Movies - TV
The White Lotus Nails How We Struggle To Reassess Classic Cinema
In the "Italian Dream" episode of HBO’s "The White Lotus," the Di Grasso family brings Portia on a day trip to visit the Sicilian shooting locations of "The Godfather." In a scene where the group has a discussion over lunch, they assess classic art from the distant past and art’s relationship to people of its generation using “The Godfather” as their case study.
Nostalgic or Crude?
Grandpa Bert becomes gleeful as they dine near an exhibited car where, in “The Godfather” film, Al Pacino’s character helplessly watches his wife explode in a car bomb. Portia pushes back, "She blows up? [...] It's a little tasteless maybe," and Albie tells his grandfather, "You're nostalgic for the solid days of the patriarchy."
Toxic Male Fantasy?
Albie argues, “[‘The Godfather’] is a fantasy about [men who solve] problems with violence [...] and then come home to their wife who doesn't ask them any questions and makes them pasta." Albie adds, “Movies like that socialize men into having that fantasy," but his father Dom retorts, “Men already do have that fantasy," and Bert agrees.
Offensive Past?
Bert complains to Dom, “You spent all that money on Stanford, and [Albie] comes back brainwashed," and Albie counters, “No, I just, I don't think you realize how you sound sometimes.” Bert concludes about his elderly peers, “We're just reminders of an offensive past," although he could easily be talking about “The Godfather.”
Albie's scrutiny of "The Godfather" is shallow theorizing through a modern sense of morality without considering the context of when the story was crafted and its intention. Bert and Dom's blind-faith defense of the film is devoid of any nuance and reflects how they intertwine their love of "The Godfather" with who they fundamentally are as people.