Death is a Beautiful Woman
All that Jazz, 8 1/2, and a different kind of "femme fatale."
In Bob Fosse’s All that Jazz, there is a mysterious character named Angelique that represents the Angel of Death. She is a beautiful woman, not unlike those that surround Joe Gideon in the Broadway world he has created for himself.
They live for the glamour and the spotlight, both things Gideon can provide in abundance. But they also want his love and that is something he cannot easily give.
Swathed in all white, with a million-dollar smile and face, Angelique (Jessica Lange) truly is angelic. Throughout the film, starting from the very beginning, she is a reassuring presence to Gideon, listening to his every word as a friend—someone who knows Gideon’s fatal flaws and loves him for them.
Angelique dresses as if in mourning, with a veil and elegant wide hat. Only her colors are white instead of black—and she delights in hearing about how Gideon is overworking his heart and running himself to death.
This video compares Fosse’s film and Fellini’s 8 ½. Structurally, the films are similar, but beyond that, in the character of Rossella from Fellini’s film there is an antecedent to Angelique. Not to mention Fosse’s real-life wife, Joan McCracken, who is also an influence on the mysterious angel of death.