Monday, December 12, 2011


On the eighteenth Lynchian day of Christmas, we present Francis Ford Coppola's epic mafia picture and classic family drama The Godfather (1972). Several murders in the film take place around Christmas of 1945, and the film is listed as the all-time favorite of one of David Lynch's most significant cinematic inspirations, director Stanley Kubrick. Even David Lynch paid homage to The Godfather in Mulholland Dr. (2001) regarding mobsters pressuring a director to recast a significant role.
As demonstrated by The Conversation (1974) and the bizarre Vietnam war movie Apocalypse Now (1979), director Francis Ford Coppola has never shied away from getting under the skin of his characters with film abstraction and unsettling ambiguity. Now most people look to The Godfather as a perfect film, but during its production the studio executives considered Coppola's vision for the film to be on the fringe and they retained a backup director to standby on set throughout most of the filming, ready to take control of the production away from Coppola at a moment's notice.
Coppola's success with The Godfather opened doors within the studio system for other young directors of the era, namely George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, and Martin Scorsese. In many ways, The Godfather would be the most influential film of the last forty years, and shook up the old studio system that had become bogged down with rewarding directing jobs to those with seniority rather than those with the greatest talent. It is fair to say those trailblazing film students-turned-filmmakers helped forge a path that David Lynch was later able to take advantage of when given the reins to The Elephant Man (1980), who at that point had relatively little experience in Hollywood.

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