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Review: Who's That Knocking at My Door

Caught a midnight screening of Martin Scorsese’s Who’s That Knocking at My Door at IFC Center. It’s been years since I first saw it (home video copies were somewhat elusive around the time I was seeking out the director’s earlier work), but it remains one of the greatest cinematic debuts I’ve ever encountered. 

Many of Scorsese’s stylistic and thematic trademarks—the long takes and tracking shots, the naturalistically rambling and repetitive dialogue, the religious iconography, the conflict between faith and sexuality—are already present and accounted for, albeit rougher around the edges and less focused. Even the narrative (which revolves around a baby-faced Harvey Keitel’s efforts to get over his ex with the aid of his idiot friends) is significantly more coherent than I remembered… though the surreal fantasy sequences obviously only exist to pad out the running time to feature length.

Ultimately, the clear passion that went into the creation of Who’s That Knocking at My Door helps to compensate for its minor flaws. And if you intend to study Scorsese’s filmography in any serious capacity, it serves as an invaluable Rosetta Stone.

[Originally written April 8, 2018.]

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