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Crazy Horse: Consistency in the Nude

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Our viewing of Frederick Wiseman’s 2011 documentary about the historic French nude revue at the Crazy Horse de Paris made us curious to see how the show has evolved since it’s debut in the early 1950s. Under the guidance of Alain Bernadin from 1951 until his death in 1994, the Crazy Horse show has been an evolution in the arena of tastefully titillating entertainment. Though the show has gotten more risqué since the act of the ’50s (see the above clip), there are certain elements that have clearly descended through the years. Projections on skin, languorous strip-tease, costumes that tip a hat to the S&M scene, evocative lighting schematics – theses are the hallmarks of the Crazy Horse style.

By the 70s, the show had really come into full blossom – the influence of pop art, psychedelia, and the flourishing Blue Movie industry definitely are felt in the promo clip below.The show in Wiseman’s film is more or less a slicked-up version of what we have here – it’s a good formula from an aesthetic standpoint. Arguably the main difference is the attitude of the endeavor; the 70s show seems to have a bit more fun with the eroticism, while the modern day equivalent comes off as a bit self-seriously sexy at times. Maybe it’s the natural arc of institutionalization. In any event, it is damn good-looking.