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Directed By Women September – Scene: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

A series of short, snappy pieces of Players, Scenes, Quotes, Shots, Locations, from films directed by women throughout September.

So with such a terrific motion picture like A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, there’s a vast array of aspects I could have churned out words for. I mean, the location of Bad City is idea – a California, Ian hybrid. Shot in one, set in the other. Beautifully shot by Lyle Vincent. And in his incredible canvas, comes a collection of shots – too many to give mere mention. Ana Lily Amirpour writes and directs a homage to the movies she loves to embrace, right from the heart. She is a player indeed.

While the lure of the many, complex, wonderful portions of A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night had me frantically making a choice what exactly to write about, I was eventually captured by one magnetic scene. One of many. The film’s pace is purposefully staggered, almost like a movie in slow motion. Empty spaces and lonely people, trying to fill the void and find their place. And thus, one scene encapsulates this, the electricity before the human contact, the anticipation of the unknown.

For Arash and The Girl, this kinetic, emotional energy is vibrant and abstract. He’s lost in Bad City, intoxicated, wandering the streets; she’s a vampire, withdrawn, but clearly looking out into the world with untouchable curiosity. They meet for the first time at night, surrounded by the vacant night, and the street lights. Their communication is almost like a new brand of something otherwise so familiar. And the ambiance is no longer scary, strange, more spiritual and perhaps even satisfying.

The immediate spiritual connection between Arash and The Girl is a given, it seems. Such different forms in the world, and yet, somehow compatible in the simplest of ways. You embrace it so naturally, it feeds on your own longing for such souls to be embroiled rather than disconnected. From the streets of Bad City, they head off to her place. A bedroom full of pop culture posters and revolving lights, a kind of emo lair. But with great taste in music.

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A somehow familiar bond emerges as they listen to music in her apartment. The record The Girl slips on, the intoxicating “Death” by White Lies, is a perfect fit for this new-found meeting. There is still a tension, which builds slowly, as we, the audience, now what she is – and what she is capable of. And Arash is, well, human after all. And about to pass out.

The scene plays along with the song, juxtaposing the aura and dynamic created by these two unlikely entities. There is intimately, delivered through no words, and captured to a large degree by the dark room. And there is barely any physical contact. Sometimes knowing who is behind you, and how far away they are, is more powerful. Not hearing them approach under the music is as tantalizing as it is frightening. The adrenaline is only stretched out further by Amirpour, as The Girl seems to take an eternity to turn to face Arash,

And as they come to face with each other, the truly beautiful moment arrives as The Girl exposes his neck. And he lets her, I mean, this has become an intimate moment for him too. Perhaps even arousing. This is the perfect moment for such a vampire to pounce, feed, take what you want with likely little struggle. But, The Girl resists the temptation to take him. And instead, rests her head on his chest. Their embrace was well worth the wait. Sometimes life appears to move in slow motion, as your heart races on.

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