• The new B5TV.COM is here. We've replaced our 16 year old software with flashy new XenForo install. Registration is open again. Password resets will work again. More info here.

All That Jazz DVD


Last weekend I had noticed in the local newspaper that Best Buy was opeing the B5 S3 box set on sale for only about $2.50 more than my usual online discounter. (Trust me, this will get around to what the subject line advertises.) So I figured that since it would save the mail order delay I would just pick it up there. Besides, given the history of sets shipping with loose discs getting scratched, I figured that the faster and easier exchange (should I need it) would be worth it in this case.

While I was there last night (getting back to subject that I listed) I saw that they had the All That Jazz DVD on the shelves already, dispite the fact that the release date is shown as 8/19 (next Tuesday) everywhere that I have seen. Not only was it out, but it was only $9.99 (which is lower than any of the American E-tailers that I have checked). So I picked it up, too.

I didn't watch the whole movie last night (Hey, I had also just picked up the B5 set; and I wanted to watch the new ep of MI-5 last night.), but I did poke around in the Extras. Schieder does commentary but it isn't continuous throughout the movie. They refer to it as "Scene Specific" and there are something like 25 or so scenes with commentary. The kinda neat thing is that they let you index directly to the specific bits of commentary, just like a typical scene index feature, and they are labeled in the index according to what Schieder is talking about (as opposed to what the title would be in the standard scene index).

I didn't listen to all of those last night, but I one that I did listen to told a story that was new to me and that I found interesting. In another of the commentary bits Schieder laughs about how Fosse would periodically just shut down the production 2 - 4 days at a time, with the whole production crew still on salary, so that he could work with the dancers to get the next dance number to where he liked it; and how that would absolutely drive the studio suits nuts. So, anyway, they were already something like 12 weeks into shooting and already a million or two over budget. Fosse gets a call or message (Schieder wasn't sure which) from the studio head telling him that the exec didn't think that the whole Angelique portion of the movie was necessary ("Angelique" is the name listed in the credits for Jessica Lange's "Lady in White" character.) None of the Angelique sequences had been shot yet. To hear Schieder tellit, Fosse about had a heart attack over that, which actually doesn't surprise me. So Fosse took a bunch of the daily's and went to Florida to see another studio head. Based on what they already had in the can, he convinced the other studio to provide additional financing so that Fosse could make the movie that he wanted to make. Apparently Schieder's job during these few days was to stay in New York and reassure Lange that they would get to do all of this stuff they had been rehearsing, and keep her from leaving town.

It's hard for me to imagine how All That Jazz would have played without any of the Angelique scenes. I think it would have been harder for the audiance to sympathize with Gideon at all if they didn't have those discussions, flashbacks, etc. It also helped provide a dramatic structure in a movie that otherwise might have felt quite scattered. Finally, I think the hullucinatory scenes toward the end would have felt jarringly out of place if there hadn't been those other, gentler scenes that had occurred outside of normal reality earlier in the movie.

Anyway, what does anyone else think about All That Jazz?