Godfather – restored

What fabulous news – they’ve painstakingly restored the epic!

The final product, which the studio is calling “The Godfather: The Coppola Restoration,” combines bits and pieces of film recovered from innumerable sources, scanned at high resolution and then retouched frame by frame to remove dirt and scratches. The color was brought back to its original values by comparing it with first-generation release prints and by extensive consultation with Gordon Willis, who shot all three films, and Allen Daviau, a cinematographer (“E.T.”) who is also a leading historian of photographic technology.
Critic’s Choice – Pristine Glory of ‘Godfather’ Films in ‘Coppola Restoration’ Set on Blu-ray and DVD – Review – NYTimes.com

The rest of the article makes me want to run out, buy it and watch all three films back to back. Here’s a small taste –

Watching the first film, you are struck again by how little screen time Marlon Brando actually occupies. Most of his work is done in the 20-minute opening sequence, as the Godfather sits in his study, receiving supplicants on the day of his daughter’s wedding. This is a piece of superbly efficient expository writing, setting out an exotic milieu, describing its rules and moral configuration, and establishing the larger-than-life figure who presides over and protects it.

And Brando plays it like the master he was, balancing just enough exaggeration (the cotton-stuffed cheeks, the asthmatic voice) with pure behavioral naturalism (the eyes that go blank when he is bored or distracted) to create a figure that both belongs to this world and is too big for it. After that sequence his work is effectively done, and the character can recede into the background of the action (he spends much of the rest of the movie recovering from an assassination attempt) without surrendering his dominant presence.

So, click through and read it.

And at the bottom of the article, a juicy little tidbit. Sex And The City: The Movie DVD also comes out this week. And it has 12 minutes that I didn’t get to see in the theater… Hmm… that screams “no brainer” to me. Count me $35 lighter.