I simply love this film. I can not think of a better way to start this off than that. This month marks the opening of Scorsese's documentary Shine a Light, with the Rolling Stones. 1973's Mean Streets was the first time we herd of Martin Scorsese, his love affair with the Stones and a little actor named Robert DeNero. This was the first feature film of Scorsese's own design, his previous two works, Who's that Knocking on my Door and Boxcar Bertha were a student film and a project handed to him, respectively. Mean Streets is a semi-autobiographical film about Little Italy and its love for swallowing people in and not letting it be easy for them to come out--alive or dead. We follow the character Charlie (Harvey Keitel) as a bookie for his local mob boss uncle. Charlie is a haunted by his love of the Catholic church, his responsibility and is two bit, degenerate friend Johnny Boy (DeNero). Johnny Boy cannot pay off the thousands of dollars in debt that he owes to local lone sharks, so he has Charlie clean up and do his dirty work for him. While Charlie does this, he is having a secret love affair with Johnny Boys cousin Theresa. As Charlie's ambitions within the local mob begin to rise so does his love with Theresa and more importantly he becomes torn between a gangster lifestyle and the church. As these issues swell in Charlie, Johnny Boy becomes more and more self destructive and more negligent to those around him. Backed by one of the best soundtrack's ever in a film (and never released), Mean Streets plays like an opera set in a dynamic urban landscape. Using real lingo and real life event's Scorsese saw growing up in that neighborhood, and a little unknown actor, DeNero, in his first feature film role (and who steals the show), Mean Streets is one of the best films you will ever see.