Film 272 in the “1001 films to see before you die” challenge is 1979’s “All That Jazz”. Inspired by the director’s manic effort to edit his film “Lenny” (1974) while simultaneously staging the 1975 Broadway musical Chicago, this Bob Fosse semi-autobiographical fantasy is based on aspects of Fosse’s life and career as dancer, choreographer and director. I wasn’t quite sure what to think going into this. I had seen a YouTube channel I like review this film and they said agree with critics that this film is self-indulgent. I would also agree especially in the last 20 or so minutes where Joe is pretty much saying “I’m dying. I’m dying. Did I mention that I’m dying?” during his final musical number. A lot of people have often compared this to Fellani’s “8½”. I wouldn’t know as I have yet to see it but it is on the list so maybe I’ll give my thoughts once I have seen it. One thing I have to ask; who was this woman in white that Joe constantly talks to. Is she meant to be the light at the end of the tunnel that everyone sees before they die? Is she Joe’s surrogate? Apart from that, this film was a lot of fun to watch. It went by very easily and I didn’t get bored once. Fun Fact of the Film – Ann Reinking had to audition several times before being case as Katie Jagger, a part based on herself. If you have seen this film then let me know what you thought of it in the comments. Here is what I had to say while watching 1979’s “All That Jazz”
Film – All That Jazz
Year – 1979
Director – Bob Fosse
Written by – Bob Fosse, Robert Alan Aurthur
Staring – Roy Scheider, Jessica Lange, Leland Palmer
IMDb Rating – 7.8/10
My Rating – 7.5/10
Length – 116 min (1h 56min)
Genre – Drama, Fantasy, Music
Cough drops… Check, Opera music… Check, Drugs… Check, Smoking in the shower… Check
“It’s showtime, folks”
Time for a dancers audition held by Joe (Roy Scheider)
That man cannot dance
What director wears knee high boots to dance in??
A montage of spinning? Why not
You! In the pink! Fancy a fuck?
Why was Joe dressed as a clown
Don’t you hate making promises then realise that you need to work that day
Is this woman in white meant to be a surrogate?
This comedian is terrible – Even Joe agrees with me… and the editor
Question of the film – Does Stanley Kubrick know what depression is?
While the wife is away…. Joe will play…. And bang Victoria in bed
That is a very interesting clock
Whoops! Here comes the wife with the spare key to find Joe in bed with Victoria
Flashback to Joe as a kid performing on stage
“Something’s growing…” – I’d don’t wanna know
Poor Joe, laughed off stage because he pissed himself
So… Joe and Katie are married… Are They?
… Yet they constantly cheat on each other
“I just wish you weren’t so generous with your cock” – That somehow inspired Joe to come up with something
Wait… Why does Joe insist on having Audrey at auditions despite being divorced
Why is Joe doing a musical about airlines?
Better practise dances with my daughter while chatting about life
Don’t lie about drugs in front of kids
I’ve fucked so many women I don’t know who you’re talking about
Joe’s coughs are about as bad as mine last night
Look, Victoria… You’re a terrible dancer… But my name’s Joe and I can turn shit into gold
Don’t hire doctors who are unhealthier than you
Aren’t you meant to wear your tights under the singlet?
Wait… Why did Joe hire his ex-wife as a dancer for his show?
If this dance is taking place on a plane then how wide are the aisles?
I’ve never been on a flight where the servant wiggles their ass at passengers for entertainment
What the… Air Rotica?
It’s a…. nudist airline…. that also has sex shows?!?
Well… There goes the family friendly rating – Although that left a while ago
Again…. This is a dance taking place in the aisles of an airplane
Joe thinks the film he edited was terrible despite it premiering that night
Can’t… explain… lesbian sex … to a 10 year old
“Lesbian scenes are a big turn off”
So… Katie and Michelle do a dance number… on Joe’s film… just because
Did Katie just use Michelle’s ribcage as a keyboard?
Time for a script rehersal
Nice use of the audio mixing there
News breaks that Joe has been taken to hospital for chest pains
More bad news – No rehersals for four months while Joe is in hospital
Audrey is clearly lying
Who is this blonde they keep cutting to
A private hospital room… I can do whatever I want
From gropping nurses, smoking and hiding alcohol in the plants
Do doctors and nurses really have lectures on their patients?
Sounds like Joe’s film was a hit
You can tell Leslie Perry is clearly reading from the script off-camera
Time for open heart surgery
Meanwhile, Audrey does a hosptial dance number – And it’s terrible
Open heart surgery… Yet Joe insists on having false tan on the night before
Katie spills the beans that she had sex with someone else
Now it’s time for the surgery
Meanwhile…. a meeting about Joe’s show and the budget
Why did they need to show the surgery
Don’t watch this scene if you’re squeemish
I’m not yet I can’t look at it
They can make a profit on Joe’s show without even opening it
Erm… Did I accidently put the behind-the-scenes making of on?
Now for a number by Audrey, Katie & Michelle for Joe’s new movie
I’m assuming this is all a dream
Wait… There’s two Joes…. I’m confused
So… Joe’s making a dance film in his sleep… About himself?!?
I am very confused about what is going on
Why is this fourth dance have a creepy vibe about it
Are scars beautiful?
Joe has escaped from the hospital room
And he just made himself bleed by banging his head on the wall
Joe then hugs a woman in pain
A janitor finds him and the two sing
Is there a reason they keep cutting to this TV show?
Time for one last dance number based on Joe’s life staring Joe entitled “Bye Bye Life”
Well… This isn’t similar to “Bye Bye Love” by The Everly Brothers at all
As soon as I write that, they only went and covered the song
Why are they dressed as blood cells
What’s with the Space Invaders sound effects?
Better thank everyone I’ve ever met in my life and say goodbye to them
I know the final number in shows are meant to be long… but this is too long
Who is this blonde woman wearing white we’ve seen throughout?
And Joe is dead