Written and Directed by Ana Lily Amirpour | 101 min | The Criterion Channel
Recent years have seen a few too many teen vampire movies and TV shows, but the tide is turning: The undead are getting a little more adult, a little more terrifying and sexily intriguing. The chilly and amazing Swedish film Let The Right One In may have started it. Then we had Byzantium and Jim Jarmusch’s excellent Only Lovers Left Alive.
Now available on the Criterion Channel is something weirder than all of them. This is a black-and-white Iranian film, directed by Ana Lily Amirpour, shot just outside Los Angeles. It’s totally punk: as if Jim Jarmusch had decided to make Only Lovers Left Alive back in the 1980s circa Down By Law. Except in Persian.
A random collection of largely nocturnal characters wander the city, along with an alienated, skateboarding vampire. Light on plot but heavy on atmospherics, the film insinuates powerfully through its running time — both dryly witty and coolly nonplussed. Are you an aficionado of the cinematic bloodsucker or the peculiar art film? This is essential viewing.