For The Film Experience, I took part in this week’s edition of “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” in which you pick your favorite shot from a chosen film. This edition covers Frances Ford Coppola’s 1972 masterpiece The Godfather.
I love how the entire film is shot, but I wanted to focus on this particular conversation between Michael and Vito Corleone. Michael and Vito are sitting beside each other, facing one another. But, Vito comes closer to relay his sadness that Michael has to join the family business. Instead of facing him directly, Vito sits back in a chair facing away from Michael and turns his head back towards him. Michael meanwhile has to sit up in a chair to come face-to-face with his father.
Vito, looking older than he ever has, shrouded in shadow, gets to relax in his chair, but is still uncomfortable with the angle. Michael meanwhile is brightly lit, sitting at attention, and unrelaxed, but shows a sharpness in his eyes. Michael is listening to what his father is saying, but he isn’t really paying attention. Vito conveys his final failure as a father while Michael accepts this reality as the only truth that matters.
It is a scene that signifies passing the torch, but Vito still physically dominates Michael. Vito peers directly at Michael, while Michael looks off in the background.
The film is currently streaming on VOD.
Feel free to play along yourself here or using the hashtag #BestShot.