Saturday, January 17, 2015

"... and it was the end of the world."

It's not what you'd call a "drive-in" movie, but I saw Cabaret(1973) at a drive-in in the early seventies.  As I was younger than five at the time, I don't remember much other than Liza Minnelli's face as tall as a drive-in movies screen.  Oh, that'll leave a scar, huh?

Perry, after the Maude and the Zombies and the airplanes and the Newlywed Game, asked if we could watch something different tonight.

I figured eight Academy Awards (ten nominations) should be different enough.

And it's Fosse! Fosse! Fosse! all the way.  After seeing how Liza almost approaches self parody these days, watching it was a reminder that she won for best actress and she's one of a few performers who've earned the right to wear the EGOT.

But after watching it again, after probably a decade, for the... fifth or sixth time (at least), it's lost a little of it's glamor.  First, because of Chicago, the movie.  More Fosse! Fosse! Fosse! but more polished, even more stylized then Cabaret, choreographed and directed by Rob Marshall, the man responsible for the 1998 revival of Cabaret.
Then there's context.  I've recently (within the last couple of years) seen the movie Christopher and His Kind, where Matt Smith plays Christopher Isherwood*- the Michael York role in Cabaret, the original author of Berlin Stories.  Rather like Cabaret the Non-Musical, but with more depth to the characters that inspired Brian and Sally, because, well, they're real.

That said, it earned eight Oscars, losing the other two, best picture and best adapted screen play, to The Godfather, a testament to Bob Fosse's technical genius and the talent of the cast.

Now, I think a couple of "Women In Prison" or Pam Grier movies are in order - and OH! lucky me, The Big Bird Cage is both, and on netflix!


*Come into the movie after the opening scenes and it's like the weirdest episode of Doctor Who ever.