Back to the syllabus

All That Jazz

 

This 1979 movie is Bob Fosse's autobiographical portrait with Roy Scheider fully occupying his best role as the obsessed, pill-popping, chain-smoking choreographer/director dancing simultaneously with love and death.  But even while dying, he creates some great dancing.  Vivid and imaginative with exact editing, and an eerie footnote to Fosse's similar death almost ten years later.  Egocentric and self-indulgent for sure, but that's entertainment.

 

120 minutes.  Academy Awards for Best Film Editing, Best Costume Design, Best Art Direction/Set Decoration, and Original Song Score and/or Adaptation. At Cannes it won for Best Picture.  It was also nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actor, Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Picture.  The 1979 Academy Award movie that won was Kramer vs. Kramer (best actor, best director, best supporting actress, best film---so if you have not seen Kramer vs. Kramer, put it high on your list of films to rent!)

 

Other films by Fosse include: Star 80, Lenny, and Cabaret.

Other roles by Scheider include: Jaws, The French Connection, Marathon Man, Blue Thunder, and 2010:The Year We Make Contact.

 

I Give You Back        by       Joy Harjo

 

I release you, my beautiful and terrible fear.  I release you.  You were my beloved and hated twin, but now, I don't know you as myself.  I release you with all the pain I would know at the death of my daughters.  You are not my blood anymore.  I give you back to the white soldiers who burned down my home, beheaded my children, raped and sodomized my brothers and sisters.  I give you back to those who stole the food from our plates when we were starving.

 

I release you, fear, because you hold these scenes in front of me and I was born with eyes that can never close.  I release you, fear, so you can no longer keep me naked and frozen in the winter, or smothered under blankets in the summer.

I release you    I release you    I release you     I release you

I am not afraid to be angry.  I am not afraid to rejoice.  I am not afraid to be black.  I am not afraid to be white.  I am not afraid to be hungry.  I am not afraid to be full.

I am not afraid to be hated.  I am not afraid to beloved, to be loved, to be loved, fear.

 

Oh, you have choked me, but I gave you the leash.

You have gutted me, but I gave you the knife.

You have devoured me, but I laid myself across the fire.  I take myself back, fear.  You are not my shadow any longer.  I won't hold you in my hands.  You can't live in my eyes, my ears, my voice, my belly, or in my heart    my heart    my heart     my heart

But come here, fear       I am alive and you are so afraid           of dying.

Back to the syllabus