Martin Scorsese is the rare example of an auteur who creates enigmatic art and still manages to slip into the mainstream consciousness. Responsible for the emergence and prominence of the New Hollywood era, Scorsese’s works continue to act as a source of inspiration for students and audiences who seek comfort in the unique beauty of films like Taxi Driver and Raging Bull.
For the 25th anniversary of his gangster classic Goodfellas, Scorsese sat down for a revelatory interview with David Ansen. During their conversation, the filmmaker opened up about his fears of what the future holds. He insisted that he is nowhere close to being finished with his journey as a filmmaker, claiming that he has a personal target of creating 60 productions by the end of his career.
Scorsese said: “I haven’t done enough. It’s ridiculous. I mean, I’ve made a few pictures, I have 60 movies to make, but the point is I don’t have the time now. I’ll really have to work until I’m 80 or something—if I live till then. I want to make 60, but I can’t do that. I’ll be lucky if I made another five or 10. What, I have to wait five or six years to shoot a picture because the script isn’t right? Why can’t I get in there and start moving away?”.
Adding, “There’s a problem in the sense that the filmmaking school I came out of—not only NYU, but the style, which was nurtured on Kazan and Penn and Sam Fuller and Orson Welles and projected through Cassavetes and a touch of the New Wave—is very, very different from what you see UCLA grads doing. Directors come out of there and they are professional directors. Me, I tend to be a personal filmmaker.”
During the same interview, Scorsese admitted that there was one particular addition to his illustrious filmography that he can watch anywhere and anytime. It was the only one of his films that he can watch repeatedly without losing interest. That film is neither Taxi Driver nor Goodfellas, as many fans might suspect. Instead, it is his 1985 cult comedy After Hours.
While explaining why he likes After Hours so much, Scorsese said: “I like that movie a lot. It’s the only movie of mine that I can watch over and over again. It’s so funny to me. Someone called it a ‘farce of the subconscious.’ That’s what it is. Like a French farce. Here we have the timing down to psychological elements and sexual dread.”
After Hours is truly unlike anything that Scorsese has ever made. It chronicles the bizarre events that take place over the course of a night as one man embarks on a Kafkaesque journey to the end of the night. Along the way, he encounters so much absurdity that the human condition transforms into a tragicomedy which is both hilarious and terrifying at the same time.