Movies that are slightly off.
You don't make up for your sins in church. You do it in the streets...
A small-time hood must choose from among love, friendship and the chance to rise within the mob.
This was my first Scorsese joint, and for many years after that knockout viewing on Late-Night TV, it was my personal favorite film of his. It has a reckless, dangerous, and innocent energy that dances through every image, but the eventual tragedy is birthed from the discovery of harsh realities.
It was, and still is, an incredibly sensual work. Every location, from dive bars to pool halls, is lit with the same evocative sense of boyish clumsiness and the furious snap of touchy emotion. Fights and arguments explode without warning or tension. All of a sudden, everyone is punching and kicking, screaming with youthful rage.
By the end, the film is so overwhelming in its singular feistiness that it seems like the world surrounding its characters will collapse. Too bad the only recognition they receive is the sight of drawn curtains in the dead of night.
Happy birthday Marty.
How does Martin Scorsese direct a scene? Beyond the soundtracks, the masculinity, the classic film references, the Catholicism, the violence, the misogyny, and all the what-not critics like to talk about when they don't talk about a movie, what does Scorsese do when he frames a shot?
Charlie sits down after dancing with the stripper, and Michael sits down next to him. Scorsese has an obvious set up between the actors and the camera—they're both staring out toward the camera, Michael sitting slightly in front so he can look back. The scene basically cuts between three shots, one larger exterior shot of both men, and single medium close-ups of each individual. As the two men talk, the shot-reverse shot doesn't…
Everyone has a favorite Scorsese. Goodfellas. Raging Bull. Taxi Driver. Casino. The Departed. The King of Comedy. Those are just a few examples of Scorsese's insanely influential take on cinema. And yet, I feel one is forgotten. Sure, It was arguably as influential as those later masterpieces, but this particular film feels left in the dust.
Mean Streets is that forgotten cinematic gem. This film is like the wild horse that Scorsese hadn't tamed just yet. Crazy, uncontrollable, fascinating. Mean Streets is the ultimate test film for the now master director. But, that doesn't mean it isn't good. Actually, It's my personal favorite of Scorsese's filmography, and I could argue until the end of time that its one of his…
"You don't make up for your sins in church. You do it in the streets. You do it at home. The rest is bullshit and you know it."
Any flaws that this film might have are all excusable. This is one of the early Martin Scorsese films and what a great one! In Mean Streets we see a raw Martin Scorsese and it's very interesting to identify his technical skills and trademarks even in a much more amateur way. And don't get me wrong when I say amateur, this film has a strong direction and it's a pretty good film! It's very interesting to see what this amazing director has improved through all this years.
This was also the beginning…
'You know what the Queen said? If I had balls, I'd be King.'
There's something very special about Martin Scorsese's early works. You as a viewer do not only watch a story to be happening, you become a part of this story. The same is true with Mean Streets. It's not only a story, it's an experience. It's a raw movie, it's crazy, it's uncontrollable. It's far from perfect, but that's Scorsese's intention. He simply wanted to show the world what he's able to do.
The great thing about Mean Streets is, that it makes a lot out of a little. Although the plot seems a bit incoherent, it's always engrossing. The characters seem to be a bit stereotype, but…
Out of all the Martin Scorsese films I've seen so far; this is the only one I didn't like.
Johnny Boy (Robert De Niro) is now one of my favorite gangsters. Mean Streets (1973) is a must-see for Scorsese fans. It's damn impressive for a break through movie. I don't know what the hell IMDB was thinking, giving it a 7.4. I think it more deserves an 8.6. The writing, soundtrack and acting (especially the acting) were what you can expect from Scorsese. What made me like this though was that the film seemed pretty balanced. Unlike movies such as Goodfellas (1990) and The Aviator (2004) -- which are amazing films, I don't mean to trash them -- Mean Streets (1973) focuses on 1 period of time - like The Departed (2006) . The other movies I mentioned jump…
This is a fairly slow burner as Scorsese starts off his directing career playing with his camera shots to try and help build tension, in what is a fairly unremarkable plot. Essentially X owes Y money who owes Z money etc etc, which can make for a fairly uninspiring watch, but then as the film continues, De Niro gets amped up and Keitel tries to match his level as the two scuffle over his debt. I'm pleased I've watched this but in spite of good acting and camera work, the plot is just not exciting enough to rate it any higher.
I'M GONNA PAY HIM
(Don't know why I haven't logged this before, but anyway.)
97/100 (minus 3 points for representation)
Last night I had the privilege of seeing this on a big screen at ACMI... on celluloid. It was incredible. Gorgeous. I won't get started on everything I adore about this film because I'll never stop. The soundtrack is playing constantly in my head this morning. One of the greatest films ever.
It's fun to see Scorcese's signature style take form in this movie. The writing and acting are the standouts. The editing is interesting as well -- his cut-heavy style is in its infancy here, still clearly influenced by the likes of Kubrick (a Clockwork Orange in particular) and Francois Truffaut (Jeanne Moreau's introduction in Jules & Jim came to mind a few times). Visually rough, but it works perfectly for the story.
It's not Scorsese's best but it's the one that got his foot in the door, Mean Streets is a remarkably solid mob movie. Scorsese has everything that he loves in this movie: Italian American crime, Catholicism, The Rolling Stones, etc. [B+]
35mm. Shannon, Mary, Max and Chris. At the Academy.
"Reminds me of early Scorsese."
crewed up at the academy theater, max n mary, sean chris and me. deniro!!! so agitating!
liked that everyone was so young and smalltimey. good fights. "aye! we're friends!"
rare ass 35mm at the academy, first one there i've seen this year, grammatically speaking.
For the love of the city and its time, "Mean Streets" distills so much of an Italian-American experience that its depth may be out of reach for anyone who hasn't already lived it. It is the environment on display here, with the social milieu that reveals itself in penitent Catholic rituals and pool-table brawls that boil over with a single careless word. It is the backdrop of music, a constant stream of 60's pop and doo-wop interrupted with Italian bravado in community celebrations, that sinks you into the moment onscreen. Though the movie invests on one set of characters, its effect is in everything that surrounds the characters. You're here to see the streets, knowing that in the one story…
Johnny Boy: You see, I borrow money all over this neighborhood, left and right from every BODY, I never pay them back. So, I can't borrow no money from nobody no more, right? So, who would that leave me to borrow money from but you? I borrow money from you, because you're the only jerk-off around here who I can borrow money from without payin' back, right? You know, 'cause that's what you are, that's what I think of you: a jerk-off.
Mean Streets is the film that put Scorsese, de Niro and Keitel in the spotlight. A gritty, low-budget drama telling the story of a young man whose loyalties to his friend, his girlfriend and his religion all become…
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