I even liked Lady in the Water, much to the dismay and ridicule of many. But I don’t give a yuppie tweed fuck about that. It’s a flawed film to be sure, but I found much to like there anyway.
The part of me that appreciates his work and wants to see him make more and better films is even hoping the movie is a smashing success… I’m not sure he can handle another high-profile flop without it leading to his future films being 3 hours long because they must include lots of singing and dancing, as well as out-of-left-field action sequences… And be set in Pondicherry. And have something to do with a wedding.
I’m not actively worried about The Happening and, in fact, believe that it will be one of this summer’s sleepers. Either way, it won’t affect me. I’ll be curious to see his Bollywood work.
What is of concern to me is what Mr. Shyamalan has decided to do as his follow-up.
I don’t know how big of a hit the cartoon show Avatar: The Last Airbender is. I don’t follow that stuff. My five-year-old is still hooked on Lazy Town. So, what the fuck do I know? As far as I’m concerned, the pinnacle of children’s entertainment is Hi-5. I don’t know and I don’t care.
What I do know, is that I’m not particularly looking forward to sitting in a theater watching a blockbuster wannabe called Avatar: The Last Airbender, let alone three of them. And, as I prefaced earlier, I’m one of M. Night Shyamalan’s biggest fans.
But, shit man, even if PT Anderson would be directing it I would still have a hard time wanting to go to a cinema to watch a film called Avatar: The Last Airbender. Furthermore, I imagine this is a big studio picture and is intended to have elaborate action sequences and state-of-the-art CGI bullshit, right? I wonder, can Shyamalan do that? Is it really his thing? I’ve always seen him as more of a classical stylist – a subtle storyteller that relies on mood and ambiance rather than high-falootin Hollywood trickery.
And three movies? Man! They really have faith in this thing, don’t they? What if #1 is a colossal stiff?
But, hey, it’s definitely a new direction for him as a filmmaker. When The Sixth Sense came out, some idiotic rag (I think it was Newsweek) dubbed him “The New Spielberg.” I hate when they do shit like that. Can’t they just let a new filmmaker exist without forcing him to be lopped in with someone else?
In any case, he has not yet made the kind of splashy, round-the-block supersmash that Spielberg used to hammer out in the 80’s. And that includes The Sixth Sense. AVATAR!!! The Last Airbender is, I suppose, his chance to try and pull that off.
I wish him Godspeed, and I can’t wait to see that trailer.
The Happening opens here on June 19th.
Fuck you all.