REVIEW: A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night

25 01 2015

A Girl Walks HomeWith “A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night,” writer/director Ana Lily Amirpour fuses together elements into a hybrid that likely never occurred to anyone else.  Her vampire film incorporates the western, the film noir, and tons of hipster cred (look no further than the vinyl records) – with dialogue spoken in Persian.  It’s essentially the best Sofia Coppola movie that Sofia Coppola didn’t make.

Amirpour’s film constantly exudes an ambience of coolness, which makes the experience mostly fun to absorb even when it gets dull to watch.  Like Coppola, she often falls into the trap of excessive stylization, especially when a killer tune is playing.  “A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night” thus often feels like a compilation of thematically related music videos.  The flesh-eating skateboarding girl simply seems to appear as a recurring character amidst the sea of drug dealers, prostitutes, junkies, strange old men, and curious kids.

Amirpour also has one heck of a strength to make the movie mostly work regardless: her exacting control.  Her eye for clean, classical visuals is remarkable.  In addition, she and cinematographer Lyle Vincent play with light and shadow with fitting and appropriate grace given the film’s theme of concealed identity.  While her directorial debut might boast all the style of a cult indie classic, it possesses the marginal storytelling of a student short overly obsessed with mood.  The combination leaves a little to be desired, though it certainly is not all bad nor a waste of time by any stretch of the imagination.  B-2stars

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