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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Send M. Night Back to Film School!

   
Author Topic: Send M. Night Back to Film School!
Marlozhan
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This cracks me up: a website dedicated to raising funds to sending M. Night Shyamalan to film school.

Unfortunately, I feel like a lot of people that run film schools need to be sent to film school. There is so much creativity out there that just doesn't make it into mainstream Hollywood movies.

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Stephan
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His new movie sounds like a Mash-up of Firefly and Titan A.E.

His devil in the elevator movie was good, but all he did there was come up with the idea. He is coming off a bit like Lucas. Works best when not in full control.

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AchillesHeel
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I would be quicker to point the finger at executives than the art side of a production. Back in the nineties Kevin Smith was paid to write a Superman movie called Superman Lives, produced by Jon Peters. One of the notes was essentially "it needs to have a giant spider" Smith was being paid handsomely and did what he was supposed to, but the the whole thing broke down for a myriad of reasons and therefore we don't have a movie with Supe's fighting a giant spider. A few years go by and Smith is in a theater about to watch the much hyped Wild Wild West for the first time, the title cards inform him that Jon Peters also produced this movie, Smith didn't think much of it but noted it. Lo and behold, towards the end of the movie they fight a giant spider.

Being smart and actually wanting to tell better stories in new ways is not what gets you an access pass to Hollywood, just ask Scott Derrickson. It got him probation and the kind of stress that causes disorders all while tying his hands in regards to things he made.

In regards to M. Night... I think the hype is what did this to his career. After all that public attention for Sixth Sense and Unbreakable I don't think he was allowed to make a low budget film without a-list actors. He had his way of making art but everyone had already seen that and he hadn't the time or experience to hone it and make it something completely different. He had to have his most difficult lessons learned while under a giant magnifying glass and I think he suffered for it. If no one had cared about Sixth Sense he would be a middle level director that film buffs evangelized and other directors respected, instead everyone and their grandma have a 'what a twist' comment up their sleeve and every movie he hasn't made yet already sucks worse than the last one. But he opens well enough and he still gets to tell his stories, so good for him.

[ March 13, 2013, 02:40 PM: Message edited by: AchillesHeel ]

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BlackBlade
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I thought Signs was great, and The Village was at least passable.

But he needs somebody to edit him. He's an idea man.

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Samprimary
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I have already talked all your ears off about shyamalan and been so excruciatingly correct about him that none of you should ever doubt me when I talk about him ever again.

But the summary recap is that "hype" is not what caused shamwow's inexplicably profound decline as a filmmaker. It was nascent ego issues and the fact that once he got the room to be, he was a real insufferable and weird jerk. He was self-aggrandizing, self-absorbed, and clinically incapable of either recognizing his own weaknesses or adapting or changing course in response to his network calling out or trying to address weaknesses in his filmmaking.

The project network of talented, correctly empowered people that was central and vital to making his movies really exceptional (think James Newton Howard, Tak Fujimoto, etc) effectively dried up, and he didn't care — he didn't think he needed them. He took more and more of the filmmaking elements into his own hands, micromanaged everything, and butchered them so horribly that lady in the water happened. then the happening happened. then the last airbender happened. then by that time people noticed a phenomenon where people audibly groaned in all theaters when the Devil trailer put up M. Night's name.

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AchillesHeel
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quote:
I have already talked all your ears off about shyamalan and been so excruciatingly correct about him that none of you should ever doubt me when I talk about him ever again.
Way to encourage discussion.

I'll be sure to take better notes during your next seminar professor.

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SteveRogers
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I think his writing has gotten progressively worse which is why his more recent films have suffered.
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rollainm
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I agree with others that he really just needs someone to keep him in check. And it does seem as if ego might have a lot to do with his decline. Sixth Sense, Signs, and Unbreakable were great. Then with Lady In The Water and The Village, there was so much I loved about each of those that I was truly disappointed when he screwed them up so badly. Great ideas - not so great execution. The Happening...nothing to say there. I've all but wiped that one completely from memory. As for The Last Airbender, I just never gave it the opportunity to piss me off.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
quote:
I have already talked all your ears off about shyamalan and been so excruciatingly correct about him that none of you should ever doubt me when I talk about him ever again.
Way to encourage discussion.

I'll be sure to take better notes during your next seminar professor.

don't take them from me, take them from a man who pitched a fit at Newsweek to get them to remove the questionmark from "The Next Spielberg?" on their cover, and did this:

quote:
During a press conference for The Last Airbender (the video claims it took place in Mexico City), a reporter asks the director if Airbender is his attempt at being more commercial because audiences had lost faith in him as a filmmaker.

Shyamalan takes this question very personally, clearly gets angry and responds testily, "I think if I thought like you I’d kill myself. Everything you said is the opposite of my instinct as an artist. The way you just thought, I literally would kill myself.”

He then goes on a three minute diatribe explaining how he thinks every movie he makes is better the the last, claims Unbreakable is a better film than The Sixth Sense, and says his personal favorite of all of his films is The Village. He also touts some accolades and mentions that there's a class in Britain that studies The Happening. Whatever class that is, I hope it's teaching young filmmakers what not to do.


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Jeff C.
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I think he suffers from the same problem that most big artists/writers have. He got noticed because of a few really great projects, but after that he just sort of fizzled out. It really seems like writers don't have more than a few amazing projects in them, which is probably why OSC, while still a great writer, will never match the brilliance of Ender's Game, Speaker, and maybe one or two other works that he did (after all, he keeps recycling the same ideas with his little kid massiah characters). Only a handful of artists in a generation are capable of putting out more than one or two masterpieces (if you can even consider any of M Night's work a masterpiece).

Just my opinion, of course.

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Dogbreath
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The difference is that OSC's other books, while not grest, are still very good and quite readable. The same can't be said for M Night. Going from greatness to mediocrity is common and often even expected. Going from greatness to pumping out near unwatchable garbage in a few years time is something else entirely...
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
then by that time people noticed a phenomenon where people audibly groaned in all theaters when the Devil trailer put up M. Night's name.

I remember that. Happened in my theater, for sure.

I actually kind of liked Lady in the Water, in a weird way. It was bizarre, but it had a charming parable quality to it that made it very entertaining, if not great.

Although when I found out later that the "writer destined to save the world" or whatever was actually shamwow's cameo that seriously turned me off. Probably would have made it unwatchable had I known before seeing it.

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AchillesHeel
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quote:
During a press conference for The Last Airbender (the video claims it took place in Mexico City), a reporter asks the director if Airbender is his attempt at being more commercial because audiences had lost faith in him as a filmmaker.

Shyamalan takes this question very personally, clearly gets angry and responds testily, "I think if I thought like you I’d kill myself. Everything you said is the opposite of my instinct as an artist. The way you just thought, I literally would kill myself.”

He then goes on a three minute diatribe explaining how he thinks every movie he makes is better the the last, claims Unbreakable is a better film than The Sixth Sense, and says his personal favorite of all of his films is The Village. He also touts some accolades and mentions that there's a class in Britain that studies The Happening. Whatever class that is, I hope it's teaching young filmmakers what not to do.

Ok, fine, he sounds like a prat.
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TheTick
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
then by that time people noticed a phenomenon where people audibly groaned in all theaters when the Devil trailer put up M. Night's name.

I remember that. Happened in my theater, for sure.


Probably why the Will/Jaden Smith movie After Earth is not being promoted as an M Night Shymalan film.
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Shanna
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Wow. I didn't realize he was the director on that. I remember thinking the trailer had some awkward dialogue but I love Will Smith, and think his kid is quite the young talent, so I was going to see it anyway.

Not now though.

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scifibum
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The trailer looks great to me. I'm in.
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