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Monday, June 23, 2008

The Happening : Don't Listen To Film Critics

I can't stand film critics. They cling WAY too tightly to these textbook theories of what does or doesn't make a great film.

A film doesn't have to be exactly 120 minutes. Your opening act doesn't have to be 15 minutes and you can kill off your main character at the start of the movie if you want. Black-and-white still works. Your characters don't have to be pretty. And you should always challenge your audience.

That's what M. Night Shyamalan does with his latest film, The Happening.

It's not like any of his other pictures, which is one of the reasons it is great. Far too many people think that a director/writer needs to stick to one specific theme, style, genre, and not deviate from it so that your films are easily understood and easily consumed by the masses. If you're looking for 'cut-and-paste-MTV-style-mass-market-movies, you'd be more apt to enjoy the latest cinematic abortion from McG.

Make no mistake about it, M Night's films aren't for everyone. Not many people enjoyed his children's fairytale "Lady In The Water" and they used that as their marker that his days as a cutting-edge writer/director were over. Sad to say, they were wrong.

The main theme that runs through The Happening is one that the Right-Wing media and many conservative pundits and blow-hards will attempt to use against certian people. That's about the only hint that I will give you aside from the fact that was happens in The Happening is grounded in scientific, natural plausibility.

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