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The Language of Film

The Language of Film in The Godfather

Rowe Center

Image detail of artwork representing the lecture
Andrew Douglas - Image of the lecturer in a promotional photo
Feb 12, 10:00am
Rowe Center 10:00am
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Language of Film
The Language of Film in The Godfather

Artis—Naples Lifelong Learning

Andrew J. Douglas, Ph.D., Deputy Director, Bryn Mawr Film Institute

Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 masterpiece based on co-screenwriter Mario Puzo’s blockbuster novel is routinely praised as a family saga of Shakespearean grandeur, a uniquely American tale that paints a flaws-and-all portrait of our nation, a sterling exemplar of cinematic storytelling and a cultural touchstone. Yet what most people don’t think about — or aren’t aware of — is that The Godfather could not be any of these things without first being a compendium of finely executed film techniques. In this lecture, we will examine clips from The Godfather to gain both a better understanding of editing, cinematography and more — and a greater appreciation of the film. Surely, we’ve made you an offer you can’t refuse.

This presentation is part of Andrew Douglas's Language of Film series.

Andrew J. Douglas

Andrew J. Douglas

Andrew J. Douglas, Ph.D., is the deputy director at Bryn Mawr Film Institute (BMFI), a nonprofit film center outside Philadelphia. Previously, he was BMFI’s founding director of education, having joined the organization in July 2005, four months after its opening. He also educates thousands of students about film each year through classroom visits and during field trips to BMFI, and he presents film lectures and programs to thousands of adults at a range of institutions and organizations in the region.

Douglas has spoken at several colleges and universities, including Bryn Mawr, Penn State, Muhlenberg, Johns Hopkins and Yale. He has also been invited to give talks before a few of Philadelphia’s artistic and cultural organizations, including University of Pennsylvania’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, the Institute of Contemporary Art and The Philadelphia Orchestra. In addition, he has taught classes in partnership with the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Douglas greatly enjoys the films of Alfred Hitchcock, David Fincher, David Mamet and Michael Mann, and he counts among his all-time favorites The Awful Truth (1937), Strangers on a Train (1951), The Untouchables (1987), The Last of the Mohicans (1992), The Fugitive (1993) and The Social Network (2010). He has held a real Oscar, been used as an excuse for his grandmother to meet Robert Redford and was dressed down by Harrison Ford, whom Douglas still thinks is America’s greatest living movie star.

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