Thursday, October 29, 2015

A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (2014)

So I asked my good friend, Chris, which movie he thinks more people should watch and he suggested A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Running Time: 101 (Artsy Vampire) Minutes

Directed By: Ana Lily Amirpour

Staring: Sheila Vand
Arash Marandi
Mozhan Marno

Plot: "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

How I Discovered it: I don't exactly remember where I first heard of this movie.  It was all over the place about a year ago.  I heard that it was something that people were very excited about but at the time I knew nothing in terms of plot.  Since then, I've seen that it was on Netflix Instant but hadn't gotten around to actually clicking on it.  (Thank you Chris for giving me that extra push). 

My Memorable Moment: The Girl (Sheila Vand) takes Arash (Arash Marandi) back to her apartment.  The boy is as high as the moon on ecstasy and has no idea what she is.  While they sway to the music, she manages to resist his vulnerable throat. 

Random Facts:
  • The film has been described as "Iran's First Vampire Western."
  • The film is apparently set in Iran but was filmed in the town of Taft in Southern California.
  • The Director has written a series of comic books based on the film that expands on the characters and setting.  
  • This movie is a longer version of a short film also directed by Ana Lily Amirpour.  

Chris' Thoughts:  For myself, the vampire movie has always been an example of our greatest concerns amplified to 11: life, death, love, lust, passion. From the day I saw a red eyed Dracula with one drop of blood on his mouth in a child’s adaptation of Dracula at a school book fair, I have been hooked. So when I saw an ongoing conversation on twitter between an author I follow and others, on what it would be like if the vampire from ‘Let the Right One In’ and ‘A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night’ ever met, I was ecstatically intrigued. The former is one of my all time favorite movies, but I had never heard of the latter. I tweeted so to Alexander Chee, and his response was, stop everything you are doing and go watch it now. I sat down a few days later, and yes. A luscious, vibrantly shot black and white story of a vampire surviving in an Iranian town (Iranian ex-pat actors moving through California doubling as Bad Town, Iran) rife with a James Dean/Byron lead, a drug addicted father lost to love’s memory, a prostitute seeking escape, a child witness to all and fearful out of his mind; every character preceded is so desirous of more, more, more. It’s the human condition, whether you are a supernatural creature of the night, afflicted by drugs or wanderlust, or just gazing up at the lights in the sky, wanting a path to somewhere other than where you currently are rooted. There is the more heady influence of a very present examination of the nebulous, possible intersections of American and Arabic culture; a strident argument for feminism in Iranian culture (the female vampire’s chador is as powerfully enveloping as Dracula’s cape), but at its heart, ‘A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night’ is a dark joyride of the darker temptations that pop culture has always welled up in us: illicit love, the control over life and death, self identity, and of course, the inspiring power of a great pop song to communicate volumes between two people. 

By the way, here is a link to Chris' own blog.  

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