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An offering you can't refuse!,
This review is from: The "Godfather" Family Album (Hardcover)
Taschen publishing house have done it again! Like the other fabulous tome on Kubrick they put out, "The Stanley Kubrick Archives", this gorgeous book continues their tradition of extreme good taste conception-wise, excellent overall design of the contents, the finest printing quality available and a knack for picking an extraordinary subject.
Thank God Steve Schapiro is still around and for granting full access to his photographic archives pertaining to the production of the iconic "The Godfather" trilogy! There are a few photos that have previously graced the pages of magazines and some other books, yet the majority of the lot included here is indeed rare. The photos are gorgeous, with many being printed in full pages and several others spread across two pages - an absolute must!! They're complemented by insightful excerpts of diaries and interviews of a lot of the people involved in the making of the films, from Mario Puzo, to producer Al Ruddy, to Al Pacino and, most profusely, Francis Ford Coppola.
While "The Godfather" Parts I and II are extensively illustrated - mainly Part I -, "The Godfather: Part III" is the least covered. That was the only minus I found in the entire volume. There is only a minor magazine report on its production and a run of the mill interview of Coppola during filming, plus far less photographs when compared to the ones from the previous two films. That's an unfortunate trend set regarding Part III, which is to be vastly underrated when compared to two immensely lauded and prestigious cinema masterpieces that Parts I and II admitedly are. My personal favourite is "The Godfather: Part I", for all the rich portrayal of characters and relationships, a dynamic story of epic proportions, with superb acting, photography and direction amongst many other things. Many critics favour "The Godfather: Part II" as being superior to the original. Intellectually and conceptually they may be right, but "Part II" feels too dark and slow moving, whereas "Part I" is so full of emotional content and just riveting to watch - however that's another perspective and I just digress off the main focus of this review.
If you are a hopeless film buff with a tendency to appreciate the very best of film art of the past 100-plus years, then this is a book you cannot refuse to buy - and if you're a "The Godfather" 'aficionado' there's nothing else I need to mention!