Beyond the Black Rainbow (2010)/A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (2014)
Beyond the Black Rainbow and A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night are two indie flicks you may have come across if you’re into genre films (horror, sci-fi) that think outside the box. Beyond the Black Rainbow is not new, for example, but I had never heard about it prior to discovering this list of visually stunning horror films. A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night on the other hand received a lot of praise as the directorial debut of young Iranian filmmaker Ana Lily Amirpour. The reason I feel compelled to review both films at once is that they can be described with many of the same adjectives: visually stunning, acoustically magnificent, and regrettably tedious.
Neither film has much of a narrative to speak of: the former documents the daily life of a young girl in captivity, held by a mad scientist of sorts. She eventually escapes and… that’s about it. The latter is about (did you guess it?) a girl who walks home alone at night, and she also happens to be a vampire who falls in love with an Iranian James Dean. Both films pay homage to the eighties in all the right ways, and hipsters of my generation will download their OSTs and rejoice in posting screenshots on their Tumblr. In fact, I can see my favorite Berlin bar projecting either of these movies on their wall while the crowd continues to drink and chat, and it would be doing both of them justice. There is nothing much to be gained from paying close attention.
I hope it doesn’t come across as condescending when I suggest that both movies would have benefitted from being shorts or music videos rather than feature films. That said, as directorial debuts they are certainly impressive and I would like to see where either director can go with an actual script. Screenwriters are your friend!