**½/**** Image B+ Sound B+ Extras A-
starring Zina Bethune, Harvey Keitel, Anne Collette, Lennard Kuras
written and directed by Martin Scorsese
by Bill Chambers All of the scenes that constitute the plot of Martin Scorsese's directorial debut Who's That Knocking at My Door look washed-out and indistinct in comparison to the rest of the feature. This is because the project began life as Bring on the Dancing Girls, a 35mm, hour-long thesis short so poorly received that Scorsese went back to the drawing board, but with only enough money to shoot fresh material in 16mm. And yet the disconnect seems oddly premeditated, especially since almost every 16mm passage is a veritable non sequitur. An extended riff on the mores of youth raised in Little Italy, Who's That Knocking at My Door charts a parallel course for Scorsese avatar J.R. (Harvey Keitel), a practising Catholic who, when not clowning around with punks from the neighbourhood, spends lazy afternoons in the company of a secular, middle-class blonde (soap star Zina Bethune, her character billed only as "the girl") he meets on the Staten Island ferry by striking up a conversation about a Scorsese touchstone, John Ford's The Searchers. As wishful thinking goes, it's cute.