REVIEW- A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night: On fuckboys, spaghetti westerns and understanding

 

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If you’ve ever heard of the term “fuckboy,” you understand that this particular type of boy comes in many shapes and sizes. Unfortunately, they do not lurk in sewers where they should be, but rather, mistreat women and think they can get away with it. That is, unless they get confronted by a vampire.

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night [catches breath] is a film directed by Ana Lily Amiirpour—wait, wait JUST one moment. Is that a female name? Why yes, yes it is! A female director! Praise the film gods. Not ONLY is she a female director, but a female director of COLOR. Can I get an amen? Taking things back to her roots, the Iranian/American director filmed this masterpiece in California, but decided to make it look like an Iranian city called “Bad City.” The city is deserted and is filmed in black and white (a tasteful, intentional black and white, unlike some films that seemed to have wasted this stylistic choice—I’m looking at you, Frances Ha), depicting its “spaghetti-western” influences. I had no idea what this genre entailed, so I decided to look up its characteristics. American-westerns were created between the 1930s and 1960s. During the end of this time period, America began to transition to television. Westerns were still widely popular, so Italian filmmakers took this as their opportunity to create their own westerns. So, a spaghetti-western is essentially an American-western with an Italian twist. According to a Flavorwire article, spaghetti-westerns:

“were notable for their widescreen cinematography, Roman Catholic iconography, and non-stop action. Initially, the Spaghetti Western protagonist was a loner/outcast in the Eastwood mold — not a traditional John Wayne-style “good guy” in a white hat, but a morally flexible type, more unpredictable and cynical. That wasn’t the only deviation; Italian film-makers took the tropes of the American Western and exaggerated them, with oddball villains, over-the-top violence, and operatic music.”

Now that that’s cleared up, let’s continue with the film.

The main character, Arash, is a young man who has to deal with his father’s drug addiction, all whilst trying to support the two of them. His father’s drug dealer, Saeed, makes Arash’s life even more difficult since his father owes Saeed a lot of money. He’s a fuckboy times a thousand. The fuckiest of all fuckboys, you could say. He does whatever he wants in order to make ends meet, even if it means causing harm to others—and he treats women like garbage…Not to mention he has awful tattoos. The film then introduces a nameless girl who has a secret, and that secret is that she’s a vampire. She walks around with a black hood, looking for men of all ages, enforcing the idea that they must not be awful humans—or else. It’s actually a win-win for her because she’s able to remove the scum of the earth whilst satisfying her appetite for blood. Another cool thing about her character is that she is not a one-dimensional, stereotypical vampire. She’s mysterious and shy, yet unapologetic and intense. She loves music and fashion. She collects band posters and vinyls. I love this film because it depicts a strong girl who seeks revenge against all the men who have ever made women walking home alone at night feel threatened. All the men who have taken advantage of women. At the same time, I also appreciate this film because of the vampire’s connection with Arash. I don’t want to give anything away, but their first interaction is so genuine and natural, it’ll make you feel all fuzzy inside. It’s not clichéd and it’s a bit awkward, but that’s what I love about it. They both commit questionable acts throughout the film, but they reach a mutual level of understanding. Their fascination for one another gives me hope that I too will one day meet a boy who I won’t want to destroy with my hypothetical vampire powers. I guarantee that this film will make you feel like a badass if you ever do have to walk home alone at night.

By Cristina Vazquez De Mercado


cristinaFrom Pixar to Studio Ghibli, from Live-action to Claymation, from Wizards to Hobbits, from French New Wave to Horror, from the symmetrical, warm-hued dream of Wes Anderson to the dark, twisted nightmare of Tim Burton, from the bloody, vengeful mind of Quentin Tarantino to the theatrical, contemporary spirit of Baz Luhrmann, 20-year-old Cristina loves it all. Her desire to study film at Seattle University sprung from a childhood of video store rentals and collecting movie tickets (she currently has over 100 tickets and made a mini curtain out of them). Picking her favorite films makes her anxious because she doesn’t want any of them to feel left out. However, she does thoroughly enjoy Amélie, Everything is Illuminated, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Pan’s Labyrinth. Mostly because they stab her in the feels. Yeah, those are good. Hit her up (or creep) on Tumblr: noirness.tumblr.com and Twitter: @cristinarwhal.

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