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All That Jazz [Import USA Zone 1]
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"Joe Gideon, Bühnenregisseur und Kettenraucher, ist ein kompromissloser Perfektionist. Sein Leben ist das Show-Business, seine Privatsphäre mehr Schein als Sein. Als er mit einem Herzinfarkt zusammenbricht, läuft sein ganzes Leben nochmals an ihm vorbei. Eine perfekte Show voller Glamour und Glitter, aber ohne jeden rechten Sinn. In seinem Traum inszeniert er sogar seinen eigenen Tod wie ein Bühnenspektakel. Eine schonungslose Abrechnung mit dem Showgeschäft. Ein Blick hinter eine Fassade, die eine brutale Wirklichkeit verbirgt..." --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.
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J'attends toujours la réédition en DVD des films de Ken Russel, notamment "Music lovers", retraçant avec talent et passion le vie de Tchaïkowski. Je l'attends depuis longtemps.
Je vous remercie de me donner une réponse à ce sujet.
Sincères salutations, Roland MARTIN
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I'm so sad that Mr Scheider isn't around to have participated in any of the newly created bonus features but he does live on a scene specific commentary track from some time back. That said, one of the main things that separates Criterion from everybody else is their relentless pursuit of making not only the definitive audio and visual release but scouring the globe for bonus content! I am not an expert on Fosse or dance, but after viewing the bonus features feel truly knowledgeable. There are new supplements with the author of the definitive book on Fosse, Sam Wasson, there is a recent interview with the editor of the film, a couple of the stars and a semi recent half hour doc on Mr Fosse. If that isn't enough there is a half hour with Gene Shalit, a half hour from the UK and another half hour interview of Mr Fosse with Tom Snyder!! They seemingly have left no stone unturned in their drive to make this package something that can take pride of place in ones collection of great movies.
To summarize, the movie looks the best it has and if you are considering owning (in a world of streaming or downloads) and are a fan, then the wealth of bonus content about and featuring Mr Fosse make this a prime candidate for physical purchase. This is not a disposable movie but a work of art and Criterion has presented it well and surrounded it with terrific bonus content... oh and a lovely booklet with essay.
Roy Scheider, in arguably his greatest role ever, portrays Joe Gideon, a work-obsessed Broadway choreographer and director existing on cancer sticks, booze, sex and uppers. Directed by the preeminent choreographer Bob Fosse, ALL THAT JAZZ was purportedly semi-autobiographical.
Joe is struggling to put together a new dance production and, simultaneously, edit a behind-schedule film, all the while juggling the three principal women in his life: ex-wife, current significant other, and teenage daughter. Talk about stress! In periodic visual sidebars, we watch as Joe rationalizes his self-destructive behavior to a glamorous Angel of Death, coquettishly played by Jessica Lange.
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. Then there's the sexually suggestive "Air Otica/Come Fly With Us" ballet sequence, Gideon's attempt to energize an otherwise stodgy production. ("Well, we've lost the family audience.")
Another nice touch for the uninitiated is the revelation that performer selection and training for a polished dance routine is a hard, sweaty, merciless process. The faint-hearted best not show up for the audition.
Perhaps the film's only flaw is its length as it unwinds to its foregone conclusion. Although ALL THAT JAZZ won an Oscar for Film Editing, the Ben Vereen-assisted toe-tapper should have been considerably shortened. However, that said, it must be emphasized that the movie is richly entertaining throughout. Perchance you ever have the opportunity to see it on the Big Screen, don't pass it by. As Gideon so expressively states in front of the mirror each morning after he girds himself (with Dexedrine and Visine) for another grueling day , "It's show time!"
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.
Fosse was nothing short of a genius. That fact that he could actually predict his own death and face his vices head-on proves what an intelligent, strong, sensitive, and brilliant man he was. Yes, this film is very depressing, but life isn't always a Walt Disney film. Like his other musical triumphs, "Sweet Charity" and "Cabaret", the film is dark and sexy, but has plenty of heart. And like all of his film work, it is visually stunning and truly original. This is one guy who didn't do stuff by the book, and the results are always unique and dynamic. Roy Scheider and Ann Reinking give the best performances of their careers. Fosse is an icon who will never be forgotten, and this film does justice to the virtuoso he was.
If you aren't familiar with Fosse, I would recommend one or both of the excellent books "Razzle Dazzle: The Life and Works of Bob Fosse" or "All His Jazz: The Life and Death of Bob Fosse". It will give you appreciation for this hauntingly poetic piece of contemporary cinema.
A true work of art.
So is FOX's DVD transfer quality; the image suffers from dated - often muddy - colors, washed out and pasty flesh tones, weak blacks, an excessive amount of film grain and various age related artifacts that generally detract from the visual experience. Edge enhancement and pixelization are big problems in certain scenes but others appear to be free of their frustrating inclusion. The soundtrack is Stereo Surround, well balanced though, on occasion, strident.
EXTRAS: An interview with Scheider while he was making the film that is needlessly divided into chapter stops that don't matter. Ditto for several snippets of Fosse at work on the set. The theatrical trailer is also included.
BOTTOM LINE: If you simply can't live without this film - as I could not (for its brilliant story telling vision and disconcerted charm)then I recommend it highly. The transfer, however, will disappoint - especially for a film of seventies vintage!