Showing at the Newlyn Filmhouse from 6-12 May, the Oscar-winning film Cabaret celebrates its 50th anniversary with a return to the big screen.
A darkly comic musical, Cabaret’s depiction of life in 1930’s Weimar Germany managed to secure 8 Oscars, including Best Actress for Liza Minnelli and Best Director for choreographer, Bob Fosse. The film centres around life at the Kit Kat Club, a gloriously seedy nightclub where everything – and anything – is permissible. This is not the Folies Bergere: the ambience is edgy and combustible; the lighting is dim (and best left at that) and the dancing girls who take to the stage fail to hit their marks. This is not an auspicious start to anyone’s career, but centre stage is starry-eyed performer, Sally Bowles (played by Minnelli). Her earnest, eager quality is at odds with the jaded decadence surrounding her. Unsurprisingly, Bowles’ love life is equally complicated, and she develops a crush on English tutor, Brian Roberts (played by Michael York), who is unable to return her affection.
Cabaret intersects the lives of Bowles’ friends and lovers with a pivotal shift in Germany’s history. The avant-garde crowd steel themselves against the outside world, but the party may already be over.
The 1972 film continues to enjoy cult status, and its return to cinemas could not be better timed. A satirical masterpiece, Cabaret’s exploration of personal and political freedom has as much to say to us now as it did on its initial release. It’s time to immerse yourself in the hedonistic world of the Kit Kat Club. Your table’s waiting.
Images courtesy of Park Circus/Walt Disney Studios