While Scorsese’s “After Hours” remains both my favorite NYC movie and pretty much my favorite film of all time, it does have some sizable competition on both fronts in the elegant form of Tony Scott’s 1983 vampire flick, “The Hunger.” Never mind “Twilight” and all that teenybopper claptrap, Scott’s vampires are cool, chic, urbanite adults who wreak havoc on an unsuspecting Manhattan with regally stylish aplomb.
And as with “After Hours,” I’m obsessed with “The Hunger” for its austere vibe, its flirtation with transgression, its nods to punk rock (Bauhaus figure tellingly in the pitch-perfect opening sequence, and the film’s major co-star is none other than David Bowie) and its tantalizing depiction of New York City.
I actually mentioned “The Hunger” in a post here just the other day, but a friend of mine recently solved another riddle about the film for me that I thought I’d share here.
Most of the Manhattan scenes within “The Hunger” are fairly easy to pinpoint (although, as this blog post points out, Scott couldn’t entirely afford to shoot the entirety of the film in NYC, repairing to London for much of the film). They’re mostly avenue shots. There’s a shot of Bowie staggering across East 75th Street on Park Avenue, and that afore-cited attack scene in Central Park. I’ve no idea where the club scene in the beginning was shot, although if memory serves, Bowie and Catherine Deneuve are pictured driving back into the city afterwards, so draw your own conclusions. Another borough? The Hamptons?
The one spot in the film I’d never been able to locate, however, was Catherine Deneuve’s stately townhouse. I’d always assumed it was somewhere east of Park Avenue and west of Central Park, presumably somewhere in the mid-to-high 70s. In that stretch of the Upper East Side, there is certainly no shortage of opulent real estate, but nothing that ever really matched the baroque flourish of Miriam and John Blaylock’s subtly ominous abode.
Turns out, the dwelling in question is actually situated in the posh London neighborhood of Mayfair, and not in Manhattan at all. Click here to read Paul’s description.
And just because it's simply never the wrong time for this, herewith that opening sequence. Incidentally, I think I've pointed it out before, the youthful New Wave babe Bowie takes home and behaves inappropriately with in the kitchen is none other than a youthful Ann Magnuson.