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After Hours: The Wild Martin Scorsese Movie Everyone Forgets About



Warner Bros.

Director Martin Scorsese is one of the most celebrated filmmakers of his generation. He’s made some of the most important films of the last 40 years including Taxi Driver, Casino, Goodfellas, Raging Bull, Gangs of New York, and The Wolf Of Wall Street, and Scorsese was a major figure of the New Hollywood era of American movies (mid-1960s to 1980). Scorsese’s films are heavily influenced by his hometown of New York City and his Italian-American heritage, and typically feature main male characters (predominantly his frequent collaborations with actor Robert De Niro and later Leonardo DiCaprio) who mask their insecure natures with machismo and are involved in crime.

Scorsese’s films have been nominated for a whopping 91 Academy Awards and have won 20 for various technical aspects, though the director has shockingly only won a single Oscar for Best Director, on the only film of his to win Best Picture, The Departed

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. In a weird way, then, many of his films are almost underrated, and none more so than After Hours, a movie which heavily deviates from Scorsese’s usual playbook of violence and profanity, though it does play on his themes of masculinity and male insecurities.

After Hours is a pitch-black comedy that takes place over the course of one night, as opposed to the often decade-spanning films of the director. In it, Paul Hackett (Griffin Dunne) leaves his boring office job and experiences a series of misadventures as he makes his way home to his SoHo residence one utterly weird night. The 1985 film is quite a departure for Scorsese and over the years has become a cult classic.

Martin Scorsese is a man who knows the kinds of stories he likes to tell, and those stories typically revolve around morally questionable men who are often involved in criminal undertakings. Prime examples of this from his filmography include Goodfellas, The Departed, Gangs of New York, Casino, and The Irishman, though The Wolf Of Wall Street also fits into the crime drama genre. After Hours is just one of three comedies the acclaimed director took on, though we’re using that term very loosely.

Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore and The King Of Comedy are his only other two ‘comedy’ films, though the former seems more dramatic by today’s standards (and is incredibly early in his career) and the former is a ridiculously dark comedy that’s still relevant four decades later, inspiring the recent movie Joker of all things.

After Hours is a film that lands firmly in the genre called the “yuppie nightmare cycle,” something which started coming out of the Reaganite ’80s and satirized privileged white men who got caught up in the violence and sexuality that their hypocritical suburban lives often repressed. Other prominent examples of this slight subgenre include the excellent Into the Night with Jeff Goldblum and Jonathan Demme’s masterpiece Something Wild with Jeff Daniels and Melanie Griffith. In After Hours, American Werewolf in London‘s Griffin Dunne is just trying to get home, but along the way he encounters several women — Kiki, Marcy, Julie, Gail, and June. Each of them dominates or emasculates him in their own ways, guiding him deeper into a nightmarish hell deeper and deeper into the city.

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