Written and directed by Ana Lily Amirpour, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night was released on April 20, 2015. Even though the film studies program at Texas A&M had a showing of this film last term, I hadn’t seen it until yesterday. In the library. On an iPad…mini. So, obviously I didn’t get the “full experience” having viewed this film like I did, but I did really enjoy it. If you don’t know what this film is about, here is the summary from IMDB:
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.
It is categorized as horror and it involves vampires–usually not my cup of tea. With hearing such good things about this film, and then also seeing in on the Film Fatales list from Bitch, I decided it was time to give it a go.
Even though I was viewing this film on my iPad mini, one of the first things that struck me was the use of black and white, rather than color. Of course, in today’s world, not much is shot in black and white. This was a nice surprise; it contributed to the overall tone of Amirpour’s film and allowed for the viewer to focus more intently on the carefully performed motions and constructed dialogue. Never did I think I would enjoy a recent film that was in black and white. That was the first thing of many that this film changed for me.
In combination with the use of black and white, the close-ups of subtle movements, such as slight movements of the eye, slowed sequences, and quiet moments draw the viewer to become more intertwined with the film’s message. When you hear the slow, deep heartbeat of characters’, rather than suspenseful, orchestrated pieces, one is drawn closer to the character, to feel as if they are right there next to them. Amirpour creates a new way, a way of which I have never seen before, to attract the audience and to set-up the deliverance of her message. Beautiful, subtle, and magical are the three words I have to describe Amirpour’s technique.
Within the story line, there is the vampire, of course, but there is also an added element of drug use. In combination with each other, they fully allow the character of the vampire to not seem like a Twilight-esque character, but a fully formed character with a reason for being a vampire. The vampire is there as a follower, a symbol throughout the film, for the other character’s misdoings and sins. In the setting of Bad City, this vampire is here to make other’s pay for their bad deeds. Fitting, right?
From beginning to end, I really enjoyed this film; I found the plot entertaining and thought-provoking and the characters well developed. The only negative comment I have to make about this movie is the occasional slow pace that appears to drag the audience through a scene. If you are in the mood for a slower paced movie, by all means, jump right in! But if you may not be but still want to watch this film (which I highly recommend), then just prepare yourself before hand. While I didn’t like the pace sometimes, I am very glad I viewed this, even if it was on a tiny screen in the library.
Have you seen this film? Do you have any comments to share? If so, write them below! I’d love to hear any feedback y’all might have.
Thanks for reading!