Film Series

at the University of Massachusetts Boston

Maps & Directions

Crazy Horse

Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at 7 p.m. - Filmmaker Q&A Follows Free Screening

Crazy Horse banner


Celebrated documentary director Frederick Wiseman spent ten weeks with his camera exploring one of the most mythic places dedicated to women, the Crazy Horse Paris. This legendary Parisian cabaret, founded in 1951 by Alain Bernardin, has become over the years the Parisian nightlife ‘must’ for locals as well as any visitors, ranking alongside the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre.  Wiseman’s impeccable eye allows us to enter into this intriguing international temple of the Parisian cabaret world and to discover what makes the Crazy Horse tick: elegance, perfectionism and a grueling schedule (with 2 shows a night and 3 on Saturdays, 7 days a week). The film follows the rehearsals and performances for a new show DÉSIRS staged by Philippe Decouflé, a celebrated French choreographer, as well as the backstage preparations of the dancers (make-up and costume fittings) and the various issues involved in the planning of the show and the administration of the cabaret. The show DÉSIRS is an artistic, modern, humorous and colorful spectacle that is the pinnacle of ‘nude chic’.


Picture of Frederick Wiseman. Copyright Gretje Ferguson.Frederick Wiseman has made 37 documentaries and 2 fiction films. Among his documentaries are Titicut Follies, Welfare, Public Housing, Near Death, La Comédie Française ou l'Amour Joué, and La Danse—Le Ballet de l'Opéra de Paris.  His documentaries are dramatic, narrative films that seek to portray the joy, sadness, comedy and tragedy of ordinary experience.  He has won numerous awards including four Emmys, a MacArthur Prize Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship.  His films have played in theatres and been broadcast on television in many countries. He is also a theatre director and has directed “The Last Letter,” based on a chapter of Vasily Grossman's novel Life and Fate, and Samuel Beckett’s “Happy Days” at the Comédie Française.  He is an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.