Wednesday, 28 May 2003

We’ll always have Paris

Listening to:

Schubert, Impromptus D899.

A recent movie:

We went to see Casablanca on Monday night, and both enjoyed it a great deal. I was a little worried that I might find it as unaffecting as Citizen Kane, which I saw a while ago on TV, and which left me cold. (Maybe seeing CK on the big screen would have improved my reaction to it. It probably also didn't help that I'd seen The Simpsons spoof version of it beforehand.)

Casablanca is full of great lines, from Round up the usual suspects and Here's looking at you, kid to This could be the start of a beautiful friendship. It even almost manages Play it again, Sam. But these great lines had the impact that they did because they occur in a context of a good plot, great, sympathetic, acting, and generally witty dialogue.

It's a shame I knew how the film would end in advance (it's difficult to remain a complete Casablanca-virgin), but I still found it dramatically satisfying, and compelling. All told, a movie that definitely deserves its status as one of the all-time greats.

Comments

I'm glad to hear you enjoyed Casablanca. It shares a #1 spot on my all time favorite movies list along with Amadeus (I can't decide which should be #1 so they both are.)

I hate to hear you didn't care for Citizen Kane. I don't know if I agree that it's the greatest film of all time but I've always loved it. I especially enjoy watching Welles' performance as the impassioned young newspaper man bent on ending corruption. Then we see him degenerate and fall prey to the exact same trappings as those he once denounced.

I think the more you know about the film the more you may enjoy it. If you ever have the opportunity to see the 2 dvd collector's edition it reveals dozens of fascinating details about the making of the movie. I don't know how you feel about audio commentaries but Roger Ebert's is fascinating and you can hear how much he loves this film as he throws out dozens of little things to watch for and bits of info.

I haven't seen the Simpson's spoof but I would like to. I'm sure Mr. Burns plays the Kane role.

Sorry this is so long but maybe give it a year and see it again and see if you feel differently about it. Everyone has different tastes of course.

If nothing else you have given me the urge to watch it again. Sorry for the long comment and I enjoy the site (the only blog I read even semi-regularly and I admit I mainly come back for the book and music suggestions heh.)

Take care...sorry for all the parenthetical statements (I know they can be annoying) but they're handy sometimes.
-Jason

Posted by: Jason at June 19, 2003 10:59 AM

Hi,

Thanks for your comments and kind words. It's certainly been a long time since I saw Citizen Kane, so it may well be that I'd like it if I tried it again. I don't remember the occasion of first seeing it, but it may well have been nothing more than on TV and ad-breaks would have surely detracted from the experience.

You're right that Burns plays Kane in the Simpsons spoof.

I'm also a great fan of Amadeus. If I had to compose a most-liked films list, it'd probably feature pretty high up. I think I'd put "The man who wasn't there" higher though. I don't where I'd put Casablanca yet; I guess I'm still dwelling on it.

Michael

Posted by: michael at June 19, 2003 11:10 AM