Todd Alcott
26 June 2009 @ 08:26 am




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At the end of Cabaret, Sally Bowles sings her cheery, upbeat tune about how "life is a Cabaret" and how high living and good times, music and dancing, sex and drugs and booze, are the only way to get through life. The lingering question at the end of Cabaret is: Is that really a way to get through life, or just a way to end it faster? Director-choreographer Bob Fosse is obviously of two minds on this question, which seems to dominate his brief-but-spectacular film-directing career. Cabaret, Lenny, All That Jazz and Star 80 all perceive Show Business as a kind of pathology, an unhealthy compulsion, a road to ruin. (In Cabaret, it is also hinted that the amoral, self-indulgent performers of Berlin are somehow responsible for the rise of Nazism, which seems like a stretch to me, but indicates how seriously Fosse takes his subject.)

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Todd Alcott
24 June 2009 @ 07:08 am




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A new project has crossed my desk that compels me to watch a specific collection of movies: Cabaret, All That Jazz, The Cotton Club and Gone With the Wind. (And Schindler's List, but I've watched that one recently.)

I remember Cabaret from my adolescence as being a daring, provocative, decadent, weird movie about the rise of Nazism in Weimar Berlin, as told through the eyes of a couple of young folks with complicated romantic lives. And it is still that, but what surprised me on this viewing is that it is, under all its decadence, a fairly conventional love story.

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