What’s a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This? (1963) by Martin Scorsese: Saturday Night Short Film #17
I have this problem too.
Saturday Night Short Film is a weekly series meant to embrace the short film medium. Why do I do this? Simple: short films are often overlooked because of their feature length brethren. The purpose here is not to give full reviews, but to speak briefly about whatever short film is chosen, and give a basic impression of whether it’s worth your while or not. What’s a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This? is Saturday Night Short Film #17.
Martin Scorsese is a legend. His first feature film, Who’s That Knocking at My Door, was released in 1967, eighteen years before I was born. But technically his first film, Vesuvius VI, was released in 1959, twenty-six years before I was born. A few years later he released the film that I’ve selected for this week, What’s a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This?
Had he released Who’s That Knocking at My Door before What’s a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This?, the latter likely would have answered the question proposed by the former… but that’s not important right now. What’s important is whether What’s a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This? is good or not. Does it showcase the potential that he would undeniably realize? Yeah.
Filmed while he was attending Tisch, it demonstrates some of the trademarks that he would become associated with, such as freeze-frame shots in particular. But there are definitely other elements present here that he would utilize exceptionally in years to come.
As a narrative it’s a little unconventional, but that’s understandable when you find out that his main influence for it was Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2. It’s about a man named Harry who fancies himself a writer. The problem is, he buys a picture and he becomes so enamoured by it that he becomes incapable of going about his regular life, obviously to his detriment.
In terms of student films it’s rather impressive, and as just a film in general it is certainly entertaining and of commendable quality, but I still wouldn’t place it in the pantheon of his greatest films. Truthfully, I didn’t even consider myself that much of a Scorsese fan until the past year when I sat down and compiled a list of my favourite directors–which may eventually see the light of day here on Flickmetic. This one is definitely worth checking out.
He is a massive fan of Scorsese because many of Scorsese’s films speak to his life.