All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1187. An easy way of seeing how…
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…
I defer to Kehr: "Martin Scorsese's intrusive insistence on his abstract, metaphysical theme—the possibility of modern sainthood—marks this 1973 film, his first to attract critical notice, as still somewhat immature, yet the acting and editing have such an original, tumultuous force that the picture is completely gripping."
P.S. One thing I've always loved is the way De Niro's character moves through space; he's "disrespectfully" vertical, jumping up on pool tables tables and couches. The other characters (esp. Keitel) stay respectfully horizontal; even during fistfights, they continue to obey the basic rules of how people are supposed to move around a room.
Famously Scorsese blew half of his budget on the soundtrack – those doo-wop and Brill Building hits keep on coming throughout the film, dovetailing with grander classical numbers – so part of the appeal of Mean Streets is its cheapo roughness, caused partly by the depleted funds; the handheld camera movement is there because the director couldn't afford to lay tracks down for smoother shots, though of course this enabled Scorsese to create a freewheeling style informed by the French New Wave. Plus it suits the nervous energy of the low-level mob hoodlums here perfectly. One of my favourite scenes is the one where Keitel's Charlie stumbles drunkenly through a bar, the camera fixed to his chest, looking up as…
Rarely do you see an entire future cinematic language laid out in a single film, but with 'Mean Streets' Scorsese stamps his lexicon down with such assuredness that you can't help but be mesmerised by it. A movie of purity that may not be his defining work, but it's certainly a work that defines him.
I've wanted a spiritual gangster flick since I heard the song My Mind's Playin' Tricks on Me by the Geto Boys, and this is the closest I've gotten (I suspect Jarmusch might have gotten close as well). Also a big fan of super small time crime syndicate stuff. It's not extremely polished or subtle, but it's extremely raw and teeming with ideas. Scorsese was just beginning to find himself here, as was his future show pony in De Niro. The founding Scorsese gangster picture. He hadn't found the formula yet, and that's what makes it special. Oh, and it makes it obvious how close Cassavetes and him were.
"I fuck you right where you breathe."
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
When I was first making my way through Scorsese's filmography back in my teenage years, Mean Streets was the one that refused to stand out to me. Back then, I didn't analyse films on thematic or aesthetic levels, so just took the fairly standard gangster narrative at face value- even ignoring the clear fact that this would have been revolutionary at the time of its release. Although I still don't feel like this is Scorsese's first true masterpiece, I was incredibly foolish to look past the things that make it great- there may be emotional and thematic substance (represented in the religious obsessions Scorsese would return to, in more thoughtful ways), but the film is so overwhelmed with the appropriation…
It's like if Richard Linklater made a crime film. Sort of has that "early career, future great director figuring things out" vibe, but there's something fundamentally compelling about it despite its loose storytelling.
My favourite part was when I saw a selfie thread in p u r e p o s t and there were some cute boys and it was more interesting than anything here.
Weekly reminder that Dog Day Afternoon is still the better than any Scorsese film.
Who could've known that Bez from Happy Mondays decided to spend all his life living like Johnny Boy. He just added the maracas.
"Would you just gimme my fucking eggplant, please?"
Movies that are slightly off.