Saturday, March 10, 2012
A disappointment this, Frederick Wiseman's look at Paris' high-end erotic cabaret. There's so much show footage and background detail that the film is rendered completely unerotic. A likely deliberate goal on Wiseman's part, but if that's the direction he's leaning in, why isn't there more backstage footage? The production meetings and scenes depicting the technical work that goes into the venue's show's are by far the most interesting thing about the movie - there's much less of this kind of detail than in Wiseman's previous film, LA DANSE, which offered a much more compelling balance of on-stage and behind the scenes footage. (Wiseman films interviews with his subjects conducted by third parties, which seems like a cheat around his usual avoidance of direct interviews, which doesn't help.) I strongly doubt that my dislike of burlesque is solely to blame for my lack of connection with this film, which while watchable never engrosses.