Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Trailer Park Tuesday: Fosse by Sam Wasson

Welcome to Trailer Park Tuesday, a showcase of new book trailers and, in a few cases, previews of book-related movies.

Is the promotional video for Sam Wasson's new biography of choreographer Bob Fosse the best book trailer of the year?  As Fosse himself would likely say, "Screw that!   It's the best trailer of the decade, baby!"  To fully appreciate the nuances of this five-minute hilarious razzle-dazzle tour through Wasson's writing process, it's helpful to have a working knowledge of Fosse's landmark films like All That Jazz, Cabaret and Lenny.  Just as those movies all but leapt off the screen into our laps and started munching on our popcorn, this trailer stands out from all others on account of its exuberance and sharply-timed wit.  Wasson--the author of Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and the Dawn of the Modern Woman--channels the choreographer-director's spirit so well here that I expected to see him gazing into a mirror practicing hand-bursts with cries of "It's showtime, folks!"  As Wasson explains, Fosse was "such an enormous, larger-than-life figure of endless passions and bottomless urges and constant work and deep hungers."  Bob Fosse is legendary in the theatrical world, but perhaps less so beyond the marquee lights.  For those not in the know, he was an actor, dancer, choreographer, film director, screenwriter, and film editor.  He won an unprecedented eight Tony Awards for choreography, as well as one for direction.  He was nominated for an Academy Award four times, winning for his direction of Cabaret (beating Francis Ford Coppola for The Godfather).  Simply put, the guy was no slouch.  It's impossible to bottle the Fosse dynamo into a five-minute capsule, but Wasson and company come damned close with this video for a 736-page appreciation of a life soaked in booze, sweat, and art.  Five, six, seven, eight....

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