A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
Cert: 15 / 101 mins / Dir. Ana Lily Amirpour / Trailer
Now this is what Summer cinema is all about; spending Saturday afternoon watching a black-and-white, subtitled Iranian film about a skateboarding girl vampire who listens to Lionel Richie! Fuck, yeah! I know that sounds flippant and/or sarcastic, but it's actually not.
A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night is fantastic.
Self-billed as "the first Iranian vampire Western", the inhabitants of a borderline ghost-town, Bad City, are being stalked by a bloodsucker with a taste for wrongdoers, and there are plenty of options on her menu. AGWHAaN*1 is absolutely mesmerising. The film may be subtitled, but it would work equally as a silent-movie with its impeccable visual storytelling. It's loaded with metaphor (visual and narrative), and cinematographer Lyle Vincent's use of mirrors is intriguing; you never see the camera in them*2, but you do see the vampire. If I was an arty-farty film student, I'd say the suggestion is that it's the viewer who is the real parasite, voyeuristically leeching on the close-range troubles of the town's melancholic population. But I'm not an arty-farty film student, so I'll probably keep that chin-stroking thought to myself. Oh.
Crucially, although this is about a vampire, it's predominantly an arthouse flick, yet you can rest assured that the feeding-aspect of the vampire mythos remains traditional, and the ferocity is there when it's required (there's also a delightful nod to Stephen Rea's 'buffoon' sequence in Interview With The Vampire). Whereas the modus operandi for tension-building in most modern horror films seems to be the 'quiet…quiet…LOUDCLOSEUP' approach, AGWHAaN rises above such parlour tricks by having an unblinking camera coupled with a star, Sheila Vand, who can be so inherently unnerving that even her more innocuous scenes feel like playing Buckaroo! when you've got the mule loaded with syringes…
I'd already watched one Western on this day, as well as a film about psychotic, predatory females. A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night towers above both. It's an outstanding film.
You possibly won't enjoy it, but it's outstanding.
If you think it's for you, then yes.
If it is for you then it'll be a buy-er.
I can't really say (for fairly obvious reasons), but it's certainly amazing work from everyone involved.
It does, indeed.
For all my gushing, no I won't.
AGWHAaN stars Dominic Rains as a psychotic pimp/dealer, who appeared in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, as did Sam 'Windu' Jackson.
You thought the chain to the GFFA was going to be far longer for this movie, didn't you?
Yeah, I did as well.
*1 That's what all the cool kids are calling it. They told me.
*2 You're not meant to see the camera's reflection in any film of course, but this has straight-on shots of mirrors as well as the more commonplace angled ones.
• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
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