This weekend I saw A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (2014) at the Girls on Film Festival. This was the film that I was most looking forward too, because I had heard great reviews of it, and everyone who had seen it had told me that I would love it. AND I DID.

It is directed by Ana Lily Amirpour, and it’s genre has been described as so many different things: Iranian Vampire Western, romance horror, drama. It is shot in black and white, and the soundtrack is SPOTLESS. AMAZING. PERFECT. The lonesome vampire, played by Sheila Vand, is my new favourite badass film character. She skates around town at night, dances in her bedroom, scares little boys and kills big bad ones.

I thought that it would be relevant to talk about the film and some of my favourite scenes from it, because it is in black and white and the soundtrack is amazing, which is what I am trying to do with my final project.

This first scene that I want to talk about has an amazing song, and it suits this gangster character perfectly. I wonder how many times they practiced this scene so that the timing was perfect… to show him doing weights and staring at her during the part of the song with no beat, then have the beat come back in when he starts dancing and taking off his adidas jacket. (I, unfortunately, find this bit of the scene so attractive. Maybe it’s because of the song and the way that it is shot, instead of the guy, HAHA).

There is also a moment where the girl plays with the drum cymbals. My friend noted that for him, this was a significant moment because it contrasted the electronic song, which is indicative of this gangster guy and his lifestyle, including chemical drug use, and the acoustic qualities of the cymbal, which the girl is drawn to, which says that she is in opposition to him and his lifestyle. I thought that this reading was very interesting.

I really love the focus pull from the girl to the guy slowly approaching her from behind. I really like that it is a handheld shot as well, and the way that the soft focus looks in black and white (especially with her head and shoulders draped in black… I am unsure what that piece of clothing is called). He is creeping from the shadows towards her.

The lighting in the closeups of the two characters when he is touching her face is so dramatic. that key light is so strong on the offside of the face. The onside is all black and shadows.

This is another scene that I love because of the song and the dancing and the lighting and just everything.

The beginning of the scene, where the camera is creeping towards her, handheld, and it starts with a soft focus and quickly becomes in focus, love it. I also really love her slow dancing which is so entrancing. Her bedroom is also amazingly designed. The posters on the wall give her a lot of youth, and the fairy lights and disco ball give great lighting effects.

This is the first scene in the film where you see her face, and its a great reveal, her turning towards the camera and doing a weird neck dance movement. Her eyes are so big and hard to read, it’s amazing. I also really love the jump cut when she is putting on her eyeliner. I wonder what kind of camera this is shot on, because the shots of her sitting on her bed putting on makeup look sort of like a picture does with a fish eye effect, like everything around her is curved in a way that pulls all the focus onto her. I don’t know, maybe that was done in post… I don’t think so though, because this kind of effect kept popping up during the film. hm.

This is the last scene that I will talk about on here. It is seriously breathtaking. It made the hair on the back of my neck, and all over my body, stand up (like Paul always talks about haha). Context, the girl takes this guy home when she finds him staring at a light post in the middle of the night (he is high on ecstasy).

First of all. Again. An amazing song. I can’t even deal with it. The record sound when she puts down the needle is lovely, but after that there is no more record sounds, but it works better this way. Other sounds you can hear is the squeak of the bed when the guy stands up.

I like how dark everything is outside of her room, so you don’t end up wondering what that is. And then he spins the disco ball and it is amazing. As a note, the black and white really suits this film also because a lot of it is set at night, and most of the prime action moments happen at night.

Then there is a long shot of the girl on the far right of the frame, looking down, with the key light just behind her, and the spinning lights from the disco ball all around her. The guy approaches her from behind, like the guy in the first video, but they are both in focus and both in the foreground. He is the one wearing a black draping thing (which is a dracula costume) and she is not, which makes her more vulnerable than before, but you remember that he is also vulnerable because he is on drugs and she is a vampire (which he doesn’t know). Anyway, the slow walk towards her is so beautiful, and when he is right behind her, so that his face is all in shadow, I can feel my heart heavy in my chest. It is amazing. Their simple closeness and deep breathing. Then she slowly turns towards him (and I am dying). She looks up at him (Yes this fear’s got a hold on me), and pulls his head back, exposing his neck, and you think, she might bite him, but she rests her head on his chest, and… I just can’t deal with this film… EMOTIONS. SO MANY.

Ok, that’s enough gushing from me. And the last time that I will be gushing for Film 3. Highly reccomend this film.


My name is Mimo. I like to watch TV and films with my neighbour's cat.

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