Tuesday, 23 December 2008

The Xmas Special 2008 - part two (films)

OK – got pies to make and stuff to wrap so let's make this quick! Last time I gave you some traditional Xmas TV comedy....this time let's talk about films. I watched film after film some Xmas Days as a child/teenager. It usually started with a kids film (Lassie or something) and ended with the most adult movie I could get away with at the time. Like most of us I do associate 'The Wizard of Oz' with Xmas (or Boxing Day to be precise, I'm sure that's when they always used to show it) but the film that I most remember watching at Xmas is related to The W of O in a sideways kind of a fashion.

One year when I was about 13 or 14 I remember staying up on my own last thing on 25th December to watch a film I'd never seen before. I didn't know anything about it...it was just on. The film was 'Cabaret' and it looked a bit like this:





Isn't that just about the most marvellous thing you've ever seen and heard? I know some of you have been talking about 'Hallelujah' of late but for me Liza singing 'what good is sitting alone in your room' pretty much wipes the floor with Leonard's finest! I just love it – what a song, what a voice, what a show!

The film 'Cabaret' made quite an impression on me I suppose. I was already well off the straight and narrow and on my way down experimental street but after watching this I had new verve and application! I went on to live the cabaret life quite convincingly (and I guess I'm still at it...just undercover at the moment) and thinking about it maybe 'life is a cabaret' wouldn't be such a bad epitaph when it comes to the end of my story. Something along those lines anyway...maybe 'come hear the music play'...

But 'tis not the season to be thinking about epitaphs is it really? It must be all that talk of Adrian Mitchell...but let's not be sad! He was a fine man and he lived a fine life. So let's end this session on a song...another magnificent Minelli moment! See you on the other side...for now I'm off to go and watch 'Hairspray' again with Small 'how many hours till Xmas' Girl...




x

18 comments:

Ken Armstrong said...

Something in common! I love Cabaret and could easily sing the entire show for you (would love to play EmmCee someday but don't tell anyone). Try to see/hear Alan Cummings do it. Phenomenal! Happy Christmas, wonderful watching you blog this year, looking forward to more in 2009.

k

Rachel Fox said...

I'm sure we have more in common than Cabaret! Don't we?

Oh well...one great film is better than nothing! I'd play Sally...in my dreams. I can sing one or two of those notes...but not all of them!

x

hope said...

Here, the "Wizard of Oz" usually crops up at Thanksgiving, signaling the beginning of the holiday season. On Sunday, we where flipping through the channels and ended up watching the end of a Judy Garland Movie "In the Good Ol' Summer Time", with the just deceased Van Johnson. At the end they walk off with a little girl and I swear it was Liza at age 2! Have to go to imdb to check.

Have a WONDERFUL time with your family during the holidays, no matter what you do! Me? I have 3 pies to go bake.

Rachel Fox said...

Yes lots of work to do today here!
x

shug said...

I'm a Cabaret fan myself. It's interesting about that chilling song 'Tomorrow belongs to me' which everyone assumes is an actual Nazi song but which was written by two American-Jewish songwriters for the play, but which has since been adopted by neo-Nazi groups, especially in Austria.

On that unXmassy note, I'll go and put the log fire on and have the first malt of the day. (I know it's early but...) Marry Xmas Rach, and a good new year to you and your family,
Love Hughx

Rachel Fox said...

Yes and Spitting Image gave that song to a whole new generation! Plus all the best holiday films have Nazis - it's quite bizarre and a bit disturbing.

Enjoy your drink (s) and your Xmas.
x

The Weaver of Grass said...

I too loved Cabaret and the Isherwood book it was taken from. Best wishes for Christmas Rachel - didn't you say you were visiting North Yorkshire for Christmas or New Year. Have ajolly time.

Rachel Fox said...

No, we're staying up here. Heading south for a holiday later in 2009.
Happy Xmas, Weaver!
x

The Solitary Walker said...

Cabaret fan too - something EVERYONE seems to be able to agree on this Christmas Eve! Have a great time.

Rachel Fox said...

All is wrapped, all is ready, even did the ironing! Did it while watching 'Miracle on 34th Street' (1947) this afternoon. I really enjoyed it (the film, not the ironing) though it puzzled Small Girl (who believes in everything). I could tell she was thinking 'but why would anyone NOT believe he was Santa?' all the way through. Natalie Wood and everything...it was perfect.
x

Ken Armstrong said...

You're right, of course.

Loads in common!

I'm going to put 'Westlife' behind me now and move on into 2009 ;)

Enjoy the holiday

k

Rachel Fox said...

You too!
Hope to typetalk with you more in 09.
x

Poetikat said...

Funny, I remember watching "Cabaret" on t.v. at Christmas one time as well, but it was a long time ago. I really must see it again.
We've got "Wizard of Oz" lined up on the ol' HDTV, but yesterday we watched the biopic, "La Vie en Rose" about Edith Piaf and I'm officially hooked. I didn't know much about her life or her music, but 2009 will be the year I unearth her songs (and may even sing them) in this household!
The film is disjointed, poorly-lit and confusing as heck, BUT the performance of Marion Cotillard-- c'est brillante! If you've not seen it - do.

Luv,

Kat

Incidentally, my husband can do a fabulous imitation of the "Little Sparrow". (He does a great Ethel Merman as well.)

Rachel Fox said...

Yes, Kat, you MUST see it again! And I just remembered the other day (when watching these clips) that Michael York was an early love of mine (from when I went to see the Muskateers films with my pesky older brothers). I LOVED those films and Michael most of all.

There was a radio programme on BBC R4 today with Salman Rushdie analysing 'The Wizard of Oz' within an inch of its life. It was interesting but there were moments were it felt like a very early April fool!

I haven't seen the Piaf film but I probably will some time in 09. I do watch biopics (even if they are more often disappointing than enjoyable...).

x

Rachel Fox said...

I think my musketeers were going a bit muskrat there. Spelling error noted.
x

deemikay said...

I'm scared of watching Cabaret... I love Isherwood and would read anything by him. So I've got very definite ideas of what Sally Bowles is from the book... and she's not like Liza.

But one day I shall watch it. I shall. I promise myself. But I'll read the book again first. :)

Oh, and hello.

Rachel Fox said...

In the same way I have still not yet read the Isherwood book (is that sacrilege...not for the first time...). For me it's Liza forever! But, like you, I will get to the other side...eventually.

deemikay said...

Not sacrilege at all... no-one can read every book. Not even every tenth book. Or hundredth. And yet we keep on publishing them... silly humans. :)