On This Day … 26 November [2022]


Events

  • 1942 – Casablanca, the movie starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, premieres in New York City.

People (Births)

  • 1933 – Tony Verna, American director and producer, invented instant replay (d. 2015).

Casablanca

Casablanca is a 1942 American romantic drama film directed by Michael Curtiz, and starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Paul Henreid. Filmed and set during World War II, it focuses on an American expatriate (Bogart) who must choose between his love for a woman (Bergman) or helping her husband (Henreid), a Czech resistance leader, escape from the Vichy-controlled city of Casablanca to continue his fight against the Germans. The screenplay is based on Everybody Comes to Rick’s, an unproduced stage play by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison. The supporting cast features Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, and Dooley Wilson.

Warner Bros. story editor Irene Diamond convinced producer Hal B. Wallis to purchase the film rights to the play in January 1942. Brothers Julius and Philip G. Epstein were initially assigned to write the script. However, despite studio resistance, they left to work on Frank Capra’s Why We Fight series early in 1942. Howard Koch was assigned to the screenplay until the Epsteins returned a month later. Principal photography began on 25 May 1942, ending on 03 August; the film was shot entirely at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California with the exception of one sequence at Van Nuys Airport in Van Nuys, Los Angeles.

Although Casablanca was an A-list film with established stars and first-rate writers, no one involved with its production expected it to stand out among the hundreds of pictures produced by Hollywood yearly. Casablanca was rushed into release to take advantage of the publicity from the Allied invasion of North Africa a few weeks earlier. It had its world premiere on 26 November 1942 in New York City and was released nationally in the United States on 23 January 1943. The film was a solid if unspectacular success in its initial run.

Exceeding expectations, Casablanca went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, while Curtiz was selected as Best Director and the Epsteins and Koch were honoured for Best Adapted Screenplay. Its reputation has gradually grown, to the point that its lead characters, memorable lines, and pervasive theme song have all become iconic, and it consistently ranks near the top of lists of the greatest films in history. In 1989, the United States Library of Congress selected the film as one of the first for preservation in the National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

Instant Replay

Instant replay or action replay is a video reproduction of something that recently occurred which was both shot and broadcast live. The video, having already been shown live, is replayed in order for viewers to see again and analyse what had just taken place. Some sports allow officiating calls to be overturned after the review of a play. Instant replay is most commonly used in sports, but is also used in other fields of live TV. While the first near-instant replay system was developed and used in Canada, the first instant replay was developed and deployed in the United States.

Outside of live action sports, instant replay is used to cover large pageants or processions involving major dignitaries (e.g. monarchs, religious leaders such as the Catholic Pope, revolutionary leaders with mass appeal), political debate, legal proceedings (e.g. O.J. Simpson murder case), royal weddings, red carpet events at major award ceremonies (e.g. the Oscars), grandiose opening ceremonies (e.g. 2022 Winter Olympics opening ceremony), or live feeds to acts of terrorism currently in progress. Instant replay is used because the events are too large to cover from a single camera angle, events are too fast moving to catch all the nuance on the first viewing, the high points of the event are surrounded by much of a muchness, or punditry is supplied to punch the event up, such as analysing the daring plunge of a plunging neckline to the last revealing millimetre.

In media studies, the timing and length of the replay clips as well as the selection of camera angles is a form of editorial content with a large impact on how the audience perceives the events covered.

Because of the origin of television as a broadcast technology, a “channel” of coverage is traditionally a single video feed consumed in the same way by all viewers. In the age of streaming media, live current events can be accessed by the final viewer with multiple streams of the same content playing concurrently in different windows or on different devices, often with direct end-user control over rewinding to a past moment, as well as an ability to select accelerated, slow-motion or stop-action replay speed. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many jurisdictions have daily or weekly public health announcements which are available on streaming services such as YouTube and Facebook in near real-time. It is no longer difficult for the end viewer to linger over the portions which present novel information, such as updated results from daily case counts or new epidemiological models, and then to speed through the dull parts at accelerated playback speed. This can be framed as a novel media consumption modality of instantaneous time shifting.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.