Ana Lily Amirpour puts a Middle Eastern spin, with a touch of Italian westerns, on the Dracula tale. And Leah Remini returns with more tales of disillusioned Scientologists.
A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT (2014) on iTunes and Amazon. A Persian-speaking waif (Sheila Vand), cloaked in a black chador, skateboards through the deserted streets of a fictional Iranian ghost town in Ana Lily Amirpour’s camp thriller. “Ms. Amirpour shot her movie in Bakersfield, Calif., and she has obviously watched her share of Sergio Leone westerns,” Manohla Dargis wrote in The New York Times. “She can fill a wide-screen frame, and if you don’t mind narrative repetition and passages in which nothing much happens, beyond pretty people staring at other pretty people, you may not mind that she has trouble filling this overlong movie.” Ms. Dargis added, “Still, she gives you much to look at.”
MUSTANG (2015) on Amazon, iTunes and Netflix. After the eldest of five orphaned sisters dares to romp with boys at the beach on the last day of school in rural Turkey, the girls are confined to their grandmother’s house, which an uncle helps turn into a sort of “wife factory.” And, as the girls keep sneaking out, the walls keep closing in: A doctor administers virginity tests; the windows are barred; prospective husbands are entertained over tea. Writing in The Times, Nicolas Rapold called the film “a stunning debut feature by Deniz Gamze Ergüven.”
TANGERINE (2015) on Amazon, iTunes and Netflix. Sin-Dee and Alexandra — a couple of fast-talking and fast-walking transgender prostitutes played with exuberant heart by Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor — scour Hollywood for the woman Sin-Dee’s boyfriend (and pimp) stepped out with while Sin-Dee was in jail. Sean Baker’s raucous comedy, shot on tricked-out iPhones, “encompasses dizzying multitudes,” Manohla Dargis wrote in The Times, adding, “but mostly, movingly, it is a female-friendship movie about two people who each started life with an XY chromosome set.”
What’s on TV
WADJDA (2013) 8:20 p.m. on Starz Cinema; also on Starz On Demand. A Saudi girl (Waad Mohammed) enters a Quran-reciting contest with a cash prize in the hope of buying a bicycle — a mode of transport discouraged for women, with which she is to race a boy. Heartbreak hovers over “Haifaa al-Mansour’s sharply observed, deceptively gentle film, reportedly the first feature ever directed by a Saudi woman,” A. O. Scott wrote in The Times. But “with impressive agility, ‘Wadjda’ finds room to maneuver between harsh realism and a more hopeful kind of storytelling.”
LEAH REMINI: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE AFTERMATH 9 p.m. on A&E. Ms. Remini, the actress and author of “Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology,” is back with more tales from high-ranking former Scientologists — among them, the Oscar-winning filmmaker Paul Haggis.
Continue reading the main story