I digress, back to the movie. A cynical American running a bar in unoccupied Africa in 1941 runs into an old flame and puts his own feelings aside to take advantage of his underground connections with a corrupt Vichy French officer to help the leader of the Czech underground escape to continue his fight against tyranny. Got it? Good.
OK, so the story is a little hard to follow, and the plot moves a little slowly for the 21st Century. What struck me is the artistry of the film. Every scene is lit like a portrait, with a key, a hair light, and a grid on the background (pay attention to the filter on the lens every time they show Ingrid Bergman). The entire movie is dialogue, with very little action. The beauty of the film, and the intriguing story, are what captivate the viewer. In this era of overdone special effects and movie rehashes, it is real breath of fresh air.
What's the point? With technological miracles at our fingertips, maybe it's a good idea to practice KISS once in a while. Keep It Simple Stupid. Maybe we don't always need outrageous special effects to make something beautiful and interesting. Hmmm...
Here's an idea; turn off your Blackberry, don't check Facebook, and don't even Tweet your thoughts about the movie. I know, it's more than a little hypocritical to write this in a blog. Just pour yourself a Champagne cocktail and enjoy Rick Blaine's dry humor, a great story in historical context, and some of the best movie lines ever. Here's looking at you kid.
PS I posted one of my favorite scenes below.
PPS Do you know the movie yet?
PPPS It's Casablanca