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A restless vampire girl and other demons

Updated on August 16, 2017

"A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night" (beautiful title). A Farsi vampire movie set in an "imaginary" Iranian city. A film which has nothing to do with the cinema of Kiarostami, Panahi, Farhadi, Makhmalbaf...

Because the director of this movie is part of that post-shah Iranian diaspora. She was born in England in 1980 and then lived with her family in Miami and in California. She lives in America. She shot this film in America and dedicated it to her own culture.

Film about film. In Persian. Including the cars' number plates. The bloodsucking protagonist (beautiful actress, appearing fragile yet ruthless) wears a chador. However, the film is shot in California. Not in the imams' Iran. Maybe the film is a metaphor of Iran. California pretending to be Iran, shot in thundering black and white, made of abstract landscapes, factories expelling fumes and steams, metaphysical trains at night, forests of oil wells, cliffs on roadsides which are full of corpses, just like in a medieval plague. We are in a place called 'Bad City', inhabited by insane creatures, beyond the borders of normality; and whoever is kind of normal like the good guy protagonist, can only make compromises with those demons. We have his old man who is a heroin addict, a pusher who blackmails him and slowly takes everything off him, a drug addict prostitute, the memory of a dead wife... And her, the mysterious girl who walks alone at night in her chador and is a vampire.

Ultra-sophisticated; long silences; dense of homages to past cinema: Nouvelle Vague, Antonioni, spaghetti westerns; a resounding musical score which cites and, in devotion, re-makes Ennio Morricone. Beautiful to watch. Not so strong in its narrative structure, which is the true fragile point of the entire project. For example: the female vampire targets her victims randomly, without an explanation, attacking some but mysteriously sparing others.

Cult scene: The prostitute who, while she bends over to the pusher in order to give him a blowjob, adjusts her hair under the shroud.

Great film which follows Jarmusch's "Only Lovers Left Alive" in regard of pop culture and classy mise-en-scene, but darker and more claustrophobic than "Only Lovers...", as required by the vampire genre.


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