Joe Gideon is a Broadway director, choreographer and filmmaker, he in the process of casting the chorus and staging the dance numbers for his latest Broadway show, starring his ex-wife Audrey Paris in what is largely a vanity project for her in playing a role several years younger than her real age, and editing a film he directed on the life of stand-up comic Davis Newman. Joe's professional and personal lives are intertwined, he a chronic philanderer, having slept with and had relationships with a series of dancers in his shows, Victoria Porter, who he hired for the current show despite she not being the best dancer, in the former category, and Kate Jagger, his current girlfriend, in the latter category. That philandering has led to relationship problems, with Audrey during their marriage, and potentially now with Kate who wants a committed relationship with Joe largely in not wanting the alternative of entering the dating world again. Joe also lives a hard and fast life, he chain ...Written by
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.
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