The naked truth | Movie Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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The naked truth

With Crazy Horse, Frederick Wiseman documents a legendary nude cabaret

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Even Frederick Wiseman needs a fantasy life. Revered for his ascetic narrative style (no clips, no voice-over, no talking heads, no score) and probing examination of American institutions (high school, the military, the court system, public housing), Wiseman has taken detours into the dance world before with Ballet (1995) and La Danse (2009). But this documentary about Crazy Horse, the legendary Parisian nude cabaret, is so warm, colorful, and sensuous that it seems like a real anomaly for the highly disciplined filmmaker. As usual, Wiseman records everyone involved in making the organization tick, from the 17 gorgeous dancers to the choreographers, lighting techs, costume designers, and administrative staff. A large amount of screen time, however, is devoted to the review they're rehearsing, and Wiseman fully embraces its glitzy delirium of mirrors, psychedelic lighting, and the female body.

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Related Film

Crazy Horse

Director: Frederick Wiseman

Producer: Pierre-Olivier Bardet and Frederick Wiseman

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