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Intertextuality and Casablanca (1942)

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Today’s lecture is all about intertextuality. Intertextuality, a term point by Julia Kristeva;we will be a looking at keep theoreticians of intertextuality soon.So, the idea of any work of the intertextuality is that a text is not produce in vacuum, so just does notarise out of in thin air. So, whether it is film or literary text you are talking about,there is always a connection. So, a text because you are talking about cinematic text, cinematic textemerges from cinematic tradition, there is the tradition of cinema. And we have beentalking a lot about Semiotics as well, so we know what a certain close up means.For example when you look at certain close up of the heroine here Ingrid Bergman from ‘Casablanca’;what does it suggest, what kind of look is that? Unless you know the grammar of cinema,you would not know. So, that look suggests love and longing for last beloved.When you look at Humphrey Bogart's close up, you know the there are certain emotions and therefore;this is what we called understanding cinematic grammar and traditions.So, cinematic text emerge form of certain kind of tradition. Films are produced withina social context, of course, unless until we know the social cultural background ofparticular story we would not understand what the film is all about. So, to understand amovie like Casablanca, what are you suppose to understand?Where is the setting?In the town of Casablanca. And what is the period all about? Nazi occupation; we are talkingabout Germany talking over control of Europe, certain parts of Europe. Unless you understandthe social-cultural-political context, it will be very difficult understand why theCasablanca in such a great love story otherwise we would not know or understand the climax at all.So, while talking about intertextuality weare told that filmmakers entails a careful assembling or putting together of pre-existing elements.Cinema is putting together of pre-existing elements will talk about that; and thereforefilmmakers draw on old myths, character types. We were talking about types of character ifyou remember and narrative conventions. Most of you by now are familiar with myths andplots and narrative conventions in cinema. Often film making is compare to an assemblingtogether of disjointed elements, bringing together disjointed; see movies are nevermade in linear fashion, they shoot, perhaps the climax first and the beginning last.So it is and then putting together of all those things, but cinema also draws on from various other sources;something from political, something from cultural tradition, something from old myths.Remember, we have been talking about Hero with the thousand faces; old myths, rememberJoseph Campbell’s narrative movie, so idea narrative. So, old myths are often drawn upon.So, it is often said in a lighter way that the filmmaker are like doctor Frankenstein;the scientist who created a kind of a monster. And he created that monster, new body fromexciting parts of old dead bodies and that was cinema is all about. I know the similes quietmacabre, but that is the way it is.Each movie is a patch work of tissue, taken from other text, bringing together various disjointed elements.And knowledge of these parts is as desirable as understanding the whole,so relationship between part and the whole.Intertextuality, very simply put means,shaping of one text by other text; how a work of art is influenced by other artistic traditions.So how one, think Tarantino you do watch cinema of Quentin Tarantino right? And people havegone and written books about the way Quentin Tarantino barrows from other sources.So, shaping of one text by other text; I mean, you can always go back and look at Kill Bill.I think that is one of his better films and when you think of kill bill; you will findhow it is shaped by several texts. I will be giving you that kind of excises in movement.You have do that, ask yourself. How many of you have not seen kill bill?Every one! Almost everyone.The movie is very accessible, so will talk about it. So, the term was coined by Julia Kristeva.And I quote her ‘the meaning we find in the text is not to be locatedin its relationship to the mind in which it seems to have originated, but in its relationship to other text’,that is what she understands or she means by intertextuality.So, if text are produced by text then films are produced by other films. What you understand by that?Let’s talk about Kill Bill now, take half a minute or take thirty seconds,tell me how many texts has gone into making of Kill Bill? Not just a screen play by Tarantinoor whoever, but how Kill Bill is influenced by other cinematic text?Quickly put down, got down notes.What will Kill Bill part 1, part 2.You can work in pairs; you can sit with them if you want.Okay, quick responses the shaping of the text of Kill Bill by the other textsStudent: We have scenes of animation in that movie.It is like completely banquette, so he want to put that scene in animation.He once in an interview he said that, this scene is inspired from a Tamil movie, Aalavandhanwhich came a year before Kill Bill.Anime inspire by Aalavandhan.So, we also talk about Japanese anime. So how many texts have gone into shaping that particular scene?Anything else in ‘Kill Bill’ anything else?Student: The captain in narrative.Is it an inspiration from other film, remember anything else?Perhaps, you know one of the French masters of the French new wave periods,we have done it before. So, anything else?It is homage to Bruce Lee by yellow costume with black strip.It is homage to one of the film in which Bruce lee stars.So, that is the direct quotation, that the direct homage.Student: In which the other fighting,And the sword making, sword fighting. Yes, so ancients drawing on from Chinese’ myths,that we were talking about, old myths are evoked.Marshal arts movie, yes definitelythey are portrait throughout film and also in part two; the western, spaghetti westernStudent: Even in end of Part one, they showed upIt is a more of martial arts references then a western but then, in part two Michael Madsen’spart when she goes in search of one her enemies; and he shoots her in heart and buries her alive.But again homage to several of B films, exploitation movies of the sixties and seventies.And off course, the music is a direct quotation from one of thoseEnnio Morricone and Sergio Leone’s combination films.Now, we understand how text beget text and movie beget movie.So, there is another theoretician Mikhael Bakhtin, we have been talking about him for quit a while,1895 to 1975 a Russian critics; who said and this is how Julia kristeva getsher theory of intertextuality. According to Bakhtin, ‘all human communication are dialogic and heteroglossic.Now dialogic is speaking, having a dialogue with each other.And how many people do you need to dialogue with? At least two, at least two. Heteroglossic?Many tongues. Human beings have kind of a flow of communication and that communicationsinvolves dialogue and involving many toughs, many languages. It does not necessarily meanthat you should have knowledge of many languages. What it means is that, there are several points of view,several perspectives that is what intertextuality that is where intertextuality comes from.Every utterance is contribution to the ongoing dialogue;we will be seen that soon. And every word reflects, what is gone before.So, that takes us back to our original premise that films are not created in a vacuum;there is always are reference to something that has been done or said before like you pointed out;the anime scene is reference to Alaavandhan. So, Kriteva says any text is constructed ofmosaic of quotations; any text is absorption and transformation of another.A text quotes and sites from another text and then gets a life of its own. Ask me any question.It just means, very simplistically put that no work of art can claim to be entirely original,there is always influence consciously or subconsciously. We are not talking about the shameless plagiarismnow, okay so do not get confuse with that. I will answer your question on plagiarism also.How does cinema get dialogic?Films refer to other films and other text at a conscious or sub conscious level.Films are often read in the light of their resemblance to other films and text.Films tapped into a shared cultural heritage.You need to understand something, a movie like a Casablanca for example,it speaks a universal language of love triangle. You watch the climax of theCasablanca and it is a love triangle. How do you know this is love triangle?Between the lovers and someone makes scarifies; two men, a husband and jilted lover, and at endlover making supreme scarify for the woman. So, we know and this is the theme that canbe understood anywhere, because the love triangle is a universally understandable phenomenon.So, therefore film should tap or most films tap into a shared cultural heritage; otherwisethey becomes something else, there would not be universally popular.Films feed on pre-existing materials and expressive forms;by expressive forms mean, painting, drama, theater, performanceof performing art, even music. So, intertextuality is not exactly plagiarism, but quotation.Now what, what the difference between; let’s assume you are writing an assignment and youare told do not plagiarize and you are quoting however.So, how is it different from plagiarizing? When you quote, you are crediting someonewhen you plagiarize; so quotation is very direct in cinema, Tarantino can not to referto something and tell or come forward and tell you, look this is the scene from SergioLeone that cannot happen, but it is done is in such a way that, you know he is paying a homage.There is no attempt camouflage. In plagiarism; people make an effort to camouflage.So that is how you understand cinematic plagiarism; it is quite different from literary plagiarism.So, intertextuality and Casablanca. Another key theoretician is Umberto Eco the Italian critic;who has worked extensive on textually and written essays on the film.One of his foremost essay is ‘Casablanca cult movies and inter-textual collage’ 1984,where I quote him ‘Casablanca is not just one film; it is many films and anthology’.Are you familiar with the name, Umberto Eco?The name of the rose, not the black rose. He is a key semiotician also.Casablanca, now will come and to the film, talk about it.It was made in 1942 directed by Michael Curtiz, starring Humphrey Bogart and young Ingrid Bergman.And movie begins with close up; you know the title of the movie is within a cross, a close up what?The map of Africa; that means, the movie is set in Africa we are told at the beginning.So, the references to countries and geographies and it set to the theme of ((Refer Prof)).So, we are told perhaps that in a certain level it is a patriotic film.The film was based on an unpublished, on an unknown, unappreciated play called ‘everybody comes to Rick’s;Rick is our hero played by Humphrey Bogart, he runs a, what does he run?A bar, which had pianist; playing sad tunes on his piano throughout the movie.So it is a bar, very popular a bar and he is the kind of man who is always brooding andlater on we know; why he is brooding because he has lost the woman he loves and we aretold the story in flashback. One day it is so happens that the women he loved and lost in Paris;she walks in the bar and she recognizes the trusted friend, the pianist who is tobe always around Rick as played by Humphrey Bogart. And he looks at her and stops playingand therefore comes Ingrid Bergman’s famous lines ‘play it Sam’.Casablanca is a story, love triangle in the time of Second World War.So, love triangle between a cynical lover, beautiful girl and her husband.So, it comes to a point where we know; that is he going to get arrested and that is the scene we just watched.A movie ends how Rick helps Elsa and her husband escape Casablanca and the Nazi place;we know how he does it, he kills, he bribes, he threatens people but ensuresthat the girl leaves the country safely on that flight with her husband.And off course it ends with the couple of famous lines, you know Casablanca is full of a memorable lines.Here looking at kid, play it Sam and lets round up, the usual suspects.And you know what that line has let to, what is that; the title of the movie, Usual Suspects.So, Umberto Eco gives us a list of archetypes in Casablanca. If you may just recall,we did something the narrative of, few weeks back and we were talking about Vladimir Proppwho gives us morphology of a folktales in which he has given a seven kind of a character,archetype type of character; the hero, the false hero, the villain, the damsel and distress etcetera.Umberto Eco’s list of archetypes Casablanca, one is how the music is set, or put to use.The magic key, another element of folktales but this we are having in Umberto Eco’s list,not Vladimir Propp’s. And here is the visa that opens the door.The magic horse that’s the airplane if you remember, even the air craft has figure of horse on it.The charming scoundrels so that is the police officer,the perfect as played by in the movie who is called Reno, the desperate lover; anotherarchetype, the uncontaminated hero that is husband, because the desperate hero is contaminated.The faith full servant and his master, Sam and Rick; the pianist and Rick,The damsel in white in the movie will find most of the time she is dressed in white; significanteverything that good with the world in a morally ambivalent society. The villains obviouslyare the Nazis and the police therefore; Umberto Eco feels Casablanca is not one movie, butmany movies, several movies. So, remember what he says at that the beginning we weretalking about; it is an anthology several movies are going on when we read Casablanca.So, Casablanca Umberto Eco says, “two cliché make us laugh, I quote him, a hundred clichésmove us, for we sense dimly, that the clichés are talking among themselves and celebrating a reunion’.An intertextual archetype is a topos or standard situation that managesto be particularly appealing to a given cultural area or historical period”.Think about this.An intertextual archetype is a topaz or standard situation that manages to be particularly appealing to agiven cultural area or a historical period. Now, why is Casablanca appealing in the light of this quotation?What is the culture area, what is historical period?The appeal of Casablanca? Well, you see when the director is playing on the theme of patriotism lovetriangle; these are culturally shared believes or topaz, a standard situation.And therefore, there is, and you also have a particular historical period which is understood by most of us;so therefore the beauty of Casablanca.Is there anyone?Student: Anyway, you can relate love triangle to world war two,But the movie which is love triangle is set during the Second World War. So, we may notbe exactly able to relate but then we know that this is the story and the fate of thelovers gets influenced, impacted because of the political situation.Is it not that we are told in Casablanca? But for the war, they would have been together. But it is very importantthat Victor Lazlo’s husband has to live on, because for the country he is more important than Rick.And if Victor has to live on then he has to leave that place along with his wife.Otherwise without his wife his work never, because she is with her love she sustains.So, this is important that she should be with him, therefore we need to have our hero making that sacrifice.Love is secondary, country is the most important, that is therefore didI answer you are question; how is the Second World War related to love triangle?Any question on Casablanca? Then we can move on.So, Casablanca is referred to in another movie called Brazil by Terry Gilliam.So, the bureaucrats secretly watch Casablanca and crave for actionand romance in their controlled life. So, Casablanca is evoked at some point.Although, what genre of movie in Brazil? Science-fiction, black comedy.Student: Dystopian. Yes dystopian but you find the bureaucratswatching, the people there watching Casablanca. And again Humphrey Bogart’s character, Samcharacter makes an appearance in Woody Allen’s’ play it again Sam, so directed by the Hebert Ross,again referring or referencing a film.Okay, intertextuality and the western. We are going to talk about two western texts.How intertextuality and not just a remake comes in to the picture.There is a theme in a western genre. A lonely stranger comes in to the town that has two gangs or familiesthat are at war, which movie we are talking about? Yes the good the bad? Not really.Student: Remember in another movie you made us watch in previous course, it is calledSukhyaki western Django is exactly same ways goes, but that is reference to.Yeah, western Django which Tarantino has re-done. So, this lone stranger wants play both sidesto make as to, make as much money as possible but ends up trouble with both these warring gangs.Does it ring the bell?Exactly, Kurosawa’s Japanese film Yojimbo. I am talking aboutKurusawa’s yogimbo, and then another famous film based on the same theme Last man standing;starring Bruce Willis, it is a wonderful movie, terribly entertaining watch itand watch it alongside with Yojimbo.Clint Eastwood’s A Fistful of Dollars, not the good the bad.A Fistful of Dollars again deals with the same theme.If you look at the movie like star wars, star wars’s theme as we were talking about whenwe discuss the idea of narrative and how myths influence narratives.We talk about Joseph Campbell’s the hero with the thousand faces,and how the star war follows the same trajectory; so, hero's universal, spiritual journey.And then hero’s journey is the common theme in many films;and we have already discuss this with reference to The Terminator, Lord of rings and several othersYou can take more examples. For examples, Indiana Jones which again follows the same theme;hero initiation, his journey, his adventure, his temptations,a damsel in distress, a false hero and you will find. So, again we are talking aboutintertextuality, even a light hearted movie like Kung fu Panda, you can find several quotationtaken from all this films. And they are not plagiarizing; they know that we know what, that talking about.Again the same idea of hero’s journey and initiations, quest for truth all these motivesare found in even in films like, Avatar and The silence of the lambs; very different byway of genre but thematically quit similar. So, now we come to the idea of cult films,again quote I quote Umberto Eco, he feels that in the order of transform a work intoa cult object, one must be able to break, dislocate, unhinge it so, that one can rememberonly parts of it, irrespective of their original relationship with the hole.How many of you have watched Reservoir dogs? Is it cult?What is the cult and what the popular movie, what is the cult?Student: It dedicated to or following.Cult has a dedicated set of followers, fan following, give me some examples.The Big Lebowksi.Student: Dazed and confusedDazed and confusedStudent: Fight club.Fight club, Pulp fiction they are cult films. Remember, cult films are not extremely successfulor very popular, what I mean is; they are extremely popular among the group of people,they are people who write about them, discuss them, etcetera. But they were not huge mega hits.Sholay is not a cult film, it is universally popular movie; again it is if you look at,if you watch Sholay, you will several elements of intertextuality and that isgood exercise to understand.Sholay is such a popular film and if you watch it, you will find several inter-textual elementsoccurring, existing simultaneously. So, an unhinged film should displace not onecentral idea but many, it should not reveal a coherent philosophy of composition;thus the idea of the cult film.Do you think, Reservoir dogs or Fight club or Pulp fiction they subscribe to these definition?No central philosophy, but several things going on, yes or no?Yes thus the idea of cult.So, cult is term which is used very loosely,often but according to Umberto Eco, there is the definition and cult movie should subscribeto certain parameter. So, Donnie Darko is a cult movie, you would not find a mass followingfor the film, but whoever have watched it they are dedicated to it.Fight club is a cult movie; it was not a successful movie at all when it was released.I thing Roger Ebert gave it; no half star.The Rocky, the horror picture shows another good example of cult film.So, what is cult then? Again I am borrowing from Umberto Eco’s definition,‘cult movies have a world that fans and enthusiasts can explore, and everyone has a take on cult movies.Are you aware of this concept called Fanfic?Cults usually have, we are talking about fans, fanfic, fandom. So, what is fanfic?Fans start contributing to the plot, to the narrative. This is the way Harry potter should proceedfrom now onwards, and because of the proliferation of the social network media any one can rewriteand reinterpret Harry potter; the way they want. So, that is what fans creating theirown fiction, therefore fanfic, it is supports ((Refer Prof)).So, cult borrows from other films and texts;yes they do, Reservoir dogs, Brazil we all do that.Cult have limited, but very special appeal, ask the followers and they can die for it.Some features of cults films are, they are usually strange; Donnie Darko, quirky, offbeat, eccentric,surreal with outrages, weird, unique, cartoony characters or plots and garish sets.I would say most of Quentin Tarantino’ movies would fall into cult categories. I mean thinkKill Bill, full of cartoony characters, right.Cults often consider controversial,because they step up outside; standard narrative and technical conventions as you are justmentioning, an anime emerges from nowhere; the western genre comes out of the glow.So, they play around with technical and generic conventions.And off course, they are very stylized and often flawed.Some famous cult directors; John Walter,Ed Wood on whom Tim Burton made a movie.Tarantino, the Coen brothers, someone just mentioned the Big Lebowski.Jim Jarmusch, if you watch his Johnny Depp movie Dead man and you will understand how cult he is,and full of intertextuality.David Lynch.Any question here so far; before we go on discuss some other films.Any comments on cult?Why is it a cult?Student: It might be a controversial, like Clockwork OrangesJust controversial, yes but you have to disarrange it.Student: It was controversial, yet but itwas also sort of mainstream, it was nominated for Oscars as well at that time.Well that does not, even Pulp fiction,Student: Well the only difference betweenClockwork Oranges’ is it was banned in several countries because of the violenceYou know what happens when films get banned, look at our recent example so, it always goodpublicity even if you are not interested in that film initially.So, banning of a film that not such a bad idea after all even if it banned initially, it is always a good publicity.So, that does not, so carry on; yes you are sayingOkay, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner 1982 starring very young is Harrison Ford is another exampleof inter textual text based on Philip k dick’s very eccentrically titled novel,do androids dream of electric sheep.The book makes a reference to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, we already seen that what it was all about.Blade Runner is often seen as postmodern classical, we will be soon doing modernism in cinemaand postmodernism in cinema; and why is Blade Runner very good example of post modernism.So, it quotes eludes too and references to other texts and also the way it represents spatiality and temporality.What is this space of the Blade Runner?Where is it set? In the future, so we are. And what is the time again we are very not clear somewherein the future. The opening sequence begins with the close up of an anonymous eye, wedo not know whose eye it is. And it has a reference to Dante’s inferno, divine comedyand there are three parts in Dante’s inferno divine comedy; and one is Inferno, so youknow all these images of fire and destruction in that eye, all these are reflected in the eye.So, eye is the recurrent motif in the film. You also have a character of the eye maker,someone who makes eyes, have you watch the movie? Okay, good. Eyes are seen as awindow to the soul and then eye watching over you throughout; you know the big brother iswatching you that kind of sense.It was not instant commercial success, themost cults are not; they are not instantaneously, commercially successful, but it has faithfulgroup of and very loyal group of followers. How many of you actually like Blade runner?ou like, good. Again people have read images of LA as I said although it is not very clearclearly mentioned; which city it set in but the people by the way, by the look of theimaginary town we are told this could be possible LA.And then it is set in 2019, some point we are told that thus the period is 2019 andtherefore, Blade Runner had a very strong influence on sub sequence futuristic film, Matrix for example .There is the constant image of a very weird kind of city in a blade runner,and full of what? Advertisements, commercials; people you know all this hyperlink storiestelling you, what you eat, what to think, what to wear. You are talking about the societywhere you are surrounded with commercialism.The city extremely dystopic, unclear, unstableand we will be discussing the Blade runner soon, I want to watch it we have long weekendso, watch the movie and Monday we will be continue the discussion of the film as an inter-textual text.So, three aspects of Blade runner that youshould be talking about or thinking of; one is the city - speak, the language in the city.There is the thing called city speak the kind of language the character speak.The Tyrell corporation, what does it stand for?Then what is the meaning of the replicant?You know, what are replicants in the movie? But watch it all over again and you will understand.So, the original screen writer although based on someone else work, but Humpton Fancherwas the screen writer; who said Blade runner was always meant to be cautionary.For instant the film was shot during the period of President Reagan; and the cruel politics portrayed inthe film, of my rebuttal of Reaganism in a sense. Does that remain you that films needto be or inter-textual film when you talk about intertextuality; we are also talkingabout the social-political-culture aspects of a particular period.So, again that takes us back to the original contention that films are not created in the vacuumEven a movie like Blade runner based on someone else's work, but when it is adaptedfor the screen, the screen writer has some kind of the context. He has some kind of visionand that kind of social-economical-political-historical context he wants to situate the film.Therefore, intertextuality if you know the Reagan period and if you know the access of the Regan period,you will be able to relate in a better way to film that is the idea,if you do not anything of about it then much will be lost.So, we will meet again on Monday, having watched Blade runner. Thank you.