The cat-and-mouse sessions between psychiatrist and patient form a thrilling acting laboratory, where M. Night Shyamalan’s fundamentally static set-ups are done with rigour and discreet invention. Bonus: film references.
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.
A return to this severely under-appreciated film, for its discussion of storytelling, interpretation, film criticism, artificiality, stylisation, interconnectedness – and whether stories can become real.
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.
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.
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.
Signs offers rich allegorical subtexts of dreams, magic and the aliens as metaphors for the characters’ inner demons. We also chart references to The Birds, and analyse the masterful cellar sequence and the film’s ending.
The new leaner, meaner version of M. Night Shyamalan has made a bizarre but thoroughly gripping film, providing an emotionally deep understanding of why psychological survival mechanisms arise in abuse victims.
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.
“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.”
This is the first of three analytical articles on Christopher Nolan’s science fiction epic Interstellar. A transcendent cinematic work, whose construction and staging hold a plethora of deeply embedded patterns and structures.