I saw Mean Streets back in high school feeling it necessary to watch all IMPORTANT films. I think that resulted in me SEEING a lot of films but not creating too many actual memories of them. I only remembered a young De Niro and a lot of red lights and a car crash. As the film began, I got totally psyched for what I was watching. I think in retrospect, Mean Streets feels like a huge step for the modern style of film making we see a lot of gangster and action movies we see today. And it's especially interesting to watch Scorsese beginning to do things that he would master in later years (like the walking through the club shot, although its at its most charming here) which would go on to influence others.. I think perhaps being how rough a lot of aspects of the film are and how damned youthful these guys are, there's a lot of energy in the picture. It feels rowdy. Even in comparison to Scorsese's later pictures, this one feels incredibly free. These aren't the moody Travis Bickles. They aren't as classy as the Goodfella characters. The plot moves about as wildly as the characters, with a specific direction but it's apt to take twists and turns. I also must get excited about David Carridine's silly ass/bad ass cameo. Perhaps what has been sticking in my head the most after seeing the picture is DeNiro's long pointless story to Keitel, trying to get out of trouble, at one point they both grow confused as to the details of the story and they both let loose a weird cheerful Mobbed up- "Hey!" It can be weird, confusing, and cheap, but damn is it charming.
OH NO! Keitel is turning into some kind of weasel!