HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Supernova
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
Sweetheart
No Man of God
Gaia
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
Sweat
Quiet Place Part II, A
Nobody
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Duel to the Death
Mandibles
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Yakuza Princess
Djinn, The
New Order
Triggered
Claw
Original Cast Album: Company
Martyrs Lane
Paper Tigers, The
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The
Hall
ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt, The
Collini Case, The
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch, The
Superhost
Plan A
When I'm a Moth
Tigers Are Not Afraid
Misha and the Wolves
Yellow Cat
Shorta
Knocking
Bloodthirsty
When the Screaming Starts
Sweetie, You Won't Believe It
Lions Love
   
 
Newest Articles
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
   
 
  All That Jazz It's Showtime, Folks!
Year: 1979
Director: Bob Fosse
Stars: Roy Scheider, Jessica Lange, Leland Palmer, Ann Reinking, Cliff Gorman, Ben Vereen, Erzsebet Foldi, John Lithgow, Michael Tolan, Max Wright, William LaMassena, Irene Kane, Deborah Geffner, Sandahl Bergman, Keith Gordon, CCH Pounder, Wallace Shawn
Genre: Musical, Comedy, Drama, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Joe Gideon (Roy Scheider) is a successful choreographer and director, both of film and theatre, but he didn't get that way by not applying himself to the task in hand, even though it is contributing to his deteriorating health. So once more he embarks on another stage show, auditioning the hopefuls wanting to be part of the cast and whittling them down to a manageable number, as all the while he tries to salvage his film about a stand-up comedian in the editing room. Joe is an workaholic, but that's not all that's killing him...

He has the booze, cigarettes, pills, and emotional turmoil of his womanising to contend with as well in this lightly disguised version of the life and career of Bob Fosse written, starring and choreographed by the man himself in Felliniesque manner. At the time this was released to what's best described as a mixed reaction, the most common term applied to All That Jazz was "self-indulgent", something Fosse was baffled by as he thought he was bringing his life into his art, as all great artists do. Or that's the common notion when talking about a creative talent, that if they have not sent a part of their soul into their work then that work is not worth contemplating, yet this was a double-edged sword as there was always going to be someone saying, "Thanks, but no thanks - not interested!"

So if Fosse, an undoubted master of his crafts, was telling you all about what it was like to be Bob Fosse in revealingly critical manner and you found that was more than you could take, then who was to blame? Was it him, for putting so much of himself out there that we saw the dark side laid out before us, or was it us for wanting to know so much about artists and then complaining when they didn't come across as someone we would actually like? That's not to say Scheider was lacking in charm in his portrayal, quite the opposite as his world-weary take on life may have been born out of a jaded cynicism, but he made you relate to what the Gideon character was going through no matter how resistable he might have been should you stop to think about how he treated others.

Plenty of people in Gideon's life, and by extension Fosse's life, appreciated him, even loved him, but there's a disdain for that sort of person which is displayed with uncomfortable regularity, as if the only true thing that mattered was the shows, and while many performers did them for the acclaim and entertainment of others, according to this in Fosse's case it was for purely selfish reasons. He was pleasing himself, which explained his fondness for sleeping around, smoking, booze and drugs which were destroying him, and the way he couldn't accept his lifestyle which he so obsessively applied himself to was spelling his doom. Yet that doesn't quite paint the whole picture, as while there was that strong element of self-aggrandisation, it came at a cost that was not merely physical.

Fans of the director find themselves returning to All That Jazz because it's a despatch from the frontlines of showbiz from a man who knew all too well the ups and downs that entailed, but there were those who responded to the bleak humour he brought out in his biggest obsession: he was going to die soon. Actually he had a few years left in him, and managed to direct another film (Star 80, another one about death) in the meantime, which must have satisfied him to flaunt his survival in the face of the fast-approaching end of his life. Jessica Lange played the Angel of Death, as much a lover as the other women he gets to know, except she's actually one whose embrace he shuns no matter how attractive she is, which leads to the fantastical and most infamous sequences. Before we've had a mix of biography, Gideon's dance numbers and his fractured private life, then Fosse turns truly audacious with his surrogate's heart surgery staged with real operation footage as the dancing goes on around him. Or was this actually repellent? It's a mark of the tension that it could easily be both.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4071 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: