What’s a Mook?

Charlie waits for Johnny at the bar, Mean Streets
The Guardian is promoting a new partnership with postal video rental outfit Movietrak. I tried it out and got Martin Scorcese’s Mean Streets, a movie I haven’t watched in a decade, the next day. The DVD is beautifully packaged in a bag that doubles as a post-paid return envelope. The whole concept is very well thought out. Isn’t it remarkable that, in a home like ours, with broadband, dozens of movie channels on digital TV (including a ‘near video on demand’ service) and a perfectly good video shop half a mile away, services like Movietrak’s can still find a niche?

Ten years ago I’d have told you that Mean Streets was my favourite movie. These days I wouldn’t. The film is much too ragged. But those ten years have obviously added something else to my perspective. The courage and energy needed to push through a first feature like this one, to marshal those resources (De Niro, Keitel, New York City…) and to keep the whole thing moving at such a pace are unarguable and breathtaking. If I get a chance to create something half as good, half as authentic, just once in my life, I’ll die happy.