Saturday, December 19, 2009


A few nights ago after coming home from a long day at work, I was pleased to discover that it is Humphrey Bogart month on TCM. I caught the end of The Maltese Falcon, which was followed by Casablanca. Besides Bogie, these films share a few cast other members, including Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet, who, like Bogie, pretty much reprise their former roles.

I'm ashamed to admit it, but this was the first time I had ever seen Casablanca in its entirety. It was strange to watch a film that was new to me, and yet so familiar. Before I even knew what it was, I had already seen it parodied countless times on shows like Boy Meets World and the Animaniacs.

Of course, the iconic love story element is incredibly touching, but I also like how much of the plot involves crooked politics and law enforcement. The only way to survive in Casablanca is to adopt a certain flexibility when it comes to the law. Of course, if you do this too unethically, you are punished by the Gods of Cinema (as Terry Gilliam might say), which is why Peter Lorre's character disappears so early on. Rick is guided by ethics, though he deflects any suspicions of his soft spots with a hard-boiled exterior.

I also found it amusing how effeminate most of the foreigners are, especially in contrast with Humphrey Bogart's archetypal, brusquely independent American male. I couldn't help flinching a little bit when Ilsa tells Rick that he should do the thinking for both of them, because she is too overcome with emotion to be reasonable.

Although I probably won't properly write about them on here, I recently saw Antichrist and the Road, both of which are very much worth seeing, in my opinion. Although, the former requires a strong stomach. While it was done well enough, I don't really see that a film version of The Road was necessary, or that the screen adaptation presented anything new or insightful.

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