Humphrey Bogart - Is his Soul alive?

Humphrey Bogart – Is his Soul Alive? | Essay

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“Humphrey DeForest Bogart (1899-1957) can be truly compared to one of the famous cinematic ‘Superstars’ in the past and was well-known especially to the now older audience with awarded movies like Casablanca, The African Queen, the Treasure of the Sierra Madre and so many more we were familiar with as kids. Humphrey died not long after my birth. But is his soul still alive?".



The Soul of Legend Humphrey Bogart: Movie Legend.

When I entered a few years ago a small and unknown Bangkok nightclub in the heart of the city, right on the third floor of a shabby building next to a very busy road, I was surprised by what I saw. The decoration was not like Casablanca but the ambience was.

It was much darker than in the Casablanca nightclub but you still could see a few old and used wooden tables and chairs as well as a playing band, obviously imported 50 years ago by its looks. The band, five people, tried to play, but one of the players almost fell asleep while playing, only to be woken up continuously by his playing colleagues…perfect…it was like you are in the movie Casablanca but of course without {Humphrey Bogart}.

The screen persona of Humphrey Bogart emerged perhaps in 1941 but his soul however seemed to be very present that day in the forgotten nightclub I visited!

The band played slowly, and patrons, even girls, were only a few, seated around the used tables. The dancing area, if you could call it so, was small and empty. Everything you touched, saw and experienced had the feeling of something old, dusty, even cheap. While the water and beer glasses were clean, you could not get rid of the feeling that they were not. Of course the wallpapers with the used-up sofas and chairs matched the feeling that everything certainly was in use for a long time.

Like the illustrious band nobody took attention at, the waiters weren’t moving around as they did in their prime time. I had the feeling that the time had come already to a standstill or better yet, I wasn’t anymore in my life as I was transferred within seconds into the past of my parents. The prime time stars of Humphre Bogart, Marlene Dietrich, John Wayne and Clint Eastwood.

Have you ever read the exciting book "the Lost Horizon" by novelist James Hilton, perhaps better known as the lost Tibetan paradise of Shangri-La? Then you know what I mean. Just another sample of an out-of-the-world experience where the time stood still in magic ways.

It was around midnight. The light was dimmed, but you could see, feel and imagine the surroundings. The only real light was shining onto the ensemble.

Listening and watching the Asian dancing band was fun, although they were visibly tired while still trying to use their instruments. No singer at the scene. I'm sure the band played much slowlier than they should. I could not deny my repeated feeling that I was at a place not made for us humans.

The embedded Humphrey Bogart movie above may give you an idea of what I experienced that night. What I felt, heard and saw. All in brown, sepia and darkish colors. Nothing exciting but that made the whole scenery outstanding. A paradox on its own.

At about 1 am the band stopped playing and slowly the nightclub closed its doors not too much later. We had to leave. I tried to count the number of patrons I saw at this time: Maybe four or five?

I think the band were from the philippines. I'm not sure but certainly, Filipinos were famous musicians for hire at that time as they are now.

Since that experience, I do feel sorry that I never had the chance to visit that particular nightclub ever again or came across a similar establishment in my life.

Many years later I found out that the nightclub ceased to exist and a blinking, clean and lightful convenience store was instead established right at the ground floor of the building. No more the dark, almost invisible entry to the upper floors. Nothing scary. How boring. I felt not only sad but knew immediately that something was lost that couldn't ever be recovered.

I’m sure the Soul of Humphrey Bogart is now somewhere else. ##

© 2011, Original: Article-Athenaeum (Another Point of Views)
© 2022, Republished and updated with permit: Rainer F. Otto (Link-Mail)

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