Patton Oswalt: My Life in 10 Movies

The comedian and author of 'Silver Screen Fiend' charts his rise from young cinema junkie to successful stand-up via 10 gamechanging films

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'Cabaret' (1972)

"It's using the form of a movie musical in this almost sort of sardonic, mocking way to comment on this absolutely awful subject. As the Nazis gain more political power, the shows at the Kit Kat Klub get a little more clammy-palmed and desperate — and somehow, even better. I remember seeing this right as Pappy Bush's presidency was coming to an end, and the rise of things like grunge and alt-comedy was starting to happen as this reaction to the overall grim mood of the country. I'd been doing comedy for a while and had already moved to San Francisco when I saw with it; you know, 'Oh, this is considered a classic movie, I guess I'd better check it out.' And suddenly, the world around me was being reflected back in the last place I'd have expected to see it. The scene where Joel Grey's M.C. is devilishly grinning over all these Hitler youth as they sing 'Tomorrow Belongs to Me'…it's one of the most stunning cinematic moments I've ever experienced. It's almost the idea that when someone like Hitler comes along, Satan is reduced to simply reduced to hosting a show at a cabaret club [laughs]."

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