Wednesday, April 25, 2007
If I were a woman, and I were not around, I should be in love with Rick
At some point in the planning stages last semester, I realized that the last Wednesday of the semester would fall on my birthday. Wednesdays for me are generally long, particularly if the department schedules a meeting early in the morning, which it chose to do today. Luckily, however, it also falls on my screening day, which means at least I could pick some movies that, quite frankly, I wanted to see.
So, as I have been saying all day today, I have finally joined the ranks of what the media advertising executives might term as "undesirable"; that is, I turned 35 today. And to celebrate, I ignored the fact that I was missing a meeting and gleefully watched Casablanca on the big screen, which always makes me happy. Between Claude Rains as Louis Renault, perhaps my favorite supporting character in all moviedom, and the Silver Screen goddess Ingrid Bergman (or, as she is known in our house, She Who Jeff Would Stalk If It Were Still the 1940s And/Or Ingrid Were Still Alive), I was perfectly in my element. Naturally, the movie has something for everyone (intrigue, romance, guns, sharp dialogue, iconic music, Paris, etc.), so I don't understand if people say they don't love it, but I do find it an "adult" movie of sorts. I don't remember the first time I saw it, though I imagine it was in college, when I really started watching movies in earnest; that is to say, whenever I saw it first, it was not like an immediate revelation. Instead, my relationship with Casablanca has been a slow, constant burn. I do not quote dialogue from films, and yet this is one that I can actually quote. I could easily get through the rest of the day after watching this.
Casablanca: the present I gave myself. Happy birthday to me, old man.
(Coming soon: the trip to Mexico, and my run for NPR)