Given the current recommendation to stay home and practice social distancing, we at the Chicago International Film Festival are looking at past selections from each year of the Festival that you can stream now from home. Stream our past selections as we look forward to the 56th Chicago International Film Festival this October 14-25, 2020. Find the full 56 Films for 56 Years selections here.
For today’s #56Films entry, we look back at Martin Scorsese’s feature debut, Who’s That Knocking at My Door?, which made it’s world premiere at the 3rd Chicago International FIlm Festival in 1967.
Director: Martin Scorsese
3rd Chicago International Film Festival
In 1967, at the third Chicago International Film Festival, a fledgling filmmaker named Martin Scorsese unveiled the world premiere of his feature debut, I Call First, later known as Who’s That Knocking at My Door? Already at the age of 25, Scorsese revealed many of his signature trademarks, from the authentic Italian-American neighborhood in which the film is set to its raw portrait of conflicted masculinity. A fresh-yet-steely faced Harvey Keitel, in his debut, plays J.R., a toughguy wandering the mean streets of New York City when he meets-cute a beautiful blonde college student (played by Zina Bethune). When she turns out to harbor a dark secret that collides with J.R.’s purist projections of her, their relationship is rocked by Catholic guilt. Photographed in black-and-white with a gritty improvisational style and emotional genuineness, the film is both a reflection of the radical New American Cinema of the 1960s and a potent introduction to Scorsese’s singular cinema. — Anthony Kaufman, Senior Programmer