Coppola Film Style

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Francis Ford Coppola has produced many films over his career. Two of his films that have become very popular are The Godfather and Apocalypse Now! Coppola uses many of the same elements in his films. In particular he uses cross cutting, close ups, non-simultaneous sound, the element of innocence, and the importance of the music. By looking at The Godfather and Apocalypse Now! these elements are clearly represented.

The element of cross cutting is used in The Godfather in the baptism scene. While Michaels niece is in the church and the priest is going over his vows of becoming her godfather the camera cuts between the killing of all the heads of the other mafia families. In Apocalypse Now! cross cutting is used when Wilard is killing Captin Kurtz. While Wilard is killing Kurtz the camera cuts between their blood bath in the temple to the religious ceremony outside that the Vietnamese are sacrificing what appears to be a water buffalo.

Non-simultaneous sound is used in Apocalypse Now! when the American army is flying into a small Vietnamese village. The camera is focused on a small schoolhouse and in the background the sound of helicopter propellers spinning can be heard. As the helicopters near the village the kernel turns on an instrumental piece by Beethoven, which is supposed to scare the villagers. Another example of non-simultaneous sound is used in Apocalypse Now! when Wilard gets off the boat at the last spot before he enters Cambodia. The voice of a Vietnamese man can be heard shouting slurs at the Americans but the camera does not show him. One of the soldiers shoots in the direction where the voice is coming from and then there is nothing but silence. Even though the man is not shown the sound implies that he is dead. During the baptism scene in The Godfather non-simultaneous sound is used as well. As the heads of the families are being killed the voices from the church can be heard as Michael is accepting his vows of becoming the godfather....
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