All That Jazz

Bob Fosse, USA, 1979, 123 min.

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Gershman Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival Fall Fest
From the Vaults – 40th Anniversary Screening

“It’s showtime, folks!” That’s the refrain of chain-smoking, anxiety-ridden, ferociously driven choreographer and antihero, Joe Gideon – the center of Bob Fosse’s musical masterpiece, ALL THAT JAZZ. Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the Fellini-esque tragicomic musical was Fosse’s most auteur work to date when it was nominated for nine Academy Awards and won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1980. Upon its release, the film garnered the admiration of director Stanley Kubrick, who reportedly called it “the best film I think I have ever seen.” From its revolutionary editing and sound design to its star-turning performances, this semi-autobiographical film was inspired by Fosse’s manic effort to edit his latest film, Lenny (a biopic about Fosse’s Jewish alter-ego, stand-up comedian Lenny Bruce), while simultaneously staging the 1975 Broadway musical Chicago.

Without his daily dose of Vivaldi, Visine, Dexedrine, and sex, Joe Gideon (Roy Scheider), one of New York’s most successful directors and choreographers working in musical theater, would not have the energy to keep up with the biggest show of all – his life! Everyone is telling him to slow down, from his girlfriend (Ann Reinking) to his ex-wife (Leeland Palmer) and even his own daughter (Erzsebet Foldi), but it’s not until he meets Angelique (Jessica Lange), the Angel of Death, that he finally understands his world is collapsing around him. Of course, in typical Gideon style, instead of making changes to his lifestyle, he gets right back to work – framing the experience of facing his own mortality with the canvas of his own life: the Broadway stage. Rarely skipping a beat or an entrance, alongside his family and dear friends, we watch Gideon take his final curtain call in what may arguably be one of the most memorable dance scenes ever choreographed in the history of cinema.

After the success of best-selling author Sam Wasson’s biography, Fosse, and the enthralling FX miniseries, Fosse/Verdon, now is the time to see ALL THAT JAZZ for the first time or for the 40th! Don’t miss this rare opportunity to experience this work of monumental cinema the way it was meant to be seen.

Special GuestSam Adams | Senior Editor of Slate Magazine