Music 4 Unit 2 Notes.pdf - Lesson 5 Notes The classic film...

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Unformatted text preview: Lesson​ ​5​ ​Notes The​ ​classic​ ​film​ ​Casablanca​ ​will​ ​be​ ​the​ ​first​ ​full-length​ ​film​ ​we​ ​study​ ​in​ ​this​ ​course.​ ​You will​ ​find​ ​a​ ​link​ ​to​ ​it​ ​under​ ​the​ ​Films​ ​portion​ ​of​ ​the​ ​main​ ​menu.​ ​Casablanca​ ​will​ ​remain available​ ​to​ ​you​ ​from​ ​now​ ​through​ ​the​ ​end​ ​of​ ​the​ ​semester.​ ​Be​ ​sure​ ​to​ ​watch​ ​the​ ​film before​ ​reading​ ​this​ ​lesson. In​ ​this​ ​lesson,​ ​we​ ​will​ ​examine​ ​five​ ​clips​ ​from​ ​Casablanca​ ​in​ ​detail: •​ ​The​ ​opening​ ​(0:00​ ​–​ ​6:30),​ ​which​ ​consists​ ​of​ ​title​ ​music,​ ​a​ ​prologue,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​setup; •​ ​The​ ​pivotal​ ​five​ ​minutes​ ​at​ ​Rick’s​ ​(31:18​ ​–​ ​36:18)​ ​when​ ​Rick​ ​and​ ​Ilsa​ ​become reacquainted; •​ ​Rick’s​ ​flashback​ ​to​ ​Paris​ ​(37:15​ ​–​ ​51:12),​ ​in​ ​which​ ​we​ ​learn​ ​Rick​ ​and​ ​Ilsa’s​ ​back-story; •​ ​The​ ​“battle​ ​of​ ​the​ ​bands”​ ​(1:11:56​ ​–​ ​1:14:40)​ ​and​ ​its​ ​aftermath;​ ​and •​ ​The​ ​final​ ​scene​ ​at​ ​the​ ​airport​ ​(1:35:50​ ​–​ ​1:42:34). Our​ ​focus​ ​will​ ​be​ ​on​ ​the​ ​film’s​ ​two​ ​most​ ​prominent​ ​themes:​ ​“As​ ​Time​ ​Goes​ ​By”​ ​and​ ​La Marseillaise​.​ ​We​ ​will​ ​trace​ ​the​ ​uses​ ​of​ ​these​ ​themes,​ ​the​ ​ways​ ​in​ ​which​ ​they​ ​are developed,​ ​and​ ​their​ ​functions​ ​within​ ​the​ ​selected​ ​scenes.​ ​In​ ​the​ ​process,​ ​we​ ​will​ ​touch on​ ​other​ ​musical​ ​themes,​ ​as​ ​we​ ​consider​ ​the​ ​music’s​ ​interaction​ ​with​ ​the​ ​narrative,​ ​as well​ ​as​ ​with​ ​various​ ​techniques​ ​of​ ​filmmaking. Background The​ ​era​ ​of​ ​classic​ ​Hollywood​ ​film​ ​was​ ​dominated​ ​by​ ​the​ ​“studio​ ​system,”​ ​a​ ​time​ ​when​ ​a handful​ ​of​ ​major​ ​players​ ​had​ ​the​ ​means​ ​for​ ​both​ ​production​ ​and​ ​distribution​ ​of​ ​films.1 The​ ​major​ ​Hollywood​ ​studios​ ​at​ ​this​ ​time​ ​kept​ ​directors,​ ​composers,​ ​actors, musicians—and​ ​all​ ​the​ ​necessary​ ​film​ ​professionals—under​ ​contract​ ​to​ ​create​ ​films​ ​for the​ ​studio.​ ​Remarkably,​ ​in​ ​the​ ​1940s​ ​each​ ​of​ ​these​ ​studios​ ​was​ ​producing​ ​about​ ​50 films​ ​per​ ​year—almost​ ​one​ ​every​ ​week! It​ ​is​ ​a​ ​testament​ ​to​ ​the​ ​talent​ ​and​ ​efficiency​ ​of​ ​the​ ​studio​ ​system​ ​that,​ ​with​ ​such​ ​a​ ​high volume​ ​of​ ​production,​ ​there​ ​were​ ​quite​ ​a​ ​few​ ​first-rate​ ​films​ ​among​ ​them.​ ​Casablanca (1942),​ ​produced​ ​by​ ​Warner​ ​Bros.,​ ​is​ ​a​ ​case​ ​in​ ​point.​ ​Based​ ​on​ ​an​ ​unproduced​ ​play​ ​by Murray​ ​Burnett​ ​and​ ​Joan​ ​Alison,​ ​“Everybody​ ​Comes​ ​to​ ​Rick’s,”​ ​the​ ​film’s​ ​script​ ​went through​ ​a​ ​series​ ​of​ ​revisions—even​ ​as​ ​shooting​ ​was​ ​taking​ ​place.​ ​What​ ​resulted​ ​was the​ ​very​ ​timely​ setting​ ​of​ ​Casablanca​ ​in​ ​early​ ​December​ ​1941​ ​(just​ ​days​ ​before​ ​the Japanese​ ​bombing​ ​of​ ​Pearl​ ​Harbor),​ ​and​ ​a​ ​love​ ​story​ ​that​ ​sacrifices​ ​itself​ ​to​ ​the​ ​greater needs​ ​of​ ​a​ ​world​ ​at​ ​war,​ ​turning​ ​the​ ​protagonist,​ ​Rick​ ​Blaine,​ ​into​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​most memorable​ ​and​ ​heroic​ ​characters​ ​in​ ​all​ ​of​ ​cinematic​ ​history. For​ ​all​ ​the​ ​uncertainty​ ​that​ ​accompanied​ ​the​ ​final​ ​script​ ​revisions—even​ ​the​ ​stars​ ​didn’t know​ ​whether​ ​Ilsa​ ​would​ ​end​ ​up​ ​with​ ​Rick​ ​or​ ​Victor—there​ ​seems​ ​in​ ​retrospect​ ​almost an​ ​inevitability​ ​that​ ​the​ ​story​ ​would​ ​take​ ​shape​ ​as​ ​it​ ​did.​ ​Indeed,​ ​as​ ​soon​ ​as​ ​the​ ​United States​ ​had​ ​entered​ ​the​ ​war​ ​following​ ​the​ ​bombing​ ​of​ ​Pearl​ ​Harbor,​ ​Hollywood​ ​had turned​ ​its​ ​efforts​ ​to​ ​making​ ​patriotic​ ​films.​ ​Casablanca​ ​premiered​ ​at​ ​the​ ​Hollywood Theater​ ​in​ ​New​ ​York​ ​City​ ​on​ ​November​ ​26,​ ​1942,​ ​to​ ​coincide​ ​with​ ​the​ ​Allied​ ​invasion​ ​of North​ ​Africa​ ​and​ ​the​ ​capture​ ​of​ ​Casablanca.​ ​It​ ​went​ ​into​ ​general​ ​release​ ​on​ ​January​ ​23, 1943,​ ​to​ ​take​ ​advantage​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Casablanca​ ​conference,​ ​a​ ​high-level​ ​meeting​ ​between Churchill​ ​and​ ​Roosevelt​ ​in​ ​the​ ​city.​ ​The​ ​movie​ ​thus​ ​was​ ​very​ ​timely​ ​and,​ ​not surprisingly,​ ​it​ ​contains​ ​many​ ​elements​ ​of​ ​propaganda. The​ ​studio​ ​system​ ​only​ ​rarely​ ​allowed​ ​the​ ​emergence​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Hollywood​ ​film​ ​director​ ​as auteur​;​ ​that​ ​is,​ ​as​ ​the​ ​one​ ​whose​ ​creative​ ​decisions​ ​shape​ ​the​ ​film​ ​to​ ​conform​ ​to​ ​his​ ​or her​ ​artistic​ ​vision.​ ​In​ ​those​ ​days—with​ ​a​ ​few​ ​notable​ ​exceptions—the​ ​producer​ ​was largely​ ​responsible​ ​for​ ​a​ ​great​ ​many​ ​of​ ​those​ ​decisions,​ ​and​ ​producer​ ​Hal​ ​B.​ ​Wallis​ ​can rightly​ ​be​ ​credited​ ​with​ ​the​ ​film’s​ ​success,​ ​more​ ​so​ ​than​ ​director​ ​Michael​ ​Curtiz. Granted,​ ​Curtiz​ ​was​ ​noted​ ​for​ ​his​ ​well-paced​ ​staging;​ ​he​ ​had​ ​directed​ ​Captain​ ​Blood (1935),​ ​an​ ​exciting​ ​and​ ​popular​ ​sea​ ​adventure,​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​The​ ​Adventures​ ​of​ ​Robinhood (1938).​ ​(Recall​ ​that​ ​we​ ​previewed​ ​the​ ​opening​ ​of​ ​the​ ​latter​ ​in​ ​Lesson​ ​4.)​ ​In​ ​both​ ​cases, though,​ ​it​ ​was​ ​Hal​ ​Wallis​ ​who​ ​had​ ​tapped​ ​Curtiz​ ​as​ ​director​ ​and​ ​paired​ ​him​ ​with​ ​Erich Korngold​ ​as​ ​composer.​ ​And​ ​for​ ​Casablanca​,​ ​it​ ​was​ ​Wallis’​ ​decision​ ​to​ ​bring​ ​in​ ​his favorite​ ​composer,​ ​Max​ ​Steiner. Title​ ​Music​ ​and​ ​Prologue In​ ​Lesson​ ​4​ ​we​ ​watched​ ​the​ ​first​ ​two​ ​minutes​ ​of​ ​the​ ​film’s​ ​opening.​ ​Let’s​ ​extend​ ​that clip,​ ​and​ ​this​ ​time​ ​watch​ ​the​ ​first​ ​six-and-a-half​ ​minutes​ ​of​ ​Casablanca. The​ ​Warner​ ​Bros.​ ​logo​ ​music​ ​(0:00​ ​–​ ​0:15)​ ​was​ ​composed​ ​by​ ​Max​ ​Steiner​ ​in​ ​1937​ ​for the​ ​film​ ​Tovarich​.​ ​What​ ​do​ ​the​ ​music​ ​and​ ​images​ ​tell​ ​us​ ​about​ ​the​ ​film?​ ​First,​ ​that Warner​ ​Bros.​ ​is​ ​being​ ​“branded,”​ ​and​ ​Steiner’s​ ​music​ ​gives​ ​it​ ​import.​ ​Second,​ ​the names​ ​Humphrey​ ​Bogart,​ ​Ingrid​ ​Bergman,​ ​and​ ​Paul​ ​Henreid​ ​were​ ​well​ ​known​ ​to audiences,​ ​movie​ ​stars​ ​from​ ​the​ ​A-list,​ ​signifying​ ​the​ ​studio’s​ ​highest​ ​quality.​ ​Third,​ ​the WB​ ​logo​ ​has​ ​already​ ​dissolved​ ​to​ ​a​ ​map​ ​of​ ​Africa​ ​when​ ​the​ ​three​ ​stars’​ ​names​ ​appear, and​ ​drums​ ​have​ ​entered,​ ​beginning​ ​the​ ​process​ ​of​ ​situating​ ​us​ ​for​ ​the​ ​story​ ​that​ ​is​ ​about to​ ​unfold. When​ ​the​ ​title​ ​“Casablanca”​ ​appears,​ ​the​ ​music​ ​takes​ ​an​ ​exotic​ ​turn​ ​toward​ ​the​ ​Middle East​ ​(0:17​ ​–​ ​0:57),​ ​signaled​ ​by​ ​the​ ​use​ ​of​ ​a​ ​diatonic​ ​scale​ ​containing​ ​not​ ​just​ ​one extra-large​ ​scale​ ​step​ ​(an​ ​Augmented​ ​2nd),​ ​but​ ​two​ ​of​ ​them.​ ​As​ ​we​ ​observed​ ​in​ ​Lesson 4,​ ​scales​ ​containing​ ​this​ ​interval​ ​tend​ ​to​ ​sound​ ​exotic​ ​to​ ​Western​ ​ears.​ ​Never​ ​mind whether​ ​the​ ​music​ ​is​ ​authentically​ ​middle-eastern—it’s​ ​not!​ ​Still,​ ​the​ ​primitive​ ​drums​ ​and Arabic​ ​sounding​ ​melody​ ​succeed​ ​in​ ​situating​ ​us​ ​in​ ​a​ ​place​ ​that​ ​is​ ​foreign​ ​to​ ​American audiences,​ ​vaguely​ ​somewhere​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Middle​ ​East,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​title​ ​“Casablanca”​ ​tells​ ​us exactly​ ​where. The​ ​music​ ​takes​ ​another​ ​geographic​ ​turn​ ​(0:57​ ​–​ ​1:05),​ ​this​ ​time​ ​toward​ ​France,​ ​with the​ ​quotation​ ​of​ ​the​ ​French​ ​national​ ​anthem,​ ​La​ ​Marseillaise​ ​(timed​ ​precisely​ ​with​ ​the credit​ ​of​ ​“Music​ ​by​ ​Max​ ​Steiner”).​ ​This​ ​is,​ ​after​ ​all,​ ​a​ ​movie​ ​about​ ​World​ ​War​ ​II,​ ​and Casablanca​ ​was​ ​at​ ​that​ ​time​ ​part​ ​of​ ​unoccupied​ ​France.​ ​The​ ​credits​ ​for​ ​producer​ ​and director​ ​conclude​ ​the​ ​title​ ​sequence,​ ​with​ ​director​ ​Michael​ ​Curtiz’s​ ​name​ ​coinciding​ ​with a​ ​dissonant​ ​chord​ ​that​ ​serves​ ​as​ ​a​ ​transition​ ​to​ ​the​ ​opening​ ​of​ ​the​ ​story. The​ ​main​ ​title​ ​music​,​ ​then,​ ​(0:00​ ​to​ ​1:11)​ ​consists​ ​of​ ​the​ ​logo​ ​music​ ​and​ ​two​ ​themes: an​ ​exotic​ ​middle-eastern​ ​theme​ ​and​ ​a​ ​western​ ​theme,​ ​La​ ​Marseillaise​,​ ​which​ ​would​ ​be familiar​ ​to​ ​audiences.​ ​In​ ​a​ ​very​ ​real​ ​sense,​ ​the​ ​music​ ​has​ ​given​ ​us​ ​a​ ​broad​ ​overview​ ​of the​ ​film​ ​we’re​ ​about​ ​to​ ​see,​ ​one​ in​ ​which​ ​western​ ​protagonists​ ​play​ ​out​ ​their​ ​respective parts​ ​relating​ ​to​ ​a​ ​love​ ​story​ ​and​ ​a​ ​war​ ​story,​ ​against​ ​the​ ​exotic​ ​and​ ​alluring​ ​backdrop​ ​of Casablanca. The​ ​narrated​ ​prologue​ ​(1:12​ ​–​ ​2:18),​ ​which​ ​opens​ ​the​ ​story,​ ​is​ ​accompanied​ ​by​ ​music (“refugee”​ ​theme)​ ​that​ ​blends​ ​traces​ ​of​ ​middle-eastern​ ​elements​ ​with​ ​Romantic​ ​idioms. There​ ​is​ ​a​ ​newsreel​ ​feel​ ​to​ ​the​ ​montage​ ​sequence,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​music​ ​clearly​ ​serves​ ​the function​ ​of​ ​providing​ ​continuity​ ​across​ ​the​ ​series​ ​of​ ​dissolves​ ​and​ ​overlays​ ​that​ ​illustrate the​ ​narration. The​ ​prologue​ ​concludes​ ​as​ ​the​ ​map​ ​trail​ ​zeroes​ ​in​ ​on​ ​Casablanca,​ ​and​ ​we​ ​are introduced​ ​to​ ​the​ ​city​ ​from​ ​above,​ ​with​ ​the​ ​sight​ ​of​ ​a​ ​high​ ​Mosque​ ​tower,​ ​looking​ ​out across​ ​the​ ​city​ ​toward​ ​the​ ​sea.​ ​The​ ​camera​ ​finally​ ​tilts​ ​downward​ ​to​ ​view​ ​a​ ​street​ ​in Casablanca,​ ​and​ ​is​ ​then​ ​lowered​ ​by​ ​crane​ ​to​ ​street​ ​level.​ ​Diegetic​ ​sounds​ ​are​ ​heard​ ​for the​ ​first​ ​time,​ ​and​ ​at​ ​this​ ​point​ ​the​ ​underscore​ ​returns​ ​unabashedly​ ​to​ ​an​ ​exotic middle-eastern​ ​theme​ ​similar​ ​to​ ​the​ ​one​ ​we​ ​heard​ ​in​ ​the​ ​title​ ​music,​ ​now​ ​played​ ​by​ ​a reed​ ​instrument​ ​that​ ​is​ ​suggestive​ ​of​ ​an​ ​instrument​ ​of​ ​middle-eastern​ ​origin—as​ ​though we​ ​are​ ​hearing​ ​diegetic​ ​music​ ​without​ ​seeing​ ​the​ ​musicians. The​ ​Setup There​ ​is​ ​a​ ​famous​ ​saying​ ​in​ ​the​ ​world​ ​of​ ​architecture,​ ​that​ ​“form​ ​follows​ ​function.”​ ​The saying​ ​holds​ ​true​ ​for​ ​many​ ​disciplines​ ​and​ ​arts,​ ​and​ ​it​ ​is​ ​especially​ ​fitting​ ​in​ ​the​ ​case​ ​of nondiegetic​ ​film​ ​music.​ ​The​ ​music’s​ ​form​ ​will​ ​always​ ​be​ ​subordinated​ ​to​ ​the​ ​form​ ​of​ ​the narrative,​ ​because​ ​the​ ​music’s​ ​function​ ​is​ ​to​ ​support​ ​the​ ​narrative.​ ​Composers​ ​of​ ​film music​ ​learned​ ​early​ ​the​ ​value​ ​of​ ​writing​ ​short​ ​musical​ ​phrases,​ ​often​ ​making​ ​use​ ​of sequential​ ​progressions.​ ​These​ ​compositional​ ​techniques​ ​are​ ​elastic,​ ​and​ ​they​ ​allow​ ​the music​ ​to​ ​“follow”​ ​the​ ​narrative​ ​in​ ​either​ ​a​ ​literal​ ​or​ ​figurative​ ​sense. Max​ ​Steiner​ ​was​ ​a​ ​master​ ​of​ ​writing​ ​music​ ​to​ ​“follow”​ ​the​ ​narrative.​ ​“Music​ ​should​ ​fit​ ​the picture​ ​like​ ​a​ ​glove,”​ ​he​ ​said.​ ​Consider​ ​the​ ​remainder​ ​of​ ​this​ ​opening​ ​clip​ ​(beginning​ ​at 2:23),​ ​which​ ​sets​ ​up​ ​the​ ​main​ ​elements​ ​of​ ​the​ ​narrative​ ​with​ ​remarkable​ ​concision.​ ​A dissolve​ ​takes​ ​us​ ​from​ ​the​ ​city​ ​street​ ​to​ ​the​ ​interior​ ​of​ ​military/police​ ​headquarters. Notice​ ​an​ ​almost​ ​fanfare​ ​quality​ ​to​ ​the​ ​musical​ ​transition​ ​that​ ​“announces”​ ​we​ ​are​ ​about to​ ​hear​ ​something​ ​important.​ ​(Steiner​ ​uses​ ​the​ ​first​ ​five​ ​notes​ ​of​ ​the​ ​German​ ​national anthem,​ ​“Deutschland​ ​über​ ​Alles,”​ ​set​ ​in​ ​the​ ​minor​ ​mode​ ​for​ ​this​ ​fanfare.)​ ​Notice,​ ​too, that​ ​a​ ​soft​ ​drum​ ​roll​ ​on​ ​timpani​ ​underscores​ ​the​ ​reading​ ​of​ ​the​ ​bulletin. Twenty​ ​seconds​ ​later​ ​(at​ ​2:43)​ ​a​ ​dissolve​ ​carries​ ​us​ ​back​ ​out​ ​to​ ​the​ ​streets​ ​of Casablanca​ ​as​ ​police​ ​begin​ ​the​ ​roundup​ ​of​ ​suspicious​ ​characters.​ ​For​ ​the​ ​first​ ​time​ ​in the​ ​film​ ​we​ ​encounter​ ​cuts​ ​between​ ​shots​ ​(rather​ ​than​ ​dissolves​ ​and​ ​fades),​ ​which​ ​are essential​ ​to​ ​the​ ​continuity​ ​editing​ ​system.​ ​For​ ​the​ ​next​ ​minute,​ ​diegetic​ ​sounds​ ​of​ ​police whistles,​ ​sirens,​ ​and​ ​vehicles​ ​combine​ ​with​ ​Steiner’s​ ​underscore​ ​to convey—finally—temporal​ ​continuity.​ ​The​ ​action​ ​is​ ​fast,​ ​and​ ​Steiner’s​ ​score​ ​stays​ ​with​ ​it every​ ​step​ ​of​ ​the​ ​way,​ ​at​ ​least​ ​figuratively,​ ​if​ ​not​ ​literally. A​ ​clear​ ​instance​ ​of​ ​mickey-mousing​ ​occurs​ ​after​ ​the​ ​man​ ​running​ ​from​ ​the​ ​police​ ​is shot,​ ​when​ ​he​ ​falls​ ​to​ ​the​ ​ground​ ​with​ ​a​ ​nondiegetic​ ​thud.​ ​As​ ​the​ ​police​ ​discover​ ​that​ ​the literature​ ​in​ ​his​ ​hand​ ​is​ ​from​ ​the​ ​French​ ​underground​ ​(3:47),​ ​the​ ​La​ ​Marseillaise​ ​theme returns,​ ​except​ ​now​ ​in​ ​the​ ​minor​ ​mode.​ ​This​ ​theme​ ​bridges​ ​the​ ​cut​ ​to​ ​the​ ​next​ ​scene outside​ ​police​ ​headquarters,​ ​where​ ​we​ ​see​ ​the​ ​motto​ ​of​ ​formerly​ ​free​ ​France​ ​still​ ​etched above​ ​the​ ​archway:​ ​“Liberté,​ ​Égalité,​ ​Fraternité.” The​ ​scene​ ​across​ ​the​ ​street​ ​at​ ​an​ ​outdoor​ ​café,​ ​involving​ ​a​ ​couple​ ​and​ ​a​ ​pickpocket, provides​ ​a​ ​bit​ ​of​ ​comic​ ​relief,​ ​even​ ​as​ ​it​ ​continues​ ​to​ ​provide​ ​us​ ​still​ ​more​ ​information, such​ ​as​ ​the​ ​proclivities​ ​of​ ​Captain​ ​Renault,​ ​the​ ​prefect​ ​of​ ​police.​ ​Moments​ ​later,​ ​the diegetic​ ​sound​ ​of​ ​an​ ​airplane​ ​draws​ ​the​ ​attention​ ​of​ ​everyone.​ ​As​ ​we​ ​join​ ​the​ ​throngs​ ​of refugees​ ​looking​ ​longingly​ ​toward​ ​the​ ​plane,​ ​the​ ​“refugee”​ ​theme​ ​returns​ ​precisely​ ​at​ ​the moment​ ​we​ ​see​ ​the​ ​plane​ ​in​ ​the​ ​sky​ ​(4:59).​ ​We​ ​get​ ​a​ ​beforehand​ ​introduction​ ​to​ ​the Bulgarian​ ​couple,​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​to​ ​Rick’s​ ​Café​ ​Americain,​ ​before​ ​we​ ​see​ ​the​ ​plane​ ​land​ ​at the​ ​airport​ ​nearby. At​ ​the​ ​airport​ ​we​ ​are​ ​introduced​ ​to​ ​Major​ ​Strasser​ ​and​ ​Captain​ ​Renault.​ ​Notice​ ​that​ ​the music​ grows​ ​quieter​ ​after​ ​the​ ​landing​ ​of​ ​the​ ​plane,​ ​concluding​ ​with​ ​a​ ​soft​ ​timpani​ ​roll, barely​ ​distinguishable​ ​from​ ​the​ ​diegetic​ ​sound​ ​of​ ​the​ ​idling​ ​engine.​ ​Both​ ​the​ ​engine​ ​and the​ ​diegetic​ ​music​ ​cease​ ​(at​ ​5:38),​ ​cueing​ ​out​ ​amid​ ​the​ ​greetings​ ​of​ ​“Heil​ ​Hitler!” Dialogue​ ​propels​ ​the​ ​plot​ ​and​ ​prepares​ ​us​ ​for​ ​the​ ​dissolve​ ​to​ ​the​ ​next​ ​scene​ ​outside Rick’s,​ ​where​ ​the​ ​sound​ ​of​ ​diegetic​ ​music​ ​beckons​ ​us​ ​to​ ​enter. The​ ​opening​ ​six-and-a-half​ ​minutes​ ​of​ ​Casablanca​ ​are​ ​remarkable​ ​for​ ​their​ ​economy and​ ​efficiency​ ​in​ ​situating​ ​the​ ​viewer​ ​within​ ​the​ ​diegesis​ ​and​ ​moving​ ​the​ ​plot​ ​forward. We​ ​receive​ ​a​ ​great​ ​deal​ ​of​ ​information​ ​about​ ​the​ ​world​ ​situation​ ​and​ ​about​ ​Casablanca specifically,​ ​and​ ​we​ ​are​ ​introduced​ ​to​ ​an​ ​assortment​ ​of​ ​characters​ ​that​ ​have​ ​converged on​ ​the​ ​city.​ ​Let’s​ ​watch​ ​this​ ​clip​ ​again,​ ​considering​ ​the​ ​remarkable​ ​ground​ ​covered​ ​in such​ ​a​ ​relatively​ ​short​ ​time,​ ​and​ ​taking​ ​note​ ​of​ ​the​ ​significant​ ​role​ ​of​ ​music​ ​and​ ​the details​ ​we​ ​have​ ​observed. At​ ​Rick’s After​ ​the​ ​dissolve​ ​to​ ​the​ ​exterior​ ​of​ ​Rick’s​ ​(at​ ​6:30),​ ​we​ ​as​ ​viewers​ ​are​ ​invited​ ​inside​ ​the café,​ ​joining​ ​with​ ​other​ ​patrons​ ​entering​ ​through​ ​the​ ​front​ ​door.​ ​For​ ​nearly​ ​the​ ​next​ ​half hour​ ​of​ ​screen​ ​time,​ ​the​ ​drama​ ​unfolds​ ​inside​ ​Rick’s​ ​as​ ​though​ ​in​ ​real​ ​time.​ ​The temporal​ ​continuity​ ​is​ ​largely​ ​established​ ​by​ ​the​ ​presence​ ​of​ ​diegetic​ ​music​ ​in​ ​the​ ​main room,​ ​courtesy​ ​of​ ​Sam​ ​at​ ​the​ ​piano,​ ​along​ ​with​ ​his​ ​band.​ ​Spatial​ ​continuity​ ​is​ ​also reinforced​ ​by​ ​the​ ​music,​ ​based​ ​on​ ​proximity​ ​to​ ​the​ ​musicians.​ ​For​ ​example,​ ​we​ ​can​ ​hear the​ ​music​ ​in​ ​the​ ​backroom​ ​casino​ ​when​ ​the​ ​door​ ​is​ ​open,​ ​but​ ​it​ ​is​ ​barely​ ​audible​ ​when the​ ​door​ ​is​ ​closed.​ ​Similarly,​ ​we​ ​hear​ ​the​ ​music​ ​in​ ​Rick’s​ ​office​ ​until​ ​the​ ​door​ ​is​ ​closed. The​ ​diegetic​ ​music,​ ​along​ ​with​ ​the​ ​hubbub​ ​of​ ​the​ ​crowd,​ ​creates​ ​the​ ​atmosphere​ ​of​ ​a nightclub,​ ​one​ ​that​ ​attracts​ ​everyone,​ ​including​ ​the​ ​viewer. The​ ​most​ ​important​ ​aspect,​ ​though,​ ​of​ ​the​ ​diegetic​ ​music​ ​in​ ​Casablanca​ ​is​ ​“As​ ​Time Goes​ ​By,”​ ​a​ ​song​ ​written​ ​by​ ​Herman​ ​Hupfeld​ ​in​ ​1931.​ ​Max​ ​Steiner​ ​had​ ​originally intended​ ​to​ ​write​ ​a​ ​new​ ​tune​ ​for​ ​the​ ​film​ ​to​ ​take​ ​its​ ​place,​ ​but​ ​critical​ ​scenes​ ​had​ ​already been​ ​filmed​ ​with​ ​Ilsa​ ​saying​ ​the​ title,​ ​“As​ ​Time​ ​Goes​ ​By,”​ ​and​ ​Ingrid​ ​Bergman​ ​was​ ​no longer​ ​available​ ​for​ ​retakes.​ ​It​ ​would​ ​seem​ ​to​ ​be​ ​yet​ ​another​ ​aspect​ ​of​ ​inevitability​ ​in​ ​the way​ ​Casablanca​ ​took​ ​shape. Max​ ​Steiner​ ​was​ ​a​ ​master​ ​of​ ​orchestration​ ​and​ ​development,​ ​and​ ​he​ ​embraced Hupfeld’s​ ​tune​ ​as​ ​though​ ​it​ ​were​ ​his​ ​own.​ ​In​ ​a​ ​very​ ​real​ ​sense​ ​he​ ​makes​ ​it​ ​his​ ​own,​ ​as the​ ​tune​ ​becomes​ ​the​ ​most​ ​prominent​ ​theme​ ​of​ ​the​ ​underscore​ ​for​ ​the​ ​remainder​ ​of​ ​the film. Let’s​ ​have​ ​a​ ​look​ ​at​ ​this​ ​pivotal​ ​point​ ​in​ ​the​ ​plot,​ ​when​ ​Ilsa​ ​asks,​ ​“Play​ ​it​ ​once,​ ​Sam,​ ​for old​ ​times’​ ​sake,”​ ​and​ ​then,​ ​“Sing​ ​it,​ ​Sam.”​ ​The​ ​song​ ​immediately​ ​becomes​ ​invested​ ​with deep​ ​emotion,​ ​as​ ​we​ ​watch​ ​Ilsa​ ​as​ ​she​ ​listens.​ ​Her​ ​reverie​ ​is​ ​short​ ​lived,​ ​though.​ ​The moment​ ​Rick​ ​hears​ ​“As​ ​Time​ ​Goes​ ​By,”​ ​he​ ​marches​ ​over​ ​and​ ​interrupts​ ​with​ ​a​ ​harsh reprimand,​ ​“Sam,​ ​I​ ​thought​ ​I​ ​told​ ​you​ ​never​ ​to​ ​play​ ​.​ ​.​ ​.” So​ ​the​ ​former​ ​lovers​ ​become​ ​reacquainted.​ ​Notice​ ​the​ ​emotional​ ​“stinger”​ ​that​ ​cues​ ​in the​ ​nondiegetic​ ​music,​ ​followed​ ​immediately​ ​by​ ​a​ ​“minor-ish”​ ​rendering​ ​of​ ​the​ ​opening​ ​of “As​ ​Time​ ​Goes​ ​By”—the​ ​same​ ​twelve​ ​notes​ ​that​ ​Ilsa​ ​had​ ​hummed​ ​for​ ​Sam.​ ​The​ ​melody is​ ​largely​ ​made​ ​from​ ​a​ ​sequential​ ​repetition​ ​of​ ​the​ ​six-note​ ​motive​ ​that​ ​begins​ ​the​ ​song (“You​ ​must​ ​remember​ ​this​ ​.​ ​.​ ​.”),​ ​making​ ​it​ ​easily​ ​recognizable​ ​and​ ​ideally​ ​suited​ ​to​ ​the sort​ ​of​ ​motivic​ ​manipulation​ ​that​ ​is​ ​essential​ ​to​ ​Steiner’s​ ​compositional​ ​technique. For​ ​the​ ​remainder​ ​of​ ​the​ ​scene,​ ​Steiner​ ​paints​ ​the​ ​emotional​ ​tenor​ ​of​ ​the​ ​table conversation​ ​in​ ​varying​ ​colors,​ ​drawing​ ​again​ ​and​ ​again​ ​on​ ​segments​ ​of​ ​the​ ​tune, further​ ​deepening​ ​our​ ​associations​ ​with​ ​the​ ​music.​ ​In​ ​a​ ​remarkable​ ​musical​ ​moment (2:56),​ ​Steiner​ ​gives​ ​the​ ​brass​ ​a​ ​minor-mode​ ​statement​ ​of​ ​“Deutschland​ ​über​ ​Alles,”​ ​in counterpoint​ ​against​ ​the​ ​strings’​ ​rendering​ ​of​ ​“As​ ​Time​ ​Goes​ ​By,”​ ​beginning​ ​as​ ​Ilsa remarks,​ ​“But,​ ​of​ ​course,​ ​that​ ​was​ ​the​ ​day​ ​the​ ​Germans​ ​marched​ ​into​ ​Paris.” Rick’s​ ​Flashback As​ ​though​ ​we​ ​haven’t​ ​heard​ ​enough​ ​of​ ​“As​ ​Time​ ​Goes​ ​By”—and​ ​we​ ​haven’t—in​ ​the next​ ​scene​ ​Rick​ ​as​ ​much​ ​as​ ​demands​ ​that​ ​Sam​ ​play​ ​the​ ​tune​ ​for​ ​him​ ​(0:59),​ ​and​ ​it​ ​then becomes​ ​the​ ​gateway​ ​to​ ​his​ ​flashback.​ ​In​ ​the​ ​dialogue​ ​leading​ ​up​ ​to​ ​this,​ ​though,​ ​there are​ ​some​ ​pointedly​ ​political​ ​lines​ ​uttered​ ​by​ ​Rick—a​ ​reminder​ ​to​ ​the​ ​audience​ ​that​ ​the United​ ​States​ ​was​ ​a​ ​latecomer​ ​to​ ​the​ ​worldwide​ ​conflict.​ ​So,​ ​while​ ​“As​ ​Time​ ​Goes​ ​By”​ ​is the​ ​vehicle​ ​that​ ​travels​ ​seamlessly​ ​from​ ​diegetic​ ​to​ ​nondiegetic​ ​music—carrying​ ​us across​ ​the​ ​dissolve​ ​to​ ​Rick’s​ ​flashback—it​ ​is​ ​La​ ​Marseillaise​ ​that​ ​accompanies​ ​the establishing​ ​shot​ ​of​ ​Paris​ ​and​ ​the​ ​view​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Arc​ ​de​ ​Triumph​ ​(1:41). Eight​ ​minutes​ ​later,​ ​in​ ​a​ ​reversal​ ​of​ ​order,​ ​the​ ​flashback’s​ ​final​ ​scene​ ​at​ ​the​ ​train​ ​station is​ ​accompanied​ ​by​ ...
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