If Ed Wood Jr. Had Directed Casablanca

February 15, 2021 at 11:53 pm (Comedy, Culture, Film, Movies, Romance, Vampire novel) (, )

Michelangelo the Psychic Lobster was having a dream about what would have happened if the famed 1950s corny sci-fi and horror film director Ed Wood Jr. had directed the 1942 film Casablanca instead of Michael Curtiz.

Michelangelo entered the old time movie theatre carrying his large popcorn and large Coke just at the moment of the film’s climatic ending.

Michelangelo took a seat in the front row so that no tall idiot could sit in front of him.

This is what he saw:

Rick: Ilsa, I thought you were getting on a plane.

Ilsa: So did I, Rick. But all that seems to be here is this wheelbarrow.

Rick: I knew I shouldn’t have sent you to one of those fly-by-night Casablanca travel agencies. They promise you the world and give you one of those washroom cubicles.

Ilsa: Oh, Rick. What should I do?

Rick: Where’s your husband Victor Laszlo?

Ilsa: He came down with food poisoning after eating in your Cafe Americain, Rick.

Rick: Damn. I told the chef to “Cook it again, Pam.”

Ilsa: It looks like the only way to Lisbon is in this wheelbarrow, Rick.

Rick (looking at his watch): You better get started then, Ilsa. It’s going to take a long time floating in the Mediterranean past the Straits of Gibraltor and then up part of the Atlantic coast to reach Portugal. I don’t know how far it is to Lisbon from the Portuguese coast. Geography was never my strong point. That’s why I wasn’t so successful running guns during the Spanish Civil War by going to South Africa instead of Spain.

Ilsa: But do wheelbarrows float, Rick?

Rick: I don’t know, Ilsa. Archimedes and his theory of water dispersal was never my strong point either. That’s why I have to have a lifeguard standing by every time I take a bath.

Ilsa (throwing her arms around Rick): Oh Rick, I can’t leave you.

Rick: Listen, Ilsa, if you don’t get into that wheelbarrow, you’ll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. But someday and soon.

Ilsa (with tears in her eyes): But what about us, Rick?

Rick: We’ll always have Paris.

Ilsa: Where you stuck me with paying the check?

Rick: Where I stuck you with paying the check.

Ilsa: I hope I won’t regret this, Rick. (Gets into wheelbarrow)

Rick: You won’t regret it, Ilsa.

Ilsa: I’m starting to regret it already, Rick. This wheelbarrow is loaded with wet cement.

Rick: What the- ?

Ilsa: And the cement seems to be rising, Rick. It’s burying me alive.

(Captain Louis Renault of the Vichy French Police Casablanca Division arrives on the scene)

Captain Renault: Well it appears our Ilsa Lund has become a hardened criminal.

Rick: Hardened yes. But I don’t think a criminal.

(The rest of the Vichy Police Force Casablanca Department arrive)

Captain Renault (blowing his whistle): Men, our would be escaped refugee Ilsa Lund has become a concrete case. Round up the usual suspects.

(The police head off to round up the usual suspects)

Captain Renault: You know, Rick, I’ve always been wanting a statue by the fountain in my back yard garden. I’ll pay you 10,000 francs if you wheel this wheelbarrow down to my garden and place Ilsa there next to the fountain.

Rick (picking up the two handles of the wheelbarrow): You know, Louis. This could be the start of a beautiful friendship.

(Rick pushing the wheelbarrow and Captain Louis Renault depart together into the foggy mist filled night).

-A vampire novel chapter
written by Christopher
Monday February 15th
2021

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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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Sidney Seagull Private Eye

January 4, 2014 at 4:50 pm (Entertainment, Humour, Movies, Satire, Short Story) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Sidney Seagull Private Eye

British Columbia’s most famous seagull Sidney had opened up a private eye’s office on the beach at Vancouver’s English Bay.

He sat around drinking a bottle of bourbon and smoking a cigar while he waited for his first client to show up.

He got a lot of peculiar looks from human passers-by as he did so.

His friend Red Herring Gull flew in to see what he was doing.

“Hi Sid,” Red greeted him, “what’s up?”.

“I’ve decided to go into the private eye business, sweetheart,” Sidney answered in a Humphrey Bogart sounding voice.

“And are you coming out of the closet in the process as well?” Red asked, “You just called me sweetheart.”

“Of course not, you moron,” Sidney choked on his bourbon and cigar, “that’s just the way private eyes talk.”

“Sidney,” a female seagull who sounded a lot like Ingrid Bergman flew into his office.

“Why of all the private eye offices on all the beaches in all the world did she have to fly into this one?” Sidney buried his head in his fedora hat.

“Oh Sidney,” the seagull whose name was Ilsa sighed, “we’ll always have Paris.”

“Funny you should mention Paris,” Sidney belched bourbon, “Miss Hilton was quite pissed off when I crapped all over her dress.”

“I’m talking about Paris France, silly,” Ilsa batted her false eyelashes at him.

“I got the point right on the top of the Eiffel Tower,” Sidney recalled, “most painful enema I’ve ever had in my life.”

“Oh Sidney,” Ilsa started to cry and her mascara flowed like rain along the beach, “why are you so angry?”.

“Gees, I don’t know,” Sidney’s seagull lips dripped with sarcasm, “maybe it was because I was sitting alone in the rain looking stupid on a statue of Charles de Gaulle holding a note that said ‘Dear Rick, I find I have to suddenly leave Paris without you. Love, Ilsa’. That note pissed me off for two reasons. Reason #1: You had forgotten my name because you called me Rick and not Sidney. Reason # 2: You suddenly had to leave Paris without me.”

“Oh, Sidney, you’ve changed,” Ilsa sobbed.

“Of course I’ve changed,” Sidney replied, ” you think I’d wear the same suit that I wore in Paris? With all those coffee stains on it as a result of all those clumsy French waiters?”.

“You don’t understand, Rick,” Ilsa had forgotten Sidney’s name again, “that day when we were supposed to leave Paris together… the day when they started selling German sausages at stands along the Champs-Élysées… I received word that my husband did not die in a hockey training camp after all. He was alive and well and living in Paris. I had to leave Paris with him.”

“What? You couldn’t have dumped your husband and eloped with a bum like me?” Sidney swallowed his cigar, “what’s good enough for the Kardashians isn’t good enough for you?”.

“You don’t understand, Sidney,” Ilsa was crying as much now as a guest would on one of those sisterly blubberfests on the old Oprah Winfrey Show, “my husband is a leader in the Czech resistance movement and he’d fail without my love and support.”

“And as leader of the Czech resistance movement,” Sidney reached for another bottle of bourbon, “just what is it that he’s supposed to be resisting?”.

“Well,” Ilsa replied, “as leader of the Czech resistance movement, he always resisted losing at Chess.”

Just then a blackbird landed on the beach.

The blackbird had a harmonica in his mouth.

“Sam,” Ilsa greeted him, “play it Sam.”

The blackbird looked at Sidney, “That all right with you, boss?”.

Sidney winced as he said, “Play it Sam.”

And so Sam the Blackbird played Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush on his harmonica.

At that moment Jonathan Livingstone Seagull flew overhead.

He had spent New Year’s Day down in the state of Colorado where they had just legalized the sale of cannabis.

While Jonathan was busy singing that old John Denver song The Colorado Rocky Mountain High, he failed to notice the giant redwood tree in Stanley Park directly in front of him and flew into it- knocking himself out in the process.

At that moment, a falcon flew into Sidney’s office.

The falcon spoke in an unknown language.

“What the Hell are you saying?” Sidney spit out his bourbon.

“I think it’s Maltese,” Red said, “I watched a documentary on Malta on The History Channel last night.”

“You mean they occasionally show other programs on The History Channel besides that stupid American Pickers?” Sidney spit out his bourbon again.

“Sorry,” the Maltese falcon spoke, “I forgot you speak English here.”

At that moment a dog whose name was Sam walked by crying, “I’ve just been spayed. I’ve just been spayed.”

“We’ll be seeing you later, Sam spayed,” Sidney spoke in his Bogart voice as he had been speaking all afternoon.

The Maltese falcon spoke to Ilsa, “I’ve been sent here by your husband to put you directly on a flight to Sochi, Russia. Your husband has been named Captain of the Czech National Hockey Team- the first seagull in history to receive this honour and he’ll be playing in the 2014 Winter Olympics.”

“But why does she need to fly to Sochi now?” Sidney asked between shots of bourbon, “The Winter Olympics are still another month away.”

“Yes but the line-ups for the best borscht soup and beef stroganoff in town have already started,” the Maltese falcon answered, “and your husband wants to be the first in line.”

A sea plane landed on the water by the beach at English Bay.

An old-time train conductor (still waiting for his ship to come in) opened the door of the sea plane and shouted, “Next flight to Sochi, Russia. All aboard.”

“Oh Rick,” Ilsa sobbed on Sidney’s shoulder, “I don’t want to get on that plane. Tell me what I should do and I’ll do it.”

“The name’s Sidney and it looks like I’ll have to do the thinking for both of us. And in the alcoholic haze I’m in, that’s going to take a great deal of talent on my part,” Sidney answered, “Look I may not be the most noble guy in the world… in fact I haven’t been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize even once. But I do know this. The problems of two seagulls don’t amount to a a hill of beans in this world. They amount to a hill of something else. But if you don’t get on that plane, you’ll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. But someday and soon.”

“Good-bye Rick,” Ilsa kissed him and boarded the plane.

“The name’s Sidney,” Sidney remarked as the plane flew off into the sunset.

“You know, Sidney,” Red broke the silence, “you know how you said you thought you looked stupid sitting alone on a statue of Charles de Gaulle in the rain?”.

“Yeah,” Sidney nodded sadly.

“Well personally I think anyone would look stupid sitting on a statue of Charles de Gaulle whatever the weather,” Red stated.

“You know, Louis,” Sidney grinned at him, “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

“The name’s Red,” Red answered, “and if you want me, whistle.”

They walked into the water together as Sam the blackbird played on his harmonica the song whose lyrics went, “Does your memory stray to a bright summer day when I laughed and called you sweetheart…”

The unconscious body of Jonathan Livingstone Seagull floated by.

Sidney took off his fedora in a sign of respect and said, “Here’s looking at you, kid.”

-A Sidney Seagull short story
written by Christopher
Friday January 3rd
2014.

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