Professional Writing: Process and Practice
EN 1700 – Fall/Winter 2009/2010 – Jan Rehner
Lecture 5 – Casablanca – Oct 19
- Mass fantasies produced for mass audiences.
- Casablanca’s dialogue:
o Used in other movies.
- Emblem of the studio system – Warner Brother’s style.
- In many ways an accident.
- Reagan was going to be role of Rick.
- The plane in the movie is fake – cheap wood surrounded with fog.
o Dreamy romantic moments surrounded with the fog.
- Ilsa doesn’t know who she’s supposed to be with.
- Roberto claims that it is special that it is the emblem of the movies. Hollywood
archives. Combines motifs and genres of classical areas. Suspense, thriller,
mystery and melodrama.
- Timing could not have been better.
- Shows after the day after pearl harbour entering World War II.
- Through the movies, government portrayed a message to the public about the
- War film, it is not a combat film.
- Works because it has a battlefield where every individual can take part in.
- Self-sacrifice equates with heroism.
- During the making, solidified USA image of imagination.
- Movies became part of the American dream.
- Rick is the rebellious hero, lone wolf, defends the weak, individual who follows
his own role.
- Pure wishful thinking – America.
- The film opens and ends with plane that are leaving for America (sign of hope)
o People are watching.
o Human life is cheap. People are bought and sold for transit papers.
o Rick stands out as the individual that follows his own higher code.
- The café where Rick is called Rick’s Café. Embodies the idea of a melting pot.
Sink harbour and become just one country.
- Everybody who works at the café is family. Everyone is international. Came to
America the same way as portrayed in the beginning of the movie.
- Stracer is anti-Nazi (left Germany), and helped Lazlo leave.
- Casablanca is a love story – star crossed lovers. Love found, lost, redeemed,
and sacrificed to a higher cause.
- Message: political church. - Movies shape our values, our definitions of concepts – gender recognition,
beauty, violence and death.
- They can and do alter our sense of reality.
- Movies have become more sophisticated, must acknowledge that movies give us
a social construction of reality. Movies are never neutral. Encode particular views
and values. May leave out certain points of view. They influence people’s values
and beliefs even our behaviour.
- To substitute reality with the movies.
- Film is very seductive; its power lies that it can create levels of reality that are
more desirable than the reality.
- We can enter movies reality easier than our own lives.
- We really need to ask ourselves do we surrender to the images we are exposed
- Who is going to the control of these images? Producer or the audience
- Consumers should be aware of the messages, cannot let them replace our own
- Decode movies:
o Must develop a perspective of what you might call the skill of critical
observation. Look deeper, don’t stay at the surface. Active viewing as
opposed to pass