Families in Film Retrospective: The Corleone Family of The Godfather

By Joan Amenn Tolstoy wrote that “happy families are all alike, every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” The Corleone family in “The Godfather” (1972) is not a happy family, despite throwing a lavish wedding party that presents a unified front of prestige and wealth. The children all carry destructive motives of jealousy, insecurity and an inbred thirst for power so how can … Continue reading Families in Film Retrospective: The Corleone Family of The Godfather

Top 5 Favorite Films about Italian American Culture

By Joan Amenn I am a fourth generation Italian American. The stories of my ancestors that I grew up with both mirror and contrast with how my ethnicity have been depicted on screen, much like anyone else’s cultural heritage when subjected to dramatization. Here are some of the films that have special meaning to me. 1. The Godfather Parts 1 & 2 (1972, 1974): I’m … Continue reading Top 5 Favorite Films about Italian American Culture

Review: The Irishman

I had a surreal experience watching “The Irishman” (2019). There is a scene of a gangster assassinated while he is eating dinner with his family in a restaurant in New York City’s Little Italy. As I watched I slowly recognized the restaurant and remembered a dinner I had had with my brother and two cousins so many years ago I had forgotten all about it. My memories superimposed themselves on the murder taking place onscreen which I had never known before had happened there. As an Italian American raised in New York one must sometimes wonder, “Have I really been living in a Martin Scorsese film all my life?” Continue reading Review: The Irishman

Review: “The Irishman” (2019) Netflix

“THE IRISHMAN” is both a period piece and an almost historical type piece as you need to know a little history to understand the direction of the narrative and flow of this epic film. The movie, while following Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran (Robert De Niro) as our designated main character, revolves around Teamsters union boss James “Jimmy” Riddle Hoffa (Al Pacino). Fortunately Frank goes to great lengths to narrate the story for the audience and provides a healthy dose of context for those of us not from the Kennedy era. Continue reading Review: “The Irishman” (2019) Netflix