Words on Film Group — July 8, 2020
Cabaret is a 1972 American musical-drama film directed by Bob Fosse, and starring Liza Minnelli, Michael York, and Joel Grey. Set in Berlin during the Weimar Republic in 1931, under the presence of the growing Nazi Party, the film is loosely based on the 1966 Broadway musical Cabaret by Kander and Ebb, which was adapted from Christopher Isherwood’s semi-autobiographical novel The Berlin Stories (1945) and the 1951 play I Am a Camera adapted from “Goodbye to Berlin” in the same work by John van Druten.
Bob Fosse’s Cabaret (1972)
1. For those of you reading Christopher Isherwood’s novella “Goodbye to Berlin,” you will get one of the best first-person literary accounts of pre-Nazi Berlin from a foreign eye-witness ever written.
If you are not reading the novella, do watch I Am A Camera, a British film version of the novella with Julie Harris and Laurence Harvey, based on John van Druten’s play which ran for 214 performances on Broadway in 1951. Yes, Brian in Cabaret is Christoper in this film. Whereas this film emphasizes the historical setting of the original novella, the film Cabaret is much more a story about Sally and Brian’s relationship with history as a backdrop.
I Am A Camera is FREE on YouTube:
2. YouTube has many video interviews with Christopher Isherwood available.
Do you see “Brian” as Isherwood speaks? How so?
3. Berlin propaganda, 1930-1939 (gorgeous black & white photography!)
Berlin – German Documentary On Life In Berlin – Reel Two (1930-1939)
4. Cabaret review — Steve Hayes “Tired Old Queen At The Movies”
“Fosse! Fosse! Fosse! Fosse! Fosse! Fosse!”
— Robin Williams, “The Birdcage”
Every musical queen on the planet knows the work of Bob Fosse. One of the greatest choreographers ever. he was born to direct “Cabaret” but always thought he had failed, that he could have worked harder… and to exhaustion. Forever cursed with alcohol and drug addiction, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, sexual addiction (heterosexual only), smoking four packs of cigarettes per day, heart angina and chronic insomnia, Fosse’s self-destructive craving for work, work and more work was his only peaceful outlet. But the man-made dance theater a new art form and revived the American musical on stage and film internationally. “Cabaret” was the peak of his all too short career. He died at age 60.
TV Obituaries regarding Bob Fosse (1987) — 10m.
Best Documentary on “Making The Real Cabaret” EVER!! (pirated DVD Bonus, poor sound)
Absolutely DO watch this before our film group discussion on July 8!
One hour well worth your time!