Ana Lily Amirpour

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Ana Lily Amirpour
Ana Lily Amirpour (cropped).jpg
Amirpour in 2014
Born
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Alma mater
Occupation
  • Film director
  • screenwriter
Years active2009–present

Ana Lily Amirpour is an American-Iranian film director, screenwriter, producer and actor. She is best known for her feature film debut A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, a self-described "Iranian Vampire Spaghetti Western" that made its debut at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014,[1] and which was based on a previous short film that she wrote and directed, which won Best Short Film at the 2012 Noor Iranian Film Festival.[2]

Early life[edit]

Amirpour was born in England, and moved to Miami, Florida with her family when she was young.[3] Her family then settled in Bakersfield, California, where she attended high school.[4] Later, she attended San Francisco State University as an art major for her undergraduate degree, and then graduated from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.[5] She has been making films since she was 12 years old.[6]

Amirpour's love for film came about the same time she moved to the United States with her family in the 1980s. She speaks often about the culture shock she experienced and her connection with American films. "I got hooked on them. It’s how I assimilated and became American, through American pop culture and music—Madonna, Michael Jackson. And movies. I was always putting on shows and stuff. My dad got a camcorder when I was 12 and I started making films and imitating commercials. Like, I would remake commercials. I wasn’t like, I’m going to be a filmmaker. My parents, they never encouraged that; I don’t know how they even would have. Iranians don’t do that."[7]

Amirpour suffers from 30% hearing loss which she correlates with her lack of dialogue in her films.

Career[edit]

Feature films[edit]

Amirpour's feature directorial debut was A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014), self-described as "the first Iranian vampire spaghetti western" and starring Sheila Vand, Arash Marandi, Marshall Manesh, Dominic Rains, Mozhan Marnò and Rome Shadanloo. The film built up significant buzz when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, eventually being picked up by Kino Lorber and distributed by VICE films.[8] The film also won the "Revelations Prize" at the 2014 Deauville Film Festival and the Carnet Jove Jury Award, as well as the Citizen Kane Award for Best Directorial Revelation from the Sitges Film Festival. The film was also nominated for the Halekulani Golden Orchid award at the Hawaii International Film Festival.

At the film's premiere, VICE Creative Director Eddy Moretti, whose company released the film, called Amirpour "the next Tarantino".[9] The New York Times's A.O. Scott also remarked that the film had a "Jim Jarmusch-like cool" and a "disarmingly innocent outlaw romanticism."[10] In the wake of the film's release, Filmmaker named her to their 2014 list of the 25 New Faces of Independent Film.[11]

Amirpour described her second film, an English-language film entitled The Bad Batch as "a post-apocalyptic cannibal love story set in a Texas wasteland" where a "muscled cannibal breaks the rule ‘don’t play with your food’" - "It’s Road Warrior meets Pretty in Pink with a dope soundtrack."[12][13] She has also described it as "very violent" and "very romantic" and like "El Topo meets Dirty Dancing".[14] The film stars Jason Momoa,[15] Jim Carrey and Keanu Reeves.[16] It premiered at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival on September 6, 2016 and won the Special Jury prize.[17]

Amirpour is currently set to direct her next film, Blood Moon. It is set to star Kate Hudson and Zac Efron. In May 2018, Amirpour shopped the script for her third feature, Blood Moon, at the Cannes Film Festival. The movie is described as "a mind-bending adventure set in the humid, neon-lit streets of New Orleans. Inspired by adventure films of the 1980s and ’90s, “Blood Moon” follows a young girl with special abilities. After escaping from an asylum, she enters back into the chaotic reality around her, making unexpected allies along the way."[18]

Amirpour writes all of her scripts in Las Vegas.[19]

Style and themes[edit]

Amirpour's films are known for being highly stylized and her creative choices often revolve around the mixing and meshing of cultural backgrounds and genres. Music and score is of the upmost importance in her work. "I love music and whenever I start thinking of a story or characters there’s always music that pops up. It’s just as much as an outfit that you’d think they would wear. The music they listen to will tell you more about their character."[20] All of these can be best seen in her first feature, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night - a film that is widely regarded as the "first Iranian vampire western"[21] Inspiration from the eastern and western words are equally present in all her work.

Her films typically revolve around central female characters who are outcasts in their own worlds. She often notes that she finds the characters from a personal place within herself. " Then, just as far as the storytelling, I wanted to do a fucking psychedelic Western. I like outcasts, I'm always drawn to the people that don't neatly fit into the conventional shit that's all around, the system. But, for what I'm writing right now, once again it's all about this shit that I'm personally trying to figure out."[22]

Amirpour's films often value images and framing over dialogue. When questioned about the sparse dialogue in her films she was quoted saying, "For me, it's interesting that people take the lack of dialogue as there being no story. It makes people uncomfortable, which I understand."[23] Many critics have dubbed her 'the next Quentin Tarantino' due to her stylized framing, her peculiar characters, and use of music in her work. She finds inspiration from the various film directors; David Lynch, Francis Ford Coppola, and Sergio Leone.

Amirpour's top ten inspirational films[edit]

Amirpour has noted that the following 10 films have inspired her personally as a filmmaker;[24]

Mulholland Drive by David Lynch

The Fisher King by Terry Gilliam

Au hazard Balthazar by Robert Bresson

Antichrist by Lars von Trier

Dazed and Confused by Richard Linklater

Being John Malkovich by Spike Jonze

Repulsion by Roman Polanski

Fantastic Mr. Fox by Wes Anderson

Repo Man by Alex Cox

And God Created Woman by Roger Vadim

Short films[edit]

Amirpour has written, produced and directed a number of short films before her directorial debut with A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. Among them is a 2011 short of the same name, which won a "Best Short Film" award at the 2012 Noor Iranian Film Festival and features Nazanin Boniadi in the role played by Sheila Vand in the feature, as well as Marshall Manesh and Dominic Rains from the feature film version.

Among these short films is also, A Little Suicide (2012), which received nominations for Best Short Film from the Edinburgh International Film Festival, the Oldenburg Film Festival and the Zlin International Film Festival for Children and Youth, as well as Pashmaloo (2011), also starring Sheila Vand from the feature film version of A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night and screened at Berlinale (Berlin International Film Festival) in 2011, Ketab (2010), which also stars Sheila Vand, as well as Marshall Manesh from A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, True Love (2010), which won an Audience Award for Best International Short from the Milano International Film Festival Awards, You (2009), a music video featuring San Francisco rock duo Juanita and the Rabbit, and Six and a Half (2009).

Amirpour has written the short films I Feel Stupid (2012) (directed by Milena Pastreich), and part of the story for the feature film The Garlock Incident (2012), in which she also stars.

In January 2018, Amirpour released a short film for fashion house Kenzo, in which she collaborated with indie musicians and actors Karen O, Michael Kiwanuka, Alex Zhang Hungtai and Kiko Mizuhara. Karen O and Kiwanuka created the soundtrack while Zhang and Mizuhara star in the film.

Television[edit]

In July 2016, it was announced Amirpour would direct an episode of the documentary series Breakthrough for National Geographic Channel.[25]

Filmography[edit]

Features[edit]

Year Film Director Writer Actor Role
2012 The Garlock Incident Yes Yes Lily
2014 A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night Yes Yes Yes Skeleton Partygirl
2016 The Bad Batch Yes Yes
TBA Blood Moon Yes Yes

Television[edit]

Year Show Episode
2017 Breakthrough "Curing Cancer"
2018 Legion "Chapter 10"
2018 Castle Rock "Past Perfect"

Short Films[edit]

Year Film
2009 Six and a Half[26]
2010 True Love
2010 Ketab
2011 Pashmaloo
2011 A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
2012 A Little Suicide
2017 Yo! My Saint (for Kenzo)

Music Videos[edit]

Year Song Musician
2009 "You" [27] Juanita and the Rabbit

References[edit]

  1. ^ Talking to the Star and Director of 'A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night' - VICE Meets
  2. ^ Festival, Noor Iranian Film. "2012 Winners - Noor Iranian Film Festival". Retrieved 2016-08-16.
  3. ^ Rizov, Vadim. "Ana Lily Amirpour | Filmmaker Magazine". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved 2018-01-05.
  4. ^ "The Vampire Western Noir Set in Iran and Filmed Near Bakersfield - Los Angeles Magazine". Los Angeles Magazine. 2014-11-21. Retrieved 2018-01-06.
  5. ^ "Director Ana Lily Amirpour's Guide To Filmmaking And "Back to the Future" Approach to Creativity". Fast Company. 2014-11-21. Retrieved 2018-01-05.
  6. ^ Id.
  7. ^ ""We Like Vampires Because We Hate Death"". The New Republic. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  8. ^ Rizov, Vadim. "Ana Lily Amirpour | Filmmaker Magazine". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved 2018-01-06.
  9. ^ Beer, Jeff. (September 3, 2014) "Take A Look Inside the Headquarters of Vice". Fast Company. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  10. ^ Scott, A.O. and Dargis, Manohla. (March 18, 2014) "Pushing Buttons and Boundaries on Movie Screens: New Directors/New Films Opens With Bold Strokes". New York Times. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  11. ^ Kang, Inkoo. (July 21, 2014) "Half of Filmmaker's 25 New Faces Are Women". Indiewire. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  12. ^ Eidelstein, Eric (2014-11-20). "Ana Lily Amirpour Is the Raddest Filmmaker Working Right Now". IndieWire. Retrieved 2018-01-05.
  13. ^ Ana Lily Amirpour Working On Cannibal Love Story The Bad Batch
  14. ^ "Exclusive: Ana Lily Amirpour Talks A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night and What's Next - Dread Central". www.dreadcentral.com. Retrieved 2018-01-05.
  15. ^ “Game of Thrones” Star Joins ‘The Bad Batch’
  16. ^ Cannibal Flick The Bad Batch Eats Up Jim Carrey and Keanu Reeves
  17. ^ "Venice Film Festival: Golden Lion To 'The Woman Who Left'; Tom Ford's 'Nocturnal Animals', Emma Stone Take Major Prizes – Full List". Deadline. 11 September 2016. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  18. ^ https://theplaylist.net/blood-moon-ana-lily-amirpour-20180505/
  19. ^ [1]
  20. ^ Eidelstein, Eric (2014-11-20). "Ana Lily Amirpour Is the Raddest Filmmaker Working Right Now". IndieWire. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  21. ^ "In Celebration of Badass Auteur Ana Lily Amirpour". Film School Rejects. 2017-02-21. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  22. ^ "Fantastic Fest 2016 Interview: Writer/Director Ana Lily Amirpour on Creating Her Psychedelic Western THE BAD BATCH - Daily Dead". Daily Dead. 2016-10-04. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  23. ^ "Fantastic Fest 2016 Interview: Writer/Director Ana Lily Amirpour on Creating Her Psychedelic Western THE BAD BATCH - Daily Dead". Daily Dead. 2016-10-04. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  24. ^ "The Criterion Collection". The Criterion Collection. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  25. ^ "National Geographic Channel Greenlights Second Season of Critically Acclaimed Series BREAKTHROUGH". Business Wire. July 25, 2016. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  26. ^ "{{ ($root.post && $root.post.id) ? $root.post.translations[$root.lang].socialTitle : $root.seo.pageTitle | translate }}". www.nowness.com. Retrieved 2018-01-05.
  27. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKVoPFmXAAA

External links[edit]