The Doha Film Institute is showing a series of films at the end of February, including Casablanca. With that in mind, here’s looking at what’s in store.
The Doha Film Institute will be showcasing a series of award-winning films on February 27 and 28, with Les Choristes (The Chorus) being screened at 4pm and Whiplash at 7pm on Friday 27, and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and Casablanca being shown at 4pm and 7pm respectively on February 28. With that in mind, I explore the best things about these films, especially Casablanca.
Iconic and timeless, Casablanca is a fantastic romantic drama, with love and duty at the fore. With Humphrey Bogart playing Rick and Ingrid Bergman Isla, the pair rekindle their affection for each other, as Rick has the tormenting decision as to whether to pursue his love interest with Isla or help her Czech resistance leader husband escape Casablanca to continue his fight with the Nazis during World War Two.
With Rick owning Rick’s Café nightclub, the clientele is ‘mixed’ and Rick professes to be neutral on all political matters, but it becomes increasingly obvious that this is not the case, with it later being revealed that he fought against fascist Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War.
Ultimately, he helps the pair escape, holding Captain Renault at gunpoint to assist their escape and shooting Nazi Major Heinrich Strasser dead.
It won three Academy awards for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay. The cast were not aware, when they were making the movie, that it would be such a success.
Of course, the main theme, As Time Goes By, originally sang in the film and released by Dooley Wilson (playing Sam), is yet another piece of Casablanca magic.
Top Casablanca quotes
There are many quotes that will never be forgotten, (even as time goes by), and have become part of movie history. Here are just a few of them.
Rick: ‘Of all the [refreshment] joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine.’ Rick utters this about Isla to Sam.
Isla: ‘Play it once, Sam. For old times’ sake.’ Isla implores Sam to play the one song Rick has forbidden him to play at the club, prompting him to come over and find Isla by the piano with Sam.
Rick: ‘If that plane leaves the ground and you’re not with him, you’ll regret it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.’ This quote is from the end, when Rick, despite his love for Isla, makes her board the plane to Lisbon with her husband.
Rick: ‘Here’s looking at you, kid.’ His finishing remark to Isla has become one of the most famous lines in film history. Effectively a more-affectionate way of saying goodbye, it has remained as an extremely well-known one-liner from Bogart.
Rick: ‘Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.’ Captain Louis Renault, who tipped off Major Strasser that Laszlo planned to escape to Lisbon, decides to tell the police to “round up the usual suspects” when the police arrive after Rick shoots him, in complete knowledge that it was Rick that shot him.
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
Ang Lee directed this awesome masterpiece. Released in 2000, it won four Academy Awards at the Oscars. Set in the Qing Dynasty in 1779, the action-packed adventure sees Mu Bai (played by Chow Yun Fat), intending to give up his warrior life, hoping to give the sword as a gift to his friend Sir Te. It gets stolen by a masked thief, Jen, an accomplice of Jade Fox, the same person who killed Mu Bai’s master many years ago. Jen, it appears, has been secretly learning the master arts of Wudang, and has surpassed Jade Fox in skill. What ensues is a series of epic fighting scenes and Mu Bai having to fight until the sword is recovered. The rest…well…you’ll have to go and watch.
Released in 2004, this French film follows conductor Pierre Morhange and delves into his love for music and how he acquired this passion at school, with the emergence of a new teacher, Clément Mathieu, who assembles a choir. Morhange, at a boarding school for ‘difficult boys,’ is ultimately inspired by Mathieu’s passion for music and, with many twists and turns, it is a great watch.
The Doha Film Institute will be showing these three films and Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash, recently voted winner of the Best Filmmaker award at the recent Ajyal Youth Film Festival, on February 27 and February 28. For more details and ticketing information, visit www.dohafilminstitute.com.