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Mean Streets – Frame by Frame

Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Show | 6:32am
The Modern School of Film’s founder, Robert Milazzo, leads an in-depth, active deconstruction and group-discussion. This screening was created with the cinephile in mind, to delve deeper in the art and craft of film. The active deconstruction format will allow for the instructor to stop the film at points and lead in depth discussions about the techniques being used in the film, as you watch it. Explore the depth and breadth of film as an art form and see films you love in a new way! Rated R Mean Streets Directed by Martin Scorsese (1973) Returning to the autobiographical milieu of his 1968 debut Who’s That Knocking at My Door? for his third feature, Martin Scorsese examined the daily struggles of a wannabe hood to keep his morals straight on the streets of Little Italy. Driven equally by his wish to become a respectable gangster like his uncle and his desire to live his life like St. Francis, Charlie takes on his energetically unhinged friend Johnny Boy as his own personal penance, intervening to get Johnny Boy to pay off a debt to the local loan shark Michael. Despite his promises to his epileptic girlfriend Teresa that they will move out of Little Italy once he strengthens his position in his uncle’s world, Charlie’s involvement with Johnny Boy further ensnares him in the neighborhood. When Johnny Boy decides to mouth off to Michael rather than pay him, Charlie, Johnny Boy, and Teresa try to flee Michael’s murderous anger (and an assassin played by Scorsese), forcing Charlie to realize that the rules of the streets do not mesh with absolution. Whereas fellow “film school generation” director Francis Ford Coppola transformed the Hollywood gangster movie into metaphorical epics about the Mafia and capitalism in The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather Part II (1974), Scorsese revised the genre in the opposite direction, focusing on the gritty minutiae of daily life and drawing from personal memory. Combining documentary-style realism (even though most of the film was shot in L.A.); kinetic editing and camera movement; and expressionistic lighting, angles, and film speed, Scorsese presents an intimate picture of the trivial incidents and latent violence of Charlie’s and Johnny Boy’s world, naturalistically unfolding their experiences rather than simply explaining what motivates them. Mean Streets established Scorsese and Robert De Niro as formidable young talents and marked the beginning of a long-running and fertile collaboration. Scorsese’s exceptional grasp of the texture of day-to-day life, the rhythm and cadences of street talk, and cinema’s visual and aural possibilities makes Mean Streets one of the pivotal films of the 1970s, as well as of Scorsese’s career, and an influence on such future filmmakers as Spike Lee and Quentin Tarantino, among many others. (credit: allmovie.com) Will call tickets may be picked up at The Cary Box Office beginning one hour prior to the movie.