The Eyes of My Mother

New York Times Critics Pick: A Woman’s Horrific Unraveling in ‘The Eyes of My Mother’
— Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times
Impeccable art direction by Caroline Keenan Russell and costume design by Whitney Anne Adams, both of these create a cohesive look and give the film a somewhat timeless or period less style as they are from a not clearly identified period yet feel familiar and comfortable.
— Emilie Black, Cinema Crazed
An exquisite waking nightmare, its meticulous monochrome imagery caressing the eye even as the filmmaker brandishes a scalpel before it
— Guy Lodge, Variety
Nicolas Pesce’s stunning, sick-as-fuck debut that quickly establishes itself as a high point of modern art-horror nightmare fodder.
— David Fear, Rolling Stone
This is a film that claws into your subconscious and lingers there. A sick, simmering nightmare of a movie
— Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine
There’s no denying that Pesce delivers ugliness with uncommon elegance. Movies designed to make audiences feel really bad rarely look so good.
— A. A. Dowd, The A.V. Club
Fusing classic horror ingredients with haunting gothic imagery and expressionistic dread, “The Eyes of My Mother” mashes its gorgeous components into a shockingly original tone poem...when all the cards are on the table, it’s a spectacular view
— Eric Kohn, IndieWire
To describe it all as beautiful may sound odd, but it’s right. The black and white imagery (Zach Kuperstein is the director of photography), the music (with a score by Ariel Loh), the sparseness of the dialogue, the stilted nature of the relationships, and more combine to make a movie which feels beautiful while remaining horrifying.
— Josh Lasser, IGN
And because it’s shot in serene, carefully graded monochrome, the story seems like it could be set anywhere and any time, existing equally in the past, present, and future.
— Alissa Wilkinson, Vox
The film creates extreme beauty out of ugliness
— Tasha Robinson, The Verge
Despite this being Pesce’s film debut, his direction is that of a veteran behind the camera, crafting one of the most visually appealing and haunting films I’ve seen this year. Shot by cinematographer Zach Kuperstein in stark black and white, the film’s lonely forest backdrop only adds to the sheer beauty of nearly every frame of every shot, even those that are more difficult to endure
— Adam Patterson, The Film Pulse
A visual and aural nightmarish feast for those brave enough to partake in it. The Eyes of My Mother is a beautiful nightmare from start to finish.
— Justin Gerber, Consequence of Sound
Shot in black and white, the film is a work or art. Experimental when it needs to be, textbook when called upon, there’s solid direction throughout. Pieces’ gives so much strong composition you could open a successful art house hanging just half the shots
— Joey Click, Fansided
Visually, the film is a masterpiece. Shot entirely in black and white, with carefully composed shots – almost feeling like a total arthouse picture
— Michael Klug, Horror Freak News

The A.V. Club: The Eyes Of My Mother’s Nicolas Pesce on how his family shaped his gruesome debut   

AVC: the film is set in an ambiguous time period. What were you going for with that?

NP: I think that I wanted to be ambiguous, and the only clue as to when it takes place is the cars that are in the parking lot of the bar, and the way that Kimiko is dressed.

AVC: Her jean jacket did make me go, “Ohhh.” I thought the story was set in the ’50s until I saw that jacket.

NP: I’d say that sequence is 1988, and then you can backtrack from there.

AVC: It does span decades.

NP: Yeah. In my opinion, it goes from late ’60s to early ’90s. And the cues are really just the bars. That’s the only thing that gives you a sense of when and where you are. I liked that, in this movie, where [an audience member] is like, “This is the ’50s or ’60s,” and all of a sudden there’s this girl who looks like she watches Beverly Hills, 90210. And it’s like, “Whoa, wait a second, where are we?” This isn’t as far off as you thought it was.

 

The Eyes of My Mother gets B&W treatment (Post Magazine)

The film was digitally captured by Kuperstein in color and converted to black & white during post production processing at Technicolor PostWorks. Kuperstein notes that planning for that conversion began early on and involved nearly every aspect of production. “A lot of our work with production designer, Sam Hensen, and costume designer, Whitney Adams, was focused on creating color contrast in the design elements so they could be easily separated when we got to the DI,” he recalls. “We captured all of the color information on set, viewing the image with a simple black and white LUT, with the intention of grabbing those distinct colors and adjusting their brightness values in post.”

“Sam was able to isolate the unusually saturated colors, such as a bright orange couch or the green line's in Francisca's dress, and make them stand apart,” adds Kuperstein.  “This added a kind of texture and contrast that would not have otherwise been possible.  The approach is akin to using a yellow filter on B&W negative to darken a sky.”

 

The Hip Hop Nutcracker

Whitney Adams’ costumes hit the mark. The opening scenes bring dancers dressed in black, white and gray, with a current-day mélange of sports jerseys, sweatshirts and legwarmers. The journey to 1984 is replete with acid washed jeans, sweatbands and blue jean vests.
— Lynn Trenning, Charlotte Observer
Other moments were simply sweet, like the snow waltz with the group of youths, now all in white, tumbling and churning as the coolest snowflakes ever.
— Wendy Liberatore, The Daily Gazette
There is a Drosselmeyer (Taeko Koji), a magician with a cape, a plume of black and hot-pink hair and a gift for telekinesis... the ensemble climaxes, with everyone windmilling on their backs, are as exciting as their balletic equivalents, and the hip-hop vocabulary, robot staccato or bravura with Russian borrowings, works even better for toys, the battle and several of the national divertissements ... there are touches of poetry, as when the Snowflakes slide on their backs to suggest a surface of ice ... it’s a gift to Upper Manhattan
— Brian Seibert, The New York Times
With a fresh look at a beloved classic, the Hip Hop Nutcracker is sure to become a tradition of its own for many in the years to come.
— Katie Fraser, CBS Minnesota

 

Travesties

The felicitous costumes by Judith Dolan and Whitney Anne Adams add to the expert impersonations
— Aileen Jacobson, The New York Times
Clothes do play a part in the olio of a script, for Carr is ever the fop, lovingly describing in detail even what he wore in the Great War before he was sidelined with injuries. And the costumes, designed by Judith Dolan and Whitney Anne Adams, are rich and fabulous, even when they are splitting apart. And yes, some do.
— Lorraine Dusky, 27 East
The feel of the time period was aided by the historical costuming of Judith Dolan and Whitney Adams
— Kristen Weyer, NY Theatre Guide

 

Tonight at 8:30

With lovely costumes by Whitney Anne Adams
— Aileen Jacobson, The New York Times
Vibrant costumes by Whitney Anne Adams and clever sets by Heather Wolensky also add a unique flair to the show.
— Emily Toy, The Independent
Even the scene changes are beautifully done, with stagehands dressed as English maids and servants. All these small details help to make the evening such a winning one ... and the costumes, designed by Whitney Anne Adams, capture the period perfectly as well.
— T. E. McMorrow, The Independent

 

Les Miserables

Lenz’s design team has the difficult task of creating new work while still paying homage to the iconic original designs which have been seen by millions of theatergoers around the world, and they all succeed tremendously. The costumes by Whitney Adams appropriately run the gamut from drab and shabby to tailored and luxurious
— Jeff Davis, Broadway World Austin
A production as strong as this one obviously owes so much to Matt Lenz for his vision and direction, as well as the talented team that supported this production: Allen Robertson (musical director), Greg Graham (choreography), Cliff Simon (scenic design), and Whitney Adams (costumes).
— Joan Baker, Austin Entertainment Weekly