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
The ritual of shaving and it's risks is explored by a young Scorsese. Surely every man has felt the fear/temptation of cutting one's self with a razor. A typical outlet for his self-loathing Catholic guilt, the gore is contrapuntally balanced by incongruous music on the soundtrack. Bunny Berigan's "I Can't Get Started" recalls the blackly comic ending to "Dr. Strangelove" with "We'll Meet Again" accompanying images of nuclear holocaust. Strangely, the young man in the feature is not in need of a shave in the slightest. And he shaves a second time in a row, the second time with bloody consequences. As other reviewers have posted, there may be some symbolic significance to this short film. Knowing Scorsese, it undoubtedly operates on many levels. It is to his credit as a filmmaker that he is able to make a solitary, mundane task so attention-grabbing.
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