Monday, February 11, 2008
RIP Roy Scheider
I have a strong connection to Roy Scheider, who died today at the age of 75. He is the star of my all time favourite movie All That Jazz. I suppose now Scheider can compare notes once again with Bob Fosse, the director who gave him the finest role of his career, and the performance that should have won him an Academy Award - the statue that year went to Dustin Hofzzzz in Kramer vs Krazzzz.
That movie has every single thing I could ever possibly want in a film and think it's a monumental achievement. Fosse's own 8 1/2 (even down to the surreal final acts), it's a movie that is so good I have never actually been able to write anything truly meaningful about it because I can barely form words when thinking of it. Scheider's performance is one of magic. The Bob Fosse-esque (hardly "esque" thought) is so energetic and sporatic, like the man himself. It's an amazing film and an amazing performance and it's a sad loss.
Of course Fosse's 1979 fantasy musical wasn't his own notable role. Not at all. He was great fun in David Cronenberg's horror fantasy Naked Lunch, and in his most famous role - the man who says "we're gonna need a bigger boat" in Jaws - is nothing to sneeze at, so too was his work as a pimp in the classic Klute. I remember thinking he was smarmy fun in Russia House, but I can't truly remember. I haven't seen the film that garnered him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor - The French Connection.
But he's now marched towards the Angel of Death to the tune of There's No Business Like Show Business and he won't be forgotten.
You can read a fantastic article on All That Jazz over at The Film Experience - a piece Nathaniel wrote upon my request (getting others to do my work, natch).