Director/choreographer Bob Fosse tells his own life story as he details the sordid career of Joe Gideon, a womanizing, drug-using dancer.Director/choreographer Bob Fosse tells his own life story as he details the sordid career of Joe Gideon, a womanizing, drug-using dancer.Director/choreographer Bob Fosse tells his own life story as he details the sordid career of Joe Gideon, a womanizing, drug-using dancer.
Quite simply a brilliant film.
To think that Fosse synthesized musical theater, artistic obsession, relationships, fatherhood, and satire all within the framework of a deconstructionist film musical and made it all about himself to boot (including predicting the manner of his own death) without being the least bit self-congratulatory is amazing. The film is edited beautifully; choreographed flawlessly; lit with stark colors that almost fade to black and white at times; and acted with heart and verve, especially by Roy Scheider. The film has one of the most effective uses of the zoom lens (despised by most filmmakers precisely for their inability to figure out when to use it) in film history. The shot pulls back from a lone choreographer on the stage while multitudes of bodies go flying by him, letting us feel his insurmountable task of choosing which of these people will make his show come alive. Some may say the final series of musical numbers runs long but I defy anyone these days to sustain a musical film with the same success. "Moulin Rouge" and "Chicago", excellent films that they are, play their cards fast and furious, hoping to razzle-dazzle us just long enough that we'll stay tuned. "All That Jazz" dares to show you a taste of musicals to come ("Take Off With Us") and yet insists you remember where the form came from (the Busby Berkely-esque "Who's Sorry Now?"). When will they come out with the DVD? We can only hope soon.
- Jan 29, 2003
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