« Home | Review: A Scanner Darkly » | Back. » | VERTIGO. opening titles and first scene » | Review: The Da Vinci Code. » | O & U #5 » | Hot Fuzz news. » | James Cameron is making more movies. » | Spidey 3 teaser. » | Thank You For Smoking. » | Billy Bob back behind the camera. » 

Saturday, September 02, 2006 

Marty doesn't live here anymore.

Anyone who over-simplifies Martin Scorsese to a mono-dimensional, Italian-American, gangsta-lovin' auteur is profoundly missing the point. His earlier work is far more in line with the Nouvelle Vague, a somewhat jerky surrealism with Catholicism nigh on invisible, or leastways existential experimentations which would later give way to the more familiar extortions of faith, doubt and self-destruction. And whilst dark situation-comedy is present in his later films (Jake LaMotta screaming about an overcooked steak to his hapless first bride, "It's like a piece of charcoal!" is just one of several moments of bleak hilarity that punctuate Raging Bull), it is none more prevalent than in his early shorts: What's a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This?, It's Not Just You, Murray!, and -at a stretch- The Big Shave. All three criticisms of society, character, and typically American ideals; yet never pushy in their execution (The Big Shave can be seen as an extreme counter-culture indictment of consumerism, or simply a nut slitting his throat). Of course the results are sketchy and, in the absence of Steadicam, rough around the edges but they possess heart, vigour and personality The Departed can't hope to match.

All three can be found on YouTube here, starting chronologically with What's a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This?

Hit Counter