American Cup Final Match: ‘The Godfather’ (1972) vs. ‘La luna en el espejo’ (1990)

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‘The Godfather’ (1972, Francis Ford Coppola)

vs.

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‘La luna en el espejo’ (1990, Silvio Caiozzi) The Moon in the Mirror

Yeah, yeah, I know. Let’s get on with it. The final of this Cup confronts the next favorite American film by Danny Bowes and the next favorite Chilean film by Marcelo Morales. Yeah, I haven’t seen that wonderful film before now. Yeah, I know it’s unfair, but that’s how this Cup happened. Who will be the winner? Let’s find out.

***

‘The Godfather’ isn’t a film that leaves you easily. It’s been a couple of days and I am still thinking about it, and it’s one that I think, sadly, will never learn to love, but I will definitively cherish and watch a lot of times in my life as a cinephile. There’s something to be said about a movie that is almost 3 hours long, yet it feels like you’re barely treading ground with the characters, the world in which they live and the things that they do. I think that there’s a lot that’s been written about this film and some consider it one of the best films of all time, and while I might not exactly agree with that statement I can say that it’s probably the one that will have a bigger presence and influence than any other that I’ve seen so far. Not even the famous films from the silent era by Griffith can attain to the power that this particular movie has had on the state of cinema since then. I can barely make a point on what I’m trying to say, but I must simply state that crime/mafia type films aren’t usually my cup of tea, and thus I find myself having  a hard time finding anything compelling in criminal characters, but this might be my favorite of them all, and surely the masterpiece of the genre (I still have to see the second one, now I really want to see it), simply because it renders itself so simple and lean, yet at the same time complex in terms of its visuals and style. It’s a gorgeous film and one that sticks to your retina when it comes to the imagery that it pursues and captures: a dark yet encompassing view of the world that throws everything that you believed in and shakes it. I’ve found myself in the past few hours annoyed at certain things and I don’t know what they are, and I realize that I’m still angry about the destiny or the things that certain characters did in this movie. The fact that a movie can have that kind of power on me defines how good both the characterization and the script of the film are, mainly because they permeate and go beyond the frame and the length of the film itself, and those are the treasures that we can’t let go, not even for one moment. I can’t say that it affected me in an emotional way, and thus I can’t call it a favorite film, but I’m pretty certain that it’s a masterpiece, one that will stick to me, even if I don’t want to. Oh, and the Italy scenes, yeah, I could lose them, and it would actually make the movie kinda better for me.

9/10

‘La luna en el espejo’ is one of the great films of Chilean cinema and I’m really sad that it had to go against ‘The Godfather’ at the final of this Cup. Directed by our own Francis Ford Coppola, Silvio Caiozzi is an Italian immigrant that also made himself famous through the art of motion pictures. In this film he demonstrates a precise and intelligent use of psychological imagery, all of it which makes it sound dull or contrived, but this movie breezes through the initial appreciations and completes itself as a vision of a political moment at the time of its premiere. Filmed at the time when the dictatorship was coming to an end, and thus predicting the state of affairs during democracy, the movie has his protagonist in the old man that controls everything that happens in his house through the mirrors that surround him, but he is lying down in his bed, sick and unable to move. His son and a widowed neighbor travel around the house and whisper as well as move things around so they aren’t discovered, trying to avoid the constant vigilance, and thus giving an idea of how the revolutionaries tried to continue in a world that seemed controlled by one ruling dictator that controlled everything. Even if the context and the plot of the film hides extensively well this well thought-out metaphor, and the idea behind it and its execution is formidable, at 75 minutes the movie hits a wall and it can’t delve any deeper into the connections between the characters and is thus alienated from a more profound view of what was going on at the time, or the significance of the final scenes, that happen too quick too soon and too conveniently, thus giving a mock-up of an ending that could mean something regarding what’s going to happen in Chile during the 1990’s, but it also gives the impression that it needed more time for the message, the metaphor and the complete picture to come together as the sure certain masterpiece most people think it is, or the director was sure of making.

8/10

And so, USA wins the Cup. Thanks to all the involved. Sorry for the delay. Thanks again.

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