After Hours (Martin Scorsese, 1985)

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Antoine Doinel
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After Hours (Martin Scorsese, 1985)

#1 Post by Antoine Doinel » Tue May 27, 2008 7:41 pm

Since there's no thread for this, I figure this is as good a way to start it as any: Much of the plot setup and some of the dialogue in the film—a significant portion of the movie’s first 30 minutes, —were brazenly lifted from “Lies,” a 1982 NPR Playhouse monologue by Joe Frank, an L.A.-based radio artist.

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#2 Post by kaujot » Tue May 27, 2008 8:09 pm

In no way does that take away from it being one of the best undersung films of the 1980s.

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#3 Post by Polybius » Thu May 29, 2008 3:57 am

The piss-poor casting of the tiresome Griffin Dunne pretty well killed this film for me.

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Re: After Hours (Martin Scorsese, 1985)

#4 Post by TheKieslowskiHaze » Sat May 23, 2020 1:31 pm

Recently wrote about this movie for a series on my blog I call "In 250 Words or Less." Check out the blog itself or read below.

In 1984, the Bulletin of the Atomic scientists, thanks to an escalating arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union, set the doomsday clock to three minutes to midnight. The last time the clock’s arm was moved so close was thirty years prior, when both superpowers first tested thermonuclear weapons. 1984 was also the year that Martin Scorsese, freshly disillusioned by the failure of his first attempt to make The Last Temptation of Christ, directed what is perhaps his most under-appreciated movie, After Hours. That clocks feature prominently in After Hours is probably a coincidence; it is, after all, a movie about a guy who stays up too late on a work night. But is it paranoiac to connect the clocks to all the other apocalyptic motifs? Empty streets? Mad-Max-esque vigilante gangs? References to burned flesh? A reoccurring sculpture that looks like a Pompeii victim? If After Hours isn’t explicitly about “the end,” it certainly feels like an end—of the world, the counterculture, of movies, of Scorsese’s own career*, etc. At one point, a diner owner claims that “after hours” means that “different rules apply.” Yeah, sure, he’s talking about free coffee, but he could just as easily being talking about the film itself, a movie that—even though it lacks the passion and scope of Scorsese’s more beloved works—really sticks with you long after its own clock stops ticking.

*This was fortunately not the case. Before the decade was out, he’d get to The Last Temptation of Christ, his passion project and a legitimate masterpiece. And after that, well, you know.

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