THE MUST-SEE MIRACLE OF BAD CITY
watch the first female vampire in film history, wearing a chador, riding a skateboard!
A new cult movie is born – it ain’t this vampire story you imagine when you hear about it – it is going to drag you far away – to Iran, to a place in black-and-white pictures where it is all about sins. Drugs, prostitution, poverty and hopeless people, who forgot what they want, they desire, to ask why they are here. Around this scenery, Pumps are sucking out oil of a dried out land, dead bodies are thrown into the pit.
It is the long film debut of director Ana Lily Amirpour and she set up this gloomy but bracing story within this puddle of descent and decay. A nameless vampire girl who walks around Bad City is going to fall in love with a mortal guy Arash who seems to have his heart at the right place but struggles with bad vibes surrounding him. ‘A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night’ is a persian, postmodern romance on one side, but kind of a brutal western movie on the other.
The story telling needs less words, the audience gets a lot of space to combine relations and create connections themselves. When unspoken words in situations are too excited to pop out, music replaces them in genius ways. The choice of the soundtrack is refreshing and supports this movie in its unique brilliance – mariachi trumpets, tech-house, iranian pop, british pop.
As a human being and recipient, you always try to find the right categories and pigeonhole movies, but this one embodies various elements of different styles. The movie includes the mood of makings of Quentin Tarantino or Jim Jarmushs’ counterpart Only Lovers Left Alive, as reflecting jokes and charm of True Blood or Sin City.
Does this movie have anything to say at the end? Which statement does it deliver? Everything seems to be mysterious, a puzzle using many metaphoric details, everyone is keen to decode symbols. A vampire girl who wants to save Arash before he falls – she as a bloodthirsty revenger who kills men for the reason of depressed woman – is there any hint given through this movie for debates about wearing head rags, the society in Iran or drug abuse? Ana Lily Amirpour denies any political intention, which makes this film even more marvelous for its apparent incidental originality, that is meant to say nothing but says it all at once.