With the artistic, commercial and critical success of his two latest films, it is about time to soberly unearth the very real qualities of M. Night Shyamalan’s disproportionally maligned middle period.
Our in-depth look at M. Night Shyamalan’s early films continues with Unbreakable: perhaps the only mainstream Hollywood formalist film, a mass-market movie approached with an unrelenting European art film sensibility.
We look at three outstanding scenes in this better-than-you-think M. Night Shyamalan film, along with its pervasive motif of figures in a landscape, visual rhymes and many occasions of elegant staging.
M. Night Shyamalan has created a Signs fiction film about alien invasion, with powerful horror set pieces and comedic touches. An analysis of its dreamlike opening sequence peels away complex layers of motifs and echoes.
After a general evaluation of this M. Night Shyamalan tour de force, the large cast of characters and their relationships are examined, with a special emphasis on subtext and how that is expressed through mise-en-scène.
A strange case of parallel universes explored through Declan Clarke’s Geist Trilogy from 2015. Are you ready for film at its absolute weirdest, flouting all cinematic conventions and ‘hung out’ in a gallery?
As so often in films, Louder Than Bombs is not a dissertation, but a meditation on its themes and motifs. Seen in isolation, words and deeds may seem unexceptional – it is as a whole that Joachim Trier film takes flight.
“Homesick primarily plays on the unspoken. Dialogues are marked by pauses and silent tensions between characters. Most films increase their pace towards a climax, but in Sewitsky the pauses just grow longer and more pregnant.”
Before The Visit came M. Night Shyamalan’s early masterpiece The Village. Mismarketed and misunderstood as a horror movie, it has gained a following as a mood piece of pastoral beauty, intense emotion and stylised lyricism.
M. Night Shyamalan is particularly adept at creating a set of hidden motifs that govern the film. We look at circles, water, doors, houses, the sky and how they operate in two brilliant horror set pieces.
M. Night Shyamalan’s enigmatic superhero thriller is a film where everything seems to be connected to everything else. We look at various motifs and colour codings that move in intricate and sometimes very strange patterns.
Just close your eyes and hold your breath and everything will turn real pretty.