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Crazy Horse
dir. Frederick Wiseman / France, USA 2011 / 134’
subtitles: Polish and English


Naamah Alva, Daizy Blu, Philippe Decouflé, Philippe Katerine

Film description

The Crazy Horse is a famed Paris erotic dance revue. Teasing audiences since 1951, it is renowned for the beauty of its female dancers and the complexity of the choreographies they perform. Documentary film legend Frederick Wiseman (his La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet screened at the 10th New Horizons) turns his lens onto the nighttime world of erotic fantasy to reveal the fascinating microcosmos within. And it will be especially fascinating for those whose vision of French striptease is licentious women lifting skirt hems to a cancan tune, because under the direction of acclaimed choreographer Philippe Decouflé, Crazy Horse is a laboratory of intricate beauty. And beauty is the overriding concern that trumps all others here: from the dancers’ perfect physiques and fantastical costumes, to the intricately detailed choreographies and sultry light shows. All the ingredients come together to give the live show its hallmarks: beauty, desire, abstract imagery, and dancers melding into a single undulating composition. True beauty, says Decouflé, means rising above imperfections. Wiseman’s documentary on erotic dance is a treatise on the quest for something absolute.

Prepared by: Ewa Szabłowska

Information about director

Frederick Wiseman

Wiseman was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1930. He has repeatedly exposed the inner workings of institutional systems: in education, prisons, the food industry, entertainment and medicine. He unswervingly relies on a trusted model: 100 hours of material on each project, no scripts, no interviews, no additional music or commentary, relying solely on raw footage and editing. Akin to visual essays and cited as genre classics, Wiseman’s films have garnered awards in Venice, Cannes, and Berlin.

Selected filmography

1967 Titicut Follies (doc.)

1975 Welfare (doc.)

1989 Near Death (doc.)

2003 Przemoc w rodzinie / Domestic Violence (doc.)

2009 La Danse. Balet Opery Paryskiej / La Dance – Le Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris / La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet (doc.)

2010 Sala do boksu / Boxing Gym (doc.)

2011 Crazy Horse (doc.)

Prepared by: Ewa Szabłowska


director: Frederick Wiseman
screenplay: Frederick Wiseman
cinematography: John Davey
editing: Frederick Wiseman
cast: Naamah Alva, Daizy Blu, Philippe Decouflé, Philippe Katerine
producer: Pierre-Olivier Bardet, Frederick Wiseman
production: Zipporah Films
sales: Celluloid Dreams
language: French, English
colouration: colour
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