FILM REVIEW | CABARET
photo manipulation by nacrowe
it must have been sometime in my late teens when i started getting into film. i know for years my dad had been trying to get me to watch CABARET (ALLIED ARTISTS, 1972) and i just never got around to it for whatever reason. i know now how annoying that can be when you provide (what you feel is) a quality recommendation and the recipient of said information does nothing with it or doesn't appreciate it in the end. that can be annoying. just ask anyone at DEER GOD, since i'm apparently alone in feeling that MEL BROOKS is a genius and BLAZING SADDLES and SPACEBALLS are among the greatest comedies EVER.
but this is about CABARET and not MEL BROOKS. i did finally get around to watching CABARET in college and was floored by it. i told my dad how good it was and he was pissed. pretty funny now.
CABARET is a period film that focuses on the idyllic artistic/sexual/political freedom of the WEIMAR REPUBLIC and ultimately how abrupt a shift was experienced thereafter when the NAZI PARTY took over. noted theater director and choreographer BOB FOSSE was an inspired choice for director (beating out BILLY WILDER) as the musical numbers starring LIZA MINELLI and JOEL GREY are vivacious, memorable and effectively incapsulate the free-roaming spirit of the period. not to be mean, but MINELLI is so good in this movie that i forgive her as a fan of art everything she did thereafter. its like DAVE NAVARRO of JANE'S ADDICTION. it doesn't matter to me how many shitty reality shows he stars in or mediocre records he produces these days, since he is still the dude that created NOTHING'S SHOCKING and RITUAL DE LO HABITUAL.
it is hard not to read into the film an almost kindred relationship between the WEIMAR period in germany and the then-recent rise and fall of the american counterculture, civil rights and anti-war movement of the 1960s. perhaps given the fall of the WEIMAR REPUBLIC to the NAZI PARTY it is interesting to consider what the corresponding threat was to american life at the time: NIXON, CAPITALISM, CONSUMER CULTURE. just a thought.
if you haven't seen CABARET you should. for me its in my all-time top 3 (others being EAST OF EDEN and THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST). please seek this film out. it is that great.