Final Paper Film150

Submitted By musiclover1996
Words: 1281
Pages: 6

Jane Deer
CIN 150
Continuity in Casablanca Casablanca, produced by Hal B. Wallis, directed by Michael Curtiz, and edited by Owen Marks, debuted in 1942 starring actors and actresses such as Humphrey Bogart (Rick Blaine), Paul Henreid (Victor Laszlo) and Ingrid Bergman (Isla Lund). With the use of continuity editing, Owen Marks creates the illusion that the film’s reality is in truth the audience’s, making an effortless story for the audience to take part in. Near the beginning of the film, a scene unfolds where Richard “Rick” Blaine, the owner of “Rick’s Café Américain,” speaks with a young Bulgarian woman asking for his advice. The viewers watch as she approaches Rick’s table and sits down with him. Throughout their conversation, the perspective changes from over the young Bulgarian woman’s shoulder, to over Rick’s shoulder, and so forth. As the scene continues onto the next, the audience sees Rick enter another area of his nightclub. This entire scene shows Rick helping the young Bulgarian woman and her husband win enough money to get to America by assisting the young man in a game of roulette. While these sequences could have been taken in one long shot, Marks and Curtiz show this scene through multiple perspectives, changing between them roughly twenty-nine times before Rick exits the scene and the movie continues on to the next sequence. As Rick enters the gambling den, the audience watches him approach the roulette table and put out his cigarette. After this moment, the perspectives throughout this scene switch from watching Rick walk around the table to the young man to looking over the young man’s shoulder to give the audience a view of the man running the game of roulette to facing Rick, the young man, and the young man’s wife, and so forth. Although these sequence of shots could have been taken as one, the audience would not have gotten the ability to experience the atmosphere surrounding the young Bulgarian couple and Rick, nor would they have had the same feelings towards Rick’s generosity. Taking each shot separately gives each one more meaning to what is happening in the frame. As well as employing multiple perspectives to convey the atmosphere of the gambling den, Marks and Curtiz use the technique of crosscutting within the sequence to heighten the suspense of not knowing whether or not Rick has truly been able to help the young woman and the young man. As the scene progresses, the young man puts his chips out onto the roulette table twice, the second time a greater risk than the first, though not any less anxiety-ridden than the first time he trusted Rick and put his chips out. Marks and Curtiz do this by, when the young man is about to risk everything, only showing the audience the young man’s hands sliding the chips onto the table. Instead of panning out and showing the young man’s surroundings, the audience only sees what Marks and Curtiz choose to show. Crosscutting is once again employed, though earlier in the film, specifically in the scene used to introduce the audience to Rick. First the audience views the establishing shot, gaining an idea of what the setting for the film will be. The hustle and bustle of Casablanca, the arrest of several men and the shooting of another, the glimpse of “Rick’s Café Américain,” and then finally the inside of Rick’s café. As the camera captures a multitude of people and their happenings, it eventually falls to a man carrying some sort of notepad. As he hands this notepad off to another man, a crosscut takes place. Instead of cutting directly to Rick signing a piece of paper, a close-up of the notepad is what follows, showing the audience that the notepad is not a notepad but is in fact a checkbook. After that the camera switches to a hand signing the check, eventually panning out to reveal Rick, the owner of the café. Even though this interjection only lasts a couple seconds, this scene allows the audience to feel the importance of Rick