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Months of Meryl: THE RIVER WILD


"Great post and comments. Yes, Streep had to navigate the rough waters of being in her 40's! I do think she smashed through the glass ceiling for women since she persevered and then became an even bigger star in her 50's." - Sister Rona

"One of my favourite movies from my teen years - I'm shocked at how long ago this was released. It was Meryl that sold this movie for me and is the reason I saw it. At the time, and I still feel this way, she is the reason to watch and believe this film." -Filmboymichael


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Entries in All That Jazz (9)

Wednesday
Feb212018

Soundtracking: "All That Jazz"

by Chris Feil

These days we don’t get many musicals brave enough to buck genre comforts and form as Bob Fosse’s autobiographical All That Jazz. The director/choreographer transplants himself onto Joe Gideon (Roy Scheider), a highly regarded and sexually cruel master of the stage on his way to untimely demise. It’s a masterpiece to shame other masterpieces.

There’s a reason that the film isn’t remembered for its songs - musical pleasantry is low on his priorities, as the film is an uncompromising character study of the visionary creator’s weakest impulses...

Click to read more ...

Monday
May222017

The Furniture: All That Jazz and the Creative Erotics of Scaffolding

"The Furniture" is our weekly series on Production Design. You can click on the images to see them in magnified detail. Here's Daniel Walber ...

All That Jazz (1979) is the only Palme d’Or winner to have won the Oscar for Best Production Design. I do not have an explanation for that. Luck of the draw, really. But, as we await the prizes at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, this odd piece of trivia is an excellent excuse to take a closer look at Bob Fosse’s masterpiece.

There are actually a few odd things about the film’s Oscar record. It’s not only a rare Oscar-winning remake, but a remake of another production design nominee: Federico Fellini’s . The four designers who took home the prize for All That Jazz include not only production designer Philip Rosenberg and art directors Gary Brink and Edward Stewart but also Tony Walton, who was credited as “fantasy designer.”

The “fantasies” in question are a big part of what connects All That Jazz with its predecessor...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jun052015

What Does 1979 Mean To You?

Our first Supporting Actress Smackdown of the year is this Sunday, looking at the nominees of 1979. If you haven't yet voted (readers, collectively, are the final panelist) you have until 9 PM EST tonight to do so. Out of curiousity I looked at the National Film Registry to see which films have previously been added from that year.

three of the year's stone cold classics

As a reminder each year 25 films join the registry at the Library of Congress and to be so honored a film must be deemed:

culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

I was SHOCKED to realize that Kramer vs. Kramer, which undeniably fits the first two criteria has not been added. Neither have these other major Oscar players from that year: Breaking Away, Being There, and The China Syndrome (the latter my guess as to which movie just missed the Best Picture list that year). The only movies from 1979 that are part of the registry are All That Jazz (recently discussed), The Black Stallion (recently discussed), Apocalypse Now, The Muppet Movie, Norma RaeManhattan and Alien. Tough to argue with those inductees. The public is free to suggest films before they choose each December and I always forget. But I won't this year! One film I'm totally voting for this year (not from 1979) is Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice (1969) which needs some renewed attention since it's such a good companion piece to the Mad Men finale. But that's another topic... 

MEET THE PANELISTS FOR THIS SUNDAY'S SMACKDOWN!

Here's a little bit about them to prep you for our conversation this weekend...

First Time Panelists

K.M. SOEHNLEIN (Novelist)
Bio: K.M. Soehnlein's first movie memory is seeing Funny Girl at a drive-in with his parents. He spent his childhood inventing an alternate Hollywood with fictional actors, directors, movies and Oscar nominations. He went to film school at Ithaca College, wrote about film for the Village Voice, Out and Outweek, and now writes novels ("The World of Normal Boys," "Robin and Ruby," "You Can Say You Knew Me When"). He hopes at least one of them gets made into a movie. 

What does 1979 Mean to you?

In 1979 I was a 13-year-old suburban New Jersey boy, staring across the river at Manhattan and longing to live inside a Woody Allen film. Movies I saw in the theater include a wave of post-Rocky boxing stories (Rocky II, The Champ, The Main Event); two starring early SNL breakouts (The Jerk, Meatballs); and two that wound up in the Oscar race: Breaking Away (early screen crush: Dennis Quaid) and All That Jazz (mind forever blown). 

 

KRISTEN SALES (Blogger)
Bio: Kristen Sales is a Los Angeles native who’s been blogging about movies since 2010. She enjoys Buster Keaton and aggressive feminist punk rock. You can find her yelling about things on Twitter and Tumblr.

What does 1979 Mean to you?

I have absolutely no associations with the year "1979," except that Smashing Pumpkins song. But Smashing Pumpkins suck.

 

Returning Panelists

BILL CHAMBERS (Film Critic)
Bill Chambers is the founder, editor, and webmaster of FilmFreakCentral.net, which recently turned seventeen. A graduate of York University's Film program, he is a member of both the Toronto Film Critics Association and the Online Film Critics Society. He has a cat. [Follow him on Twitter]

What does 1979 Mean to you?

One of my earliest memories is quite apropos: Seeing a movie for the first time on the big screen. I was four years old; the film was The Muppet Movie. I couldn't have asked for a more beguiling introduction to the cinema, a gently postmodern work that simultaneously taught me what movies are and demonstrated, via its very Muppet-ness, their ability to unite generations in the dark. Though I wouldn't catch up with them until I was a little older, lots more personally formative films were released that year, like The Jerk, Alien, All That Jazz, and even Rocky II; to borrow a term from Blade Runner, I think of 1979 somewhat narcissistically as my cinephile 'incept date.'

 

BRIAN HERRERA (aka "StinkyLulu")
Brian convened the first Supporting Actress Smackdown and hostessed more than thirty. He is a writer, teacher and scholar presently based in New Jersey, but forever rooted in New Mexico. Follow him on Twitter

What does 1979 Mean to you?

My movie-world opened wide in 1979. I was on the cusp of adolescence, about to experience the first real stirrings of my actressexual leanings, when I found myself with ready access to a betamax video player and a library of tape recordings that someone's relative had captured from HBO. 1979 was also the first Best Actress race I remember agonizing over long after the fact. I loved that Sally won, even though I believed Bette deserved it. It's a conflict I struggle with to this day...

 

And yours truly

NATHANIEL R (Host)
Nathaniel is the founder of The Film Experience, a reknowned Oscar pundit, and the web's actressexual ringleader. He fell in love with the movies for always at The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) but mostly blames Oscar night (in general) and the 80s filmographies of Kathleen Turner & Michelle Pfeiffer. Though he holds a BFA in Illustration, he found his true calling when he started writing about the movies. He blames Boogie Nights for the career change. [Follow him on Twitter]

What does 1979 mean to you?

I have slim recall of this year other than hearing the song "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" by Rod Stewart (?!?) but my strongest memory of the year is my very conservative parents complaining about President Jimmy Carter and the Iran Hostage Crisis non-stop. My movie memories are limited to three: the shock of seeing a bald woman in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (but nothing else about the movie); laughing hysterically when Cloris Leachman broke her fingernails in the Disney comedy The North Avenue Irregulars (but nothing else about the movie) and going little-kid wide-eyed seeing Kermit the frog riding a bicycle in The Muppet Movie and pretty much everything else about that movie which I loved so much I decided I was going to be a puppeteer when I grew up and my parents bought me the soundtrack. 


What does 1979 mean to you dear readers?
Even if you weren't yet alive perhaps you have an association?

 

Friday
May222015

1979: Cannes' Golden Fosse and 'All That Jazz'

In honor of the Year of the Month (1979) and this weekend's announcement of the Palme d'Or winner at the Cannes Film Festival, Glenn looks at Bob Fosse's All That Jazz.

All That Jazz is my favourite Palme d'Or winner, awarded 35 years ago. Not only that, it's my favourite film from 1979. Actually, if you really want to know, Bob Fosse’s semi-autobiographical musical fantasy is my favourite film of any year, period, and it's remarkable how easily I can come to that decision whenever anybody asks what my favourite movie is considering I have the Libra mentality of terrible indecisiveness.

Looking over the list of subsequent Cannes winners and it’s a remarkably odd choice. Even when juries have given the top prize to an American film, it has never been one quite so big. It's not only a relatively big-budget America studio film, but it had already been a hit with Oscar voters several months earlier than the 1980 Cannes festival at which it won (tying with Kurosawa’s Kagemusha). Unlike No Country for Old Men – directed by this year’s Cannes jury presidents the Coen Brothers – which was apparently the victim of a jury belief that it did not need the prestige of a Palme d’Or, Kirk Douglas’ jury apparently had no qualms with awarding a four-time Oscar and two-time BAFTA winner with the most prestigious prize in international festival cinema. In a strange coincidence, Fosse’s 1979 Oscar Best Picture competitor, Apocalypse Now, had won the Palme d’Or a year earlier. It was the sort of occurrence that would never happen these days and even crazier to imagine something so razzling and dazzling taking the top prize from a competition that included names like Hal Ashby, Samuel Fuller, Bruce Beresford, Alain Resnais, Jean-Luc Godard, Walter Hill and the aforementioned Kurosawa.

Mr. Bob Fosse sent me this telegram. I am very happy and proud to share the Golden Palm with Mr. Kurosawa. I thank Roy Scheider for his collaboration in the film. And I regret not having been able to return myself, to express my joy and my emotion."

more

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Saturday
May102014

Team Top Ten: The Best Cannes Winners of All Time

Amir here, to bring you this month’s edition of Team Top Ten, a monthly poll by all of our contributing team at The Film Experience. Cinephiles all around the world turn their attention to the south of France in May as the most prestigious film festival in the world gets underway in Cannes.

The festival’s history is a rich one, full of interesting cinematic and political narratives. It’s an event that has celebrated the best in cinema and operated as a launching pad for emerging artists as much as it has played games of politics and festival world favouritism. Still, when all is said and done, the list of Palme d’Or winners can rival any list of the best films ever made.

With this year’s edition of the festival just about to begin, we thought it would be a good time to revisit the past and choose our Top Ten Favourite Cannes Winners of All Time. For this poll, we’ve excluded the first two editions of the festival (1939, retroactively awarded to Union Pacific, and 1946, when the top prize was shared between 11 films.)

There is really no easy way to select the cream of the crop here, because these films are already... well, the cream of the crop. Consider the eight films that finished behind our top dozen: Pulp Fiction; Dancer in the Dark; Viridiana; 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days; Farewell My Concubine; Secrets & Lies; The Tree of Life; The Pianist. Not to mention masterpieces like Black Orpheus, Wages of Fear and Rosetta that placed outside the top 20. The point is that this is the highest echelon of films awards so the standards are high and margins are slim. Some of you will surely disagree with our ranking, but we welcome that. Let us know what you think in the comments.

THE BEST CANNES WINNERS OF ALL TIME
a non-definitive poll which begins with a three-way tie for tenth

10= La Dolce Vita (Fellini, 1960)

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Aug142013

Morning Truth Tell: All That Jazz is a Freaking Masterpiece

If you haven't yet seen All That Jazz (1979) or haven't yet loved it -- you better stop and change your ways, daddy! Joe Gideon deserves the kind of hallowed cinema rep that Michael Corleone and Charles Foster Kane enjoy.

Live this truth. Carry it with you today.