Casablanca Cinematography Analysis

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Cinematography is critical to the success of any movie. Cinematography uses composition, lighting, depth of field, and camera angles to determine what the audience sees. Casablanca’s cinematography directs the audience’s attention, shapes the audiences feelings, and reveals the theme of the movie. Cinematography directs the audience’s attention and acts as the viewer’s eyes. The cinematography highlights Casablanca as a dangerous place filled with deception. The camera angle is important when the man shot trying to escape falls before the French Vichy government head. The wide shot of the wall draws the viewer’s attention to the head of the Vichy French government, showing who is in charge in Casablanca and helping the Germans. A low camera angle draws attention to the…show more content…
The cinematography also reveals the theme of neutrality. This movie was shot as America remained neutral in WWII. The brightness of Rick’s Café Americana represents hope for freedom. The Germans are shown in darkness highlighting their abandonment of humanity. The French official and Rick are a shown half in shadows to highlight their neutrality. The French official remains neutral to do what is best for him. Rick represents neutral America. He has loyalty to no one and stays out of politics. Lazlo and Isla are not neutral and are fully committed to the fight. They are shown fully in the light, but with shadows around and following them to represent the dangers they face. In the end, in the brightness of the hanger, Rick and the French official are forced to abandon the shadows and their neutrality to pick a side. They let Isla and Lazlo leave, kill Major Strasser, and walk into the foggy darkness, neutrality abandoned, committed to freedom. The cinematography in Casablanca is critical in directing the audience’s attention, shaping the audiences feelings, and revealing the theme of the movie. Ultimately, the movie helped America abandon its neutrality, join the Allies and defeat
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