Scorsese has a visual style that relies on the city of New York. Mean Street embodies the culture that comes with this location. In the film, the audience is subjected to getting to know characters who spend their time womanizing, hustling, fighting, and drinking. Centered on the struggles of four men in their mid-20’s and all residents of Little Italy, who are working their way up the rungs of gangster culture, some are loan sharks, and some are just plain hoods. Tony (David Proval) is a big friendly guy who runs the neighborhood bar; Michael (Richard Romanus) is a small-time loan shark who tends to rip off Brooklyn adolescents.
Johnny Boy (Robert De Niro) is an irresponsible hood who borrows money from loan sharks that he never intends to pay back, and Charlie (Harvey Keitel) is the nephew of the mafia boss Giovani (Cesar Danova). Charlie’s only aspiration is to run his own restaurant. Mean Street is authentically based on specific events Scorsese saw almost regularly while he was brought up in Little Italy (Raymond, 2002). The influence this auteur’s work has had on America is multifaceted.
On one hand, he depicts an American crime subculture, which though often overlooked actually set the foundation for big city society and has some initial connection with most big business in America today. On the other hand, his work has been credited for causing many of the stereotypes which haunt Italian Americans throughout the United States. His films depict characters who interact with a dialect that is authentic to New York, but not to all New Yorkers. The majority of Scorsese’s most popular films represent the criminal underbelly of New York, because it is the image of the city that people find most intriguing.
Another trait of pulp fiction that is heavily prevalent in many films to date has to do with all of the conflicts that exist within drug culture. While staying oddly true to realm of pulp fiction and still managing to be received by the public more as a narrative of exaggerated creative non-fiction, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas exemplifies the epitome of the pulp fiction genre and the seedy underbelly of the drug culture alike. First published in Rolling Stone Magazine over 25 years ago, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson captured the closing moments of the counter culture in America.
It is to this day deemed as a time capsule perfectly exemplifying the feelings of the time. The publication would eventually be made into a film in the late 90’s. While the book and film maintained some of the same traits of moral ambiguity prevalent in films like Mean Streets, and Maltese Falcon, instead of being set in Los Angeles or New York, it’s set in Las Vegas. Among all the pulp Americana and iconic imagery, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas doesn’t just reveal the corrupt nature of the City but the dark truth within the entire American ream.
The use of drugs for spiritual and mental expansion was a major part of the counter culture as Thompson demonstrates in his novel with the infamous drug list when he says, “The trunk of the car looked like a mobile police narcotics lab. We had two bags of grass, 75 pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a saltshaker half-full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers . . . and also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls (Thompson, 2000).
” While the drug culture is thoroughly represented in the film and novel, it is not glorified but actually revealed to be very dark and sadistic and the commercial consumerism of Vegas is presented with some of the same comic irony as chivalry is in “The Big Sleep. ” In sum, “The Big Sleep” led to the production of film noir and eventually the gangster film genre, from which a whole slew of films developed revealing the darker underbelly of America and its infatuation with violence, sex, drugs, Rock n Roll and the shady seedy characters that can spawn from the lifestyle.
The core concept the genre introduced to American art was the idea that no one is completely innocent, and respectively that the most iconic cites in America have a darker side to them as well. A Las Vegas, a Los Angeles, or a New York in a pulp fiction work is no place for a ‘Knight’. Work Cited Belton, John (1994). American Cinema/American Culture. New York: The Corporation for Public Broadcasting and New York Center for Visual History. Chion, M. (1994). Audio – Vision: Sound on Screen.
New York: Columbia University Press. Chandler, Raymond. The Big Sleep. Harmondsworth Eng. : Penguin, 1970. Kassabian, A. (2001). Hearing Film: Tracking Identifications in Contemporary Hollywood Film Music. New York And London: Routledge. Thompson, Hunter S. , and Ralph Steadman. (2000) Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas : A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream. New York: Vintage. “The Maltese Falcon. ” Movies. All Media Guide, 2006. Answers. com 05 Feb. 2007.Sample Essay of StudyFaq.com