' ' Cinema Romantico: Wake Up And Smell The Coffee, Shyamalan

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wake Up And Smell The Coffee, Shyamalan

"I don't know what the disconnect is...I'm speaking a different language I guess. That's all I can think of. Because I definitely approach filmmaking with great respect, integrity and effort and take into account advice of all my peers. We collectively come to a place where we are ecstatic about the particular stories we are telling." - M. Night Shyamalan

"What (Ed Wood) lacked in style, money, and talent he made up for with spirit, depth, integrity, innocense, and love." - The Church Of Ed Wood

I come not to bury M. Night Shyamalan but to urge him to rise from this plot he has picked out ("The Village"), the hole that he has dug ("Lady In The Water"), the coffin he has chosen ("The Happening") and into which he has now slipped ("The Last Airbender").

Let me say first off, I love "Signs" (2002). Love it. I don't give a Narf what anyone says, okay, because I love that movie. (The only thing that may have been tarnished with "Signs" has nothing to do with Shyamalan - it's the scene where Mel Gibson can't curse and Joaquin Phoenix is urging him to do so and finally he does, sort of. I used to love that scene. Now....eh....let's not go there.) "Signs" is one of My Great Movies, for God's sake, and I will defend that film against anyone primarily because it's so well made - so well made from a technical standpoint, from a filmmaking standpoint. Bitch about the religious aspects, if you must, or whine about the "twist" and yada yada yada but the M. Night Shyamalan that made "Signs" knew what he was doing. Case closed. The M. Night Shyamalan that made "Unbreakable" - again, from a technical standpoint - knew what he was doing.

However, the M. Night Shyamalan that made "The Happening" had no clue in any capacity whatsoever what the hell was going on. Forget its story, that's not the point here, and just focus on the fact that the filmmaking was atrocious.

I have not seen "The Last Airbender" and so I will not comment on it but I feel as if seeing the Hindenburg-esque "The Happening" and, to a lesser degree, "The Village" and "Lady in the Water", is more than enough. M. Night Shyamalan has lost it and he is in complete denial. "I feel this about my movies," he says, "the fact that my name is on them, that means they are doomed." A ha! Of course! It's not his fault, it's ours. All us yokels cannot fathom his genius. Never mind that his recent films are poorly made - God no, that's not it, couldn't be, it's just his name, as if he's so high and mighty, so above everything else, the critics have to take him down a peg or two or feel inferior. Please.

Go back and watch "Signs", Shyamalan, I beg you, and watch how you used the camera to tell your story and how you did not need to show off with your camera to do so and how controlled and assured you were in every scene and in every little moment and how everything led into everything else and how you showed so little and still generated so much suspense and how the various "twists" weren't really "twists" at all but just more character development. If anything just recognize how you could actually frame a shot properly and position your actors within the frame correctly and cover the scene which first-month freshmen at Bemijdi State film school can at least sort of manage. The esteemed Roger Ebert called it the work of "a born filmmaker" and I still believe that to be true. A person can't make "Signs" and not have skills. But you have to refine those skills as you go along or risk becoming stagnant.

Open your eyes, man, or otherwise it's just going to be you and The Church Of Shyamalan watching your next movie and all being in denial together.


Castor said...

Ahah, speaking of M. Night, take a look at this comic:


Nick Prigge said...

You know I didn't realize until about a week ago that he didn't actually direct "Devil." But still..."From the mind of" is enough to send me running for the hills.

oliveobrien1978 said...

I watched all of 10 minutes of The Last Airbender and walked out of it. It's the first movie I've ever walked out of, but it was just that bad. You're lucky to not have seen it! I really liked Signs too, he should re-watch it for sure. www.movienewsfirst.com

Nick Prigge said...

I should have walked out of "The Happening." I regret not doing it every day.