In “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night,” a vampire’s floor-length, black chador makes her one with the shadows as she cruises the deserted streets of Bad City for her next meal.
Described as the first vampire spaghetti western in Farsi, this debut by Iranian American director Ana Lily Amirpour is shot entirely in black and white.
Part Iranian New Wave cinema/part David Lynch/part ultra-hip music video, the film moves through a fictional Iranian ghost town populated with hookers, drug dealers, down 'n' outs – and the rare redeemable soul.
A love affair manages to grow between a boy and a girl who are separated by cultural mores. And by a pulse -- he has one, she does not.
The film, which was shot in California, is showing this weekend at the Theatre at the Ace Hotel as part of Sundance Institute’s Next Fest. The festival is a four-day event in and around the downtown L.A. hotel featuring screenings and live music.
The film will land in theaters this October. A digital release is planned for early next year.
Amirpour lives in Los Angeles, where she attended film school after moving with her family from the U.K. She initially financed her film by crowdsourcing through Indiegogo, but Elijah Wood’s production company the Woodshed (now called SpectreVision) became involved. Wood is now named as one of the film’s producers.
The film features a soundtrack filled with synth-pop, stark indie tunes and even a bit of Ennio Marconni-style moodiness. It’s a fitting backdrop for a lonely, eccentric, twentysomething vampire who has a disco ball dangling from the ceiling of her flat and prefers to wear high-top sneakers when stalking her prey.
Bending traditional females roles in the Mideast, the vampire (named only “The Girl”) intends to set things right for the good people of Bad City, especially the women who’ve been mistreated in this chauvinistic society.
She corners a street urchin boy in a desolate alleyway and asks “Are you a good boy?” in a menacing coo. It quickly turns into demonic growl as she bares her fangs. “Till the end of your life I’ll watch you, understand?” she says. “Be a good boy.”
And with that, she skateboards away, chador flapping behind her.