Frank is a Manhattan medic, working graveyard in a two-man ambulance team. He’s burned out, exhausted, seeing ghosts, especially a young woman he failed to save six months’ before, and no longer able to save people: he brings in the dead. We follow him for three nights, each with a different partner: Larry, who thinks about dinner, Marcus, who looks to Jesus, and Tom, who wallops people when work is slow. Frank befriends the daughter of a heart victim he brings in; she’s Mary, an ex-junkie, angry at her father but now hoping he’ll live. Frank tries to get fired, tries to quit, and keeps coming back, to work and to Mary, in need of his own rebirth. —IMDb
Martin Scorsese was born in New York City and soon developed a passion for cinema and a particular admiration for neo-realist cinema which inspired him and influenced his view or portrayal of his Sicilian heritage. After graduating from NYU Film School in 1966 and making a number of shorts, he shot his first feature-length film Who’s That Knocking at My Door (1968) with fellow student, actor Harvey Keitel, and editor Thelma Schoonmaker both of whom were to become long-term collaborators. Mean Streets followed in 1973 and provided the benchmarks for the ‘Scorsese style’. After Scorsese directed Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, the trio was reunited for the dark journey of Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver. After New York, New York Scorsese released Raging Bull. The acclaimed biography of middleweight fighter Jake LaMotta was followed by exploration of fans as pariah in The King of Comedy, dark-comic dreams in After Hours and pool sharks in The Color of Money. Scorsese outraged some religious… read more
This film is raw and poetic in a way that only someone who has spent time locked in the darkness could make. The darkness Scorsese brings here is unique and though the voice over can seem contrived to some, I was hanging on every word Frank said. His fears in some way become your fears. Everyone sees the ghosts, every street carries memories. Saving people can be the highest high and the lowest low.
For my Nicolas Cage podcast that I host with my friend, we decided to watch and review this film and I was pleasantly surprised. You really buy Nicolas Cage as an EMS Driver in this film and you can see his deterioration quite visibly in this movie. I wish he'd do more roles like this. As far as Scorsese films go, this is very experimental in terms of palette, camerawork, and performances. I say definitely see it.
Finally saw this tonight. A strange and beautiful monster that exists in the same late night, unpredictable world as AFTER HOURS. There is a kind of fairytale range of possibility that comes after midnight in the Big Apple and these two films capture it in all its blurred neon and screeching sirens. Also, not surprised to realize that the same DP on this film -- Robert Richardson -- also shot SALVADOR, among others.