My Streets (2009)
When I was sixteen, I made an extremely bad feature-length film called The Velvet Autumn. It’s two hours and thirty minutes, and it makes absolutely no sense.
The reason it doesn’t make any sense is because at that time in my life, I was obsessed with the visual construction of a movie, and I didn’t yet understand that you don’t just construct images, you construct them in a way that expresses a story. I was consciously working off of the Raging Bull hypothesis—that you create the images first, and your story will come later. Scorsese did a better job at this than me, although he had access to much better materials and had way more experience. But in any event, The Velvet Autumn, and Raging Bull alike, are proof positive that the hypothesis is incorrect—you gotta have the story first.
Anyway, I was happy with The Velvet Autumn at the time, and I’m still proud of it in some small way today. But even then I knew that it wasn’t groundbreaking enough to be entered into festivals and propel me into fame and fortune.
It takes a lot of ambition and risk to put yourself out there like that. To spend so much time and money on something that is ultimately just a thing you made. When pursuing that dream, it’s difficult to see the forest for the trees, and I’m thankful that my 16-year-old self knew when to put it to rest and move on to the next thing.
Fortunately for us, many filmmakers don’t do that, and as a result, we have The Room, Birdemic and Troll 2, to name a few—movies that, for all intents and purposes, should have been shelved and chalked up as a loss. But a blind, foolish hubris—or maybe just outright stupidity—compelled these filmmakers to actually put out their work.
Sometimes the legacy of a critic is being able to present something to the world that would otherwise never haven be presented. Had Ebert not gone on to be so prolific, he may have gone down in history as the first person to write about Scorsese.
I’d like to go down in history as the first person to write about Justin Kady, and his film, My Streets.
I went to high school with Justin. He was two grades above me, and I never spoke to him in person, only knew of him. After he graduated, he moved to LA to pursue acting, modeling, writing, directing, and producing.
A few years later, in 2009, he combined all of his aforementioned ambitions and made My Streets, his first feature film. He wrote the title character, Jimmy Angel, for himself, in what I can only assume was a vehicle designed to forge his celebrity.
I’d rather you watch the movie before I talk about it, so I’m reserving my actual review of it for next week.
Without further ado, here’s My Streets, in its entirety. Enjoy!