As an artist who can craft an ebullient postmodern pastiche but maintains links to an idiosyncratic heritage, Amirpour has instantly become one of the most exciting, globally relevant filmmakers working today. Her film is a testament both to her own creativity and the infinite elasticity of the vampire mythos.
No matter where you were born at, if you're born female, you're in deep trouble....female power to the people ! :)....the scene where vampire mimics the moves of the junkie is one of the best in cinematography, a true masterpiece that chills your spine without a drop of blood being spilled....watch and learn all of you Saw, Asylum, Hostel and other directors....
Ana Lily Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night. (What a terrific title!) This precocious, faux-primitive first feature, in Persian with English subtitles, and a sensationally eclectic score, was shot in wide-screen black-and-white, and frequently mimics the dreamlike rhythms of silent films.
It’s a haunting story of love between two misfits who shouldn’t be together. In its doomed yet somehow hopeful spirit, it’s closer to the noir sensibility of “Let the Right One In” than the pop-horror of “Twilight.”
Even as Ms. Amirpour draws heavily from various bodies of work with vampirelike hunger, she gives her influences new life by channeling them through other cultural forms, including her chador-cloaked vampire.
This movie really moved me, so I guess it deserves the title of movie. Haha. That said, it's obviously not a mainstream film for the masses that want spooks, thrills, and chills. This film calls itself a Western but is only a Western in its pacing, structure, tone, and character exploration (reminded me a lot of Once Upon a Time in the West, in that regard). A slow burn to be sure, but I found it a really refreshing turn away from frenetic modern filmmaking that has so much happening at each moment you're never allowed to stop and think. This movie had so much subtlety and pause that I found myself thinking and reflecting a lot. It induces an almost meditative state while still letting the viewer's mind fill in the space with moral contemplation. This film is made in the foosteps of old silent films so if that doesn't sound like a nice movie night to you, save yourself the time and this film the negative remarks!
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is beautifully shot, has a great score and is superbly acted making for the kind of film that art-house movie aficionados will likely love. Many viewers however, and I include myself in this, will find it to be too much style over substance at times at even at just 100 minutes running time it felt a little too long.
In her debut feature-length film British-born Iranian-American writer/director Ana Lily Amirpour takes her 2011 short of the same name and expands it into a unique a genre-straddling stylistic mashup of spaghetti-western and horror with clear heart of romance.
Much has been made of the film’s visual style and its aesthetic similarities to Jim Jarmusch’s work with Amirpour choosing to shoot in Monochrome (black & white spectrum) giving the landscape a stark look and smoothing over some of the obvious filming techniques which conspire with the soundtrack to create the familiar “retro-cool” of many recent indies.
There’s a lot to admire about this movie, in a small independent film Amirpour manages to take the “mysterious stranger” element of Sergio Leone westerns and subvert it using a young solitary girl as the ominous spectre that dishes out gruesome “justice” to “Bad City’s” sinful men, a feminist version of the “Angel of Death” paradigm if you will.
Despite the vampiric elements in the film however, this is really not much of a horror with the girl’s paranormal abilities serving only as a mechanism to drive the true heart of the story, an ultimately traditional tale of young forbidden love, albeit between two very nontraditional characters, set in a unique contemporary context.
For all its uniqueness and creativity there are also a lot of issues with the film, there’s way too much technique on show, to the point of tedium, unnecessarily long lingering shots set to an all too familiar Synthpop soundtrack that builds mood but not much else, all of which serve to disguise the fact that there is not much of a story to speak of in another recent indie example of a lot of style over much less substance.
‘A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night’ is no doubt an interesting film debut set in a highly original context, but the sum of its parts does not necessarily translate to a compelling cinematic experience in what feels more like an impressive visual arts project or bizarrely funky music video than a feature length film.
The Bottom Line…
Writer/director Ana Lily Amirpour will have to go a long way to justify the comparisons being made between her and Quentin Tarantino, writing unforgettable dialogue would be task no. 1, but despite the lack of a compelling storyline and issues with execution, ‘A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night’ is a refreshing take on a number of different genres and is a welcomingly creative debut from a director we look forward to following in the future.
The movie certainly looks cool, and the lead actress has amazing presence, but it's slow as molasses, which is a problem for a motion picture. I can't imagine who the target audience for this film is. Definitely not horror fans. I can see where it would be cathartic for a Persian woman living in Iran or another country in the middle east which is not so progressive when it comes to women's rights. I just wish the writer/director would have taken the story a bit further.