Paul, a quiet, ordely and solitary young man, works in a large New-York City bank. One evening, he meets a mysterious young woman, Marcy, who leads him into the bohemian neighbourhood on a strange and dangerous adventure…
“How can a film about the night’s seduction become a film about the nightmare of the unknown? How can a film about relief become a film about anguish? After Hours is a movie (as Stern saw well) full of tiny, complicated patterns: networks of exchange, spirals of circulating objects, hallucinatory substitutions. It’s The Earrings of Madame de… (1953) gone berserk, off its leash. The simplest thing becomes a problem – a big problem – for Paul. Keys fall from the sky, multiply, and create more problems once they let him in somewhere. Push-buttons, coin slots, doorbells, toilet flushers trigger cascades of unstoppable stuff. Getting in and getting out of anything, anywhere, becomes nightmarish. The normally coded zones of social space, public or private, switch without warning: entrance ways lead to prisons; illicit havens become potential tombs.”
Adrian Martin and Cristina Álvarez López1
- 1. Adrian Martin and Cristina Álvarez López, “Manoeuvring. An audiovisual essay on Scorsese's After Hours and its networks of exchange, spirals of circulating objects, hallucinatory substitutions,” MUBI Notebook, 15 April 2014.