Few films have inspired as much devotion in their viewers as Casablanca. With more revival screenings than any other film in the history of cinema and countless fans of all ages who have returned to it dozens – or even hundreds – of times, it is clear that, as time goes by, Casablanca remains as relevant as ever. Just in time for its 75th anniversary, join us for an unparalleled celebration of the film with an interactive talk by PJFF alumnus Noah Isenberg, author of We’ll Always Have Casablanca: The Life, Legend, and Afterlife of Hollywood’s Most Beloved Movie. This fascinating exploration of the Academy Award-winning film’s resonance through popular—and political—culture over the decades will be available for purchase at the National Museum of American Jewish History after the talk or may be purchased in advance at PJFF.org.
The name Casablanca conjures up images of Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, romance, adventure, and old-school glamour. Just as deserving of our attention is the charged political current that courses through the film, giving us “La Marseillaise” and that iconic parting on the tarmac. Viewers may be shocked to find that the inspiration for Everybody Comes to Rick’s, the play that would soon become Casablanca, was playwright Murray Burnett’s urgent desire to warn his contemporaries that good people would need to take a stand to stop the encroaching threat of fascism.
Professor Noah Isenberg, Director of Screen Studies at The New School in New York City, will thrill devotees of the film with anecdotes about the on-set hijinks, grudges, rewrites, and censorship that threatened to compromise the film’s iconic story and most memorable lines. Meanwhile, Isenberg’s electrifying overview of the political context of the film and its reverberations throughout modern history will appeal to believers in the power of art to transform hearts and minds.
Professor Noah Isenberg’s presentation will include film clips from Casablanca.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Noah Isenberg is author of Edgar G. Ulmer: A Filmmaker at the Margins and editor of Weimar Cinema. He is the recipient of an NEH Public Scholar Award. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.