A good year for women on film, as exemplified in new releases The Eyes of My Mother, Miss Sloane, and more
Matthew Lickona 5 p.m., Dec. 9
Will Eubank’s sophomore feature is conspiracy-theorist’s dream: a genre-bender set in an unspecified future that finds three teenagers (two MIT whiz kids and a girlfriend) answering the call of a computer hacker bivouacked at an outmoded U.S. Air Force base that plays home to extraterrestrial biological entities. It’s a discombobulated universe, designed and structured to keep viewers one step behind. A former employee of Panavision, Eubank and cinematographer David Lanzenberg compose their frames with intent and purpose, gliding the camera through such familiar terrain as scenic mountain vistas and sterile corridors, ever outclassing one’s preconceived spatial expectations. The limited CGI budget is put to imaginative use, but the most mind-boggling effect is the lighting inside Laurence Fishburne’s square-cornered, magnified fish tank helmet that magically gives the head its buoyant, detached look. Eubank cites The Twilight Zone as a prime influence, and as such, the ending is in dire need of one of Rod’s sterling curves. 2014.