Friday, March 28, 2008

Night Man

I love M. Night Shyamalan's movies. Well, most of them. The Sixth Sense honestly didn't do that much for me; though the constant flogging of "I see dead people" may have had something to do with that.

I was glued to the screen during Signs, and I thought The Village was brilliant. I hate how the studio always advertises his films as horror flicks- they're not. But they are slow and suspenseful and there's a lot of whispering. You have to listen carefully.

We just rented Lady in the Water, and now there's another movie I have to buy. I adored this thing. I am an absolute sucker for the 'outcast' society; any group of people thrown together, usually by geography as well as circumstance, that make up a kind of family resonates with me. In this case, a bunch of widely different people living in an apartment complex that has seen better days.

I won't go into the details of the movie (see it if you haven't- it's well worth it) but I was struck again by the thing Shyamalan does best: No Insignificant Detail. Any little thing that happens, any seemingly throwaway dialogue, any secondary characters can take on huge importance at the end of the story. And we get just enough hints to discover them right along with the protags. My daughter and I were yelling at the screen. "The smokers are the Guild! She's the Healer! No, wait!! She's not the Healer, he is!!" You'll have to watch the movie to catch those examples, but you get the general idea.

It made me think about my writing. When I'm stuck on where to go in a story, could I go back through the introduction, looking at the scenic descriptions and 'flavor' characters and wonder What if He Turned Out to Be This, or What If That Place Hides This? I can only hope that I'll show the same skill in telling the tale.

7 comments:

Kimber An said...

I loved The Village and Signs too. I didn't realize The Sixth Sense was by the same person. I never watched it. My stomach can't handle a story in which a child sees dead people. Real children having bad dreams is hard enough on me.

Bernita said...

"A lot of whispering" - what a neat way to describe subtle clues!

Robyn said...

Kimber, kids in stories with death or war have to be handled delicately for me to be able to take it.

It's literal as well as figurative, Bernita. Have your volume button handy!

December/Stacia said...

Ooooh, the hubs and I LOVE M. Night and LOVED Lady in the Water. I cannot figure out why so many people disliked it. We thought it was great.

I have loved every one of his films, absolutely.

Robyn said...

DQ, it says a lot when my 16 year old daughter just fell in love with Paul Giamatti.

She's an exceptional girl, though. ;)

Stephanie mama drama said...

AAHH!! I want to watch movies with you!!!

Missie said...

I usually love Rammalamma Dingdong's (that's what my family calls MKS) movies, but this one? I hated with the heat of a thousand suns.

If she could borrow one of his shirts, why could she not borrow a pair of sweatpants to wear for the rest of the movie? And a comb? Did no one in the whole building have a comb? Why are there dog thingies in the sprinklers? How safe is my apt complex's pool now?

I was left with way more anxiety after the film than I had before. Thanks so much, MKS.

(lest you think I am a hater, The Village is one of my fave movies of all time.)