EW is drawn into M. Night's world of mystery!

9533__mns_l_1[CAUTION: There’s a twist at the end of this blog item!]

So my editor’s flipping through back issues of EW, as he’s wont to do. And he comes across a 2004 cover story on The Village, the movie that officially ended the honeymoon between America and writer-director M. Night Shyamalan. The story, by the very fine Josh Rottenberg, begins thus:

"To the casual observer, the tourists and business types packed into a non-air-conditioned Manhattan bistro on a sweltering summer afternoon wouldn’t look like an inspiring cast of characters for a blockbuster thriller. But M. Night Shyamalan, the 34-year-old writer-director of The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs, is not a casual observer. He scans the crowd intently, with the wry expression of a con man hunting for a mark. ”Okay,” he says, ”so there’s this lady over there who’s having this conversation, right?” He points to a middle-aged woman at a nearby table who’s innocently eating her lunch with her family, unaware she’s about to take a trip into the M. Night Zone…."

Is this sounding familiar? If you are a television-watching, carbon-based life-form, the answer is yes. It’s  virtually a pitch for M. Night’s self-directed, self-starring, self-indulgent American Express commercial, in which he hungrily scans a crowded city bistro and dreams up story ideas based on the small human dramas unfolding at adjacent tables.

This can only mean one thing: Everything that has happened in this office since summer of 2004 has been part of one gigantic M. Night Shyamalan movie! Perhaps this is why there is an alien trapped in the breakroom pantry, why I have this inexplicable allergy to water, and why, as ex-girlfriends have oft noted, all the twists and turns of my life are unsatisfying and contrived.

Or maybe… maybe I’ve been dead THE WHOLE TIME. My editor says that would explain a lot.

addCredit(“M. Night Shyamalan: Carmen Valdes/WireImage.com”)


Comments (20 total) Add your comment
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  • Kate

    Dead? Don’t say that! You might break Julia’s heart! (That might also explain why she has been seen around with other guys besides you though…)

  • Buffy

    Scott, I’ve been a loyal EW reader for more than 12 years (I think….) and I always pay attention to bylines. It’s been nice to see you and your work grow in this publication and now on the Web site. Doesn’t hurt that you’re funny.

  • Todd

    Ha! This may be the funniest thing I’ve read on here in a while, and that’s saying something because I love me some Popwatch. And remember that part where you talk about the self-indulgence of M. Night Shyamalan’s commercial? You know, that part where you correctly imply that M. Night Shyamalan sucks? Good times.

  • Maeve

    I think M. Night’s hubris was shocking in the Village…oooh….are we all supposed to be trying to figure out who that stupid park ranger is in the reflection, oh wow, it’s the DIRECTOR! for the first time in front of the camera since…SIGNS! OMG!

  • TBN

    This is so meta, my head hurts :(

  • Ep Sato

    Hmm, Mornings with Scott Brown. This kinda banter keeps me up better than espresso. And much as The Village irked me, I find myself excited to see what Shalyman’s next movie will be all about.

  • Tim L

    Scott…one question for you. Are you Amish and are you not allowed to go into the woods?

  • Ned

    My love affair with M. Night’s work ended with Unbreakable, man did that movie stink, I walked out of the theatre holding my nose. I liked Signs though, and The Village was ok, you could see the “twist” coming a mile away, but it wasn’t a terrible movie.

  • pn

    This article was just as pleasing and exciting as the American Express commercial he made (very very crappy)!!!

  • ryan

    As a wise man once said, “You’re doing a heckuva job, Brownie!” OK, maybe not a wise man, exactly, but…

  • Kyle

    What the hell was the point of this!?!?!?

  • Jake

    EW is drawn into M. Night’s world of mystery!
    EW is weird!

  • Laura

    What’s with all the haterade being doused on M. Knight? Whether you figure out the twist before the end of his movies or not, his films are still pretty darn entertaining. Yes, it seems that he peaked with The Sixth Sense, and he’ll probably never be able to make a movie as good as that one again – but so what? One of the reasons that movie was so great is because no one expected that there would be a twist at the end. If people weren’t trying so hard to figure out what the twist is with his new movies (which will always lead to disappointment, even if you get it), and just watched them not expecting anything, I think you all would enjoy them more.

  • Jess

    In my humble opinion, The Sixth Sense and Signs are both brilliant movies. Most scary movies today are generic plots with one-dimensional characters. But these two movies actually have heart. They’re simply well-made movies, and they make you think. Not to mention that they prove that a film can be scary and suspenseful without buckets of blood and other cheap scare tactics.
    Unbreakable? Can’t judge. Fell asleep. Not a good sign.
    As for the much-hated Village, it certainly wasn’t up to par with Sixth Sense of Signs, but it’s not nearly as bad as some people would have you believe. If you ask me, the movie was just marketed all wrong. People went expected monsters and all they got was social commentary. But shouldn’t they know better when they see a movie by a director who always has a “twist?”
    But having said all that… yeah. The commercial is a little much. The fangirl waitress is overkill.

  • brandonk

    I loved Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, thought Signs was meh, and didn’t even bother seeing The Village. I like Paul Giamatti, so I might see Lady in the Water. Still, I’m not impressed with Shyamalan’s more recent work.

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