A twenty-minute, almost totally silent film (no dialogue or music one 'shhh!') in which Buster Keaton attempts to evade observation by an all-seeing eye. But, as the film is based around ... See full summary »
It's night. Perhaps after a dream of an intruder crashing through a window, a woman who's sensitive to light has a telephone conversation with a friend. The woman has a plane ticket from ... See full summary »
Pierrot waxes romantic, entranced by the moon. Harlequin appears and bullies him, then uses a magic lantern to project an image of Columbine. Pierrot tries to court the illusory Columbine ... See full summary »
A man, accompanied by a dog, struggles through snow on a mountain side. We see film stock blister; drawn square shapes appear. Then, we see an infant's face. The images of struggling ... See full summary »
Sexual intimacy. Three kinds of images race past, superimposed on each other sometimes: two bodies, a man and a woman's, close up, nude - patches of skin, wisps of hair, glimpses of a face ... See full summary »
It's the Christmas season. With her mom's help, Lynne, a girl of perhaps eight, dresses up; her younger brother Steven plays with a toy car. The children leave with their dad, who's ... See full summary »
Lynne Ramsay Jr.,
Five people's lives that are curiously intertwined happen to all be at a diner at the same time. An old man (Hall) gives advice to a young man (Baltz) about his cheating wife and best ... See full summary »
A church bell chimes. An old woman stops to feed pidgins on her way to work in the men's lavatory in the basement of a public building. She sits all day by the lavatory door as little ... See full summary »
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. Written by
Joseph D. Guernsey
As a young person keen on working in film, I find Scorsese's early shorts invaluable as a display of technique and competence.
In 'The Big Shave' you can see him experimenting with editing ideas, such as the use of multiple takes of an action being repeated from different angles. In these early shorts you also see him developing the way he moves the camera, as seen in his features like 'Taxi Driver', 'Goodfellas' and 'Casino'.
'The Big Shave' can be interpreted in many ways, the most common with critics, though is as a commentary on the US involvement in the Vietnam War, which was considered to be self-destructive, just as the man shaving in the film is. But this is not the only way the short can be read, it's worth looking at the IMDb board for the film for different opinions and insights.
The way Scorsese seems to simply and easily weave possible multiple meanings into a short, lasting only about 5 and a half minutes, is inspirational to me as someone interested in creating shorts.
Of his early shorts I have also seen 'What's a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This?' (1963) and 'It's Not Just You, Murray!' (1964). They're also both highly recommended!
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