The Godfather (1972) Dir. Francis Ford Coppola

This iconic clip from The Godfather is one of the most famous examples of parallel editing and was a big influence on my on editing technique in Storge. It is a very powerful sequence and is a perfect example of how the editing can realise a scene.

In this sequence, we go between the baby’s baptism and shootings taking place creating a paradox; Michael is renouncing the devil while slaughter is carried out by his assassins simultaneously. I will borrow this parallel editing style for the scene in which Megan spills the soup, but instead of using the technique to draw an ironic comparison, I want to use it to build tension throughout the scene coming to a climax when it’s dropped.

What makes this scene even more dynamic is the way that the sound overlaps the visuals and ties everything together creating a seamless and thrilling effect. The sound of the priest’s blessings are juxtaposed with the visuals of the assassins preparing to kill. Slightly later in the scene, gunshots are heard while, visually, we are still in the church. While both of these things are going on, the crescendo of the organ is building throughout.

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