Thursday, 10 June 2010

The Man Who Heard Voices Or How M. Night Shyamalan Risked His Career On A Fairy Tale

I know I'm late to the party in regard to this particular book but I only just got round to reading it. Alongside The Devil's Candy this is the best "what went wrong" behind-the-scenes books I've read. It's an extraordinary insight into one man's ego, his creative process and the dreams/demons that haunt him, as well as the unorthodox methods of Australian DP Chris Doyle.

I actually watched Lady In The Water for the first time after finishing it. What a strange, strange film it is, more arthouse than studio in spirit and tone and execution despite it's hefty budget, and infinitely more interesting and successful than The Happening which I hatedbut, for me, deeply flawed nonetheless. After The Sixth Sense, Shyamalan was being lauded as the "next Spielberg", although that mantle has been tarnished of late.

For the longest time, people have been suggesting that he should direct a script that's not his own and for that reason, plus the trailers, I'm actually looking forward to The Last Airbender (although I fear the effects of the last minute 3D conversion.)


Anonymous said...

His first few films were so strong, I caught Signs the other night on TV and really enjoyed it again, he certainly knows how to do creepy. I hope he regains that early promise. Sounds like an interesting book. Signs is obviously very influenced by Close Encounters, are you a Close Encounters fan Mark? Thanks, Tim.

Mark Salisbury said...

Massive CE3K fan. I actually saw it at the cinema (on a fairly large screen) when it came out. I was only a kid at the time and when the mothership crested the mountain and then turned over... well, it blew my mind.

Seen it many, many times since. All the different versions. Absolutely love it.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love it too, it was one of the first films I ever saw in a cinema, I think I was five or something and obsessed with Star Wars at the time. But yes, the appearance of the Mothership is something I'll never forget, I spent years afterwards staring up at the night sky in hope. I have the blu-rays but I'd love to see it on the big screen again.

Mark Salisbury said...

To see a pristine print of CE3K on the big screen again would indeed be a dream come true.

When people talk about the power of cinema, I always think of that shot... Plus, of course, those five notes blasting out.

Incidentally, if you haven't read it, Bob Balaban's Close Encounters diary is a must.

Anonymous said...

I haven't read it before but just ordered it, thanks so much Mark. If you ever hear of a big screen showing please let us all know!