Glib Reviews of Recent DVDs and Blu Rays.
- Directed by Ana Lily Amirpour
I love modern films done in Black and white, myself. It’s not generally the budgetary thing from days of yore, but rather an aesthetic choice, and in this case a good one. the movie has a nice occasionally anachronistic feel, as well as seeming somehow like a modern take on the vampire mythos. In the super lonely sad oil town of Bad City, somewhere in deepest artsy B&W Iran, a young guy with a hot car (Arash) tries to make his way, and is derailed by his weirdo dad (Marshall Manesh as “Hossein”- kind of channeling Louis Negin) and the pimp Hossein owes money to. Enter the creepy girl who barely seems to move when she walks. She’s behind you one minute, in front of you another.
The pacing is odd, the characters listen to some good music, and verbally, emotionally fence with each other, building a convincingly Fellini-esque world filtered through youthful Iranian experience and a love of Guy Maddin & or Jim Jarmucsh films perhaps. There are some great carnival-esque scenes, and some of the most realistic (staring at a streetlamp for however long, needing to sit down) drug trips on screen, some real chemistry between the leads, Arash, and the vampire known in the credits as ‘The Girl.’
There is nary a missed step, and no drag in story til the end, where I was thinking, Wow this film would be perfect if it ended right now, and it did. I love it when that happens. Natural but open ended conclusions are usually all the closure I need. Oh and a shout out to one of the better cats in film lately. I highly recommend this gem, which I really now regret missing at VIFF last year.
9 stripey shirted vampire girls skateboarding through your hick town at night outta 10