Sunday, October 9, 2011
Scene: http://youtu.be/SOES-dS0pG0 (wasn't letting me embed for some reason)
The scene starts out inside the church where Michael Corleone's son is being baptized. The traditional church organ is being played and the mood is solemn, one can sense the importance of the situation. Once the priest baptizing his son begins asking for Michael to confirm his faith to god, the parallel editing in the scene begins. As Michael is claiming his faith you begin to see his henchmen in various spots, preparing to kill rival gangmembers. The organ begins to get louder and more intense as the baby starts to cry. Then the priest asks, “Do you renounce satan?” The first kill is shown, then Michael replies, “ I do renounce him.” At this point the camera shows all the killings that Michaels henchmen are carrying out, while the dramatic organ from the church and the audio from the conversation between the priest and Michael is still playing. Every action in the scene coincides with another. As the priest prepares the baptism, the henchmen prepare the murders. As the baptism starts, and Michael renounces Satan, the murders start. As people leave the church, the henchmen leave the scenes of the crimes. The parallel editing in this scene makes it much more dramatic, because you are witnessing two opposite ends of the spectrum in Michael's life. The one side is the sacredness of the baptism of his son. The other side is the coldblooded nature of his mob life. Showing these two things at once create an ironic but powerful scene. The way that the scene was edited with the shots happening at the same time in the timeline of the film create a great effect.