Anyone who believes that Stranger Things, whose season 4 was a hit on Netflix, is the best work of science fiction currently is totally wrong… or does not know the film The Vast of Night, available on Amazon Prime Video.
From the first sequence, we perceive that The Vast of Nightis a very special film. The camera moves slowly in a room. We realize that we are in another era, just by seeing the shape of television. An episode of a mystery series is about to start and viewers are drawn to it. It's one of the most notable sci-fi films of recent years and is available on Prime Video.
The Vast of Night, what's it all about?
Andrew Patterson's first feature begins with this curious introduction which clearly alludes to the cult series The Twilight Zone. All the decorations bring us back to it. The events take place in New Mexico in 1958. A year earlier, in October 1957, the Sputnik shock rocked the United States, as the Soviet Union launched the first artificial satellite into orbit. And, in New Mexico, there's Roswell, the town where a UFO crashed in 1947.
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The protagonists are Everett Sloan (Jake Horowitz) and Fay Crocker (Sierra McCormick), two teenagers from a small town. He works at the local radio and she at the telephone company. During one night, almost in real time, we accompany the two characters as they discover a curious story that will keep them in suspense: Fay hears a strange signal interfering with the radio broadcast, which attracts her attention. Shortly after, a woman calls for help because she saw mysterious lights on her lawn. Fay and Everett try to figure out what happens when a man calls into the show to reveal important government secrets.
WhyThe Vast of Night< /em> is different from other films of its kind
Of course, The Vast of Nightdoes not tell anything that has not already been treated before. The particularity of this film does not lie in its plot, but in the way of telling it. The director creates an interesting work in which he mixes different cinematographic styles, from a tracking shot in which we accompany the protagonist getting ready for the night, to shots of television programs or static shots that are faded to black so that your attention is drawn. relates only to what they contain.
The second part of the film takes place in a very small space, with very few characters. It's almost a play where the important thing is what is said in the conversations. Can you imagine the feeling of being a child and listening to an adult telling a fascinating story? This is exactly what the film conveys. And he does it in a very worked environment to convey a precise message.
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Part of the success of Stranger Things lies in the references to the 80s that she has brought back into fashion. Those bouffant hairstyles and neon jackets didn't go unnoticed, but despite the importance of those details, the story told by the Netflix series could have unfolded at any other time. Not the one from The Vast of Night. The film directly appeals to the nostalgia of the 50s, of the series consumed at the time and to this state of mind where there is hope for the future. Andrew Patterson evokes nostalgia for a time when you didn't have to be nostalgic but where you could believe in the future.
This article was written in collaboration with our Sensacine colleagues.