Mean Streets

4. Mean Streets

Scorsese already had other films under his belt, but this is the one which came racing out of the traps, making a lot of noise and establishing a man who would prove to be the most accomplished artist of the 1970’s New Hollywood wave.

There are countless scenes and sequences to savour here, but the pool hall fight scene is a real standout, the initial tension giving way to desperate, frantic, clumsy brawling, Scorsese’s camera chasing the action around the hall, perfectly framing and capturing not just the punching and kicking, but the scrambling and clawing. This isn’t one of those films where everyone turns out to be a highly proficient professional fighter. It’s more like something from Bridget Jones’ Diary – lots of slapping and flapping, with few proper hits connecting.

It is authentic rather than simply entertaining and all the more impactful for it.

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Dave has been writing for HeyUGuys since mid-2010 and has found them to be the most intelligent, friendly, erudite and insightful bunch of film fans you could hope to work with. He's gone from ham-fisted attempts at writing the news to interviewing Lawrence Bender, Renny Harlin and Julian Glover, to writing articles about things he loves that people have actually read. He has fairly broad tastes as far as films are concerned, though given the choice he's likely to go for Con Air over Battleship Potemkin most days. He's pretty sure that 2001: A Space Odyssey is the most overrated mess in cinematic history.