Martin Scorsese in person for intro and Q&A!
Scorsese’s breakthrough third feature gave audiences an electrifying and unforgettable portrait of small-time thugs in Little Italy that established so much of what was to come in his filmmaking: gangsters and the mafia, outsiders as antiheroes, popular music as a narrative device, and the lasting partnership with Robert De Niro. Harvey Keitel, an alum of Scorsese’s student feature Who’s That Knocking at My Door?, is Charlie, an aspirant gangster seeking a middle ground between his profession and his efforts to lead a morally upright life with his epileptic girlfriend Teresa (Amy Robinson). When he intervenes in a dispute between his irrepressible friend Johnny Boy (De Niro) and a loan shark, he loses any control he had over the course his life was taking. In person: Martin Scorsese.
“Writer-director Martin Scorsese knows the Mulberry Street underworld like the back of his fist, and cuts into its heart with all the unflinching sympathy of a surgeon operating on his best friend. Funny, ferocious, and frightening, Mean Streets explodes like fireworks in a back alley. It signals both the return of a native son and the arrival of a major filmmaking talent.”
—NYFF11 program note