I saw Casablanca for the first time last night. What’s funny is that if you’ve watched television in the United States anytime in the last fifty years, or if you have partaken in any other form of entertainment such as comics, literature, or film, you have very likely the classic Bogart lines in one form or another, usually quoted out of context for comedic effect. So here I was, finally getting the chance to see the movie in it’s entirety. Upon recognizing the set ups, I had to resist the urge to squeal like a school girl whenever I heard something like, “Here’s looking at you, kid.”
Something very similar happened when I first saw A Field of Dreams. Having seen Wayne’s World 2 a number of times in my youth, it raised my hackles to finally see the original scene so expertly parodied in the Mike Meyer’s film.
What all three films have in common is that they were around before the Internet was commercially accessible. So you didn’t have Youtube comments or forums where you could go and run memorable quotes or popular film references into the ground until your brain shut down in an attempt to block out the trauma.
In 2005, it wasn’t uncommon to hear people wish that “I could quit you”. Ten years later, an original film about forbidden love in an equally forbidding time and place may as well have been an obscure SNL sketch for as often as anyone references Brokeback Mountain. And I wonder how much longer it will be before people are no longer as concerned with the number of serpentine creatures inhabiting the aviation vehicle.