Full disclosure, I still need to double check to make sure the title is correct.
The film that put Ana Lily Amirpour on my radar is one I’ll never forget. This film is so full and rich with atmosphere, and that’s something that Amirpour shines through in that aspect.
Alone at Night as filmed in stunning black and white in California, but doubled for the Iranian ghost-town Bad City. It’s a Western, and a vampire flick. The first Iranian vampire Western. How badass is that? What a way to make yourself known.
Let’s take the vampire aspect out a bit for a moment, we are still watching Amipour paint a very fascinating world so quickly that I’d accept a version of the film of just strangers walking and talking; Slacker style.
But, the story is a beautiful one. It’s one about love and shows wonderful resistance and holding back for pure tension – both sexual and one that causes fear. It’s an exquisite film with a score that stays ringing in your ears for days after watching it. It’s one I constantly play as I write, the vinyl is an actual work of art – and the blu-ray case that comes with a short graphic novel. It has something for everyone.
I can not praise the visuals as cinematographer Lyle Vincent does superb work in this, which is no surprise as you keep track with his work, Thoroughbreds and The Bad Batch (Alone At Night’s follow-up). Which is also just as worthy for a write-up on this list.
Let’s be honest, there definitely is a lack of female directors that gone “mainstream” – not that they need to – but Ana deserves the recognition as much as all of them. She’s hilarious and unflinching herself, and her cinematic voice is to be reckoned with. So pay attention to her, I know I’m not going to look away.