Saturday, January 10, 2004


I mentioned in an earlier entry that I'm a sucker for commentary tracks. I recently borrowed the special edition DVD of Casablanca from the library to check out Rudy Behlmer's commentary track, and decided to check out Roger Ebert's commentary track too, even though I didn't like his commentary tracks for Citizen Kane and Dark City. To my surprise, I enjoyed Ebert's track. Maybe that's because Ebert's commentary tracks focus on the surface aspects of movies, and Casablanca works almost entirely on the surface. (The same is true for Dark City, but I didn't much like Dark City).

Incidentally, Ebert mentions some of the improbabilities in the movie's plot, such as the notorious "letters of transit," and the absurdity of a notorious leader of the resistance openly walking around, under his own name, in Vichy-controlled Casablanca. But he missed one (which had never occurred to me until this viewing). Laszlo says that he needs to go to America to continue his work in the resistance. What resistance work would he do in America? Europe was where the action was.

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