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
Martin Scorsese's third short film before he graduated into feature film making is,despite being only six minutes long,a considerable cinematic achievement.Even at this early stage in his career,Scorsese shows considerable technical excellence,distinctive style and panache,showing that in just the simplest,most banal of settings(a bathroom)on a zero budget,he can produce memorable images and moments that most other film directors can't manage in films three hours long. Apparently intended as a black joke against the then on-going conflict in Vietnam,the contrast between the clean,white bathroom and the young man's visceral,gory,but seemingly unconscious gradual self-harm while taking a shave brings sheer gasps and giggles of astonishment at it's sheer audacity.A taster of the brilliance to come in the next four decades.
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