Transnational adaptation of a classic: The Godfather Trilogy

Larke-Walsh, George S. (2019) Transnational adaptation of a classic: The Godfather Trilogy. In: Literature Film Association Annual Conference, September 12-14, Portland, Oregon, USA.

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While it is universally understood that one film cannot define a genre, it is safe to say the iconography of The Godfather is globally recognized and understood as an ideal signifier of the gangster. Kentucky Fried Chicken has used dialogue in their marketing to make chicken ‘you can’t refuse’, multiple film texts and TV series have recognizable scenarios and dialogue that refer to the film. The dialogue, music, scenarios and visual motifs associated with The Godfather appear across multiple media and marketing platforms that pay homage, parody or develop the character and themes of the original film. The presentation of The Godfather as the pinnacle of Mafia identity is a common practice in popular culture, but it is a practice that very specifically isolates The Godfather from all other gangster films. While the influences on US culture are quite easily traceable through such as Analyze This, The Freshman and Set It Off, the influence goes far beyond the US. From India’s Company (2002) and the Sarkar series (2005, 2008), the Tamil film Nayakan (1987), Hong Kong’s China White (1989) and Election (2005) the influence of Coppola’s films remain evident. What does it mean to discuss these films as similar to The Godfather? What are the inter-cultural significances or value of a make-over, adaptation or homage?

Using the Hindi film, Sarkar as a working example, this paper will explore cinematic culture inspired by The Godfather Trilogy. It will focus on how the visual motifs and themes from The Godfather are adapted for Indian culture by examining Sarkar’s film structure, as well as the marketing and reviews it received. The intention is to engage with concepts of transnational genre development and to examine the enduring appeal of The Godfather Trilogy.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Media > Cinema and Film
Media > Film
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries > School of Media and Communications
Depositing User: George Larke-Walsh
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2021 16:09
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2021 16:10

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