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Flashback in time


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Something was posted here a while ago, either by Lavenderblue (can I call you blue19 for short?)  or mw, and it was in regards to favorite scenes.   

 

But flashbacks are a staple in storytelling on screen, and used so often we just accept them--or not, when either silly contrivance or a "cheat" in the story. 

 

One of the more effective ones are Casablanca, which the flashback of Rick's and Ilsa's romance appears to me as believable, given the circumstances and what is happening in the story.

 

Not the scene, but the soundtrack below, should bring it all back.. It does for me.  God bless you, Max Steiner...

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40Bl34hjYik

 

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I agree with you regarding the flashback in Casablanca.  The scenes showing Rick and Ilsa's romance prior to the Nazi occupation of Paris and Ilsa's ditching Rick at the train station explains why he is so upset to see Ilsa in his cafe in Casablanca.  Without this flashback scene, we wouldn't know why Rick says "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine." This scene also establishes that Rick and Ilsa's flame may have been rekindled and works to make the classic scene in the airport even more poignant.  The perfect use of the flashback in my opinion.

 

Almost the entire story of Sunset Boulevard is told in flashback, very effectively as well.  William Holden's body is floating in the pool and you're intrigued as to how he got there and why. 

 

Double Indemnity also uses an effective flashback scene to show how Fred MacMurray ended up giving a confession in Edward G. Robinson's office and you want to know what crime he's confessing to, why he did it and whether Edward G. Robinson will catch him. 

 

It seems that film noirs use the flashback story telling technique fairly often.  It's a way to rope the audience in at the beginning and give them reason enough to become interested in the story and watch until the end. 

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I am amazed I forgot Sunset Boulevard,  because you're right it is put to excellent use, and the whole point of Nora Desmond's behavior is that she lives in the past!   :o 

 

Flashbacks are common are film noir and mysteries, for much of the protagonist's confusion is about their current state, and not having a history to explain it.   It made me think about Rebecca, which opens as in the current time then the days of the narrator's youth, when she meets Maxim in Monte Carlo.  It is interesting that Hitchcock doesn't pull the story back to the narrator at the end.. it just ends where it ends. The novel moves beyond that.

 

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