MOVIE NEWS – M. Night Shyamalan is one of Hollywood’s most original creators. After breaking out withThe Sixth Sense, he continued his career with mixed results, but the films of recent years prove that he has found himself again (Split, Glass, Old). As one of his critics put it, Shyamalan, whether flying or big, always blows his own note, whistling at conventions, and it’s no coincidence that Spike Lee is his role model.
Shyamalan told Variety that if he hadn’t come across Lee’s auteur comedy Nola Darling (She’s Gotta Have It), he might be a doctor today, like everyone in his family. He began to admire Lee for defying the expectations of the film industry and making his own way in a not-so-friendly environment. With the latter’s quiet remark, he may have hinted that Lee is black and Shyamalan is of Indian origin and that Hollywood has until recently been white-dominant, especially when it comes to auteur films.
Another interesting parallel between the two creators is that they can shine when they want to develop their own theme and perform less well when working from sourced material. Based on Lee’s Korean masterpiece, Oldboy is not one of his most successful works, and Shyamalan also made a big splash with The Last Airbender, which was based on an animated series based on an anime.
At the same time, Shyamalan’s works mature with time. Invulnerable, for example, is now considered by many to be the forerunner of the big Hollywood superhero wave, as the director dismantles the genre in it, and then puts it back together according to his own taste.
Lee and Shyamalan also have in common that they can sometimes take sides, but their films definitely generate controversy because they try to dig deep into important issues. And this is the essence of an author’s film: the viewer should never be indifferent to the work.
Shyamalan will appear next with a post-apocalyptic thriller, which means he wants to turn a long-established genre on its head again. All we know about Knock at the Cabin is that a family receives more than unpleasant visitors, and with this the fight for survival takes a new level.
(Knock at the Cabin – domestic release: February 2, 2023.)