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Film / Very Nice, Very Nice

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Very Nice, Very Nice is a 1961 short film from Canada directed by Arthur Lipsett, produced by the National Film Board of Canada.

The film is a seven-minute collage. Lipsett was a worker at the National Film Board who began collecting sound clips for his own amusement. Eventually he combined those audio clips with some stock footage and photographs, some previously found photos, others taken by Lipsett and his comrades in urban settings like New York and Paris. The film does not have a story as such, but is a portrait of urban alienation and anomie, in a culture driven by military aggression and empty consumerism.


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Tropes:

  • Apocalyptic Montage: Suggestive of this, with clips like an atomic bomb blast, ruined urban scenery, and the body of a dead soldier; the famous photo of a Nazi pointing a gun at a Jewish boy in the Warsaw Ghetto also flashes past.
  • Blipvert: The Ur-Example, as some of the clips flip past each other with blinding speed, like the sequence where Khrushchev's and Eisenhower's faces blend into each other.
  • Ray of Hope Ending: One of the last audio clips, right before the final title drop, is of a voice saying "Warmth and brightness will return and renewal of the hopes of men."
  • Scenery Gorn: There's some overtly disturbing imagery, like the dead soldier, and much of the rest is arranged in a disconcerting manner.
  • Stock Footage: Some stock footage, like an atomic bomb blast, and stock audio clips from beginning to end.
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  • Title Drop: One of the audio clips is of a man saying "Bravo, very nice, very nice."
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