The Vast of Night

The Vast of Night poster.jpg
A “science fiction mystery” is how this film is described on wikipedia. Fair enough. It’s a good piece of filmmaking all around: acting, character development, music, pace, direction.

It takes place in rural New Mexico about sixty years ago and focuses on an evening adventure of a teenage switchboard operator and a radio host. In our modern perspective we know about far-out things shown and mentioned in the film–cell phones, self-driving cars, a Twilight Zone lookalike, and of course, UFOs.

Most of the town is watching the local high school basketball team, but a few are noticing lights in the sky. Also, the two leads detect strange noises that interrupt a radio broadcast and pipe in over a switchboard line. Conversations ensue with mysterious characters: a black military vet, an old townswoman. The viewer, with decades of knowledge of pop culture, knows some of what’s happening. But the skill of the filmmaker is such that suspense and mystery are created as part of the narrative.

The Vast of Night is, as you can tell from the image, streaming on Amazon. If you have prime video, it’s worth a watch.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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