Casablanca

CASABLANCA
Throughout history, the film industry has seen many directing styles and techniques. The early part of the 20th century saw a factory style of film production, but as the years went by, director’s began to employ new and untried techniques in their pictures. One such technique which these director’s implemented was a new approach to the use of the camera and camera angles. “Casablanca,” an Academy Award winning film of 1942 saw director Michael Curtiz manipulate the camera in ways others had not. He uses the close-up, point-of- view, and creative shot motivation methods in his film starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, to create an American cinema classic.
The first camera technique Curtiz uses to help narrate the film is the close-up shot. The close-up can effectively convey the story to the viewer without the use of excessive dialogue. In this instance, the viewer is introduced to the main character, Rick, through the use of the close-up. The first scene in “Rick’s Cafe,” shows people gambling and making illegal deals to leave Casablanca. An employee of the cafe brings a check to a man seated at a chess table to sign. The signature reads, “OK. Rick.” By using this shot, the director makes clear to the reader, without any dialogue, that the man signing the check is Rick. This technique, however, is just the first of many used by Curtiz.
The point-of-view shot, also used by Curtiz was intended to place the audience directly into the action. By placing the camera at the exact location and height of the character, the viewer of the film is ‘inserted’ into the character’s body, making the scene more personal. Curtiz uses a slight variation of this type of camera placement when Capt. Renault and Rick are having a discussion about Victor Laslo’s arrival in Casablanca. The camera is placed just above and aft of Renault’s shoulder. The audience can now see Renault’s body reactions, as well as having Renault’s perspective on Rick’s response. In this episode, the point-of-view shot helps to set the viewer into the action, which will in turn motivate a better response from the viewer.
A third camera technique used by the director is not a camera angle, but is shot motivation. Shot motivation creates a purpose for the camera to move to another action. For example, as Major Strasse and his men enter Rick’s cafe, the camera pans from left to right, following them. As the camera moves right, Rick is spotted sitting at a table and the camera stops. This example of shot motivation, shows how one action can lead the camera to the beginning of another scene. This technique of shot motivation is an effective one which is found in many current pictures as well.
The close-up, point-of-view, and shot motivation techniques help the director to narrate the film and keeps the audience more interested in the story. Michael Curtiz uses these methods is “Casablaca” to add to this award winning film, and to make it a classic in America cinema.
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Casablanca

Casablanca
The Epstein brothers created Casablanca, a romantic adventure, like no other of its time. There are few movies that are loved by men and women alike. Casablanca is one such movie. It successfully combines action, adventure, love and romance into a film loved by all.

What makes this film a favorite of women? Lets take a closer look at the film and find out. Casablanca is set in the exotic land of Morocco where refuges wait for passage to America, the Promised Land. In a popular American caf, Rick, the caf owner, hides from the memories of a lost love. Rick is a mysterious, masculine hero who hides behind a hard outer shell but is really thoughtful and unpredictable. Rick soon runs into the girl he loves, Ilsa. Ilsa Lund is a beautiful woman who is torn between two lovers. Thus begins the tender love story that women cannot turn away from.

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Ilsa comes into Ricks club with her husband Victor Laszlo, a Czech freedom fighter wanted by the Germans. From the beginning, women love Rick far more than they love Victor because of his mysterious masculinity. Victor Laszlo is a hero yet, not nearly as loveable as Rick. Rick holds the only two letters of transit that can guarantee Victor and Ilsas escape. We are left wondering and waiting to see if Rick will do the right thing and give Ilsa the papers.
Another important part of the movie that women love is the music. The song As Time Goes By is the song that belongs to the true lovers and is played over and over by Ricks devoted friend, Sam. Women enjoy the lasting relationship between Sam and Rick and the compassion of Sam for both Rick and Ilsa.

When Rick is forced with the decision of what to do with the letters of transit Rick speaks with Ilsa and Ilsa asks Rick to think for both of them and make the decision. In the end, Rick sacrifices himself for the happiness of Ilsa and Victor as well as the war against Germany. He risks his own life for others even though he is quoted as saying, I stick my neck out for nobody and, Im the only cause Im interested in. This is an endearing quality. Women want to be Ilsa, and dream of loving a man like Rick.
Now to try and find out why such a romantic love story is a favorite of men. Men like action, adventure, corruption and sexy intrigue. The movie is filmed at a time of war. The main character is a cool and collected, suave owner of a Casablanca caf. The caf offers what every man dreams of: gambling, drinking, smoking, good music and beautiful women.
Men love Ilsa for her sexy yet innocent appeal. She is a very emotional character and offsets Ricks stone-face. Ilsa is the perfect woman, a damsel in distress to be saved by the hero. Yet, she does not get in the way of the action and aggression of the film.
There is action and adventure in almost every scene. The action begins with Ugarte when he is captured for killing the Germans to steal the letters of transit. There is male interest with the corruption of Captain Louis Renault. There is even action in the flashback scene when the Germans invade Paris. Action continues with the fight between Yvonnes new German boyfriend and the Frenchman at the bar and is broken up by Rick in his tough-guy fashion. Men even enjoy the fight for who can out-sing the other in the battle of the anthems. There is action all the way to the final scenes when Major Strasser is murdered at the airport.
Casablanca is a tale that is loved for its appeal to men and women alike. It has all of the necessary ingredients, action, adventure, romance and mystery. It is a film that people will watch again and again and enjoy it each and every
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