I’d like to think that everything important I’ve learnt about life I learnt from the Godfather trilogy. It’s not a typical film series which would interest a 13 year old girl, but I guess I wasn’t your ordinary teenager. Of course it’s filled with brilliant, acting, writing, directing etc but what do you take away from the colour palette? I’ve always thought the series swam in murky hues of black and orange and when there is colour or a distinct tone on screen, they tend to really pop, like Don Fanucci’s white suit or the red rose in Don Corleone’s front pocket during Connie’s wedding. I guess the Technicolor process helps (Supposedly Part II was the last film to be processed in a 3 dye print in Technicolor’s factory before it closed). But overall I can’t help but be taken back to the paintings of Caravaggio, Rubens and Rembrandt. There’s the sense of colour and light enveloped by darkness which prevail in these works. It’s the classic Chiaroscuro style in varying strengths from the slightly muted light and dark contrast in scenes of the Godfather to the extremes of Rembrandt.
The Uffizi museum in Florence is huge treasure trove of Renaissance works and for most people they stop and marvel at the Botticellis but for me it was Caravaggio’s Bacchus that was the true masterpiece. Depicting the youthful exuberance of Bacchus, the god of wine and ecstasy, the Chiaroscuro doesn’t stop at the light or colour. Caravaggio decides to also contrast the subject of the plump muscular decadence of Bacchus with the objects of rotten fruits in the basket.
Inspired by these works, I wanted to delve into more of a Chiaroscuro look, the classic style of food photography emphasizes as much light as possible, to make the objects bright and appealing. This experiment was to do the opposite but keep the appeal of the food. I had some nice strawberries and blueberries lying around in the fridge and I just wanted to keep it simple.
I hope especially with the strawberries that you’re transported to Michael Corleone’s Sicilian villa in 1947 where he and Apollonia could have lived happily ever after.