Dinner date: And now for some films that really suck

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is supported by UVA’s OFFScreen Film Society and will be screened on Sunday at the downtown Regal. Photo courtesy of Virginia Film Festival. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is supported by UVA’s OFFScreen Film Society and will be screened on Sunday at the downtown Regal. Photo courtesy of Virginia Film Festival.

Things I’ve learned from horror movies include: Never say anyone’s name into a mirror more than twice. You’re in trouble if that charming old house you bought has an unfinished cellar or attic. Stripes never go out of style when your fingers are made out of knives. And like all respectful dinner party guests, vampires need an invitation to enter your home. If you need a refresher on the latter, this year’s Virginia Film Festival has two movies for you.

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is a new Iranian film set in a place known only as Bad City with a character known only as The Girl. Early in the film, she—a meek, young woman on a dimly lit sidewalk—is invited up to the apartment of the local drug dealer. Let’s just say that things don’t turn out how he’d hoped. But there’s no revenge in this vampire’s feeding habits, no moral compass in her hunger. She just wants a snack before heading home to listen to post-punk in her bedroom under the glow of a disco ball.

The movie is highly stylized and aesthetically enjoyable. Beautiful black and white cinematography provides a lushness to the bleak setting amid vampire-like oil derricks, sucking the ground dry. The leading man drives a classic car and sports a James Dean ’do. The Girl is cloaked in a traditional chador that flows behind her as she skateboards down empty streets. She never leaves the house without dark lipstick and heavy eye makeup. Each character is an archetype, whether it’s the drug dealer’s track suit or the prostitute’s unrealized life dreams.

Don’t let this scare you off; embrace that this is a genre flick. Characters are used as shorthand to give you more time to revel in this extremely likable vampire movie.

For a more tongue-in-cheek perspective on vampires, What We Do In The Shadows is another festival option. Written and directed by a creative pair that includes “Flight of the Conchords”’Jemaine Clement, this is a vampire movie that pokes fun at genre conventions. Its faux cinéma vérité style (you may prefer the term “mockumentary”) lends a comedic lens to the trials and tribulations of vampire roommates spanning a couple centuries in age. If you like “Flight of the Conchords,” there’s a really good chance you’ll like this. If not, just watch Nosferatu instead.

Posted In:     Arts

Previous Post

Right at home: Virginia filmmaking attracts Hollywood attention

Next Post

November First Fridays Guide



Our comments system is designed to foster a lively debate of ideas, offer a forum for the exchange of ad hoc information, and solicit honest, respectful feedback about the work we do. We’re glad you’re participating. Here are a few simple rules to follow, which should be relatively straightforward.

1) Don’t call people names or accuse them of things you cannot support.
2) Don’t direct foul language, racial slurs, or offensive terms at other commenters or our staff.
3) Don’t use the discussion on our site for commercial (or shameless personal) promotion.

We reserve the right to remove posts and ban commenters who violate any of the rules listed above, or the spirit of the discussion. We’re trying to create a safe space for a wide range of people to express themselves, and we believe that goal can only be achieved through thoughtful, sensitive editorial control.

If you have questions or comments about our policies or about a specific post, please send an e-mail to editor@c-ville.com.

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of