NZIFF’s highlights – One soundtrack: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Frodo produced a horror romance movie that rocks!

The first feature film of Iranian-American film director Ana Lily Amirpour (produced within others by Elijah Wood) is a film at the edge of two cultures and of several artistic influences. A soundtrack made up of middle-eastern, occidental and hybrid tracks illustrates this dual identity.

Indefinable cinematic object A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night intimately called A Girl is labelled as “the first Iranian vampire western”. Indeed, a lonesome female vampire rules the roost in a corrupted ghost town. Moreover, the film is shot in Farsi and the vampire wears a black chador instead of the expected Dracula cloak. Yet, the movie has been entirely shot in California! It’s not an Iranian movie, but can we call it an American movie? Not sure. It doesn’t really matter: to me, a good movie goes beyond all national boundaries, it opens a window to a new world at the same time.  That what Ana Lily Amirpour does with A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night.

A good soundtrack makes a good movie

A Girl was such a hit when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2014 than Ana Lily Amirpour is now compared to Quentin Tarantino: not less than that! It’s true that this joyful mash-up of western spaghetti and vampire movies draws his inspiration from comic books and pulp movies like the  movies of the big master. Furthermore, it succeeds in creating a strong postmodernist imagery.

Most of all, like any movie of the great director of Kill Bill, the particular mood of A Girl owes much to its fabulous soundtrack. As Amirpour says it herself: “I like it when people say they like the film or whatever, but when people say they like the music, it gives me calm and peace.”

When she prepared the film, she gave the actors a playlist of music saying “This is what music is the vibe of this character”. We can feel that while watching it. Every character has a strong personality, the pimp would listen to techno, the vampire dark mood resonates with good rock music, Arash seems to be influenced by a mixed genre etc.

Here is the soundtrack! What’s your favorite? Mine is “Death” by White Lies! (…)

(…) Strangely enough, as if it was calculated, Kiosk song Yarom Bia features in A Girl and its videoclip readjusts excerpts of The Colour Of Pomegranates by Sergei Parajanov, a film from 1969 whose restored version was one of the highlights of NZIFF 2015.

Sally Welly

To learn more about A Girl, here is a very good critic by Film Critic Howard Feinstein:

and you can watch the movie’s Behind the Scenes on youtube:

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