What's A Nice Girl Like You Doing In A Place Like This (1963)
- A writer named Algernon (but called Harry by his friends) buys a picture of a boat on a lake, and his obsession with it renders normal life impossible. He attempts to function again by consulting an analyst and becoming married, but eventually succumbs to his strange anxiety by disappearing into the picture.
Summary written by Mike Arndt
Sarah Braveman .... Analyst
Zeph Michelis .... Harry
Fred Sica .... Friend
Mimi Stark .... Wife
Robert Uricola .... Singer
Runtime: 9 min
Color: Black and White
- Good Early Scorsese short
I saw this film a few months ago as part of a package that was showing five of Martin Scorsese's early short films (the other films included were "The Big Shave", "It's Not Just You, Murray", "Italianamerican" and "American Boy") at the local art-house theater.
"What's a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This?" is very similar to his other NYU film-school effort "It's Not Just You, Murray". It is a quirky little film about a writer and his obsession with a photograph he has on his wall. This obsession has caused him to develop writers block.
The film plays out like a short fable and displays a much more humorous and playful side of Scorsese. You can tell it's Scorsese, but his style is much quirkier and less potent here. Still, it's a good, funny short movie worth seeing if you want to see where Scorsese was routed.
It's Not Just You Murray! (1964)
San De Fazio .... Joe
Andrea Martin (I) .... Wife
Ira Rubin .... Murray
Catherine Scorsese .... Mother
Robert Uricola .... Singer
Runtime: 15 min
Color: Black and White
viewer's comments (Matt M)
- I attend NYU, and was lucky to be shown a print of this short. The movie is entirely innovative, and does have some of Scorsese's trademark themes, such as crime and, of course, his mother. The story centers around a man and all the horrible things his friend Murrary does to him.
This movie is, however, uncharacteristically funny for a Scorsese film. It is very similar to an early Woody Allen movie, such as Bananas, in that regard. It also contains some nods to avant garde cinema, such as Goddard or Fellini, especially in the last scene.
All in all, a fabulous little movie that shows inclinations of things to come from Scorsese~
The Big Shave (1967)
This short film is a metaphor for the Vietnam War. A man walks into a meticulously clean and sterile bathroom, concentrating on the polished porcelain and shiny metal motif. He then proceeds to shave. When his face is clean, however, he only continues to shave until he pierces through his skin. Blood covers him and falls around him, the red contrasting the perfect spotlessness of the bathroom.
Summary written by Joseph D. Guernsey
Peter Bernuth .... Young Man
Also Known As:
Big Shave... or, Viet '67, The (1967)
Runtime: 6 min
- Excellent short film that launched Martin Scorsese's career.
Martin Scorsese's short film "The Big Shave" is absolutely excellent. The film was produced with almost no budget as his final project in film class at N.Y.U. I was shown this film at the beginning of my film class, and the professor didn't tell us who's film it was. He simply said that it was somebody's final project at N.Y.U. As the credits appeared, we were all amazed to see Martin Scorsese's name. As it turns out, this is the film that launched his career. A very famous film producer attended the N.Y.U. screening that year, and immediately sought to have Scorsese direct a full-length feature film. After that, Scorsese became a household name. The film, about a young man shaving, is set to a bouncy classiscal dance tune, adding a sick sense of humor to the movie. For the entire length of the film, we can see that it definitely reflects Scorsese's style as a director. The camera angles, sudden and unexpected "emotional cut" editing, and use of unprecedented and unpleasant violence are what have become some of Scorsese's trademarks throughout his films. (If you watch Scorsese's "Mean Streets" you will see an example of his "emotional cut" editing, where Robert DeNiro is slowed down in motion to the tune of "Jumping Jack Flash". In "The Big Shave", the same motion of the man pulling his shirt off his repeated quickly three times. Look at Scorsese's other films and see if you can find some of these elements that "break the third wall", but somehow bring you deeper into the film.)
What should be said about this film that gives it a whole new meaning,(watch the film first and then read the rest of this) is that it is actually a metaphor for Scorsese's protest to the Vietnam War. The man enters a perfectly tidy bathroom, shaves, then looks at his clean face and decides to shave again, but this time it's not as plesant, as he soon hurts himself(understatement) and the clean bathroom.
If you are a fan of Scorsese, you must watch this film as it is the most career-representative short film I have seen. If you like short films, are thinking of pursuing a film career, or simply like thought provoking or even disturbing movies, find out how you can get yourself a copy of this film.
The Green Saga's Rating: 10 out of 10 (Short Film Category)
- Excellent Martin Scorsese short film
The Big Shave (1967) D: Martin Scorsese. Peter Bernuth. Excellent Martin Scorsese short film about a young man who is shaving and cuts himself, with the results symbolic of the Vietnam War, which Scorsese was opposed to. The camerawork is fluid and flawless, the scene very bloody, but wonderfully done, one of the best short films I've seen. RATING: 9 out of 10.
- The most excrutiatingly good short film of its time
Martin Scorsese cooked up this quick little film before he made his debut feature, and here examines a somewhat anti-Vietnam, perfectionists perspective, all enveloped in one man's craze to shave his face over and over again. Mysterious on the first viewing, graphic on repeated ones, but the effect of it being well crafted in its fakeness and surrealism is noticable. Kudos! A+
Jack Christal-Gattanella (Filmjack3)
- Rather disturbing short from director Martin Scorsese that acquires new meaning if you look closely.
There's no dialogue in The Big Shave, and the entire film takes place in a bathroom. Even short films don't get much simpler than this, but Scorsese's skillful direction is able to give this extremely simple story some meaning besides what is seen as you just watch it.
Some white guy (and this is noteworthy because of the proliferation of films about the Italian condition that Scorsese was making at the time) walks into the bathroom, having obviously just woken up, and proceeds to give himself a disturbingly brutal shave. If you have a weak stomach, you may be bothered by the striking amount of blood in the film, but this blood does have meaning. I've made several films myself at the junior college level that were all more technically complex than The Big Shave is, but you have to take into account the film's meaning before dismissing it as just a picture of a stomach turning shave.
This white guy walks into an immaculately clean bathroom and shaves, and then he puts more shaving cream on his face and shaves again, this time cutting himself up pretty badly. The things to consider here are the cleanliness of the bathroom when he walked in, as well as the fact that he didn't even really need to shave in the first place. I've even heard that The Big Shave is representative of America's reckless involvement in the Vietnam War, particularly our self-destructiveness. That may be a little bit of a stretch, or at least seem to be actually imposing meaning on the film rather than deriving meaning from it (that is, of course, if it wasn't for that alternate title, which may clear up any misunderstanding), but the possibility is very distinct.
Martin Scorsese made this film long before he became famous or well known, and his skill is evident in the film's simplicity, which is contrasted by the extensive meaning that it entails. Clearly, not many people have ever seen or heard of this film, and many would not care to, but as an insight into the filmmaking characteristics of Scorsese as well as a look at his early cinematic productions, it is a curiosity piece that is a must see.
The film consists of Martin Scorcesi and a small film crew literally talking over dinner at his parents' New York aparment. His parents are fascinating storytellers, however, interweaving their own experiences as Italian Americans with a history of New York itself. Scorcesi even adds some real historical footage over his parents' dialogue to create a unique documentary.
summary by Joseph D. Guernsey
Complete credited cast:
Catherine Scorsese .... Herself
Charles Scorsese .... Himself
Runtime: 45 min
- A film that Scorseses detractors-and admirers-should play close attention to.
I recently read a pretty vicious attack on Scorsese in an excellent evangelical periodical, Books and Culture. It claimed Scorsese is, in a word, bloodthirsty, and still a street punk at heart.Granted, Scorsese has done his share of bloody films, but the violence which obsesses him isn't PHYSICAL, its emotional. In addition, Scorsese isnt simply obsessed with blood..hes obsessed with honor, tradition,and family. A clue to the shallowness of this critique of Scorsese could be found in the fact that the author actually thought Age of Innocence was just a studio assignment,which Scorsese agreed to do reluctantly. In fact, Scorsese obsessed over Wharton's novel for a decade after his pal, Jay Cocks, gave it to him. Everyone of Scorseses critics should watch this heart-felt, tender, and utterly bloodless film. I really hope he finally gets around to doing his long-planned feature film about his parents courtship,and his own boyhood in little Italy. P.S.the film also inspired me to buy The Scorsese Family cookbook!
- A Poignant Look At Martin Scorsese's Parents and their upbringings.
Possibly Scorsese's most touching film, Italianamerican, gives a great background on Italian immigrants and how they made livings in America. It also gives a stylish look at the Italian art of sauce-making that all Italian's will understand. I think I may have enjoyed this film so much because Scorsese's parents reminded me greatly of my own family members. The film also includes a Scorsese short entitled,"The Big Shave." This is a comedic look at a guy who may have over done it a bit with the razor. Overall, a both touching and comedic venture that some might not expect from the man who brought us Taxi Driver. 8 out of ten