After Hours (1985)
Directed by Martin Scorsese
All the anxiety of Koch-era New York is wrapped up in this surreal, screwball and terrifying film about a toothy nobody (Griffin Dunne) who gets stuck in SoHo, broke, hunted by an angry mob and surrounded by bad luck, suicide, lunatics and awful coincidences. Pitching Downtown as a psychic prison—an inescapable, ouroboric maze—this nightmare of eternal return propels through interweaving adventures in artists’ lofts, diners, dive bars, subway stations, punk clubs and the apartments of bartenders, waitresses and johns. It’s a last look at crazy old New York, before the early-morning streets got so crowded cabbies couldn’t even drive down them like maniacs anymore. Henry Stewart (May 15, 16, midnight at IFC Center’s “Staff Picks”)
High-volume film festivals like Tribeca can showcase performers who hover somewhere below the A-list—actors who have enough name recognition to get studio work, but who may have to turn to smaller movies for chances to stretch. Amber Heard may be better-known as an obscure object of desire, both onscreen and in real life as the current paramour of Johnny Depp, but she’s shown appealing toughness in vaguely to extremely disreputable movies like Drive Angry or John Carpenter’s The Ward. In those pictures, she looks like a pin-up with a substantial right hook; in her two Tribeca entries, When I Live My Life Over Again and The Adderrall Diaries, she takes on less bombshelly roles, managing to look like someone you might actually see on the subway (it’s the hair, mostly; she lets it go long and a little unkempt in both).