Telluride Film Fest presents "Mean Streets" at Wilkinson Library, 10/11/10

Telluride Film Fest presents "Mean Streets" at Wilkinson Library, 10/11/10

[click “Play” for Seth Berg’s interview with Susan]



10-11 TFFThe Telluride Film Festival and our five-star Wilkinson Public Library co-host the second in the fall Cinematheque film series programmed by Telluride Film Fest co-director Gary Meyer, celebrating the work of director Martin Scorsese.

“Mean Streets” screens Monday, October 11, 6 p.m. (Pre-SHOW reception is 5:30 p.m.).

Sit down. Getta grip. I’ll lay this on you as gently as possible: Italian-American gangster films did not begin on the Jersey shore with “The Sopranos.” The origin of the species is not  “Saturday Night Fever.” Or “Married to the Mob.”  Or “Casino.” Or, god help us, the reality TV show “Jersey Shore,” that so artfully extols the virtues of shellacked hair, boobs, bad language, and barfing. Or even Scorsese’s “Goodfellas.”

Bada bingo if your guess is that “The Godfather” birthed the genre, but Scorsese’s “Mean Streets followed quickly on the heels just one year later in 1973. “Mean Streets” (112 minutes, Rated R) stands apart from films like “The Godfather,” separated by one simple fact: the film celebrates the guys at the bottom of the Mafia food-chain, not top guns such as the Corleones or the Tonys of the world.

“Mean Streets” isn’t so much a gangster movie as a perceptive, sympathetic, finally tragic story about how it is to grow up in a gangster environment,” wrote Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times, “It’s characters (like Scorsese himself) have grown up in New York’s Little Italy, and they understand everything about that small slice of human society except how to survive in it.”

The FREE Cinematheque evening is a double feature: “Mean Streets” is preceded by the short “Musketeers of Pig Alley,” (1912, 17 min.), an even earlier glimpse into a bullet-laced world.

Celebrated teacher and cineaste Seth Berg is the evening’s Ringmaster. Click on his interview to learn more about “Mean Streets.”

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