By William Wolf


Frederick Wiseman, known for the way he hones in on a subject with intensity and avoidance of narration, has scrutinized the famous Crazy Horse nightclub in Paris. Going behind the scenes, he probes how shows are put together and the concept that the female body can be displayed with artistry that elevates the Crazy Horse shows to much more than an attraction for men desiring to be titillated by bare-breasted women prancing about.

But let’s face it. No matter how many words are spewed by those who mount the productions, and no matter how glossy they are made to look by John Davey’s cinematography via high definition video, the result still boils down to T and A.

From the interviews with those exalting the productions, you would think that all concerned are engaged in scientific achievement, not in figuring out how many ingenious ways there may be to expose flesh. At more than two hours the film gets to seem repetitious and sometimes boring. But it is generally striking to view as routines are unveiled with a bevy of attractive women.

Personally, I would have preferred that Wiseman expend all that effort on depicting the Lido in Paris, a club that also features gorgeous women but has more in the way of other entertainment that fleshes out—excuse the expression—a more expansive show business concept. The Crazy Horse approach comes across more as a pretentious Cirque du Soleil with nipples. But whatever it is, Wiseman has captured it. A Zipporah Films, Inc. release.


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