CASABLANCA: ANALYSIS OF EDITINGVIDEO EDITING
JAYA PAVITHRA C.B
CASABLANCAA 1942 American romantic drama starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. Story by Murray Burnett and Joan Allison. Screenplay by: Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, and Howard Koch.
Editing by: OWEN MARKSHe spent his entire career at Warner Brothers, under contract as editor from 1928 until his death in 1960
SummaryRick is the owner of a cafe in the transitional town of Casablanca in North Africa during the end of the Second World War. He lives an isolated life and refuses to take sides in the war even though he has a history of fighting against the Nazis. Years ago, Rick was in Paris with a young woman named Ilsa. The two were deeply in love but didn t know much about each other (they chose to keep it that way). On the eve of the German invasion of Paris, they had planned to leave the city together but Ilsa never showed up. Rick has lived in bitter resentment in Casablanca ever since. One day, Ilsa arrives in Casablanca with Victor Laslo, a leader in of the French Freedom fighters against the Nazis. They are searching for exit visas to escape to America. Rick has the exit visas but refuses to help on account of his painful past with Ilsa. Rick and Ilsa fight over their painful memories and Ilsa finally reveals that Victor Laslo is her husband but she had thought him dead while in Paris. She found out that he was alive prior to her planned escape with Rick and chose to return to Victor and help him with the freedom fighting cause. Ilsa reveals that she is still deeply in love with Rick and leaves her life in Rick s hands. Rick arranges to escape Casablanca with Ilsa
but in the end sends Ilsa off to America with Victor Laslo, sacrificing his chance to be with Ilsa to become a patriot fighting against the Nazis again
Editing style and techniques used in the film:y The prominent editing style used in the film CASABLANCA is the classical old style of
continuity editing or the invisible editing . y Characteristics of continuity editing o o o o o o o o o o o This method establishes coherent narrative Creates narrative continuity Allows space, time & action to flow smoothly Privileges narrative & dialogue Avoids visually obtrusive edits Appears invisible and/or natural Presents plot consistently & chronologically One-for-one frequency (event shown once) Duration usually not expanded Temporal continuity no gaps in narrative progression May be most common but does not have artistic priority over other editing
Incorporation of continuity editing in CASABLANCAy The film is a great example for continuity editing , following many of the above mentioned
characteristics . y The entire film, the editor firstly establishes the space or the place , with an establishment
shot or a long shot then cuts to the close up shot of the same place , so that editing seems seamless.
Shot 1 : long shot of Rick s cafe
Shot 2: close up of Rick s cafe
In the same way , editing establishes Rick s cafe , gives a character to it , shows it as
mysterious and spooky. y In the film from the 6th minute to the 8th minute , the cafe is established and it also portrays
the general mood of the people residing in Casablanca , in a single place .
Dialogue sequences are constructed by a series of over the shoulder shots from one
participant in the dialogue to the other y Two or more shots edited together that alternate characters, typically in a conversation
situation. In continuity editing, characters in one framing usually look left, in the other framing, right. Over-the-shoulder framings are common in shot/reverse-shot editing.
Narrative flow is pieced together out of small fragments of action in such a way that the
piecing together goes unnoticed and the action appears continuous throughout the film .It is as if you eye moves automatically in that direction and the person also moves , hence editing is unobtrusive . y The film uses close up shots extensively for a longer duration say 15 seconds without any
transition .The close up are particularly used to depict sadness or a particular emotion .
The gaze of the viewer is linked to the gaze of the main characters through a series of shots
that show a character and then show what the character is looking at.
Point of view technique is often used to place the audience in the position of the main
character. The Point of View shot (POV) begins with a character looking off screen we then cut to the object the character is looking at. This is accomplished in editing
What distinguishes point of view editing is that the object is shown from the character s
optical vantage point i.e. directly through the character s eyes
Though the editing techniques are very simple , when analysed reveal important points
about the characters and story .The film begins with a series of establishing shots that describe the city on the map ,the kind of people in the city , and finally ,the outside of Rick s cafe . Only then does the film proceeds with the story of Rick .
Montage sequence is employed in the flashback very briefly to establish time in Paris.
Simultaneous events are shown , Lazlo and Karl escaping the officers , at the same time a
romantic encounter between Ilsa and Rick .
Stereotypes in editing in Casablancay y There are not much stereotypes , but the common ones still place themselves in the film . Establishment of the protagonist , creating a sense of suspense by first showing parts of him and then finally revealing who he is , showing his face .
Having a predictive and stereotypical music , by which we come to know that both Rick and
Ilsa associate with that music personally to the love and happy times they had in Paris , but we come to know only later about it , which is already predicted by the viewer. (As time goes by sung by Sam in the film ) y Almost all the films begin with establishment shots with tilt up or tilt down , stereotypically
employed here too . y Establishment of time , but in this film there is not much day light shots but predominantly
night , but editing establishes that whether the cafe is open or closed , and thus evening and late night respectively.
Usually when we see the hero sober and with drinks we associate with failure of love ,
which leads to a flashback . In the same way Rick goes back to his past .
Usually films depict some scene , where they establish that the hero is a good ,kind person .
Here editing establishes that Rick is a kind man , who helps the women , by making her husband win money , so that they can return to America . y o Visually , stereotypes in this film are The entire film uses low key lighting , attached shadows , cast shadows to create suspense
and mystery .
TransitionsThe film Casablanca uses the following transitions
1.Fade in is used only in the beginning scene , after the title credits following which the globe is inserted .
2.Fade out- It is used in the ending part of the movie , where Renault and Rick walk away together , Fading out to The end
3.Dissolve It is used mainly in the film for going to the past or flashback .
In the flashback sequence , the transition used mostly is dissolve .In total , the film uses 6 dissolves .
It is used in the beginning of the film , during montage sequences of refugees moving .
There are totally 64 cut transition used in the movie .
Cut is the main transition employed for the continuous narration of the movie .
Graphics and animationy As it is a black and white film of 1942 , there is not much scope for graphics in the process of editing. y y Graphics are only present in the form of transitions mostly . The beginning of the film uses some extent of animation , A globe revolving and when it stops revolving ,it turns briefly into a contour map of Europe , then into a flat map . Superimposed over this map are scenes of refugees fleeing and all converging to Casablanca Arrows on the map illustrate the routes taken as a voice narrates
The title credits use additive dissolve , where one shot starts appearing while the other dissolves in the background of the Africa map .
There are no end credits for the film , the last scene fades out and there is a fade in of a shot THE END
Soundy The movie starts with a voice over or narration describing about the migration , with a
background score in the back . y The entire sound track of the movie complements with the narration and the coherent
progression of the story . y The rhythms are in pace with the visual , for example , scenes where Ilsa and Rick confront
each other , the background score is rapid , when they first meet . y The background score in the film is used mainly for actions , and not often during dialogue
delivery . y A "signature tune" is a phrase or theme which, primarily through r epe a t ed use, becomes
very closely associated with a studio, actor, or film. Anothe r is the song "As Time Goes By," the signature tune for the film Casablanca y y y The sounds in the film are mostly source oriented , we can see the source on screen The continuity in editing is also established in terms of sound .There are no abrupt sounds . Sound perspective is maintained . for example , when the German officer is approaching the
airfield in his car , its an off screen sound , both Renault and Rick turn and acknowl