Ask any movie maven to name five films about family, and you're bound to hear several sunny ones in the mix. Perhaps "The Royal Tenenbaums" will crop up, or "Little Miss Sunshine," or a popular kid flick.
But we like our family films to be like our own families, generally: Complicated, layered, verbose, and intense. And no other family film ticks all the boxes like "The Godfather," Francis Ford Coppola's 1972 operatic opus that out-operas all other opuses.
And when the Oscar-winning icon plays at the Million Dollar Theatre downtown on Saturday, Dec. 13, family will be the vibe of the night, not just up on the screen but in front of the screen, when Vintage LA's Alison Martino chats with Kenneth Turan of the LA Times.
What to do, where to go and what to see
"Martino" is a name known to any "Godfather" buff -- and any music maven as well -- thanks to the man who filled the role of Johnny Fontane: Al Martino. Ms. Martino's dad played the actor who visited Don Corleone with the performer's eternal dilemma: I need some buzz, pronto.
What follows is a conversation that unleashed one of the cinema's best-known and most oft-repeated lines: "I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse."
(And boy, does that happen. It's a scene that inspired a generation to check the bottom of their beds upon waking.)
A ticket is ten bucks, and Grand Central Market next door is in on the movie action; it's a partner in the screening, so you're apt to see film goers noshing over there ahead of the 8 p.m. film.
Also, Mr. Turan will sign copies of his book, "Not to Be Missed: Fifty-Four Favorites from a Lifetime of Film." That's happening at the Million Dollar, so eat early, then get to the movie palace ahead of curtain time, between 7-7:30 p.m. (The pre-film chat starts at 7:30 p.m. sharp.)
And enjoy Ms. Martino's memories of her dad's very famous, stylishly realized part, and the part it played in movie culture as a whole. If "The Godfather" is truly our great movie dealing with family dynamics, it's a treat to see a daughter remember her father's contribution to that fearsome and fabulous familial drama.