52 Films by Women – Week 5


A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (Ana Lily Amirpour, 2014)

I missed the one week stint that A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night had in theaters locally, and despite my interest in the film didn’t manage to sit down and stream it until this week.

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is a black and white Iranian film from 2014 and the first feature by Ana Lily Amirpour.  While frequently plugged as “Iran’s first vampire film”, calling it a vampire film is a little misleading.  The film is more accurately a mood piece about a town where all is lost.  Action is severely down played for a vampire picture while the feeling of desperation is enhanced.

The cinematography, by Lyle Vincent, is the main selling point of the film.  The black and white composition is beautiful, and every single shot is a work of art.  The mood of the film permeates throughout each scene due in large part to Vincent’s work.

The screenplay, in contrast, is a bit of a mess.  Character connections, outside of the two leads, exist on surface level only.  I have a hard time believing in the world of Bad City, but I still give it a pass.  Amirpour didn’t try and create a realistic world, she set out to build a surrealist dream world, and in that she succeeded.

I very much enjoyed the experience of A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, and like many of it’s surreal peers I anticipate a second viewing in hopes of understanding it further.


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