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.
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.
The apparent simplicity of Split conceals a surprising amount of ideas, refinement and subtlety. This is a moment-by-moment analysis of the brilliant abduction scene, plus a hard look at isolation, corridors, animals and flowers.
M. Night Shyamalan’s visual style consists of a series of recurring formal devices. Watching Unbreakable feels like participating in a ritual where these devices are applied and reapplied, in new variations and combinations.
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.
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.
A final look at M. Night Shyamalan’s Split, this time its formal approach with a special emphasis on his inventive use of point-of-view shots, stealthy camera movements, overhead and underhead shots, and many other subtleties.
«What gives a work the kind of mark of authenticity that can prompt the sophisticated cinephile to nod with approval and self-satisfaction at being able to appreciate such a difficult but worthwhile film?»
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.
A Shyamalan enthusiast is struggling mightily to come to terms with the conundrum of The Happening, a split identity film that swings wildly between excellence, rampant quirkiness and unchecked hysteria.
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.
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.