A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night : A Film Review

Director. Ana Lily Amirpour. USA. 2014. 1hr 41mins. Subtitled.
Starring. Sheila Vand, Arash Marandi, Dominic Rains, Marshall Manesh.image
Monochrome Undeparture
This film is set in anyplace Iran. Filmed in America with one very prominent American/Iranian actress devouring the screen in front of us.
It is daytime and nothing Beckett like is happening. So to night then.
In the live’s anyway there appear to be voids. The possessions they are few and ‘others’ have lives which the ‘Humans’ eschew.
The landscape is allegedly hipster, with vapid, jejune vapors hanging clandestinely, as low, soon to be had morsels.
To be in sych with this film you need adopt the genre, as I have in the past suggested with horror you need to go that degree further to reference, to spot the similarities, often so replicate to be a comedy trash in moment.
Here is the teenage hyperbole. The Stephanie Meyer territory of Bree Tanner for a nano second then the ‘city’ ‘reality’ suspension.
The film is not as bereft as the ‘Twilight’ language which ‘allows’ such ‘pathos’ as ‘her time as an immortal is running out‘ well that’s a shocking dilemma then ain’t it. How does that work? Fact. It is a novel idea without an idea to close or open with.
Do not walk alone at night.
This is the films only lesson.
A definition
1734, from Fr. vampire or Ger. Vampir (1732, in an account of Hungarian vampires), from Hung. vampir, from O.C.S. opiri (cf. Serb. vampir, Bulg. vapir, Ukrainian uper), said by Slavic linguist Franc Mikloič to be ult. from Kazan Tatar ubyr “witch.”
Viz a Viz Vamps what are they?
An Eastern European creature popularized in Eng. by late 19c. gothic novels, however there are scattered Eng. accounts of night-walking, blood-gorged, plague-spreading undead corpses from as far back as 1196. Applied 1774 by Fr. biologist Buffon to a species of South American blood-sucking bat.
Widescreen backdrop
Welcome to the black and white, night and day homespun tale of horrific blood letting on widescreen given lore and mythical visual context this time in a loosely Iran tale filmed in Wilderness America.
Since you were inclined to sink your teeth into a sibling or friends rubber duck or Simpsons bath toy you will be familiar with the satisfaction it gives or rather tension it releases ipso facto in sheer derring do. Blissimo.
Quantum Leap
In today’s world we are not confined to arresting our imaginations as the sciences have produced extraordinary unforeseen depths and seemingly parallel theories for our existence. None of which (witch?!) are remotely or currently viable. Let’s take another meaning. You can hide nothing from the quidnunc of Hanbridge. Moreover, when a quidnunc in the streets of Hanbridge sees somebody famous or striking, or notorious, he does not pretend that he has seen nobody.
Arnold Bennett , Denry the Audacious , 1911.
So what am I leading towards.
The film you are about to see or consider seeing is about no-one being erudite or elucidating about their own life’s. It is the fluid space of the inner mind writ large or on scraps of portraiture lovingly conceived in the cinematic tour de force of the pleasuring Ana Lily Amirpours directorship.
It is a series of arabesques around the notion of living in a bigger space on a narrower confine set out by the human of oneself. The motive of fast human motion is often a feature of Vampirish behaviour. The swift attack from a ‘standing’ start. Incisive. So with the dance motif. The still followed by the resolution with stretched arm and one legged balance. Ballet and the art of the mid point transition are complementary.
One set out in alone terms. That is how I took on the central verb.
And where is Margaret Atwood when you need literal meaning but way down the long list of thank you’s in the final credits her name appears.
That after the credits for music which features highly as a success of the film. The Kiosk sounding like The Killers only less climaxing. Radio Tehran another Iran band do extras. Turns aplenty at the hot and heavy moments.
It makes Rigsy and Baille sound Smashie and Nicey.
The addition of powers needed accrues as of the qui cosmic regions of outlandish behaviours visited in nocturnal delights.
This is the vision of the characters jejune attempts at becoming a true Vampire. She continually tests, including a young boy who she teases to a painful extent as she does with her empathy vibe interlaced in her sexual awakened moments.
So the extreme b/w Sheila Vand features accentuated such as her high cheekbones, lurid dark eyes, thin cropped figure a la belle along with a tendency to – and this creates a horizontal well earth dwelling of the widescreen formatting, wear a sailor sweater or tee shirt.
Louise Brooks along with Cornelia Parker rather than Lily Tomlinson, or Isabella Blow came to mind as her hair created a second bewitching cape.
The rueful look is enough to drop dislike or any failure of empathy with this waif like creature. She is portrayed, and somehow the trick is achieved directorial and through the expressive face of firstly put down upon belief of the erstwhile heroine. A caped cruiser. She follows our characters each as we meet them, parapsychological mania about to be perfected as we watch their fate unfold.
Up parapsychological avenue.
Firstly is a villain who is the drip feed for the helpless pairing of Arash and his father Hossein (Marshall Manesh) who has become under the tutelage of the villain (Dominic Rains) addicted to injected Heroin. The chrome becomes a commodity along with Rains stable of prostitutes, of which one features heavily as the story of a kind moves on.

From the daylight opening frames with a score unleashed as a rock lead (note to self – insert Tindersticks not the moronic) like burnt piano quantic variations, seeing we are on the Q’s. the widescreen takes delivery of the scenic outdoors of non-lived in vacant city areas.
Allegory for a dehabitated world.
This allegedly is Bad City from the ascribed reactions and internal juices of the film itself. Makeover city it is not. The endless power station, trucks of stationary for miles in the background while the male of Arash (Arash Marandi), a man going on a boy of about twenty who white vest and jeans leaves enough exposed neck to put himself in the endangered category if the élan of the Tehran/Mississippi district is to be inculcated by the homage to such delights as Sin City and the acclaimed niche TV bites across the networks as of the twinkling ‘Twilight’ yesteryears of the 2010’s as demons were found wanting out of the First decade.

Conclusion ###3
This is a non story with even a part played by an small slick sports 1950’s automobile. It is the chrome centre piece. It is a slick survivor.
Some virtues of the narrowness of this tale are in the leads acting and the comedic value of the intensity and predatory nature of the family circle created in the confines of this ponderous wafer thin story.
The father son relationship is beautifully wrought with emotion and is even closely resembling any other directors search to portray the bond of love which is crossed triggered and impenetrable as to enable the foot pedals of the defibrillator to resuscitate any shared oxygen of a life together.
The scenes around this alone (don’t walk alone at night – don’t forget) is heart-wrenchingly good but not entirely enough to make a very good film out of as might have arisen. It may have weaknesses but it has sufficient pace improbability, and peril of the kind to be expected that I anticipate if you are into horror or the genre in anyway you will come away satiated.
If you’ve got to walk alone at night carry a wooden stake a cross or a bible or whatever alarming device it is legal to deter strangers with but whatever happens proceed with cautionary nocturnal awareness.

John Graham

28 May 2015


Opens at QFT as a New release though it appeared during the latest Belfast Film Festival on Friday 29 May through to including Thursday 4 June 2015.