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A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night

The vampire, a lonely figure bound to a life nocturnal on the outskirts of society, above mortal law but fearful of Christ’s cross, has bewitched the imagination of storytellers for centuries. Entrenched in the taboo — unholy life beyond death, the transgression of sexual mores and wantonly feasting on shared fluids — the vampire has continued to adapt to the times, from the 1920s silent expressionist horror in "Nosferatu" to Anne Rice’s 1970s Southern Gothic chronicles of baroque homoeroticism among the Creole gentry. Considered to be the first modern vampire story, John William Polidori’s “The Vampyre” was inspired by Lord Byron during the same fateful summer in Geneva where Mary Shelley produced “Frankenstein.” Polidori, who died by suicide at age 25, tells of a clearly Byron-esqe undead vagrant named Lord Ruthven, a wicked seducer and murderer of diffident debutantes. “The Vampyre” would go on to influence Bram Stoker, but also American authors like Uriah Derick D’Arcy, who in 1819 penned “The Black Vampyre: A Legend of St. Domingo” where vampirism is the magic that allows enslaved West Africans to rise up against the oppression of the slave trade. “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night,” the 2014 directorial debut by Ana Lily Amirpour, takes the vampire myth to modern-day Iran, with influences that are far more Tarantino than Polidori. A slick Persian-language romance between a working-class James Dean-inspired stud and a too-cool-for-school vampire art girl, Amirpour’s stylish spaghetti western is both comic and comic booky, like if “Twilight” had been made by the sardonic girls of Daniel Clowes’ “Ghost World.”

 

Boondocks Film Society presents “A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night” on Jan. 21 along with a happy hour and music performance by Simone White at Nancy Marine Studio Theatre at The Warner in Torrington, Conn.

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