Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Christopher and his Kind - the real Cabaret ?

CHRISTOPHER AND HIS KIND – the BBC’s new 2011 film of Christopher Isherwood’s 1976 memoir of his years in Berlin in the early ‘30s. So this then is the real CABARET, and it is certainly a fascinating companion piece to the Fosse film. ”To Christopher, Berlin meant boys” as the book’s blurb went, and so we see here. The current DR WHO Matt Smith is ideal as the diffident upper-class Christopher who leaves repressive England in 1931 to teach English in Berlin and falls in thrall to those decadent boys (mainly straight it seems, but willing to earn money – or “gay for pay” in today’s parlance). Lindsay Duncan is ideal too as Isherwood’s icy mother, and Imogen Poots is Jean Ross – who of course became Sally Bowles – she is just right here as the not very good cabaret singer who sings tunelessly in those grubby clubs [no Minnelli-tpye star turn here...], and the rise of those Nazis is nicely conveyed. Toby Jones is the very gay Gerald Hamilton and Pip Carter an ideal W H Auden.

After a fling with (noisy!) sexy rent boy Caspar "Herr Issyvoo" falls for street sweeper Heinz, paying medical bills for the boy's dying mother, to the disapproval of her other son, Nazi Gerhardt. With Fascism rapidly rising Christopher returns to London with Heinz but is unable to prevent his return to Germany when his visa expires. Douglas Booth is Heinz, who certainly works those Keira Knightley cheekbones. There is a nice coda when they meet again years later when Isherwood is now a successful writer now resident in California, while Heinz is married with a child – a son called Christopher… with Matt Smith in the lead (and after last year's A SINGLE MAN) this should certainly attract a lot of attention, and is capably directed by Geoffrey Sax and written by Kevin Elyot. The dolphin clock used in the film was Isherwood’s own.

Soon: More 'gay movies' with the dvd release of the recent Italian comedy LOOSE CANNONS, and back to DONA HERLINDA AND HER SON and those Fassinbders like QUERELLE, FOX AND HIS FRIENDS and THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT, as well as A BIGGER SPLASH and those Francois Ozon films, then there's Bill Condon, Don Roos and Todd Haynes ...

1 comment:

  1. Great review, I hope we get to see this in the USA soon.