Now middle-aged, mobster Murray looks back at his humble beginnings as a bootlegger and his rise to becoming wealthy and highly influential. Through it he talks about how much of his ... See full summary »
Martin Scorsese interviews his mother and father about their life in New York City and the family history back in Sicily. These are two people who have lived together for a long time and ... See full summary »
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 ... See full summary »
In the late Spring of 1970, nationwide protests against the war in Vietnam focused in the Wall Street area of New York City and ultimately in a major anti-war demonstration in Washington, ... 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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