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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 consulting an analyst and becoming married, but eventually succumbs to his strange anxiety by disappearing into the picture.Written by
Mike Arndt <email@example.com>
"What's A Nice Girl Like You Doing In A Place Like This?" is Martin Scorsese's first film, a non-sequitur short in which he flexes his visual and narrative muscles and announces his dynamic presence in the world of cinema.
The plot is insignificant... the cuts are fast and aggressive, the visuals big and bold. What amazes me is how comfortable Scorsese seems with the camera, the frame, and the rhythm so early in his career... the movie is alive with his genius; it's still striking today.
The shots of Harry setting up his apartment are reminiscent of Edward Norton's catalog decorating in "Fight Club." Did director David Fincher get his idea from this movie? Probably not, but great minds think alike... and incidentally Scorsese achieved his effect without any computers.
The interplay between the voice-over narration and the dialogue reminded me of Scorsese's "Goodfellas," especially the friend who simply repeats Harry's lines.
HENRY (VO): What could I do? If she wanted me to I had to go back for her hat!
KAREN: A hat?
If you are a New Yorker you may notice a brief but interesting shot of the 1964 World's Fair grounds under construction in Queens. The Unisphere is of course still up and not far from Shea Stadium which was also being built at the time.
Can I rate this as a movie? Of course not... a student film like this is not intended to be a profound statement; it's an appetizer, a hint of what's to come, and Scorsese has delivered on his promise to say the least. The only people who will see this are Scorsese fans and film students, but it provides an education for anyone who considers themselves a film fan. Worth checking out.
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