Director Andrew Patterson’s newly released feature debut, The Vast of Night, is an inventive and nostalgic take on American science fiction. Set in 1957, it opens with a spin on TheTwilight Zone’s classic intro before launching viewers into a quiet New Mexico town, where a strange sound is emanating from the airwaves. Two teens, a radio disc jockey and a switchboard operator, set out through dark suburban streets and desert sand dunes to uncover its source. Patterson reimagines an age-old plot with an eerie yet moving style, alien in its originality but human in its sensitivities to feeling. If our present and more pressing concerns overshadowed April’s unveiling of U.F.O. footage from the Pentagon, The Vast of Night will make you wonder again about flickering objects in the sky—and distract you from life here on earth. —C.J.F.