Movie Suggestion XXXIX: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Country: United States – 2014
Genre: Horror, Romance, Thriller
Directed by: Ana Lily Amirpour
Starring: Sheila Vand, Arash Marandi, Marshall Manesh.
Synopsis: “The first Iranian Vampire Western ever made, Ana Lily Amirpour’s debut basks in the sheer pleasure of pulp. A joyful mash-up of genre, archetype, and iconography, its prolific influences span spaghetti westerns, graphic novels, horror films, and the Iranian New Wave.” (Kino – rottentomatoes.com)
“In the Iranian ghost-town Bad City, a place that reeks of death and loneliness, the townspeople are unaware they are being stalked by a lonesome vampire. (imdb.com)
“Combing horror, film noir and westerns, Ana Lily Amirpour’s debut feature, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, is a refreshing take on vampire lore.
In a fictional Iranian ghost town, a reclusive creature of the night cloaked in a chador, the Girl (Shelia Vand), exsanguinates men. But when she meets Arash (Arash Marandi), a James Dean like figure with a pet cat, her killer instincts soften.
Shot in black and white, the visuals are as striking as the original concept, and Vand illuminates the screen with a performance that seamlessly switches between stoicism and vulnerability.” (theglobeandmail.com)
Amirpour’s film may not be especially scary. She models her black-and-white movie more on early David Lynch flicks than early Tobe Hooper, who made his mark with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. (Those are sound instincts. When it comes to scary, later Lynch films such as Fire Walk With Me and Mulholland Dr. are more deeply scary than anything Hooper ever did.)
But what she creates is a delirium-inducing shot in the arm to the genre — beautiful, romantic and super-cool. It’s a delicious nightmare from which you don’t feel the urge to wake up.” (winnipegfreepress.com)
“Stylistically, it’s a mongrel. It resembles everyhing from 1950s horror to the French New Wave to early Jim Jarmusch — and all points in between. Supposedly, the whole idea came to Amirpour when she was wearing a chador and decided it made her look like a bat. That certainly is expressed by the film’s nameless vampire (Sheila Vand) — an inky figure who prowls the streets of Bad City (sometimes on a skateboard she appropriates from Milad Eghbali’s Street Urchin) as much for ferreting out and punishing evil as in search for food. She is an observer. She’s also not quite the figure she represents — underneath the chador she has short hair and wears a striped shirt, resembling an Eastern version of Jean Seberg in Godard’s Breathless (1960). For that matter, the young man she maybe falls in love with (Arash Marandi) is like a cross between Jean-Paul Belmondo in that film and James Dean — Iranian style.” (mountainx.com)
“This is an enrapturing film, as fun as it is eerie, and marks the arrival of a major new talent with an innovative eye and a refreshingly unconventional approach to cinematic storytelling even as she covers seemingly well-trod ground. I can’t wait to see what she’s got up her sleeve next.” (flickfilosopher.com)
All images belong to their rightful owners.April 28, 2015