Crazy Horse | Film review
Frederick Wiseman stares at jiggling flesh—bored.
Crazy Horse is about the legendary Paris nude revue of the same name, now in its 60th year (the girls seem much younger); it’s also a documentary by vérité godhead Frederick Wiseman (Titicut Follies). That latter fact might make you feel high-minded about watching an overlong, arty assemblage of jiggling flesh, but it won’t fully dispel the vacuity of these musical numbers, of which there are a tedious too many.
This being a Wiseman film, we also peer backstage at some hand-wringing over money and artistic freedom, conversations that are difficult to take seriously. An expert fly on the wall, the director lacks the depth of process seen in his absorbing ballet doc, La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet; his unblinking nonjudgment (itself a kind of severity) also seems to tamp down on the potential for a humorous real-life Showgirls. A relatively new choreographer, Philippe Decouflé, hopes to change things incrementally—it’s hardly enough drama to sustain a feature. And when a catty audition scene does arrive way too late, you doubt Wiseman’s sense of pacing. Still, he must have had a good time shooting.