Zou Zou (DVD)
Directed by Marc Allegret
Zou Zou was conceived as a vehicle for Josephine Baker, then among Europe's most popular entertainers. This was her debut talking film and a huge success in France upon its original release (and upon its 1989 theatrical re-release by Kino International). It is definitely Baker's show, despite the presence of Jean Gabin, who was himself on the brink of international stardom.
In the tradition of 42nd Street and other Warner Bros. backstage musicals of the period, the plot of Zou Zou concerns a star who walks out on her sugardaddy producer for true love, and a talented Cinderella (Baker) who takes her place, saves the show and is hailed as a new sensation opening night.
The film places Baker in several lavish production numbers in which she is sumptuously dressed and supported by a large chorus. But it is the poignant rendition of "Haiti" that remains indelible. Seated on a swing in an oversize birdcage, scantily clad in feathers like some exotic bird of paradise, she sings nostalgically for her Caribbean home and leaves a permanent record on film of her unique style and powerful charisma.
DVD Extras Include:
- "Josephine Baker: The Woman" (2005) Includes interviews with Lynn Whitfield (actress, The Josephine Baker Story), Margo Jefferson (New York Times theatre critic), Elizabeth Kendall (dance critic and historian) and Josephine Baker's adopted son Jean-Claude Baker.
- Video tour of Chez Josephine Jean-Claude Baker's culinary exhibition of rare Josephine Baker paintings and posters.
- Song Selections
- Stills Gallery
- Optional English subtitles
"I can't recommend it highly enough." - Leonard Maltin, ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT
"ELECTRIFYING! ...a great boisterous presence that irradiates the screen with arcs of eroticism..." - Michael Wilmington, LOS ANGELES TIMES
Interested in bringing Zou Zou to your school or library? If you'd like to have an in-class viewing, on-campus screening, or purchase the DVD for your library's collection, please contact Estelle Grosso or call (212) 629-6880 with your request.
Zou Zou may also be available with Public Performance Rights (PPR) and Digital Site Licensing (DSL) for colleges and universities. To purchase the DVD with PPR or DSL, please contact Estelle Grosso or call (212) 629-6880. Click here to learn more at Kino Lorber Edu.
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