Casablanca Film Noir Analysis

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Those that believe Casablanca is not film noir usually perceive Film Noir as a genre. Noir is not a genre; Noir transcends genres and behaves more accurately as a style of cinema. As styles go, there can be variations of them as we see now with Post-Noir and Neo Noir, noir elements in a different time period of film technology which makes these films slightly different than the style of classic film noir. Themes of cynicism, impending doom, loss, jeopardy of life accompanied by visuals dominated by shadows, strong lines, and overall darkness to the image make up film noir’s style. Noir is not absolute, the beauty of this style is its vulnerability to variation, which is why Michael Curtiz’s Classic Casablanca is film noir. Examining Casablanca by just looking at its visual style, it is obvious it has noir elements to it. In Noir, the look is often dark, gritty, and utilizes many shadows. In scenes that take place in Rick’s Café, these things are apparent. There are shadows on the wall, along with the contrast of shadows on the character’s faces and clothing. There’s a scene in which Rick is drinking in his café…show more content…
The scenes in Rick’s Café all follow this pattern of having a deep field of view, while always having the characters in focus and the club’s happenings in the background. This provides a deeper meaning of the character’s interactions within their environment. The environment serves as the driving force of the shots. In a club like Rick’s, it’s one of the liveliest places in Casablanca, which in a city that most of the inhabitants are waiting to leave is important. The angles of which the frames are shot are not too drastically ambitious and do not intrude on the viewer’s experience. Although most noir films include a few unusual angled shots, Casablanca maintains a style of composition that is most closely recognized as

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