Fall 2016

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33 Q4 2016 / CINEMONTAGE by Peter Tonguette A s personal projects go, Bob Fosse's All That Jazz is hard to top. The 1979 musical drama centers on a protagonist named Joe Gideon (Roy Scheider), a choreographer and director who might be said to be a master of multi-tasking: In the film, he is helming a show on Broadway and supervising post-production of a movie. The character is, in other words, derived in large part from Fosse, the co-writer (with Robert Alan Aurthur) and director of the film. In truth, Fosse contributed not only his personal experiences to the film but also the sounds of the soles of his shoes. During a flashback, a teenage version of Gideon (Keith Gordon) is seen — and heard — while performing a soft-shoe dance in a burlesque club. When it came time to record a Foley track for the scene, however, Fosse decided to accept no substitutes. "It wasn't him to start with, but he ended up doing it at the end," remembers the film's supervising sound editor Maurice Schell, MPSE. "And watching him do it was beautiful — it was like a ballet." In a way, the episode encapsulates Schell's experience on All That Jazz, on which he worked for about a year in the Directors Guild of America building on West 57th Street in New York. As Schell tells it, the building was a hotbed of creativity. While Fosse and picture editor Alan Heim, ACE, were cutting the film, he was working on Foleys. "I was going in there doing Foleys — recording them, cutting them, then doing a pre-mix," says Schell, who continuously supplied Heim and Fosse with fresh mixes. "That's what they kept cutting with; they had a recent version of everything as we went along." In the same building, at the same time, Jerry Greenberg, ACE, was editing Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and Thelma Schoonmaker, ACE, was cutting Raging Bull (1980). The on-screen performers — the dancers and singers who flit in and out of Gideon's orbit, including co-star Ann Reinking — were equally MY MOST MEMORABLE FILM Maurice Schell on 'All That Jazz' All That Jazz. 20th Century-Fox Maurice Schell. Photo by Laura Civiello

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