Not too long ago, I started Grad School. Eek. At the request of a few buddies, and considering the fact that this is also sort of a movies blog, I now present a paper I wrote now some time ago. Notes and citations are near the bottom.
The history of Iranian cinema is a long and torrid affair, much like that of American cinema, as Hamid Dabashi’s “Close Up: Iranian Cinema Past Present and Future” (2001) at times heartbreakingly describes. But despite the government’s frequent and unrelenting attempts at stifling creativity deemed irreputable or in any way damaging to the state (Dabashi, 32; Tait; Rostami-Povey, 6-7; Wright), there has always been, if not a strong, then a strong-willed underground scene (Dabashi, 33-75), and in recent years Iran has enjoyed more relaxed regulations (Dabashi, 253; Ghazi; Issa; Wright). Iranian American director Ana Lily Amirpour’s film A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014), exists as an extension of this constantly reinventing cinematic history by offering a film which, like many classic underground Iranian films (Dabashi, 28), presents an engaging film which nonetheless succeeds in questioning authority. By merging the genre of the western and the vampire film, as well as employing a variety of inversions of the male gaze, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night critiques and denounces patriarchal ideology as well as discusses how westernization has reshaped Iranian culture.