A scene from VERY NICE, VERY NICE, directed by Arthur Lipsett for the National Film Board of Canada.

Very Nice, Very Nice (1961, Arthur Lipsett)

Very Nice, Very Nice is a collage of sound clips and photographs where Lipsett discusses the vapidity of an uninformed, disinterested populace. Of course, Lipsett made the film in 1961 and in Canada, but it’s just as relevant today as it was then… in fact, it’s probably timeless.

As an artifact, it goes to show the general public was ever really particularly more informed or interested in being informed than they are today.

Lipsett mostly uses stills, but does include some motion footage from an atomic explosion and a rocket firing into the sky. The atom bomb is, of course, a distressing image. But the rocket is not. In fact, it comes during Very Nice’s most upbeat moments, possibly because of the background music.

The short’s successful because Lipsett isn’t trying to put forth a thesis. He’s ruminating the modern condition. There’s no ominous or foreboding ending.

It simply stops.



Directed by Arthur Lipsett; produced by Tom Daly and Colin Low; released by the National Film Board of Canada.


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