The 75th Anniversary of Casablanca: A Poem

November 26, 2017 at 4:55 pm (Culture, Entertainment, Film, Geopolitics and International Relations, Movies, News, Poetry) (, , , , , )

The 75th Anniversary of Casablanca: A Poem

It was 75 years ago today (November 26th 1942) that the film Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman had its world premiere in New York City.

Dark times
The world in crisis
Refugees fleeing an entire continent
Inhabitants of imprisoned Europe
Fleeing south to Africa

To Casablanca in Morocco 🇲🇦
hoping to catch the plane to Lisbon in neutral Portugal 🇵🇹
and from there flee to somewhere in the Americas

Rick’s Cafe Americain
a meeting ground
with a varied clientele
Vichy French and Nazi German officials
interspersed with refugees from Europe
A mingling of the best and the worst
the world has to offer
with many people caught in between

And in this intermingling of chaos and conflict
of hope and despair
of greed and apathy
a love triangle emerges
two men and a woman
and in this love triangle
no villain
only 3 people beset by time and circumstance
to find themselves in a situation
that none of them would have entered through choices of their own

For the refugees
is there a way out?
For those caught in the love triangle
is there a way out?

The way out is a plane to Lisbon
Who will board that plane?

In Casablanca, some will lose their lives
In Casablanca, some will lose their hope
In Casablanca, some have already lost their souls
In Casablanca, two men will regain theirs
in what will be the start of a beautiful friendship

Such is Casablanca.

-A poem written by Christopher
Sunday November 26th
2017.

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Casablanca: A Poem As Film Review

November 18, 2015 at 8:08 pm (Film, Movies, Poetry) (, , , , , , )

Casablanca: A Poem As Film Review

Casablanca the film
set in early 1940s Casablanca the place
A microcosm of the world
when evil reigns
The characters in this film and place
reflect those varying examples of humanity
that populate the world in such perilous times
Ugarte (Peter Lorre) the scoundrel who trades and makes his money off people’s misery
who’s willing to sell people hope… for a huge price.
Signor Ferrari (Sydney Greenstreet) a crook but one not totally devoid of humanity
He makes his living off catering to people’s vices
but somehow is willing to let people’s souls remain their own
Major Strasser (Conrad Veight) the Nazi and representative of all who are evil for evil’s sake
who wish to control human souls and human minds and break human wills and crush human hearts so that all will succumb and bend to their own Evil Heartless Will To Power.
Captain Louis Renault (Claude Rains) a man not really good but then again not really evil
a man who’s willing to straddle the fence and see which way the wind is blowing
a man who’s quite simply willing to just go along
(when confronted with such a man, I can imagine in my mind, an old Southern Gospel choir singing, “Isn’t he a lot like you and me?”).
Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid) a true hero… a noble soul… an extremely rare individual in today’s world
And like most noble and heroic souls is inspired by Truth and Love (in Laszlo’s case, the love and support of a beautiful and truly good woman Ilsa)
Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) a noble and heroic soul but like many noble and heroic souls who have hit their head too many times against a brick wall (either of human evil or far more prevalent human indifference)
have retreated into a seemingly impenetrable hard shell of cynicism
For most souls like Rick’s the breaking point was a rejected love… a time of happiness and then inexplicably their love just simply vanished from their lives
Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) a good and beautiful woman… a gentle soul… a woman without malice… a woman who truly and absolutely through no fault of her own… finds herself in love with two men
Other people populate this microcosm of Casablanca that reflects our larger world…
Sam (Dooley Wilson) the entertainer whose mission in life is to bring laughter and song and music and above all hope into people’s lives, to, in various forms, tell “the same old story A fight for love and glory”
Yvonne (Madeleine LeBeau) a fallen woman who, one would think had forever turned her back on the nobler things in life, but when in an act of heroism, Victor Laszlo leads the band in singing La Marseillaise in the cafe to drown out Major Strasser and his Nazis singing a German militaristic song, Yvonne joins in singing La Marseillaise inspired by Laszlo’s example of true heroic courage
Annina (Joy Page) the young refugee woman who finds herself in evil times and an impossible place who must be willing to make compromises and sacrifices in order to save herself and the one she loves… even if that sacrifice means sacrificing her virtue
Jan (Helmut Dantine) who is Anna’s husband – a naive idealist who thinks somehow that luck on its own will come his way and is blind to the operations of evil and corruption in the society all around him

And so all of them are thrown together into this cocktail of good and evil, love and hate, heroism and indifference, honour and betrayal that is Casablanca
Such was the world in 1942.
And such is our world fast becoming today.
But the sad part for today’s world is that there are too many Major Strassers and too many Ugartes and far far far too many Captain Renaults
and nary a Victor Laszlo, Rick or Ilsa to be found.

-A poem written by Christopher
Monday November 9th 2015.

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Haiku About Casablanca The Film

November 8, 2015 at 8:45 pm (Art, Entertainment, Film, Movies, Poetry) (, , , , , , )

Haiku About Casablanca The Film

Down at Rick’s Cafe
Rick weeps Ilsa leaves and Sam…
plays… As Time Goes By

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