Crazy Horse (2011, Frederick Wiseman)

I watched it for the nudity but stayed for the choreography. After a while there are so many breasts you stop noticing them. Excellent behind-the-scenes doc of the preparation of a new season of Paris’s famous nude dancing show.

Antony does a song, making this the second nude-girls doc this year to feature his voice. Also a brief Michael Jackson clip. And lots of original songs, most of them quite bad, which makes it funnier that Ali, the bald creepy assistant director, is obsessed with them.

The three main talking heads: Ali sitting between creative director Philippe and shareholder rep Andree:

Funny: the dancers watch a tape of ballet bloopers to unwind backstage. A never-explained two-man disco tapdance routine takes place offstage. The movie opens with shadow puppets then a recording session of orgasm noises, which twice defeated my attempts to watch this quietly by myself while Katy and Maria were home.

Twin tapdancers:


I’m sure Wiseman’s Juvenile Court and Domestic Violence and State Legislature are interesting and valueable, but I’ve never tried very hard to watch them. As soon as he made a film full of naked girls, I got interested. Let this be a lesson to all filmmakers everywhere.

M. Peranson:

The dancers’ bodies themselves are cinematic vehicles, either used to produce shadows on coloured backdrops, or as objects themselves onto which light and image is projected. Cinema in essence involves the projection of desire, and what Wiseman cleverly does in Crazy Horse is present desire, illustrate its operation and deconstruct it, with the technical rehearsals of the numbers showing the peculiar sweat and effort required to create this seamless illusion.

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