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Essay: The film A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

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  • Subject area(s): Photography and arts essays
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  • Published: 22 October 2015*
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  • Words: 827 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 4 (approx)

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The film A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night by Ana Lily Amirpour in 2014 is much more than your average vampire storyline. Other than Twilight, this film brings us a black and white presentation of bloodsucking vampires from Iran. This is a new wave film, which means Ana Lily Amirpour who is the director of the film, is new to cinema. This also means that this new wave is a new way of telling the story of the film, also adding new ways of viewing the film. This movie takes on the classic horror legend which ends up being the takedown of prejudice against women. Amirpour uses the clich?? of a helpless unmarried woman whom is the innocent victim of the night and the isolated girl. Many of the images used in the film let the viewers into the drama and darkness of the film.
The images in the film are very suggestive and symbolic. They are full with intersecting images that sit there not moving for spans of time. For example, whenever the Girl is the main focus, the camera always centers on her face for a long time period. When the camera shows the head shot of her face, it allows us viewers to see the darkness of her and the darkness her presents bring. This inactive image also helps create and implement the tension and irritate space between people even when they are so close. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night by Ana Lily Amirpour in 2014 has many characteristics of a Classical Hollywood Cinema film.
For instance, in Classical Hollywood Cinema, films are depicted as having two lovers who end up in an argument which will get resolved throughout the film ending up in happiness and love at the ending. When The Girl met Arash who’s dressed as Dracula, the romance began right away. Their attraction and chemistry is real. The way they interact with each other is in a way that makes you feel their connection without even being there. Much of the romanticism that happens in this film is seen from the visuals.
The cinematography is black and white, intense and definite. The lights from the lamp posts and car headlights bending across the screen in a hazy line. Often times the light coming through the blackness leaves fragment trails behind. Images are often seen as they are a dream or d??j?? vu which has never been presented in this way before. For example, when the black covered woman is standing on the other side of an empty parking lot, she is hard to be seen through the gloom yet bounded by nothing. This is something that would be seen in a bad dream.
This has taken place in ‘Bad City’ an Iranian town that is filled with bad vibes. The film starts out as a classic Spaghetti Western film, which is a wide genre of films that appeared in the 1960’s, a kid in a white shirt, blue jeans with a pompadour haircut. The young man drives an older car that shimmers in the sun, the car showing his maneuverability and prestige. One of the other characters, Saeed who has the word ‘Sex’ tattooed on the front of his throat supplies drugs to Hossein. The vampire known as The Girl is able to walk the streets in her chador unnoticed because of her pitch black shadows she casts. She suppresses in the darkness and displays herself to her victims from a wide stretch of unoccupied lots. At a point in the film, she is on a skateboard and rides down the middle of an empty street, her chador behind her trains out like black bat wings. Civilians of the town do not understand who she is or what she is until it’s too late for them.
The first crime scene in the film by The Girl is one of cinematic style. She watches the pimp pester Atti, she then chooses she’s going to follow him, he is high on drugs allows her to come into his home and watch him as he prepares for a night of sexual encounters and sniffing lines of drugs. The Girl shifts her way to him and touches his cymbal to attract him. He falls for it and she attacks, with the help of The Girls eye-popping ubiquity into the frame; it utilizes the enjoyment of cinema’s language like a brilliant linguist who takes pleasure in creativity.
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night by Ana Lily Amirpour in 2014 enchanting in its strangeness, the film comfortably appeals to the recognizable emotions such as loneliness and the feeling of being stuck in a town of dead-end life. This film, which is very temperamental yet beautiful is more about atmosphere and emotions than narrative. It is a weird story of love between the two misfits who clearly shouldn’t be together. The film is an appealing combination of horror and 1980’s pop.

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