So when did you last watch a feminist Iranian Vampire Western?

Week #10 with Ana Lily Amirpour

I’ve been testing out the projector, our Christmas gift to each other that took 3 years to justify, with this weeks female creator Ana Lily Amirpour. It’s week 10 of my FemCult52 project to discover 52 female creators in 52 weeks. 10 weeks of pretty much only consuming media and content created by women. I’ve already learnt so much. Which I’ll pull together into a separate post. In the mean time, a bit about the film.

Who is Ana Lily Amirpour?

American award winning film Director who made A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night,“the first Iranian vampire spaghetti western” that launched to lots of buzz at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. You can watch it on Amazon Prime.

Why should you watch A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night?

1. The lead character is a female skateboarding vampire….

2. Who bites off a pimp’s finger

3. The monochrome throughout looks 👌

4. It’s so attractive and arty that I sat watching a scene for 2 mins before realising that my screen had froze….I thought the director was just having a deep moment…

5. There’s a interesting play on the chador as a black cape, bat like and flowing

6. Hearing a lady vampire say ‘Be A Good Boy’ can be surprisingly scary

7. Somehow this movie about a vampire in Iran wearing a chador is also a Western

Ana Lily Amirpour on whether the film is political

“The thing tying them all together is that they’re all on the margins of their respective societies. This is particularly true of the character Rockabilly, who never speaks but serves as a silent watcher — in drag. “If there’s one political thing [in the movie], it’s not the chador,” Amirpour says. “It’s Rockabilly, because it’s not OK to be gay in Iran.”

On how wearing a chador inspired the film

“The idea came to the UCLA film school graduate when she was making a short film and an extra walked through the set wearing a chador. The director asked to try it on and, looking at herself in the mirror, she felt like a bat. She immediately thought, “Iranian vampire” and wondered why no one had thought of it before.”

On being a woman filmmaker

“I never think about that. I just don’t find categorization useful to me in any way, at any point in my existence. I think it’s as arbitrary as if you were to talk about left-handed people. It’s not the sum of anything and I also don’t know what other women think. I do a lot of depraved, strange twisted things that might be chauvinistic, I don’t know…”

There’s a graphic novel to go with it

And loads of amazing fan art

images by shalindrome / chivisan / robastrudel


What female creator did I discover last week?

This post is part of my FemCult52 project in which I aim to discover 52 female creators in 52 weeks. Last week was all about feminist disability activist Harilyn Rousso

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