Before watching the movie:
Unsurprisingly, I have very little knowledge of this movie from the outside. Maybe I should try to find more movies people have completely given away so I have more to talk about. I did manage to get that it had something to do with a cabaret in historic Paris, and after a long time being confused about the provenance of songs like “Lady Marmalade”, I came to learn it was a jukebox musical. This was probably the first jukebox musical I became aware of that wasn’t entirely from the catalog of a single act, and I was a bit surprised that could be done, since the most notable jukebox musicals I know of are Mamma Mia! (ABBA), Across the Universe (Beatles), and Movin’ Out (Billy Joel, not a movie yet as far as I know, also until just now I thought the show was bafflingly titled after “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant”). Stepping back I think what happened was it became a bit of a trend for long-running musicians to license out their collected works to Broadway, which is certainly a lot easier to build a show around than trying to license the works that make sense to use in the story you planned to tell.
Anyway, the briefest of looks over what this movie is about informs me that it is not directly related to the previous movies named for the Moulin Rouge venue, and that Henri Toulouse-Latrec is a character here, which kind of makes sense since I know he painted for the Parisian cabarets and I dimly recall one for the Moulin Rouge. He’s not the lead, but does look a bit important, so I don’t know how that’s going to go.Continue reading