he faded into obscurity. Rumour has it he’s now running a car rental business in the Bahamas.
Anyway, it’s well shot and the soundtrack is catchy enough. It would probably have worked better as a TV movie rather than a full-length feature and it’s a shame Coppola never got to make a sequel. If you’d like to buy a copy it’s only available on VHS but there’s a Facebook Campaign to get it released on DVD. The page only has 13 likes though so you might be waiting a while.

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THE GODFATHER TRILOGY 3D











SAN FRANCISCO – Wine connoisseur and occasional director Francis Ford Coppola, has sensationally revealed he has finished remastering The Godfathertrilogy and 3D versions of his epic saga will be released back to back in summer 2013.

We caught up with Francis in his vineyard to chat about his return to the House of Corleone.

Mr Coppola. How long have you been working on the project?

That’s an interesting question. About 15 minutes.

15 minutes ?

Yes about that. I was amazed actually I heard James Cameron worked on Avatar for 10 years so I was prepared for a long haul but it was a remarkably easy process.

But the trilogy is around nine hours long. Surely the conversion process takes months, if not years to complete?

What do you mean by conversion?

I mean the rendering, the rotoscoping, the CGI etc.

Sorry I don’t know what any of those things are. Technology has advanced since I was in my heyday and though I respect film makers who utilise the modern gadgets. I prefer to use traditional methods.

Such as?

I just ordered a shipment of 3D glasses on the Internet. The producer of Wrath of the Titans was selling them on E-bay and I got a really good deal.

That’s great, but what have you done to the film itself to convert it from 2D to 3D?

What the hell are you talking about man? I’ve not touched the original films; they’re perfect the way they are. Why would you need to do that anyway when all you have to do is put on a pair of glasses and hey presto, instant 3D?!

Well I’m sorry Mr Coppola but simply watching the film through a pair of 3D glasses will distort the image and make the picture unwatchable. You have to convert the film itself!

You’re F*cking kidding me right?

Unfortunately not.

But George Lucas told me all you have to do is buy a load of glasses and the audience ‘imagines’ the movie is in 3D!

I fear Mr Lucas was playing a practical joke on you.

Oh F*ck me. I thought I heard him giggling in the background when I called Spielberg to tell him the release dates. What the f*ck am I going to do now? The studio is expecting the films next summer. They’ve designed a poster and everything!

You could try converting the film.

That would take millions of dollars and years to complete. I don’t have that kind of cash.

It seems like you’re in quite the pickle Mr Coppola. Thanks for the interview and good luck.

Wait!. Do you know anyone who wants to buy 800,000 pairs of 3D glasses?. I’ll knock 10% off!

The Godfather Trilogy 3D will not be released in Summer 2013