While the Smith's were livin' it up in St. Louis in 1901, another family was taking root in America:
I grew up watching The Godfather films — or as my mom affectionately calls 'em, "family home movies." I'm not insinuating that we have mafia ties, but our ancestors did arrive at Ellis Island on the same boat with some of the most notorious Italian crime families. So, you know, I've heard the stories about Uncle Johnny's "olive oil" business, kissed a few rings and will always take the cannoli over the gun.
Fuhgettabout Jack-o'-lanterns, pumpkin pies and turkey dinners— the scene above of Kay and Michael walking down a treelined New York suburban street symbolizes Autumn for me like nothing else. In recent years, when the weather finally feels like fall here in Southern California, I put on The Godfather movies (now on the Coppola Restoration Blu-rays. Thanks, Marissa!) and leave 'em on until New Year's Day.
When I was contemplating a fall crochet project, I knew to turn to the Corleones for a color palette that no Sicilian can refuse. Color is a major character in The Godfather trilogy. Famed cinematographer for all three Godfather movies, Gordon Willis, explained in part why the most important visual aspect of The Godfather was its color structure. “It’s yellow-red in much of the lighting as well as the lab work, and that ties all three films together." - American Cinematographer, May 2008.
The idea that color is used to stitch the story together makes the The Godfather films an excellent choice for another edition of Crafting With The Classics! Below I will show five examples (enough to share for each of the Five Families!) of how you can find color inspiration in the movies.
We'll start here with Frank Pentangeli asking Don Michael Corleone for something. It basically comes down to he's asking for trouble. But take a look at the set design: the earthy tones, the stonework, everything seems dark and hard, like the men (get your mind out of the gutter), except for the orange daisies. Orange is a good indicator that someone is going to be beaten to a pulp.
Red Heart Yarns: Tea Leaf, Carrot, Gold, Cafe Latte, Buff, Medium Brown
This scene with Sonny Corleone going all Alec Baldwin on the wedding photograther features a color scheme very popular in home accents and decor right now: gray & yellow. As I was making the square, the colors totally reminded me of anytime any old Italian gentleman was visiting my grandparents. They always appeared to have had The Godfather costume designer, Anna Hill Johnstone, dress them that morning.
Red Heart Yarns: Cornmeal, Grey Heather, Cafe Latte, Charcoal
The lovely Kay Adams, in her orange and blood, er, red, um, tangerine dress. Kay, I mean orange, really stands out against the majority of muted pastels worn at Connie Corleone's wedding. Yet Kay's dress color complements the natural beauty around her, including Michael Corleone, clad in his Marine uniform.
Vito Corleone's back-story in The Godfather Part II is one of the most brilliant to ever be seen on screen. The Godfather color palette is continued in the scenes, but are basked in a soft glow of warm ambers. This is known as Gordon Willis' "magic hour" trademark — filming before twilight, when the sun is low and creates a golden glow. The square I created shows how corn and creams can look very simple and soft together, but striking when used as an accent against darker, natural colors.
As you can see, you don't need a lot of yarns to get started on an awesome Autumn-colored project (kind of like how Don Vito Corleone started with nothing!). By mixing around the offering of squares featured here, I have come up with ideas for three different afghans. All of which I can't refuse.