All That Jazz
Roy Scheider (Actor), Jessica Lange (Actor), Bob Fosse (Director)
Broadway Musicals DVD
BM01 Broadway Musicals DVD - Roy Scheider (Actor), Jessica Lange (Actor), Bob Fosse (Director) - All That Jazz - Broadway Musicals DVD - The features on the All That Jazz DVD are for gourmets rather than gourmands--they don't last for hours, but they're extremely valuable. For example, Roy Scheider's 2001 commentary is scene-specific rather than running the length of the film, but he does comment on 23 different scenes, in segments ranging from 20 seconds to five minutes (about 40 minutes total), offering us a behind-the-scenes look at the film and at Fosse himself (Scheider mentions he made Ann Reinking audition to play the part based on herself). There are also three brief interviews (less than three minutes total) that Scheider recorded on the set during filming, and five clips (7.5 minutes) of Fosse directing the opening On Broadway number; picture and sound aren't great, but it's a fascinating look at Fosse in action. Part tragic, part comic, this outrageous look at life in the fast lane in the Academy Award-winning musical about Bob Fosse's excessive life in show business. Played by Roy Scheider, Fosse's alter-ego drives himself over the edge and soon finds he is caught between a recurring fantasy about his death and the reality of a near-death experience. Dazzlingly presented, this electrifying story about the perils of pushing yourself too hard is filled with Fosse's legendary song-and-dance choreography. The film's dance sequences, products of Bob Fosse's brilliance, and sets by Phillip Rosenberg and Tony Walton, are visual extravaganzas not to be missed. (Oscars were awarded for Art Direction and Set Decoration.) Perhaps the cleverest is the solo routine performed by the ex-wife character as she rehearses a number to be performed in Gideon's latest production, all the while debating with him the course of their failed relationship. Positively engaging is the impromptu number performed for Joe at his apartment by his current mistress (played by the strikingly long-legged Ann Reinking), along with his daughter Bob Fosse is a name that, in the minds of Broadway enthusiasts, is paralleled with images of breathtaking and original choreography. Those who have seen live versions of Cabaret, Chicago and Sweet Charity will know what a major talent he was in the Broadway world. In 1979 he directed and co-wrote All That Jazz - a 'fictitious' autobiographical account of his work and life. Whilst a little long and some over indulgence occurs, All That Jazz is a remarkably original movie. It is not only a fascinating insight into the mind and life of a brilliant and talented man, but a captured record of the 1970's Broadway scene. What is so remarkable about All The Jazz is that we actually enter into Fosses' mind to explore his thoughts, feelings and emotions. Two vehicles are used to achieve this - conversations with death (in the form of a white laced Jessica Lange) and stunning Broadway musical sequences. We explore his feelings on women, death and his art. Roy Scheider brings a considerable amount of charisma and emotion to the role of Joe Gideon (who is based on Fosse). Another standout is Anne Reinking - ex lover of Fosse and seasoned Broadway performer. It would have been nice to see her film career take off so we could have seen more of her work. All the cast perform brilliantly in their roles, and a few surprises pop up with some early performances of some now well known actors. All That Jazz contains wonderful performances, brilliant music and a story that not only captures the essence of a significant man in the history of Broadway, but also the vibrancy and originality of Broadway in the 70's. Watch this movie and go back in time to a wonderful world during a colourful era.
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Looking back, I have this to regret, that too oftenwhen I loved, I did not say so. -David Grayson
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