Friday, April 1, 2011

Rick and Ilsa as brother and sister

I am currently writing a 25 page essay in film studies, and I just got the idea to change the subject of it. I first thought about analyzing the female influence on the male characters of The Maltese Falcon from 1931 (Roy Del Ruth) and 1941 (John Huston), but I have sadly realized that there is already too much written on that subject. Instead, I remembered that I always got unmistakable incestuous vibes from Rick and Ilsa whenever I have watched Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942), and I think that point of view can result in a substantial re-evaluation of the great classic, and a great essay.

Isn't it weird that Rick and Ilsa seem unreasonably uncomfortable with running into each other? Almost as if there were something else than just a regular heterosexual love affair to be anxious about.

Haven't we all wondered what Rick really meant with "We'll always have Paris?"

What we all do know is what Paris was infamous for back in those days. For example, there is one scene in Boardwalk Empire (Terence Winter, 2009-) where Jimmy asks his wife to fellate him, arguing that all women in Paris does it. And Boardwalk Empire takes place in the jolly 1920's - just imagine what happens in Paris 20 years later, in desperate war times.

I do also believe that the line "Here's a looking at you, kid" is an obvious reference to Leopold von Sacher-Masoch's Venus in Furs (publ. 1870), but I may have to check minor details.

This stance may not be the most popular one, but I do think I have enough evidence on my side to make this essay work. Any ideas?