I saw this film half a dozen times at the Bon Marche Mall cinema in Baton Rouge when it was in its initial release, and it was a huge inspiration to me. Looking at it now, I can see why: the things that are great about it don’t/didn’t have anything to do with having a lot of money (Catherine O’Hara trying to confuse Griffin Dunne while he attempts to remember a phone number), so it seemed within reach to an aspiring young filmmaker growing up in a suburban subdivison. Sure, there’s plenty of the patented Scorsese formal flourishes, but nothing that can’t be achieved with a standard Fisher dolly, and that’s why it all seems possible; its humor, insight, style, and impact are built out of a series of brilliantly constructed small things (unless I’m mistaken, Scorsese hasn’t made a cheaper dramatic feature since).
Although I’ve always found the hysterical castration anxiety laced through After Hours difficult to endure, it certainly makes for an interesting contrast to Scorsese’s upcoming The Wolf of Wall Street, a lavish three-hour production that is anything but scrappy.
Soderbergh has also posted the latest in a series of media diaries, this one covering everything he read or saw in 2012. Worth perusing at leisure, but a few observations:
Soderbergh watched his own Magic Mike six times between January and early March. He watched Side Effects, then called Bitter Pill, eight times in June, and 15 more times during the rest of the year.
He saw Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color, presumably an early cut, in March, 10 months before its Sundance premiere.
Among Soderbergh’s regular TV viewing: Smash, Boss, The Killing, Mad Men, Homeland, Veep and Girls. But does he think Patrick Wilson is too cute for Lena Dunham?