street scenes

Hey, have you ever heard of this Martin Scorsese fellow? That kid’s going places, let me tell you! The legendary filmmaker has The Irishman premiering at the New York Film Festival this week, but if you want to jump further back (much further back) into his career, you’ve come to the right place. Street Scenes, a long-lost 1970 documentary the filmmaker made, has finally surfaced on YouTube. This is a big deal for Scorsese completists, as the movie has been virtually kept in the darkness for decades, with many believing it would never see the light of day.

Street Scenes

The Film Stage has alerted us that Street Scenes, Scorsese’s 1970 film which documents two different protests against the Vietnam War, is now available on YouTube. Scorsese worked on the film with fellow NYU students, including Oliver Stone, who is one of the camera operators. Here’s a synopsis:

In the late Spring of 1970, nationwide protests against the war in Vietnam focused in the Wall Street area of New York City and ultimately in a major anti-war demonstration in Washington, D.C. A group of New York University film students documented the demonstrations as they happened in both cities. Later, in New York, the massive amount of black and white and color 16mm footage was edited into this important record of the day by day events. The extended final scene, shot by Edward Summer in a hotel room in Washington, D.C., is a spontaneous conversation among Martin Scorsese, Harvey Keitel, Jay Cocks and Verna Bloom who, along with a large group of NYU students, found themselves frustrated and perplexed by the events and hopeful that the protests would result in change.

“I edited throughout the night over a period of ten days, trying to give a formal structure to the ensemble, swearing that I would not let myself embark into a political film if I could not direct it from one end to the other,” Scorsese once said of the project. “When I showed the film to the participants, they hated it: they didn’t find that it was contestable enough. They felt betrayed, they didn’t recognize what they had lived through. However, I believe that the film was honest: I showed the sad reality, the anger, the frustration, the irresponsibility, the general sentiment of powerlessness.”

Cool Posts From Around the Web: