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Shyamalan defends career, gets attacked

MNightShyamalan.jpgI feel like I'm a lone voice talking about my enjoyment of M. Night Shamalan films, and he definitely feels the same way as a press interview for The Last Airbender in Mexico which was recorded and broadcast online shows.

Yet again though I feel like a lone voice as I listen to his comments to a rather degrading and, as he says, dismissive comment from a member of the press about his entire career, because I understand what he's saying and agree with him.

While I didn't enjoy The Happening (Filmstalker review), I am a fan of everything else he's made, yes I even enjoyed Lady in the Water (Filmstalker review) because I went into it knowing what to expect, and that was not a twist heavy film like Sixth Sense, something I fear that most critics can't get around.

In this interview a reporter asks M. Night Shyamalan a question about his career going into decline after Sixth Sense and how The Last Airbender is a mere "commercial play". Now after you hear the question in the video, which I've included below for you to listen to for yourself, Shyamalan responds in a rather fractured way. Now reading it from my point of view it seems as though he's pretty angry and obviously not wanting to vent in a press event. I tend to speak like that when I'm seething inside but managing to control myself from exploding, something that I almost feel he would be within his rights to do.

However the press wouldn't see it like that, after all he's M. Night Shyamalan and should be criticised and brought down at every film release.

Oh I know, and I've heard things before about what a terrible person he is behind the camera, frankly I don't care, it's his films I'm concerned about, and if he was so bad why are stars still keen to work with him?

We've had plenty of directors from the bad to the great who haven't cared a jot for the feelings of those in front of the camera, and have even taken to putting them under physical and mental pressure to get a performance out of them, and they don't get attacked half as much as Shyamalan does. So it's clearly not that, and if it was it shouldn't matter.

He also tries to make a strong point about other countries and his films, where each has a different film from his career that has been more successful than the rest, and for that matter, that they have been successful.

He does say some interesting things about his work, but in the end he just moves on, and that suggests that maybe he wasn't seething inside, maybe he's just heard this so many times before and is getting on with things?

Here's the footage of the question and the response which comes through The Hollywood Reporter:

I do agree with him, Unbreakable was better than The Sixth Sense, although I'm not sure if I like Unbreakable, Signs or The Village the most. Perhaps Unbreakable and then The Village. Of course I'm waiting the attack for even claiming to like his films.



Just wanted to shoot over a quick thank you. I'm currently directing a mini-series for Penny Arcade (an online video game forum and comic), and I owe any and all of my extremely limited success as an independent filmaker to M. Night.

Shyamalan has been a constant source of inspiration for me since his beginning. He's a purist, he's intentional, and he has perhaps the most sincere artistic integrity of any filmmaker in the industry today (particularly when it comes to big-budget, big-cast commercial films). He understands, and quite maturely, that not everyone has to love everything he creates. I could go on and on about why he's a Hollywood hero, but I'm not sure he needs that. I think he knows exactly what he's doing, and doesn't need constant affirmation from the critics to keep doing it.

Thanks for trying to point this out. I hope you didn't take too brutal of a beating for doing so.

Patrick Smith


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