Author Topic: M. Night Shyamalan  (Read 35454 times)

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Gold Trumpet

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Re: M. Night Shyamalan
« Reply #135 on: October 09, 2008, 01:22:19 AM »
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only in the end you realize unbreakable is a comic book movie. it wasn't sold like one when it was on theatres, and if had been sold like that it would have tanked. to the casual viewer, this was a supernatural story. i love unbreakable, easily his best film, and the more risky. but you don't say things in interviews like "i'm a strange creature" and "i took all these incredible risks"....he sounds like an idiot. sorry.

I think Unbreakable is the cousin film to Speilberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Both films are character studies that are meant to reflect our fascination and desire to believe in a popular phenomenon. Speilberg's generation had aliens and now Shyamalan correctly understands today it is super heroes. I believe super heroes are hollow as far as dramatic potential goes, but I definitely understand the relevance they have in our society.

Stefen

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Re: M. Night Shyamalan
« Reply #136 on: October 09, 2008, 09:42:07 AM »
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Why does everyone hate Signs? I thought it was great. Sure, it wasn't very plausible, but I found it was very effective the way it stayed with this one family through the whole film instead of focusing on what's going on in the rest of the world.
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Alexandro

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Re: M. Night Shyamalan
« Reply #137 on: October 09, 2008, 10:07:36 AM »
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I didn't hate Signs when it came out and saw it in the theatre. I haven't seen it again because I think the experience would be diminished greatly on the small screen. I thought it was very good actually. Of course on that film there were already signs ;) of what would become shyamalan's worst tendencies, like his reliance in humor and the fact he doesn't give a fuck when something doesn't make any sense but he loves the idea of having some sort of shocking effect on the audience, like that shit about the aliens being allergic to water....

tpfkabi

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Re: M. Night Shyamalan
« Reply #138 on: October 09, 2008, 11:31:52 AM »
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Unbreakable is my favorite, too.
saw Signs on opening weekend in a full theatre on the front row. seen it on cable several times since. just didn't impress me.
I liked the Village when I saw it in the theatre, but I have yet to revisit it to see if I feel the same.
Sixth Sense - i think i can never like it because the idea that he would have never opened the door (or there was something else that just didn't add up, it's been too long for me to remember).
Lady was atrocious.
haven't seen the last one.
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Alexandro

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Re: M. Night Shyamalan
« Reply #139 on: October 09, 2008, 12:31:20 PM »
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the village, i saw it twice on the theater even though i realy hated the ending. to me it is failure, but a beautiful failure everything feels precise and made with love and care. i thought the relationship between the two leads was very effectively realized, and she in particular was a revelation. everything was cool to me except the ending.

ElPandaRoyal

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Re: M. Night Shyamalan
« Reply #140 on: October 09, 2008, 06:36:39 PM »
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I actually am in the minority here, but I love/like anything he's done since The Sixth Sense (haven't seen his previous movies).

The thing is, he only uses those supernatural elements to explore our fears. Most of the time, everything is just a metaphor for something else. Plausibility doesn't really bother me a bit in movies, as long as it serves the story being told. And I really don't think (and most will disagree with me here) he manipulates elements of his movies forcing them to feed the story. He makes them part of it. Example: okay, aliens are allergic to water, but the movie is about faith, so we'll have some character use the water in a way that is going to resonate at the end. What's the difference how we beat them, since the story really isn't about them, but about a family dealing with a terrible death. The movie that most defies this to me is "Lady In The Water", where characters really seem to be there only to move the plot forward, but then again, it's a matter of how you see it. Because, like in all bedtime stories or fables, these characters all represent something more. He creates universes where he just asks one thing from the audience: accept it. The rest, well, it succeeds because he's great at a lot of things, mostly visually. He's great at creating tense situations, and he is never afraid to take chances, even if they can make him look ridiculous.

By the way, Alexandro, what did you not like about the ending of "The Village"? I couldn't see any other way for it to end. To me, that is one of the very few movies we can actually call a post-9/11 picture. It's all about running away from fear, closing yourself away from the real world and digging into some sort of utopia - but in the end, the real world always comes to get you.
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Alexandro

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Re: M. Night Shyamalan
« Reply #141 on: October 09, 2008, 07:27:35 PM »
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VILLAGE SPOILERS

I didn't like the ending of The Village for many reasons. The main one being that it was unnecessary. The film IS about running away from fear and taking refugee in utopia, but that's clear from the get go. We really didn't need to learn that these people are actually living in the present. I don't remember what the explanation was, but it was contrived and sounded silly and ridiculous. Again, he seemed to be so in love with the idea of pulling the carpet from our feet, of giving us a twist. You can take the film exactly like it is, and reveal some sort of explanation for the weird behaviours everyone has there without having to say we are suddenly in the 2000's...just for him to explain all this, the film takes like 10, 15 minutes of one contrived occurrence after the other. Let's forget about the complete implausibility of what he's proposing, let's forget about planes flying by or people, you know, finding out, since they didn't seemed to be living in some isolated mini world in the middle of nowhere, but actually in some sort of suburb...even forgetting about that, it just feels so forced!! I was very disappointed when that happened.

And if he was so in love with this idea, at least he should have worked a little bit more in resolving the whole thing in a more simple manner. What boggles me about these choices he makes is that he claims to be on the boat of being a master storytelling, and it's like his instincts are all fucked up, because he doesn't seem to realize when one of these ideas will just kill the whole thing, all the work done up to that point. Both times I saw The Village people started laughing and complaining out loud. If you want to be M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN, you have to expect these things before, or see how obvious it is that's gonna happen to avoid it.

The same happened in THE HAPPENING. His whole thing seems to be to create tension with silence and stillness, but it gets to a point (very early on) when you have to ask yourself if these characters realize what is happening around them, because none of them react in any credible, let alone exciting way to the fact that THE WORLD IS ABOUT TO COLLAPSE. Looking at Marky Mark's and Zooey's reactions, you would think nothing is happening, they seem to be more worried about their marital problems, which, by the way, are pretty lame and boring compared to what previous Shyamalan characters were experiencing. Now, let's say this is on purpose. That this guy is actually making the actors perform like this to make a point about real life, about the apathy of real human beings regarding the destruction of our environment. Isn't that way too pretentious and doesn't it get old quickly? When I saw this film I was literally with my mouth open at how bad it was. The acting specially, I felt as if I was watching a short film from my communications college, from the guys who were clueless about the whole thing.

ElPandaRoyal

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Re: M. Night Shyamalan
« Reply #142 on: October 10, 2008, 08:43:39 AM »
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SPOILERS ABOUT THE VILLAGE AND THE HAPPENING

OK, I can see what you mean, even though I don't agree with a lot of things.

About The Village ending, I think it was important to place the story in the present in order to make its point. Yes, it's true that the characters always mention running away from something in their town, but placing it in present day increases its point. Why? Because it's so extreme. Because not only does it show that they wanted to escape from society, but also that they, in a sense, wanted a whole new world for them, a world that was pure and innocent. But, of course, they depended on the real world in order to save someone and, more than that, to save love. Again, it's a very symbolic idea which I liked, because in order to preserve the purity of their world, they needed help from the world outside. As for plausibility, again, it's something that doesn't even bother, but if you watch it closely, all of those things (planes, people finding out) are explained in the movie and, again, it's up to you to accept that.

One more note about The Happening. I agree that the human factor there isn't as deep or as convincing as in his other movies, and the acting felt a little odd at times, but I didn't see anything wrong with their attitudes. It's only normal that, when trying to escape tragedy, you'll first want to help the ones you love, and care about them more than anyone else. He has a strong message to pass with this movie (sometimes I liked how he did it, sometimes I didn't), and maybe some of his choices weren't that good, but it was filled with great cinematic moments - either technically or emotionally (I loved those deaths at the beggining, the pass the gun sequence, John Leguizamo's death scene and the conversation in the old lady's house between Deschannel and Wahlberg - again (and I don't argue that this might be very lame if you look at it that way), in a sense, those characters were saved by love. But in neither one of these movies does it mean that, even though their love was saved, the world is a safe place. I don't know, I really like these kind of stories, but yeah, Shyamalan (just like Brian De Palma) is one of those directors about which I can understand some of the hate...
Si

Alexandro

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Re: M. Night Shyamalan
« Reply #143 on: October 10, 2008, 10:22:15 AM »
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SPOILERING THE HAPPENING


It's not that I think that having marital problems is lame for characters in movies, this movie or any movie. But if I recall correctly their problem seemed to be something about not feeling jealous enough? He gets mad because she ordered dessert at some meal? They both sound like inmense dorks. It was like: "dude, please get over this bullshit". It was all very poorly handled.

I like when movies become the metaphors they are about (as in "these characters were saved by love"), I just don't think the film cares about not hammering you in the head with them and developing characters and situations instead. It's pure effect with almost no cause.

I also was impressed with the deaths at the beggining, although Leguizamo's scene was, again, too contrived, too prepared. I like Shyamalan a lot, I think he can truly be one of the top leadig american filmmakers. If he wanted to be like Spielberg in the 80's he could, if he wanted to be an art director, some kind of new breed, he could too. But he has to take his head out of his ass and stop being so in love with every "awesome" thing that comes into his head.


ElPandaRoyal

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Re: M. Night Shyamalan
« Reply #144 on: October 10, 2008, 12:12:53 PM »
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It seems I kind of agree with you that in The Happening, the characters could be more worked out, and their problems aren't deep enough, but I think his filmmaking here is top notch, really. I love the way he takes his time with a shot, how he frames, uses music, etc... To me it's the one of his films I like the least, but I still enjoy it because some of the details and scenes I wrote about.

I can perfectly see how we can pass as a pompous ass, but for some reason I kind of find it likable when those things come across in his movies. I mean, I couldn't care less if a film maker is an ass in interviews or in his personal life, as long as his movies aren't. With Shyamalan, the guy who plays a character in his own movie whose words are going to save the world, and who puts a critic in the same movie as "the asshole" it somehow worked. But I totally can see what you're saying, he takes risks, his ideas may come across as contrived and too much to handle, but they're fine with me (although, yeah, it's not for him to say he takes chances like he's doing something only he is capable of).
Si

Alexandro

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Re: M. Night Shyamalan
« Reply #145 on: October 12, 2008, 10:58:30 AM »
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i liked the stuff about the critic and the mesiah in lady in the water too. i thought it was funny. i think lady in the water will be some kind of rediscovered film buff guilty pleasure in the future.

ElPandaRoyal

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Re: M. Night Shyamalan
« Reply #146 on: October 12, 2008, 01:16:36 PM »
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i liked the stuff about the critic and the mesiah in lady in the water too. i thought it was funny. i think lady in the water will be some kind of rediscovered film buff guilty pleasure in the future.

I can't call it a guilty pleasure yet because I've only seen it once - the movie is not available in stores here in Portugal on DVD at the moment, don't know why. But I sure had a great time the first time I watched it.
Si

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Re: M. Night Shyamalan
« Reply #147 on: October 14, 2008, 12:58:07 PM »
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I can understand saying Unbreakable was taking a risk (even though it's basically a remake of The Sixth Sense with different themes), but how else does he "take risks"?  I think he just tries so hard to mask his innability to come up with an original idea anymore that it seems risky to make something so stupid.

He basically forces emotion and he forces it more and more with each film, now to the point where it's laughable.  He forces it into a story which serves some kind of lame "message".  The end result of the "message" is so pointless when it's delivered so poorly.
Then I really think he goes "what would Hitchcock have done with this?  Oh!  I know!  This will be slick!  I'm going to write this scene into the movie somehow so I can pull this cool move off!"... and sometimes they're kind of fun scenes, but they don't really serve much.

I fully support him continuing on this path because each new movie is funnier and funnier.

Alexandro

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Re: M. Night Shyamalan
« Reply #148 on: October 15, 2008, 01:56:44 PM »
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I can understand saying Unbreakable was taking a risk (even though it's basically a remake of The Sixth Sense with different themes), but how else does he "take risks"?  I think he just tries so hard to mask his innability to come up with an original idea anymore that it seems risky to make something so stupid.

He basically forces emotion and he forces it more and more with each film, now to the point where it's laughable.  He forces it into a story which serves some kind of lame "message".  The end result of the "message" is so pointless when it's delivered so poorly.
Then I really think he goes "what would Hitchcock have done with this?  Oh!  I know!  This will be slick!  I'm going to write this scene into the movie somehow so I can pull this cool move off!"... and sometimes they're kind of fun scenes, but they don't really serve much.

I fully support him continuing on this path because each new movie is funnier and funnier.

i think lady in the water, despite whatever faults it has, qualifies as an original idea.
i also think in the last few days both me and elpanda have discussed his films enough to illustrate how he takes risks, specially for a mainstream filmmaker. if he didn't, his films wouldn't be so despised, that's for sure. he's no rattner or comes even close to that. he has his own voice, and that always implies risks. so i'm not sure I know what you mean.

Alexandro

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Re: M. Night Shyamalan
« Reply #149 on: October 15, 2008, 02:09:33 PM »
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that said, he does forces emotion in embarrasing ways, even more so in his last films.

 

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