Friday! It’s the most wonderful time of the… week! Mostly because you guys get to watch a great movie and I feel like I’m contributing to your happiness. No selfless deeds, right? This week’s movie is incredible. I really enjoyed this and I’m really excited to get your thoughts on it. This, much like Let the Right One In, is a masterful take on the vampire tale. Can only foreign films do vampires right? I’m so tired of sparkling, love crossed vampires that I could throw up in tin foil and eat it (Monster House reference). These are not examples of what vampires are supposed to be! It’s a travesty. This movie gets it right.
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night introduces us to Arash (Arash Marandi) who’s struggling to get by while maintaining his morals in the fictional city that he lives in called Bad City. He’s a James Dean wannabe with his slicked hair, leather coat and prized ’57 Thunderbird. His father has succumbed to the sins of Bad City; a heroin addict with a huge gambling debt, Arash is trapped by his obligation to help him. Feeling overwhelmed by his responsibilities to his father and the injustice that’s rampant in Bad City, Arash decided to go out and let loose at a costume party. He goes dressed as Dracula and that’s where he meets The Girl.
Iranian-American writer and director Ana Lily Amirpour weaves a beautiful tale filled with incredibly stunning visual cues. Filmed in black and white, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night has a strong western/film noir feel; it almost feels like Humphrey Boggart will come out of the shadows at any moment, pulling on a cigarette and telling The Girl that the gig is up.
The score is another entity on it’s own, weaving it’s way in and out of the scenes seamlessly, as much a part of Bad City as the characters. I love the contrast in music between the atmospheric background music played when The Girl is out on the prowl versus the Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson that she plays when she is home alone in her room.
One last thought, I mentioned before how I find the acting in foreign films to be on another level (in general) than American films. It was the same here. The actors in this film are so talented. I particularly liked Mozhan Marnò, who plays Atti, a prostitute in Bad City. She was so tired and worn down from life but she still had a spark in her eyes, she hadn’t completely given up. It’s hard to play it both ways, but she gave a wonderful performance.
Overall, if you’re a fan of vampires, and I’m talking real vampires here, not the ridiculous glittery kind that has invaded popular culture as of late, then this is a must watch. Dark and menacing yet somehow deeply endearing, this movie is definitely not one to miss.
Favourite Scene: When The Girl is talking to the young boy in the alleyway. So much tension! Perfectly shot. What’s your favourite scene?
Here’s a trailer if you’d like to get a feel for the style before you commit yourself to watching it: