Saturday, July 16, 2011

#347: All That Jazz

Directed by: BOB FOSSE
1979, TSPDT Rank #399

All That Jazz is a very personal and honest portrait of life in show-business. Rob Scheider gives a great and intense performance as a thinly veiled version of Bob Fosse - as a director simultaneously staging and casting a high-profile Broadway show, and working on finishing a film about a stand-up comedian. As authentic and emotional as it feels, however, it has been criticized as being overtly negative by a lot of critics, which might be a valid critique, but I think portraying it any other way would have been dishonest from Fosse's point of view, who undoubtedly used the film as a canvas on which to unload his negative energies. It also won the Palme d'Or at Cannes that year. Although it's a very well-crafted, energetic, compelling, and personal film - it certainly can't be called that original, as it borrows heavily from the structure and format of Fellini's 8 1/2, and suffers from feeling too much like a rehash of that film. But despite it's flaws and imperfections, this is worthwhile view - one of the rawest and most intimate purgings of personal demons ever filmed.

(Rating: 7/10)

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