Tuesday, October 19, 2010

i came to casablanca for the waters

Captain Renault: What in heaven's name brought you to Casablanca?
Rick: My health. I came to Casablanca for the waters.
Captain Renault: The waters? What waters? We're in the desert.
Rick: I was misinformed.

I was thinking about this great line, in a whole movie full of great lines, and how it seems to me the epitome of Humphrey Bogart's screen persona and his appeal. The words spoken are innocent enough, but let there be no mistake, Bogie's Rick Blaine is not going to tell anyone anything he doesn't want to.
Dialogue in movies like Casablanca is so subtle and multi-layered. Not only do they not make movies like this very often anymore, but people just don't seem to speak like this anymore. With subtext. I am constantly amazed at the brashness of people in conversation, the questions the have no hestitation in asking. Questions, that I was taught when I was growing up, are plain rude—How old are you? How much do you make?—And anything else that one might consider a tad personal.

It's not the facebook generation. They all grow up knowing each other's business, so they don't need to ask the rude questions. It's their parents' generation. Whenever I am confronted by someone that I feel may be prying, or has crossed one of my invisible boundaries, I am going to try and conjure up Bogie and how he answered Louis's nosy parker-ness. The Bogie of Casablanca, not this Bogie ...

Although I love that Bogie, too.
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