The “Direct Cinema” documentaries of filmmaking legend Frederick Wiseman (Titicut Follies) are renowned for probing deeply into various social and political institutions: the courts, a mental hospital, a high school, the military, a monastery, and so on. The surprising subject of his latest is the Crazy Horse cabaret, the flashy Parisian fleshpot celebrated for its elaborate erotic revues. The Crazy Horse, opened in 1951, bills itself as “the most famous nude show in the world”; it is said to be one of Paris’s top tourist attractions. Wiseman — shooting on HD video after decades working primarily on 16mm film — spent 11 weeks at the nightclub, capturing its choreographer, Philippe Decouflé, hard at work on a new show (the Crazy Horse prides itself on the quality of its dance and production design), and rendering a dazzling, deluxe portrait of a unique and eccentric Paris institution. “Wonderful ... The most entertaining film of Wiseman’s 40-plus-year career ... The eye-popping numbers at the Crazy Horse are drop-dead cinematic, at times approaching kaleidoscopic pop art. Wiseman wisely lets scenes play out in long takes and the viewer’s astonishment sinks in ... It’s a hell of a lot of fun” (Vancouver I.F.F.). Colour, HDCAM, in English and French with English subtitles. 134 mins.
“Frederick Wiseman remains at the top of his game... A typically first-rate vérité look at the famous Parisian cabaret club. The Crazy Horse, with its undulating bodies and gleaming flourescent lights, offers a dazzling cinematic experience."Indie Wire | full review
“Crazy Horse is a study of artistic process that is itself a work of art, and, as such, a reminder of what a documentary can be. Wiseman has planted his camera at the intersection of the cerebral and the sensual... He pays equal attention to the movement of bodies and the function of an institution."New York Times | full review
“Spellbinding... Wiseman's exceptional artistry restores the faith of those wearied by the glut of cruddy-looking and poorly structured documentaries from the past decade... He demands, but amply rewards, our close attention."Village Voice | full review