Director/Writer: Ana Lily Amirpour
Cast: Sheila Vand, Arash Marandi, Dominic Rain
100min Thriller/Horror US
One of the most exciting and visually inventive films to screen at the London Film Festival this year was Ana Lily Amirpour’s debut feature A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT. Amirpour’s distinctive and exhilarating visual language feels more important here than the simple narrative and her striking monochrome aesthetic feels both stylishly retro and ground-breakingly contempo.
In the hostile industrial landscape of an oil refinery town named Bad City, a man retrieves a pet cat from behind the railings of a building site. This is Arash (Arash Marandi) – a Middle-Eastern James Dean look-alike) who, apart from his matinée idol looks, is also well-mannered and kind. Arash is caught between his drug-adict father and the tattooed dealer (and pimp) who is attempting to call in his loan. But as his father is up to his eyes in debt, the pimp takes Arash’s car in payment, forcing him to walk the streets at night where he meets a lone woman dressed in black Muslim attire (Sheil Vand). Gradually a love affair develops, quite extraordinary in its singularity and evocative of Jim Jarmusch’s Stranger Than Paradise.
With an idiosyncratic soundtrack (featuring the likes of and strong performances from this is a quietly mesmerising first feature marking Amirpour out as a distinctive voice in modern US/Iranian cinema. MT
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