troubles as we leave are exactly where they were when we came in - staring us in the face . After The Boyfriend , on the other hand, our troubles are for the moment eraced. Both pictures are largely portrayals of an era, carefully-calculated looking back- wards, but Cabaret comes across very heavy and The Boyfriend comes across extremely light. There are those who on that premise alone willl place Cabaret above Boyfriend (did you read Charles Bachman in Strait a couple of issues back?) But to me, sophmoric though it may sound, both pictures are worthwhile. Cabaret is Berlin, 1931. The dateline is flashed across the screen right away al- though we really don't need to be told because of the obvious interjections of local color, such as Nazi armbands re- flected in wine glasses, and a Jewess' pet dog found bloody on her front steps. Much film is used developing the histor- ical significance of Berlin 1931. Much film is used, too , in establishing the greasy-slick stage of the cabaret . Be- tween the two, there is lots to see - ladies wrestling in a mud-filled ring, female im- personators in the men's room, a Jew and a Christian who is really a Jew in a star- -crossed love affair. The scenes pile up fast and furious until they become more than just a backdrop for characters but competitors with them for our attention. The competition is fiercest for Sally , the main character. Watching her vie for a place with us, with her lover and with the theatre grows more and more painful. In the first cabaret act, Sally is only glimpsed briefly in the chorus. Later, whenever her English lover talks politics, she diverts the discussion to herself. In her singing, fantasizing, exhibitions and attempts to screw her way up the theatrical ladder, we realize that all she really wants is to make people aware of her. And as she leaves her lover to catch his train by himself and is again lost in the crowd green fingernails and all, we and her lover are the ones that feel guilty, as though we had deserted her and not the other way around.
they would rather believe in French mythology and infantile habits. If they were radicals, they would believe in the letter I was referring' to in the first line of this paragraph. However, they are not ra- dicals. Radicals are anti-Boreshwazee and how can you be two different things at the same time. That's just not a very Boreshwazee thing to do. The man who wrote this letter is anti-Boreshwazee. He is a radical. He is like Nixon. While Nixon fights the Communists in Viet Nam, this man if fighting the Boreshwazee in Amer- ica. He is fighting against people like my friend Carol who doesn't like his wife's poetry. Carol doesn't like his wife's poetry because it is pretentious. Carol doesn't like second hand bullshit called poetry . This man doesn't like Carol be- cause she doesn't like his wife's poems. Instead of writing poems like Claes Ol- denburg 's soft hamburger, his wife is writing vicarious poems full of radical heresay. Carol doesn't like the real qua- lity of his wife's poems. Carol doesn't know a damn thing about his wife's poli- tics. She knows something about her poem's. She knows they are borrowed. But this man doesn't like Carol. He doesn't like her because she is Boreshwa- zee. He doesn't know her but he doesn't need to. Why should a radical know a Boreshwazee? Why should Nixon meet Ho Chi Minh' Why should we even try to know anything? Why not just go home and masturbate? Life would be more fun that way. Boreshwazee could hide in the lavatories in the Boreshwazee Art Gally and masturbate. Radical could hide in cheap faults, masturbating on pictures of Chairman Mao. Cleas Oldenburg could masturbate soft hamburgers. I could mas- turbate on my typewriter. How simple life would be, one big self-congradulatory handshake. How satisfying life would be. How unencumbered life be. How fine, How very fine life would be.
vaganza style. The past years brought us an ex- ploitation of the 20's, chiefly in fashion, advertising and TV specials, and the P men christened it camp. In there the 20' were treated with an exagerated tongue in cheek showiness that classed every- body in the same stereotyped insanity . The Boyfriend overcomes this by probing deeper than the stereotypes and treating the times and its characters with due reverence. This is not to say the picture does not have cliches ; it does. The stage-struck under s tudy , the mythical big-Hollywood-producer, the handsome male lead and the aging-actress-who-has- turned-to-drink are all there . However, each is given at least one scene in the pic- ture where their human stuff comes out, so that we can 't use the excuse of ''oh, we've seen all these characters before," to pass over them. It is this human stuff that allows us to suspend our disbelief for a while and accept it when Christopher Gable takes off Twiggy's wire rims and stammers,, "But ... you're beautiful!", and when Twiggy tosses over an offer to star in a Hollywood talkie in favor of marrying Mr. Gable. The atmosphere of the times is brought out nicely too . Where Cabaret takes whole scenes to indicate that the Nazis were closing in on 1931 Berlin, Russell gives us a feeling of l 920's England by showing us Twiggy's director standing in the wings hissing "Eyes and teeth I Eyes and tee.th!" , eyes and teeth apparently being the assets of the day. With its fantasy costumes and sets and its row upon row of grinning, winking chorus girls, The Boyfriend is pleading with us to have a good time. I read an article once where Russell said something about having to shock us into delight, and I think the point is well made because, after all, as every old comedian on Johnny Carson ever said, "The people of today don't know how to laugh any more." In this light, The Boyfriend drops like a gift into our laps. The best way to see it is to cut a few classes, or at least one, and go to the matinee for a dollar. If playing hooky and getting in for $1.75 cheaper doesn't make you relax, the singing, tap-dancing (as a member of tap dancing PED 107, I couldn't resist praising the tap dancing.) and especially everything turn- ing out for the best most certainly will. No, ' forgetting your problems and skipping through life as they do in Boyfriend is not a recommended life style, but neither is the weighty thought- fulness style of Cabaret. I think we nee The Boyfriend kind of movie to balance the Cabaret kind just as we need beer blasts to balance out WNYPIRG meet- ings.
CABARET AND THE BOYFRIEND
• LINDA DE TINF.
I am still debating whether it is necessary, in order to affect us, for the picture to be so black. It seems today that the rubbing-salt-in-the-wounds technique has become the cliche, where some years ago it was sweetness and light. Which brings us to The Boyfriend, Ken Russell's adaptation of the 20's musical hit, done in full-colored extra-
·'Ladies and gentlemen, where are your troubles now?!' This line is flung at us by a white-faced, yellow-toothed Joel Grey at the opening and closing of the Cabaret in Cabaret. With Cabaret, our ------- STRAIT 23 MARCH 1972
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