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Cabaret (Bob Fosse, 1972)

An American cabaret girl falls in love with a stiff English teacher in the Berlin of the 30s, while the Nazis start to seize power over the country.

The musical numbers in the movie are highly enjoyable and filled with great little visual ideas. I enjoyed them thoroughly. The actual love triangle story didn't impress a lot - I couldn't help the feeling that it was slanted too much into giving more contrast to the (prudish) Nazis that show up more and more during the movie.

What did stick out for me was the editing. The pacing is what I might call 'standard', but very often there are really fast cutaways. During the stage shows, there are flashes of audience visible, some of them more visually inspired than others. The woman with the monocle, obviously inspired by Dix is quite memorable, but other shots just show generic cabaret guests clapping and laughing.

I do wonder how they came up with the decision to edit that way. It could maybe be a 'director's trademark' or maybe somebody felt that they needed to spice up the performances a bit. Maybe I can find an audio commentary somewhere on that.

The way that Nazism creeps into everyday life, at first hardly noticeable, but more and more visible has been done in a grandiose fashion. Direct confrontations with Nazis are few but they are memorable and some of them very violent.

The most memorable character seems to be the MC. His affective performance on stage is not just funny, but impeccably timed and really entertaining. I'd love to see something like that in the real world.



 

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