Cavellaria Rusticana: Raging Bull or Godfather III?

#1
When Tony, Sil, and Bobby are in the restaurant, the strains of the Intermezzo from the Mascagni opera Cavellaria Rusticana are heard. Tony and Sil were mimicking the slow motion boxing scenes from Raging Bull, obviously a nod by them (and perhaps by Chase) to the Scorcese/De Niro film that prominently featured that theme.

That was not the movie that came to my mind, however. Cavellaria Rusitcana was the musical backdrop for the climax of Godfather III, with the Intermezzo scoring the scene where Mary Corleone is killed by stray gunfire meant for her father. It's an unbelievably gorgeous piece of music, very, very poignant. For my sensibilities far more apropos for its use in Godfather III than in Raging Bull.

As with so much in this show, I wonder if the "obvious" association was the most important one. Was it just a moment to show two Italian mobsters reacting with ethnic pride to an iconic Italian actor and film director portraying the life of a tough Italian boxer who could take anyone's punch and not go down? Or was it musical foreshadowing that Tony will suffer a tragedy of similar nature and dimension to the one Michael Corleone suffered at the end of GFIII?
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Cavellaria Rusticana: Raging Bull or Godfather III?

#3
billymac wrote:Which is why I wondered about Meadow drinking orange juice in the general thread.


I got a little chill when I read that, billymac. Yikes.

Others have pointed out, however, that Carmela has worn orange a lot this year, possibly even in every episode. She's the one whose death has been foreshadowed to me since season 5.

If I could ask David Chase one spoiler question right now, something to get a hint without giving away every detail, it would be whether we will hear any more opera in the finale. We've heard Puccini's "Che Il bel Sogno di Dorreta" (from La Rondine) twice, once when the ducks flew away in the pilot and once when Tony looked at Carmela at the end of Irregular Around the Margins. I'm expecting it a third time. Pardon the tragic pun, but the third time will be the Carm, I think.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Cavellaria Rusticana: Raging Bull or Godfather III?

#6
FlyOnMelfisWall wrote:If I could ask David Chase one spoiler question right now, something to get a hint without giving away every detail, it would be whether we will hear any more opera in the finale. We've heard Puccini's "Che Il bel Sogno di Dorreta" (from La Rondine) twice, once when the ducks flew away in the pilot and once when Tony looked at Carmela at the end of Irregular Around the Margins. I'm expecting it a third time. Pardon the tragic pun, but the third time will be the Carm, I think.


Oh Fly, that one cracked me up! Thanks for that!

While sort of on the topic of music in the show, I just realized that there's only one more episode left to use the last verse of "The Three Bells".

I am so surprised it hasn't been fit in somewhere already. The first two verses were used in back-to-back episodes, making this huge gap in between the second and third parts seem odd. It would be even more odd, I feel, to use the first two verses of the song without ever hearing the final one. So will we hear of the last of little Jimmy Brown in "Made in America"?

Re: Cavellaria Rusticana: Raging Bull or Godfather III?

#7
FlyOnMelfisWall wrote:When Tony, Sil, and Bobby are in the restaurant, the strains of the Intermezzo from the Mascagni opera Cavellaria Rusticana are heard. Tony and Sil were mimicking the slow motion boxing scenes from Raging Bull, obviously a nod by them (and perhaps by Chase) to the Scorcese/De Niro film that prominently featured that theme.

That was not the movie that came to my mind, however. Cavellaria Rusitcana was the musical backdrop for the climax of Godfather III, with the Intermezzo scoring the scene where Mary Corleone is killed by stray gunfire meant for her father. It's an unbelievably gorgeous piece of music, very, very poignant. For my sensibilities far more apropos for its use in Godfather III than in Raging Bull.

As with so much in this show, I wonder if the "obvious" association was the most important one. Was it just a moment to show two Italian mobsters reacting with ethnic pride to an iconic Italian actor and film director portraying the life of a tough Italian boxer who could take anyone's punch and not go down? Or was it musical foreshadowing that Tony will suffer a tragedy of similar nature and dimension to the one Michael Corleone suffered at the end of GFIII?


What a music reference pick-up that is. I'll second that prediction. I think it will add significance to Tony's remark to Melfi about when your kids are sick wishing you could trade places with them. I wonder if he'll end up wishing he were dead and they were still alive. Not to mention possible chilling foreshadowing at Christopher's wake when Tony casually tells Carm "I'll go up there later."

As far as the Seven Souls montage notice at least two of those deaths link visually with the montage. We saw Vito's photographer who took the picture (which we see again) reading about his death and now Bobby and the model trains. The montage concludes with Tony digging for money, but looking like he's burying someone. And of course, what is a harsher leaving of the ducks and draining of the pool than a dead family.

There has been constant hitting of the idea of the survivors suffering. Rosie Aprile, Kelly Moltisanti, Ade's mother, Vito's suffering family. At least the first three's grief directly caused by Tony. Especially after comments like "Fuckin' James Brown over here" or the like, it almost seems tragic poetic justice for Tony to himself be the bereaved.

Re: Cavellaria Rusticana: Raging Bull or Godfather III?

#8
FlyOnMelfisWall wrote: For my sensibilities far more apropos for its use in Godfather III than in Raging Bull.


More a propos, maybe, but for my money it's use in RB can't be beat, so to speak.

As with so much in this show, I wonder if the "obvious" association was the most important one. Was it just a moment to show two Italian mobsters reacting with ethnic pride to an iconic Italian actor and film director portraying the life of a tough Italian boxer who could take anyone's punch and not go down? Or was it musical foreshadowing that Tony will suffer a tragedy of similar nature and dimension to the one Michael Corleone suffered at the end of GFIII?


Why not both? As soon as we had the Raging Bull reference I started thinking how fitting it would be for Tony to end like Jake La Motta--totally broken down, irrelevant, a bloated parody of himself, shunned by his family, unable to completely see the extent to which he's brought it all on himself by mistaking brute violence and selfishness for manliness, and with the rest of his life to ponder it. Defeated, yet not entirely so.
Oh, there's my coffee. Well, didn't you bring me
any donuts or sweet rolls?

--Hank Quinlan
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