015 - All That Jazz (1979)

All That Jazz is a semi-autobiographical musical about director/writer Bob Fosse. It follows his story - through the character life of Joe Gideon (Roy Scheider) -  about how he literally dances with death throughout his life; how he lost his wife through his adoration of the sexual nature of dance, and how he carried this on through his personal life with an inability to stay faithful to the mother of his daughter.

Despite his obvious brilliance, his bosses are unable to control his film, instead letting him roam free, directing the dance as he pleases. While his superiors are more concerned with gaining popularity, he prefers to concentrate on the deeper, artistic sides of his performances.

Theatrical Poster
The dances, and in fact the music, throughout the film are excellent. Fosse shows a real talent for creating beautifully choreographed performances to music with a clever upbeat tempo. Many of the moves are original, and even when the scene suggests that the actor is not up to the correct standard in the dance they are still doing it with some style.

The film's greatest flaw comes in the way it tells the story. In comparison to Grease, also in the Empire 500, All That Jazz is sometimes very confusing as one scene flutters to the next. Flashbacks are commonplace and it can leave the feel of disorientation and it is only in the last five minutes that the story starts to feel more connected.

Despite this, All That Jazz is a musical that, if only for the music, needs to be seen.