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.
Venice 2020: «If Portrait of a Lady on Fire found desire in the immediacy of the act of seeing, Mona Fastvold’s film locates it deep into the retroactive power of the written word, which turns every diary into a map to salvation.»
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.
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.
«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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.