All That Jazz (1979)
Event #6

Rethinking the Musical
All That Jazz & One from the Heart

(35mm double bill)

Regent St. Cinema, 26 August 2015

“I don’t like musicals!” It’s a common refrain nowadays for what was once one of the most popular of screen genres. And probably not even true for many who make the claim, when one considers the enduring popularity of animated musicals from Disney to South Park.

Of course, the musical can be a form for surreal comedy, as with the films of John Waters or with Hedwig and the Angry Inch. And it can be used to break from realism for the purposes of great experimentalism, and can be a tool for serious, even severe, artistic exploration. In this double-bill, we presented something quite apart from traditional musicals to remind people it’s a broader genre than perhaps they might imagine.

All That Jazz (1979)

All That Jazz is a singing, dancing, smoking, coughing journey into the spotlit abyss. Director-choreographer Bob Fosse’s own autobiographical riff on Fellini’s features Roy Scheider as Joe Gideon, a womanising, pill-popping hedonistic wreck whose desires and hallucinations consume him as he struggles to direct a Broadway show under the influence of coronary heart disease and the whisperings of a guardian angel (Jessica Lange). The winner of four Oscars, including for its dazzling editing, this caustic masterpiece makes a rhythmic rush out of personal crisis.

One from the Heart (1982)

One from the Heart has one of the most elevated pedigrees in modern motion pictures – it was Francis Ford Coppola’s directorial follow-up to Apocalypse Now, it features Oscar-nominated music by Tom Waits, and its cast includes Frederic Forrest, Teri Garr, Raul Julia, Nastassja Kinski, Harry Dean Stanton and Rebecca De Mornay. It was also another troubled production, but unlike Apocalypse Now, a box-office disaster. Though sometimes languid and distant, the film is also yearningly atmospheric thanks to its performers, its music and its rain-and-neon-soaked visuals – a film with ardent admirers that deserved to seen on the big screen.

Click here to view the programme booklet from the event.