Edmonton Film Society: “Casablanca”

I’ve never watched Casablanca. At least, not in its entirety. While I’ve been able to identify lines like “We’ll always have Paris” and “Here’s looking at you, kid”, it’s one of those classics that I probably should have seen by now.

Though these movies are readily available at video rental stores and at the library, there really is no better place to get acquainted (or reacquainted, as the case may be) with classic films than with the Edmonton Film Society.

Edmonton Film Society

Edmonton Film Society Winter 2011 Series

The Edmonton Film Society is entirely volunteer-run, and its obvious their passion for movies is true. They organize several screening series a year, all centred around themes. The current theme, for example, is “Favourite Movies Forever”, with all titles chosen for their timeless quality. The screenings are dirt cheap, too: just $5 per show, or better yet, $25 for an eight show subscription.

Each show is introduced by a volunteer, a forward that sets the context of the show. It is more often than not studded with fun facts about the people involved with the movie, or the hijinx that happened during the production of the film (Casablanca, for instance, was shot sequentially due to the simple fact that the script wasn’t finished).

But the reason why the shows are worth checking out has to do with the audience. It always feels like a trip back in time – the people just seem to react to film like they did in theatres sixty years ago. Instead of the almost bleak silence, Edmonton Film Society screenings are always punctuated with laughter, gasps, and at the end, a burst of applause (I’ve written about other EFS shows before).

It was no different watching Casablanca, though I must say – the audience seemed noticeably younger than at other screenings I’ve attended. And what can I say about Casablanca that hasn’t been said before? It was filled with more comedic moments than I expected (Sam and Louie in particular), and it was lovely hearing those oft-quoted lines uttered by Bogart (“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.” might be my new favourite).

They are screening the Rock Hudson/Doris Day romantic comedy Pillow Talk on Valentine’s Day. But don’t worry, this series isn’t all fluff and banter: The Birds plays on February 28, 2011.

2 thoughts on “Edmonton Film Society: “Casablanca”

  1. I love the Edmonton Film Society movies because of the background they give before the film starts. I just finished Gingers Roger autobiography and, like her, I opt for the black and white films for their mood and mystique. Seen a few technicolor ones there too.

  2. Diane – after the lights dimmed, they played a preview of the next film they would be screening, and I turned to Mack, disappointed that they seemed to be skipping over their usual film introduction. I was so happy that the speaker stepped up to the podium after the preview!

    Maybe we’ll run into you at an EFS screening some time!

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