Film Club

Conversations on Essential Cinema: Casablanca

August 26, 2020

Casablanca (1942) is of the world’s most beloved films, and widely considered the best screenplay ever produced. The film has been immortalized not merely for its 1943 Best Picture Academy Award win, but for the way this World War II love story, improbably with Morocco as its backdrop, showcases so many memorable lines and startling images – blending both romance and suspense in one smokey cafe. Casablanca uses its characters, including the love triangle at the heart of the story, to expose the many complex political dilemmas of the early 1940s, with the Nazis imposing their will on the world. It also has come to define noir cinema with its sinister and menacing sense of impending danger.

On August 26, 2020, FOLCS was joined by award-winning actress, Sharon Stone (Casino, Total Recall, Basic Instinct, The Laundromat) for a Conversation.

This event was produced in partnership with the New York Film Academy (NYFA).

Watch Conversations on Essential Cinema: Casablanca here.

See more from FOLCS.

Sharon Stone

Sharon Stone is an American actress, producer, humanitarian, and former fashion model. She is the recipient of a Primetime Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award, as well as having received nominations for an Academy Award and two Screen Actors Guild Awards.

After modelling in television commercials and print advertisements, she made her film debut as an extra in Woody Allen’s comedy-drama Stardust Memories (1980). Her first speaking part was in Wes Craven’s horror film Deadly Blessing (1981), and throughout the 1980s, Stone went on to appear in films such as Irreconcilable Differences (1984), King Solomon’s Mines (1985), Cold Steel (1987), Action Jackson (1988), and Above the Law (1988). She found mainstream prominence with her part in Paul Verhoeven’s science fiction action film Total Recall (1990).

Stone became a sex symbol and rose to international recognition when she starred as Catherine Tramell in another Verhoeven film, the erotic thriller Basic Instinct (1992), for which she earned her first Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama. She received further critical acclaim with her performance in Martin Scorsese’s epic crime drama Casino (1995), garnering the Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

Stone received two more Golden Globe Award nominations for her roles in The Mighty (1998) and The Muse (1999). Her other notable film roles include Sliver (1993), The Specialist (1994), The Quick and The Dead (1995), Last Dance (1996), Sphere (1998), Catwoman (2004), Broken Flowers (2005), Alpha Dog (2006), Basic Instinct 2 (2006), Bobby (2006), Lovelace (2013), Fading Gigolo (2013), and The Disaster Artist (2017). In 1995, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and in 2005, she was named Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters in France.

On television, Stone has had notable performances in the miniseries War and Remembrance (1987) and the HBO television film If These Walls Could Talk 2 (2000). She made guest appearances in The Practice (2004), winning the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series, and in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2010). Stone has also appeared in the series Agent X (2015), Mosaic (2017), and The New Pope (2019).

Sharon has been an active activist. She traveled to Israel to promote peace in the Middle East through a press conference with Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres. In 2013, she referred to Peres as her “mentor”. On October 23, 2013, Stone received the Peace Summit Award for her work with HIV/AIDS sufferers. In 2015, Stone was guest of honor at the Pilosio Building Peace Award in Milan. She began an impromptu auction on stage in front of a crowd of CEOs from the construction industry and other dignitaries. She gained enough pledges to build 28 schools in Africa.

She resides in Los Angeles, CA with her three sons.