ALL THAT JAZZ (1979)

all-that-jazz
If you’re going into this film expecting it to be a fun musical you’re wrong, oh so very wrong; while it is technically a musical it’s by no means fun. The film is an autobiographical account of director Bob Fosse’s maddening struggle to finish editing his previous film Lenny while also staging the first musical adaptation of Chicago (which is undoubtedly the inspiration for the title of the film).

The film has a linear plot but is filmed in a stream of consciousness style, guiding you through the protagonist, Joe Gideon’s manic life and impossible work schedule. This could be seen as self-indulgent, a director making a movie just to show how difficult his life is despite his many successes, but it isn’t; at no point does the audience ever envy Joe Gideon/Bob Fosse nor can they be entirely sympathetic. Gideon flirts with death throughout the film, both figuratively and literally. Jessica Lange in her first film role after the disastrous King Kong remake plays the angel of death who appears to Gideon throughout the film. One of the more poignant elements of the film is that the few times Gideon ever appears truly relaxed is when he speaks with Angelique (Lange) who always appears dressed in white, as if death is the only true release for Gideon.

Truly one of the most interesting takes on the Musical genre I’ve ever seen. Blending elements of drama and fantasy around an atypical Musical structure. The film is highlighted not only by it’s terrific direction but also by an amazing performance by Roy Scheider. Though filled with music only uplifting number in the entire film is the finale which is appropriately bittersweet.

Advertisements

One Response to “ALL THAT JAZZ (1979)”

  1. […] All That Jazz (1979) (laserblastfilmsociety.wordpress.com) […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: