Square Eyes

My poorest ever showing at Edinburgh International Film Festival — a single outdoor screening in St Andrews Square.

The film of course was CASABLANCA and the screen did a great job blasting it out in the face of blazing sunshine. The technology for outdoor screenings has improved immensely seemingly in just the last few years. Unfortunately the people operating them have remained at the same evolutionary stage so we had to watch the film in the wrong aspect ratio, and when we reported it they didn’t know what we were talking about. “It’s coming straight out of the DVD.”


The outdoor screenings are always of popular favourites — CASABLANCA was the oldest film shown, SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN the second — they’re only sort of a part of the Film Fest and I don’t think anyone there is to blame, except maybe they should supervise more tightly.

A baby seagull landed on the screen at an opportune moment.

At the indoor events we really should have booked early for ANNETTE and LA STRADA but pandemic inertia and out-of-touchness prevented it.

Still, we enjoyed our revisit to studio North Africa, and a chance to see watch-party chums Donald and Nicola on the next deck chairs over.

3 Responses to “Square Eyes”

  1. I’m increasingly interested in what UE says, because the idea that Casablanca is a conglomeration of familiar tropes seems to me to be untrue, but true of nearly everything made today. He was absolutely right thirty-five years early.

  2. David Ehrenstein Says:

    The problem is nearly everything made today is garbage. “Casablanca” doesn’t have a dull nanosecond in it. Bergman and Bogart may be at the center but the periphery is incredibly rich. Peter Lorre pops in to be magnificent and then done in by the Gestapo. Claude Rains is sublime and so is Connie Veidt . And then there’s Sidney Greenstreet, Madeline Lebeaux (who will wow us all years later in “8 1/2”) her hubby Marcel Dalio, S.Z.Sakall and Leonid Kinsky. Plus Dooley Wilson and Paul Henreid.

    We’ll always have “Casablanca”!

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