Saturday, January 28, 2023

“I’d bet they’re asleep in New York. I’d bet they’re asleep all over America…”

Casablanca is eighty years old. Why do I re-watch it? Because it's true?
The greatest works of art, the ones that transcend generations and enter our cultural canon, manage to capture timeless themes of human existence. They explore love, heartbreak, sacrifice, devotion to a higher cause, or the score of other emotions and experiences that fill life. It is for this reason that the world has turned to Casablanca over and over again for the last 80 years and will continue to until the last humans die off. It is timeless. It is human. ....

That Casablanca is true makes it a classic all on its own. That it is beautifully shot, wonderfully acted, and endlessly quotable is icing on the cake—“Round up the usual suspects,” “we’ll always have Paris,” here’s looking at you kid,” “this looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” It should be noted too, that the singing of “La Marseillaise” may be the most moving scene in cinematic history.

Eighty years on and the world may have changed, but humans haven’t. Life is cliché. It’s still the same old story: A fight for love and glory, a case of do or die. The world will always welcome lovers, as time goes by.
Alec Dent, "A Defense of Clichés," The Dispatch, Jan 28, 2023.

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