And this is something you get in reviews, even reviews by critics in respectable newspapers, and this is almost completely wrong.
|All I could think was, "that's Balki off Perfect Strangers."|
Sorry. That slipped right out from under me.
Anyway. When one of my best friends told me that if I was doing a series on urban wyrd movies, I should really take a look at Scorsese's After Hours, and described it as a nightmarish, Kafkaesque black comedy, I immediately took the "wait, the Martin Scorsese who does the naturalistic, gritty street movies?" line which everyone does, even the people who know that that's not really a summation of Scorsese. After Hours turned out to be great, but then it would be; what I wasn't prepared for was just how odd it was.
|Oh yeah, Cheech and Chong are in it.|
|When it dawns that Marcy is, to put it mildly, Not Right.|
Paul waits the shortest possible time he can before calling Marcy and then takes a cab downtown. But his money flies out of the window and the cab driver roars off in fury, and he's only got 95 cents for his train fare home. But he goes to find Marcy, and then she's not there and he ends up making a papier maché statue for Kiki, the slightly weird artist roomie (Linda Fiorentino) and then thinks he might get lucky with her instead only she falls asleep while he's giving her a back rub, but it's OK because Marcy turns up only she's even weirder than Kiki so he thinks he might ditch her only when he gets to the subway station he finds the fare went up to a buck fifty after midnight and he's trapped in SoHo.
|The statue in the attitude of terror turns out to be important.|
Throughout the film, the camera obsesses over tiny details, extreme closeups of tiny objects: watches, the awkward scratch of a ballpoint pen on the page of a book; small things make grating noises. A patch of skin on a dead body. The title of a book. Everything suggests neurosis, anxiety, right from the beginning. The structure of the film, circular rather than progressive, leads us only to a single conclusion: the city eats us up and spits us out, and Paul's comic nightmare isn't a descent into the pit followed by a return, it's an unveiling of the hidden truth: the city itself is a comedic nightmare, and we are all trapped in it.
|Now it's a buck fifty.|