ItalianAmerican traditions in film

A Bronx tale is a story of a father who tries to win back the love and pride of his son from a showy neighborhood mob boss. In my opinion this film is the best portrayal of work ethic. Lorenzo, played by Robert DeNiro, plays a father who tries to teach his son that discipline and hard work pay off from working, in the long. His son Calogero, played by Lillo Brancato, is exposed to the life of a mob boss Sonny, played by Chazz Palmenteri,, and doesn’t understand why he should live a life of difficulty when he can have a life of luxury. He tries to explain to his son that the men in the community don’t look up to him, but rather they fear him He also tries to make clear that it’s easy to do what he does, but try waking up every morning and working everyday, that’s a real man.
Throughout the film Sonny and Calogero develop a very close relationship. More than just a friendship, Calogero looks up to him as if he were a father figure. Sonny tells Calogero that he does not want him to do what he does, he does it because he has to; he has no other way out. He wants Calogero to finish school and make something of himself, and not to follow in his footsteps. Sonny feels like there’s always someone out there out to get him and never feels safe. He doesn’t want Calogero to have to go through the same thing.
In the film Sonny murdered another person because of the fact that he took he took his parking spot. This haunting feeling he has throughout the film finally comes true in the final scene of the movie as the son of the father that was murdered earlier comes back for vengeance and kills Sonny. This action of revenge is another stereotype of Italian-American men. As the film ends Calogero is in the prime of his life so we do not know how his life continues. The viewer, in this case me, thinks that because of this dreadful ending Calogero will follow the advice of Sonny and his father to complete school and life his life like every other hard working individual in America, because as his father mentioned earlier hard work pays off in the end.

Comparing and contrasting the use of food in two separate films
The first film that shows the use of food in a film is in fatso. As the title implies the main character is a little overweight. He feels that food is the center of his life; everything he does revolves around food. The opening scene is the wake of his cousin that takes place in his home. In the next scene he goes to the kitchen and has himself some bread with sauce. This is a perfect example of when he is depressed he relies on food to cheer him up. Food has become an addiction for him, whenever things are not right he needs some food to make things better. The same way some other people run to alcohol to solve their problems. In the film he meets a girl and she changes his life drastically. He feels he has to impress her and look his best. In order to complete this task he must give up food entirely. Even though this seems impossible for a person in his position he has the discipline and will power to overcome this feat.

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The second film, entitled Big Night, is about two brothers who try and run a business together, specifically a restaurant. Since they are trying to run a restaurant, the food is the center of the film, without the food there is no restaurant. The older brother Primo, named so because he was the first son born, tries to make the food very traditional and tries to give the customer what he wants. The younger brother Secondo, named so because he was the second born, tries to think of it from a business perspective. He tries to explain to his brother that he has to give the customer what they want not what he (Secondo) wants. In the end of the film the two brothers expect a very well respected musician to dine at their restaurant. In order for them to pick their business they must not only impress him but also the reporters. The only way to do so is with their traditional recipes, brought right from Italy, so food plays a very important role. Throughout the film the two brothers are trying to prepare for this ultimate feast, which brings their relationship closer.
Another example that shows the use or importance of food in a film is in Household Saints. The opening scene shows a family having a picnic, which starts to tell the story of the saint. The next and probably the most important example that shows the importance of food is the scene where she must cook a meal for Santangelo. He father stresses the importance of this meal and that the food must be perfect. As the meal concludes Santangelos mother disproves of her because of the fact that she cannot cook properly. This shows that since she cannot cook she cannot have her son’s hand in marriage, which is quite peculiar, since a meal can decide a marriage.

Even though these movies are entirely different in their plots, food plays a key role in each film. In the first film the main character relies on food for support and in the second the two brothers try to impress their guest with their food, who never shows up.
Two films that portray masculinity in this course are Mac and True Love. Mac is a film that shows the relationship of three brothers who you would think come close together as the movie proceeded but eventually separate. The three brothers are contractors who decide to go into business for themselves. Mac reveals the portrayal of masculinity, and the way I perceived his masculinity is through his hard work, discipline and determination. He is willing to get up every morning and go to work to support himself and his eventual wife. To me this shows the meaning of a man and further masculinity.

The second film that portrays masculinity is exhibited in True Love. The main character, which I think is named Mike but I don’t know if this is correct, portrays his masculinity through his intimidation. Although he doesn’t support his wife, and we know this because there a scene where she calls him from her work, he tries to intimidate her with his power that he thinks he possesses. It seems that he would rather spend time with his buddies than with his wife, which I think is wrong. If he truly loved her as the title implies he would have stayed with her not because he felt he had to but because he wanted to.
Even though these two films portray masculinity in two separate ways they still do show masculinity. Mac is a dedicated worker, whom personally I respect, who tries to support his family through his hard work. Mike, in True Love, is a man who has everything in the palm of his hands and doesn’t even realize it. He takes everything, especially his wife, for granted.
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