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Watch Martin Scorsese’s Long-Unavailable 1970 Documentary ‘Street Scenes’

Nothing for Martin Scorsese completists makes a bigger mark than Street Scenes, a documentary on student strikes he’d developed with NYU students in 1970. Long a mysterious object left only to descriptions and stray comments, it seemed destined for permanent obscurity–a seeming impossibility in the case of its director, and yet. But sometimes a holy grail sits to YouTube with sub-800 views: a random search in advance of Friday’s The Irishman premiere yielded the discovery that some intrepid sort uploaded the film (his first Nyff selection!) last month. Sans one brief period where the VHS rip (seemingly copied to a DVD-r) turns to static, it’s a complete and unassumingly handsome copy. From where it came, I cannot even venture a guess.

The final result is, to these eyes, often astonishing. A direct-cinema approach to conflicts now relegated to retrospective documentaries, it feels more dangerous–on the brink

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