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Author Topic: The Godfather vs. OUATIA  (Read 28082 times)
Two Kinds of ...
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« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2004, 02:05:58 PM »

Leone is a better director than FFC.  Though he's pretty much better than everyone, as great as the first two Godfather's are, they would have looked better with Sergio calling the shots.

I love the Gangster movie genre and if you aren't comfortable with moral relativism, I could see where you wouldn't like it.

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« Reply #16 on: November 14, 2004, 07:03:40 AM »

leone has never regretted the choice of doing ouatia. He only said that he regretted to have refused to do the godfather, because he could have done something great, especially with the second one. I think he told that to a french journalist, probably one of the cahiers du cinema, i'll have to check (i have the cahiers du cinema in which he has been interviewed)... or may be in noel simsolo's book "conversation with sergio leone". But i'm pretty sure he was speaking to a french...
It's not in Conversation with Leone, which is a good book...  Wink

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« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2004, 10:48:15 AM »

Never can decide between THE GODFATHER or OUATIA. Both of them add so much to cinema that they could be/and are used as yardsticks.
To be honest, my favorite "mafia/organised crime" movie of all time is the much neglected ERNEST BORGNINE starrer from 1960 titled PAY OR DIE. An excellent piece of work directed by RICHARD WILSON. Would love to get hold of a DVD copy. Maybe i'll ask Santa!

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« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2004, 12:16:27 PM »

Never can decide between THE GODFATHER or OUATIA. Both of them add so much to cinema that they could be/and are used as yardsticks.
To be honest, my favorite "mafia/organised crime" movie of all time is the much neglected ERNEST BORGNINE starrer from 1960 titled PAY OR DIE. An excellent piece of work directed by RICHARD WILSON. Would love to get hold of a DVD copy. Maybe i'll ask Santa!
I've never seen it, but Borgnine really tends to bug me.  He was great in From Here to Eternity but he kills The Dirty Dozen and The Wild Bunch with his ridiculos takes and "winks" at the camera.  Ugh!  I hope he was better in Pay or Die.

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« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2004, 10:49:18 PM »

Maybe the problem is that gangsters are not admirable and that movies that try to make them attractive can only do so by being dishonest about the kind of people they are. You can only enjoy a film like Godfather if you like Michael, but sons of real Godfathers are never likeable.

The strength of OUATIA is that you don't have to like the gangsters in it to enjoy the film.

very good point!

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« Reply #20 on: November 23, 2004, 06:31:23 AM »

Maybe the problem is that gangsters are not admirable and that movies that try to make them attractive can only do so by being dishonest about the kind of people they are. You can only enjoy a film like Godfather if you like Michael, but sons of real Godfathers are never likeable.

The strength of OUATIA is that you don't have to like the gangsters in it to enjoy the film.
Interesting point, but I can't totally agree with you there.
You don't have to like Michael to enjoy The Godfather. I don't like him, but he does fascinate me. As does, for instance Tony Soprano, a character which I like and severely dislike at the same time. This ambiguity is part of what draws me...

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« Reply #21 on: November 25, 2004, 10:10:43 PM »

that is the difference... not only do i dislike them... they disinterest me as well because to me they are shallow, pointless stereotypes... and don't take that the wrong way... i love a good deep stereotypical character... i'm no idiot... i know stereotypes are needed in many characters... these two you speak of are just not good interesting characters in my opinion

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« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2004, 03:35:16 PM »

 I think OUATIA is more emotional. It pulls sensible strings like nostalgia of chilhood, lost friendship, time wich passes. Sex also... OUTIA is more inherent to human nature. I don't feel really strong emotions when I see the Godfather, this world seems artificial to me. Anyway I should watch the Godfather again. The Godfather has more documentary ambitions than OUTIA. But I don't know, there is something in the Godfather that doesn't get me in. When I see it, I feel I'm just watching a movie and that's all. I feel the characters are more actors than charcaters, that everything is constructed. The quality of the image is sometimes questionnable, also. Even if OUTIA is not perfect, sometimes unbalanced (we don't see the attack of the bank for example), it speaks directly to the heart, to the ego, not GDF. The childood of OUTIA part justifies the movie by itself, it has something of beautiful.

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« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2005, 10:29:01 AM »

for no reason I''d just like to say that OUATIA is and always will be far superior to The Godfather...  Cool

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« Reply #24 on: January 27, 2005, 10:21:16 AM »

Both films are not even comparable. Once Upon a time in america although a bit unknown, it is by far a superior movie.

The Godfather was backed by a popular book, by Mario Puzo, OUTIA also based on a book, didn't actually had the publicity that the Godfather films had.

Remember also, that OUATIA is a film about Jewish gangsters, and as we know the Jewish religion in this country is very powerful.

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« Reply #25 on: January 27, 2005, 08:23:52 PM »

Remember also, that OUATIA is a film about Jewish gangsters, and as we know the Jewish religion in this country is very powerful.
  I'm not 100 percent sure what you were trying to say right there, but it kinda sounds as though you believe in the classic stereotype that Jews own hollywood.

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« Reply #26 on: January 28, 2005, 05:03:27 PM »

Im not saying it, it is a fact.

This film didnt get a sole nomination, it was omitted from the academy awards. Probably because the shortened version wasn't that good but everywhere in the world this film was seen as a masterpiece.

Leone had an standing ovation after seeing the movie in one of the film festivals over in europe I can't recall which one was.

But If you think this is bashing the jewish people, it is not, as you may know the Jewish community in the United States is a very successful comunity. They are very well economically, they have tremendous connections all around.

This film shows that there are some rotten apples in between them, probably they were insulted as the Italian American community was when the Godfather came out.

This movie is the best gangster movie ever existed, and probably one of the best in Film history. It just didn't get the popularity and the attention that should have had.

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« Reply #27 on: January 30, 2005, 11:07:38 PM »

I think we're straying a bit off topic, and so, in an attempt to steer us back on course....

The Godfather isn't worthy to change the bed pans of OUATIA. TG is a fundamentally dishonest film. It follows the standard loss-of-innocence template, the one where the audience is supposed to feel keenly the protagonist's fall from grace.

Trouble is, this movie is about a gangster's son. His very existence is grounded in corruption, and we're supposed to believe that a gangster's son can begin life in a state of innocence? If Puzo/Coppola had given us a gangster's son modeled on the real children of such people, the movie as it exists would not have been possible. So instead, they gave us Michael, the mafia boy with a heart of gold, a creature that has never existed on this or any other planet. And then they invite us to luxuriate in a sense of loss when Michael abandons his "earlier principles" and puts on the mantel of his gangster father. Oh, the cruel irony!

OUATIA takes an entirely different approach. It assumes that people who grow up to be gangsters don't start out as altar boys (temple boys?). It also assumes that gangsters act like gangsters, even in their dealings with other gangsters. It is axiomatic that hoods betray their friends, and OUATIA uses this fact to explore themes regarding male bonding and betrayal important to Leone. In an amazing feat of narrative construction, we witness the revelation that an old act of betrayal by one character was in fact a carefully manipulated act of betrayal by another. Then we see the wronged buddy, after learning the truth, *declining* the opporturnity for revenge. Oh, Noodles, what a shame you couldn't do a Michael and have your enemies ritually murdered through a bit of bravura film editing!

One of the things that haunts OUATIA is the sense of a life wasted. Leone accomplished this in large measure through his use of fractured chronology; we get both the sense of a lifetime passing and of the fact that most of that lifetime, except for what is retained in memory, is gone for good. And memory, Noodles discovers, is unreliable. There are not many old gangsters, but we get an idea what such a character might be like when we watch OUATIA. And none of us, I'm sure, would want to trade places with Noodles.

This is not how one feels at the end of The Godfather. Rather, one feels the calculated twinge evoked by the filmmakers ("Oh, no, Michael, you've lost your soul!") immediately followed by the idea that, if you've got to be a Godfather, you might as well be the biggest, baddest Godfather you can ("I wish *I* could murder people I hate, and with as much style! Can't wait for the sequel!!")

So the difference between TG and OUATIA, I submit, is the difference between art and kitsch.


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« Reply #28 on: January 31, 2005, 02:23:11 AM »

ive always thought that as well dave jenkins but you can see why that kind of story is more popular with the masses because its a more, dare i say it, dramatic fall from grace, whereas we know pretty much where Noodles' life is heading. But thats not the beauty of OUATIA, ive always thought the storyline was pretty arbitrary.

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« Reply #29 on: January 31, 2005, 07:45:21 AM »

I think Dave Jenkins' response above is right on the nose.

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