Saturday, February 22, 2014

Cabaret is Us


Cabaret [1972] follows the life of American Sally Bowles and her compatriots at the Kit-Kat Club in Berlin in the 1930s. Joel Grey, as the emcee in the stage show, states the purpose of the show as being that life outside is disappointing, but here everything is beautiful. Put that outside truly outside your mind and enjoy. While it is clearly Berlin in the 1930s, is it so much more, like America in 2014? The parallels are multiple and scary. Strictly as Germany in the 1930s it shows a world quickly being overtaken by totalitarian fascism with many ugly sides. The film has a giant elephant in the room throughout it and the cast is in the process of accepting and/or adjusting to it in a clear show of decadent behavior.

The Cabaret makes light and fun of the world for a mixed audience of damaged souls. It promotes and exposes the corrupt world while only hinting about the fascist elephant. Enjoy!, escape!, We the future looks changing and disastrous. “Money Makes the World Go Around” mimics the greed of America from bottom to top, Sally Bowles saying”…when I go I’, going like Elsie” forecasts enjoyment of a valueless life that was their fate and increasingly ours.

The Nazis singing in the park and the masses joining in as those more aware cringe. Americans cheer as their land of freedom becomes totalitarian. Totalitarian? Yes. Name an area of life that is not controlled or influenced by government, and ridiculed if ti is not? It is impossible actually as the question lacks an answer.

So Americans party in ignorance of the impending doom. In Cabaret they find illumination too late. Will we?

Of course a major difference is that the Nazis beat up the opposition while in America they are just marginalized via ridicule. Publically ridiculed they are disenfranchised. They are a silly or worse part of an equation where they work out to a zero. You can tell it easily because it is the place the fascists violate their pc rules. They are supporters of women’s right yet national insult and degrade any woman not in line with fascist policy. Note the disenfranchisement of the Tea Party as racist or stupid for not wanting to spend into the ground.

“Tomorrow Belongs to Me” is the key. The elites tell the lower classes of the rewards if American belongs to them while making their deals with business.

And in America. The dancing girls dance as the band plays on as the fascists’ wreak their damage. Cabaret is Berlin in the 19030s and Chicago in the 2010s.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Good Movies and Their Place: Rose Marie [1936]

Rose Marie [1936]. Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy sing for their peoplsemariee. Three great films for that warmer feeling about life. Sweethearts is their theme song based movie. Funny and a classic. Naughty Marietta is light and fun, but slightly plagued by a lack of editing skills. Rose Marie is a triumph of wonderful wilderness scenes and magnificent singing. The geography view is of Quebec. Now one has to figure that out as it sure looks like California...well because it is. Shot in El dorado County, Lake Tahoe, and Cascade Lake, California, the studio is using local mountains to substitute for what has to be the more rugged parts of Quebec. Either that or they cut out a long train ride some place. The hills are rounded and somewhat forested. They do look watered but should have more tree cover. Not too bad of a job for select parts of Quebec. They use one correct lake name, but other places are made up. Some time is spent in Montreal but is all indoors.