Sheila Vand

‘A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night’: A Vampire with No Name

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Enter The Girl, a mostly silent observer to the rotting underbelly of Bad City. She shares a kinship with the likes of Shane and The Man with No Name — a hero with mysterious origins and questionable morality who ultimately defends those who cannot help themselves. … Once The Girl arrives, it’s essentially Amirpour’s playground as she honors and subverts Westerns and horror films.

‘A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night’ and Scares Us

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Amirpour’s camera (the magnificent cinematography is by Lyle Vincent) lingers over Arash’s beauty–his high cheekbones and large, long-lashed eyes under a dark, curly version of James Dean’s pompadour–in a way few male filmmakers would.

‘A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night’ and Scares Us

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Nice girls aren’t supposed to walk alone in the dark, even in the movies. So in the generically titled ‘A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night,’ the debut feature from writer-director Ana Lily Amirpour we in the audience wonder what a woman in a black cloak (a traditional Iranian garment called a chador) is doing on the streets of a largely empty desert town in the wee hours. We see her witness a pimp (Dominic Rains) exploit and then cheat a sex worker (Mozhan Marnò). We soon find out the woman in the chador, The Girl–we never find out her name (played, unforgettably, by Sheila Vand) is no ordinary woman, but a vampire with fangs that retract like a cat’s claws–or a switchblade.