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First Frightdays: THE EYES OF MY MOTHER
January 6, 2017 @ 11:00 pm
“Meshing an especially bloody strain of slasher pic with the most whispery of high-art sensibilities, this tale of a young Portuguese-American woman drawn into severely psychotic behavior reps an exquisite waking nightmare, its meticulous monochrome imagery caressing the eye even as the filmmaker brandishes a scalpel before it.” – Variety
“Though filled with grisly, grotesque images, this is a film that doesn’t shock you with cheap scares; rather, it claws into your subconscious and lingers there.” – Vulture
In their secluded farmhouse, a mother, formerly a surgeon in Portugal, teaches her daughter, Francisca, to understand anatomy and be unfazed by death. One afternoon, a mysterious visitor horrifyingly shatters the idyll of Francisca’s family life, deeply traumatizing the young girl, but also awakening some unique curiosities. Though she clings to her increasingly reticent father, Francisca’s loneliness and scarred nature converge years later when her longing to connect with the world around her takes on a distinctly dark form.
Shot in crisp black and white, the haunting, and at times disturbing, visual compositions of The Eyes of My Mother evoke its protagonist’s isolation and illuminate her deeply unbalanced worldview. Genre-inflected, but so strikingly unique as to defy categorization, writer/director Nicolas Pesce’s assured feature debut allows us only an elliptical presence in Francisca’s world, guiding our imaginations to follow her into peculiar, secret places.
Dir. Nicolas Pesce. 2016. 76 min.
First Frightdays is a monthly horror showcase of the best new and old horror and suspense films on the first Friday of each month.