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Today, John Presnall and I complete our discussion of The Godfather. We look at how Part II reverses the structure of the original–we move from a young Michael and adult Vito to the reverse. Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola thus complete the portrayals of the two generations. Then we also discuss the all-American story of the immigrant Corleone family, of making it in New York, moving out West, and going international in Cuba. The Corleones rehearse American history and this changes the non-American Sicilian principle of “True Friendship” Vito tries to adapt to the New World.
Next week, we’ll be publishing our discussion of The Godfather: Part III, the necessary tragic conclusion of the trilogy, and also the confrontation of Old World and New World within the Corleone family and enterprise. It’s a great movie, to be sure, and you’re in for a treat, but it is a movie apart, with no structural relation to the previous two. More on that next week.
Of course, I have also interviewed Prof. Paul Rahe for the Middlebrow series of the podcast, on The Godfather, and he brings the historian’s and student of political philosophy’s perspective to the ancient politics of the Corleones and the modern politics of America.
And in our Critic series, after the first interview with the counter-cultural conservative critic Armond White, which was very well received, I’m happy to say, we will follow up early next week with another interview with Armond White! We will discuss his Better Than list, a tradition of over a dozen years now, showcasing movies that deserve more attention than the favorites of the strangely liberal cultural press.
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