WHO’S THAT KNOCKING AT MY DOOR… A romance with many facets placed under the sign of immersion. In a New York so unique in its proximity, in the heart of a microcosm of culture, the mid-italo-american – violent but still not really mafia as in the rest of the films -, in the tragedy of the intimate which will face a couple too many offsuit.
There is something truly touching in this very first film of Scorsese, beyond its bias in formal. An emotion, feelings that circulate through this romance, and that we see only sparingly in the director… But also a new vision of Italian-american culture, dissected from the point of view of the consideration of the woman;
The idea is placed for the first scene, and then repeated during the film: what man seeks in a woman is a mom. All the other will be “broad“, particularly detrimental way, meaning “wide” in the literal sense, “bitch” in the local language. Scorsese observes with finesse this determinism relational ultimately quite tragic in which are stuck the two central characters, despite their powerful love.
In the form, the mise en scene is so typical of his cinema is that his patter. Still no stylisation of the camera (sequence shots ultra-dynamic, lateral movement signatures…), but already a use of music to illustrate with precision the action; The immersion typical of his cinema is already present, albeit almost entirely confined to the interiors, and speaking in the dialogue. The black-and-white, the complete liberty of rhythm, and the unpredictability of the script refer to the new wave – at least that is the only reference that I can say, with my simple cultural baggage.
This artistic freedom is also part of the stimulation caused by the film; the stakes are placed quite late in the movie (the revelation of “the girl”), but redefine completely the relationship of the characters between-them. Thus, the other (man or woman) seems to have another function, that of bearing to a deficit of deep emotional.
The women, having no other purpose than sexual (except for “the good”), do is the camaraderie to fill the void they feel.
Scorsese illustrates this with subtlety, through a few scenes quite striking and/or stylized :
– An evening with the guys or the purpose will be to prove his manhood, his propensity for humiliation, brilliantly directed by dolly slow motion successive, and without other sound than the music extradiégétique.
– A “scroll” (fantasized ?) “the broads”, body, filmed with a camera writing up quite well to the ideas of vertigo and drop in the sex-disinterested.
– A tour out of New York, or the possibility of escape vis-à-vis values is suggested (to let the poetry, the cultural openness ?)
– A second evening of thematically identical to the first, but or the “woman-broad” will be the center of issues.
“Very different from what one could imagine for a first movie, and in the light of the rest of the films of the director.”
In parallel to this sad(?) representation, the relationship between J. R. (Harvey Keitel) and “the girl”(Zina Bethune) is constructed in the form of flashbaks inseparable from fantasies, and dotting the “present” by the counterpoint. Built with delicacy and modesty, these moments capture the various stages of the seduction, and then the attempt of common life.
During the first phase, Scorsese makes his character a male express themselves through the medium of culture, film in particular. John Wayne and the western Ford-ien are the ideal expression of its values, those of the hard man but just, whose charism is shaped by his or her beliefs vis-à-vis the world.
It, first appearing more cleared than him, has a passive, barely noticeable that will retroactively its relationship to Man, to him.
The progression of their mutual feelings is perfectly transcribed, giving rise to a genuine empathy for this couple. An empathy that will undoubtedly see further than their simple story when the drama of the intimate will little by little its coming.
Ultimately, the idea that the one could be the director from the themes peppering its films (mafias, immersions almost documentary, ambition, violence, or instability) and the vision of the woman inside of his films are completely overwhelmed by this deep WHO’S THAT KNOCKING AT MY DOOR and its sensitivity, is above suspicion in Scorsese with the exception of the beautiful Alice no longer lives here which I’ll get to soon.
WHO’S THAT KNOCKING AT MY DOOR has been reviewed in the context of a retrospective exhibition dedicated to Martin Scorsese for the Light Festival 2015, in Lyon. It will be screened at the Comœdia, Tuesday, October 13, at 17h and at the Cinema Opera house Sunday, 19 October at 14: 30.
MARTIN SCORSESE: a portrait of the author
His films presented at the festival of Light :
– Hugo Cabret (2011)
– The Departed (2006)
– Casino (1995)
– The age of innocence (1993)
– Nerves on edge (1991)
– Goodfellas (1990)
– The last temptation of Christ (1988)
– The waltz of the puppets (1982)
– Raging Bull (1980)
– New York, New York (1977)
– Taxi Driver (1975)
– Alice is not here anymore (1974)
– Mean Streets (1973)
– Boxcar Bertha (1972)
– Who’s that knoocking at my door (1968)
Chroniqués by Georgeslechameau
JULIEN DUVIVIER: portrait of the author
– David Golder (1931)
– La Bandera (1935)
– The Beautiful Team (1936)
– Pépé le Moko (1937)
– A carnet de bal (1937)
– The end of the Day (1939)
– Panic (1946)
– The Time of the Assassins (1956)
Chroniqués by Louis
Night of fear : our view on the selection of films !
– The Thing (1982)
– Night of the Living Dead (1968)
– Insidious (2010)
– The Evil Dead (1981)
Chroniqués by Louis
– The More dignity (1944)
– Walking on the tail of the tiger… (1945$)
I have no regrets for my youth (1946)
– One wonderful Sunday (1947)
– Angel drunk (1948)
– Mad dog (1949)
– Live (1952)
– Live in fear (1955)
– The hidden Fortress (1958)
– The Bastards sleep in peace (1960)
– Yojimbo – The bodyguard (1961)
– Sanjuro (1962)
– Between heaven and hell (1963)
A portrait of Larissa Chepitko
– Scorching heat (1963)
– The Wings (1966)
– The Beginning of a century unknown – composed of The Angel of Andrei Smirnov and The Country of the power of Larissa Chepitko (1967)
– You and me (1971)
– The Ascent (1977)
On the Blog of The Film
Or on the site of the Festival of Light
– Programming of Light 2014
PEDRO ALMODOVAR :
– Pepi, Luci, Bom and other girls in the neighborhood of Pedro Almodóvar (Pepi, Luci, Bom y otras chicas del montón, 1980, 1h18)
– That is what I have done to deserve this ? Pedro Almodóvar (¿ Qué he hecho yo para merecer esto !!, 1984, 1h47)
– Matador by Pedro Almodóvar (1986, 1: 45)
– The Law of desire by Pedro Almodóvar (La ley del deseo, 1987, 1h44)
– Women on the verge of a nervous breakdown by Pedro Almodóvar (Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios, 1988, 1: 35:)
– Home-me ! Pedro Almodóvar (Átame !, 1989, 1h41)
– High heels by Pedro Almodóvar (Tacones lejanos, 1991, 1h53)
– The Flower of my secret by Pedro Almodóvar (La flor de mi secreto, 1995, 1h42)
– In the flesh by Pedro Almodóvar (Carne trémula, 1997, 1h39)
– All about my mother by Pedro Almodóvar (Todo sobre mi madre, 1999, 1: 40)
– Talk to her by Pedro Almodóvar (Hable con ella, 2002, 1h52)
– Volver by Pedro Almodóvar (2006, 2h02)
– La piel habito that of Pedro Almodóvar (2011, 2h01)
– SAGA MUSASHI MIYAMOTO : a CRITICAL of the 6 films
– PARADISE LOST, Abel Gance: a CRITICAL
– OPENING NIGHT, John Cassavettes : CRITICAL
– A Woman Dangerous, with Ida Lupino: CRITICAL
Chroniqués by Georgeslechameau
– The crossing of Paris
Reviewed by Louis