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Musical Mondays-Week 7-Cabaret!

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#41 tomspanks

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 02:16 PM

I'm glad I finally watched this movie, and I can appreciate it for its place in film history, but ultimately I didn't enjoy it as much as the stage version. I had no idea what Cabaret was when I went to see it, so even though the movie came first, the stage version is THE version to me. My brain was a blank slate and it got imprinted with the stage version, if that makes sense.

The Emcee. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but Joel Grey didn't have any major speaking lines in the movie, did he? I think the Emcee plays a bigger part on the stage version. Also, Alan Cumming played Emcee cheekier than Joel Grey (did he seem kind of sinister to anyone else?), often appearing as part of the background dancers during songs sung "outside" of the Kit Kat Club.

Speaking of songs, I think many of the songs were left out in the movie. While on one hand I'm glad, since the movie is so long already, I missed hearing some of my favorites like "It Couldn't Please Me More," perhaps the best love song with a pineapple, sung by Herr Schultz and Fraulein Schneider. I can understand why the movie chose to have the B-plot with Fritz/Natalia, but I prefer the Herr Schultz/Fraulein Schneider story.

Then there is Sally. Liza is an amazing singer and rightly deserves all accolades for her performance in the movie. However, my Sally is in her mid-30s, she's seen things, and she knows she's never going to be a famous movie star. In the movie, you have a shred of hope that Sally maybe might perhaps succeed because it's clear that girl can sing. But Natasha Richardson (RIP *crying emoji*) played Sally as someone who doesn't even believe in herself. On the stage version, Sally is a failing Cabaret singer who doesn't believe it when she sings "Maybe This Time."

PS - is/was it common to pour beer with 99% head in that part of Germany? That seemed like a real disservice to beer.

#42 CakeBug Tranch

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 02:17 PM

View PostCameron H., on 13 March 2017 - 02:09 PM, said:


Oh, boy! Do, I disagree! (Here we go!)

Brian changes significantly. He accepts (or at least confronts) his sexuality, he stands up to Nazis, and leaves Germany very much a different person than who he was when he arrived.

Sally ends the movie as she began it--desperate for her big shot and deluded of what's going on around her. For a moment she allowed her vulnerability to show, but with a wave of her fingers, she is wrapped in her armor once again.

Fuck, that's dinner. Be back later :)

Okay, Brian does have those turning points going for him, granted. But the whole point of the final number is that Sally is sinking in to embrace the place that she has resisted through the whole movie. I don't see her as desperate for her big shot anymore so much as saying 'life is a cabaret and I'm a rockstar here'. I'm not sure I buy that she hasn't grown at all: after all she's been through I think she's much more honest with herself about what she can do with her life, and while she's dying inside, she's a consummate professional on that stage. I think her bravery, hidden under that thin veneer of sass, is palpable. She could have clung to Brian but she let him go. She could have not stepped back on the stage but she did. I think Sally is stronger here than that.

She promises in the final song that when she goes, she'll 'go like Elsie'. She's here, and she's accepted who she is. I think she's grown plenty.
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#43 Cameron H.

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 02:55 PM

View PostCakeBug Tranch, on 13 March 2017 - 02:17 PM, said:

She could have clung to Brian but she let him go. She could have not stepped back on the stage but she did. I think Sally is stronger here than that. She promises in the final song that when she goes, she'll 'go like Elsie'. She's here, and she's accepted who she is. I think she's grown plenty.


Wow, it's so funny how two people can have completely different takes on a movie.

I'll give you that she lets Brian go, but you seem to be suggesting that her getting back on stage is a triumph. She wants to be onstage. That's all she's ever wanted. She's still being willfully ignorant to what's going on around her.

I guess I just have a bleaker view of her final song. Where you see acceptance, I see resignation. All she has in her future is death. It's more in the music and less in the words. She begins the song on an upbeat note, as if being in a Cabaret is the best thing in the world. This mood continues through her first verse about Elsie. Then the tempo changes to a more wistful note. She's saying, "Yup, that's how I'm probably going to go too." The song then picks back up for the finale, but I don't see this as her convincing the audience the "life is a cabaret" so much as her trying to convince herself. She's trying to give herself strength.

Just like nearly everything in the movie, I feel the song is a metaphor for Nazism. They ignored the problem when they could have done something about it, things got worse, and now all they can do is hope everything is going to be okay (spoiler alert: it won't be.)

I just can't see this movie trying to give Sally this triumphant ending. It just doesn't fit the tone of the movie--especially in that final scene.
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#44 kateacola

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 03:06 PM

View Posttomspanks, on 13 March 2017 - 02:16 PM, said:


The Emcee. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but Joel Grey didn't have any major speaking lines in the movie, did he? I think the Emcee plays a bigger part on the stage version. Also, Alan Cumming played Emcee cheekier than Joel Grey (did he seem kind of sinister to anyone else?), often appearing as part of the background dancers during songs sung "outside" of the Kit Kat Club.



If the stage version has more MC, I'm in. Especially with Alan Cumming as MC ! :wub:
Spoiler


#45 tomspanks

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 03:10 PM

View Postkateacola, on 13 March 2017 - 03:06 PM, said:


If the stage version has more MC, I'm in. Especially with Alan Cumming as MC ! :wub:
Spoiler



Yeah! I saw him as Hedwig once purely by (bad) luck when JCM sustained an injury. MCH brought a lot more masculinity to the role.
ETA: Dude was ripped.

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 03:31 PM

View Posttomspanks, on 13 March 2017 - 03:10 PM, said:


Yeah! I saw him as Hedwig once purely by (bad) luck when JCM sustained an injury. MCH brought a lot more masculinity to the role.
ETA: Dude was ripped.

It's all that after-hours serial killing. And basketball-court softshoe.
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#47 kateacola

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 03:33 PM

View Posttomspanks, on 13 March 2017 - 03:10 PM, said:

ETA: Dude was ripped.

Uggh, I'm sure he was...
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haha

View Posttomspanks, on 13 March 2017 - 03:10 PM, said:


I saw him as Hedwig once purely by (bad) luck when JCM sustained an injury.


It'd be tough for anyone to compare to Mitchell as Hedwig, I'd assume... Purely from seeing the film version.

#48 Cameron H.

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 04:06 PM




I just watched the song again and I may be wrong, or at least, maybe not entirely right.

Just curious, what does everyone else see during this scene? What is it saying? About her. About anything. This is the movie's thesis, after all. What are we taking away from this song?

(Without trying to sway people's opinion one way or another, I would note her expression just before she goes on and how quickly she puts on a happy facade.)

My revised hypothesis is that we can pretend that life is whatever we want it to be, but that doesn't necessarily make it so. Whether or not Sally is aware of this or not is up for debate. I think she does, but is trying desperately to cling on to that fantasy for as long as she can.
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#49 CakeBug Tranch

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 04:19 PM

Here's a reboot of the same song, same message...


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#50 Cameron H.

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 04:26 PM

View PostCakeBug Tranch, on 13 March 2017 - 04:19 PM, said:

Here's a reboot of the same song, same message...


I thought it was this..?


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#51 CakeBug Tranch

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 04:33 PM

View PostCameron H., on 13 March 2017 - 04:26 PM, said:


I thought it was this..?



EVERYTHING is that.
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#52 Cameron H.

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 04:49 PM

View PostCakeBug Tranch, on 13 March 2017 - 04:33 PM, said:


EVERYTHING is that.


Indeed it is.

But back to your post, I still can't buy that. If that's the case ("Life's short, have fun"*) then she should embody that, which I don't think she does. And if she did, I don't think she's that now (There you go. She's changed ;) )

She goes through the motions of being a party girl, but all I get from her is sadness. The idea of a cabaret, as defined by the emcee in "Wilkommen:"

So life is disappointing, forget it!
In here, life is beautiful
...
And now presenting the cabaret girls!
Each and every one a virgin

In other words, "Life is terrible. Why not escape your troubles by immersing yourself in willful fantasy?" If this is what "Cabaret" is, as defined by our omniscient Emcee, then we need to apply that definition to her closing number. In which case she's saying, "I'd rather escape into fantasy than accept reality."

*I couldn't really listen to your song. I'm basing its meaning exclusively on the title.
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#53 Fister Roboto

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 05:17 PM

View PostCameron H., on 13 March 2017 - 04:06 PM, said:




I just watched the song again and I may be wrong, or at least, maybe not entirely right.

Just curious, what does everyone else see during this scene? What is it saying? About her. About anything. This is the movie's thesis, after all. What are we taking away from this song?

(Without trying to sway people's opinion one way or another, I would note her expression just before she goes on and how quickly she puts on a happy facade.)

My revised hypothesis is that we can pretend that life is whatever we want it to be, but that doesn't necessarily make it so. Whether or not Sally is aware of this or not is up for debate. I think she does, but is trying desperately to cling on to that fantasy for as long as she can.

She's absolutely saying that the cabaret is a place where you can ignore the outside world. Come! Have fun! Drink, do drugs, and die happy like Elsie! Ignore what's happening in the world!

And of course, this is completely undercut by the growing antisemitism we've seen in the club - especially the gorilla wedding, which was very upsetting to me, to borrow Jun'es word - and makes the final shot of the Nazis infiltrating the club hit harder. The cabaret is supposed to be a safe place for her to retreat, but the world is pushing itself in.
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#54 tomspanks

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 05:37 PM

Re: the last song, Cabaret, I think Liza belts it out too well! I think the message comes through better when it's sung the way Natasha Richardson does. The lyrics are happy (except for the part about the corpse), but her voice breaks a little bit where she can't keep the despair in check.

#55 Cameron H.

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 05:44 PM

View Posttomspanks, on 13 March 2017 - 05:37 PM, said:

Re: the last song, Cabaret, I think Liza belts it out too well! I think the message comes through better when it's sung the way Natasha Richardson does. The lyrics are happy (except for the part about the corpse), but her voice breaks a little bit where she can't keep the despair in check.


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#56 Cameron H.

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 06:35 PM

Godammit, Cam Bert! I know you're out there. I need to know what you thought of Cabaret and if your mother thought Max and his creepy blond mustache was hot or not!
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#57 tomspanks

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 06:40 PM

View PostCameron H., on 13 March 2017 - 06:35 PM, said:

Godammit, Cam Bert! I know you're out there. I need to know what you thought of Cabaret and if your mother thought Max and his creepy blond mustache was hot or not!


He's about 2.5 stars on the 5 star TN scale.

#58 Cameron H.

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 06:44 PM

View Posttomspanks, on 13 March 2017 - 06:40 PM, said:



He's about 2.5 stars on the 5 star TN scale.


That's fine, but I still need to get Mrs. Bert's official ranking.
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#59 tomspanks

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 06:48 PM

View PostCameron H., on 13 March 2017 - 06:44 PM, said:

That's fine, but I still need to get Mrs. Bert's official ranking.


Oh for sure. Making predictions on her official score.

#60 Quasar Sniffer

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 07:17 PM

As far as Brian's sexuality goes, I definitely interpreted him as bisexual, something on the asexual scale, or just generally intimidated/uninterested by sex in his pre-German life. Perhaps this is just my own personal bias, since I have been approached by girls like Sally in the past and my reaction has always been, "errrr, wanna read some John Milton poetry from a safe distance?"

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