I heard a lot of good things about this film and after the first half an hour in I just didn’t really appreciate how much it was going to blow me over. It’s stunning from the beginning, the mesmerizing tones of black and white equate to an extremely striking movie and simultaneously gives a dreamy gothic feel to a thrilling romance of what visually looks like 50’s rocker meets 80’s grunge girl.
Arash (Arash Marandi) has his dream American car and resides in the a town called “Bad City”, his father Hossein (Marshall manesh) is a drug addict and owns money to Saeed “The Pimp” (Dominic Rains), who takes Arah’s prize car as payment. Meanwhile a long young vampire skateboards about the city feeding and killing people who she chances upon in the streets. Love soon sparks between the young couple and the cat is easily the best actor in this strange coming of age tale.
It’s hard to categorise the film, it has horror aspects but it’s not frightening, the vampire is incredibly creepy as well as being totally docile when she’s around Arash. There are some deep personal stories going on, as well as some very alien dancing.
It’s one of those art house vampire films where the legend and lore is hidden behind a modern message of oppressed women, the intoxicating vampire is played perfectly by Shelia Vland (and the skateboarding scenes are the director Ms Amipour who looks like her twin). she stalks and attacks men who are preying on women in a sexist society.
The glorious black and white cinematography creates a very sleepy and moody atmosphere that suits this story, and it’s interesting how there are so many qualities, the chador, a symbol of submission is now a vampire cape and a symbol of dominance. plus it really made me think of the coming of age quirkiness of Persepolis (2000), similarly the young Arash, high on drugs getting mesmerized by a streetlight dressed as Dracula (while being stared down by a real vampire), is slightly reminiscent as Karate Kid (1984) in Halloween costume.
One of those films which I can’t personally pinpoint exactly what makes it awesome, but it’s a true feast of motion and sounds that are curious and hypnotic.
Layered with various sullen overtones both real and symbolic, there is a lot of promise in this and hopefully future works from Amipour will be just as intriguing.
Full review and other shenanigans to come.