Tuesday, 2 June 2015

A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night

Two days ago I went to see Ana Lily Amirpour's Iranian vampire film called "A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night". It takes place in Bad City, where a young and beautiful woman, who also a vampire, stalks and kills a number of male characters. Although there seems to be some kind of social justice in her choices of which men to go after (drug dealers and addicts), she does at one point kill an innocent homeless man. In addition, there is some kind of self-awareness on her part about her actions and how they fit into human conceptions of ethics and moral behaviour as she vocalizes to Arash, a young man that she meets in the street (ironically after he leaves a dress up party disguised as Dracula) that she feels she has done bad things.

What I thought was most brilliant about the film was its use of sound, but mostly the circulation of props and the ways in which commercial and monetary goods are passed around between characters: the fancy car that Arash worked for over 2000 days to afford, the jewels and watches of the drug dealer, Arash's cat, the little boy's skateboard. There is an overt presence of money as it is exchanged for drugs and services (like sex) as well as stolen goods that are transferred from one character to another. While the film could be called somewhat feminist, whereby a charming and sweet yet dangerous and demonic creature holds the power to decide on the fate of people's lives, there is also a palpable critique of capitalism and the dangers of what money can buy and the ways in which money transforms individuals to act in a certain way.

The film is beautifully made and there are several tender moments between Arash and the vampire girl. One of my favourites was when they are listening to music in her bedroom and Arash is dressed as Dracula. They are close to one another as the disco ball spins and causes flashes or circulating light throughout the room.

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