Sunday, June 01, 2008

"The movie Casablanca is okay, but needs a lot work", or "Stuff It, Sam"

In addition to teaching high school science, Husband also teaches a class about classic film. The students watch the films, and write essays about them.

I usually avoid reading my husband's student's essays, but, today he was reading over their essays about Casablanca.


Yes, Casablanca. A beloved, classic film. A film that won three Oscars. (For the record, Best Picture, Best Screen Play, and Best Director.) (Humphrey Bogart and Claude Rains were nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, respectively, but lost out to Paul Lukas and Charles Coburn.) (I had to look that up, I mean, the part about who Bogart and Rains lost out to. Show of hands of everybody whose even HEARD of Paul Lukas and/or Charles Coburn??? Yeah, I didn't so.) (Incidentally, Ingrid Bergman was nominated for Best Actress that year for her roll in For Whom The Bell Tolls, which may explain why she didn't get the nod for her roll as Ilsa in Casablanca.) (Also worthy of note, there was talk of re-shooting some of the scenes between Bogart and Bergman to incorporate a song other than "As Time Goes By". They weren't able to re-shoot because Bergman had cut her hair for the filming of For Whom The Bell Tolls. Imagine what they might have done to the film if they had heard of hair extensions in 1942. Imagine this scene without "As Time Goes By"!!!)

Anyway, Husband, feeling a certain amount of frustration, handed me the paper of a student who shall remain nameless. (Because hopefully, someday, he or she will grow up and see the error of their thinking and I would hate for her/him to have it immortalized on the Internet that he/she ever wrote a paper the likes of which I read this morning.)

I think that my blood pressure rose to dangerously high levels just reading the student's paper. Suffice it to say that the student was unimpressed with Casablanca. The paper was full of implications that the film was boring and poorly acted and poorly written.

I think I showed amazing restraint, when, coming to the last sentence of the paper, "The movie Casablanca is okay, but needs a lot of work" - I did not write "What the frap are you smoking?" at the bottom of the page. Casablanca? NEEDS WORK? Go find Bogart and deliver THAT message...

Some days I fear for our future...



Blogger chel said...

YAY- it let me log in to leave a comment.

I bet this kid thinks Quentin Tarantino is an elite auteur, as well.

I actually know who Charles Coburn is, but I have a MA in Film Studies so I *should* know that. No one else should. Reason #194638 I hate the whole film awards thing so very much.

Sunday, June 01, 2008 3:35:00 PM  
Blogger kj said...

I'm so, so sorry.

But I'm sure some students were amazed at the film! [I hope, I hope, I hope.]

I'm dying to know what Shakespeare films he teaches and what sort of reaction he gets from them.



Sunday, June 01, 2008 4:37:00 PM  
Blogger mam said...

I didn't like the Beatles, even know who Elvis Costello was, or watch my first Monty Python movie till I think there's still hope for the world.

Sunday, June 01, 2008 9:03:00 PM  
Blogger JenandAsh said...

I have been lurking on your blog for a little while now. This comment is totally off topic, but I thought I would pass this information along.

You've said your son likes "O'Brother Where Art Thou" right? You should look at It's the same kind of music as O'Brother (30's parlor music). You can buy their cd's on the website and listen to a few samples.

Sunday, June 01, 2008 9:35:00 PM  
Blogger Tranny Head said...

HAHAHA - he probably thinks "Titanic" was a fantastic work of art!

Monday, June 02, 2008 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger Melissia said...

Casablanca was my first date movie, seen at age 16, not restored, shown in the basement of the public library. I was 16, a projector was used and A small pull up screen. It was still magic! The date wasn't bad either.
So tell your husband that some teenagers can recognize that it doesn't need work, and is more than just okay.

Monday, June 02, 2008 1:39:00 PM  
Blogger A Voice of Sanity said...

I think I showed amazing restraint, when, coming to the last sentence of the paper, "The movie Casablanca is okay, but needs a lot of work"

Well sure. Someone cut off the edges of the picture (it's so much nicer watching movies through a slit), the color is almost non existent, the stereo sound doesn't seem to be working and the CGI effects are very poor!

My niece once asked me why I wanted to watch 'that old film' - "Some Like It Hot" - but at the end she grudgingly admitted that it 'was pretty funny'.

Monday, July 21, 2008 2:06:00 AM  

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