SJC Long Island’s Associate Professor of English and Director of Cinema Studies Peter Mascuch, Ph.D., will lead a virtual discussion and Q&A about the recut edition of “The Godfather Part III,” entitled “Mario Puzo’s The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone.”
The film discussion, hosted by Patchogue’s Plaza Cinema & Media Arts Center, is Wednesday, Jan. 27, at 8 p.m. The arts center recommends viewing the film prior to the discussion. Tickets for the event are $5 for Plaza members and $7 for the general public. All proceeds will go directly to the arts center, which, like other theaters, has been closed since March due to the pandemic.
In preparation for the event, OnCampus did its own little Q&A with Dr. Mascuch.
OnCampus: If you can pick one aspect of the “Godfather” trilogy that has made it so impactful on American cinema, what would it be?
Dr. Mascuch: The “Godfather” trilogy stands as an entertaining and provocative work of Shakespearean proportions. It’s both an epic and a tragic vision of America during the 20th century, made by extraordinarily skilled filmmakers at the height of their powers.
OC: Without stepping on the toes of your discussion, can you share why you think it was important to get this recut version of the third film in the series?
Dr. Mascuch: The recut version of “Godfather III” gives writer/director Francis Ford Coppola the chance to refine and improve on the original, and it also gives audiences a chance to reconsider — 30 years later — if the film has been unfairly neglected after a hostile critical reception in 1990.
OC: Do you remember how old you were when you saw the first “Godfather,” as well as where you saw it? Why did it stand out to you?
Dr. Mascuch: I was 12 when “The Godfather” opened in 1972, it was the first R-rated movie my parents let me see. I saw it at the Ridgewood Cinema in Ridgewood, New Jersey. I loved the film’s dark mood and terrific storytelling, but — especially given my age at the time — I remember that the violence and the love scene made big impressions too.
OC: Would you say this trilogy overall is one of your favorite movie trilogies?
Dr. Mascuch: This trilogy is my favorite among those made by Hollywood, because, while very entertaining, it’s primarily aimed at grown-ups and done realistically with mature themes, whereas most other popular trilogies, while often wonderful, are action-adventure fantasies for family audiences (“popcorn movies” like “Star Wars,” “Back to the Future,” “Toy Story,” “Lord of the Rings” and others).
OC: Which of the movies in the “Godfather” trilogy is your favorite?
Dr. Mascuch: “Godfather II” is my favorite of the three, because I love how it does the parallel-protagonist contrast between the separate stories of Don Vito Corleone’s coming of age and Michael Corleone’s consolidating his power. And, it has often been said, it’s perhaps the only sequel that matches the artistry of the first film.
OC: Favorite quote from any of the “Godfather” movies?
Dr. Mascuch: Favorite quote still has to be: “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.”