Like A Thief In The Night.
At the young age of seventeen a young aspiring filmmaker attended the Tisch School of the Arts in New York City with hopes he would one day make an award winning film that everyone talks about.
Through numerous failures since that 1987 acceptance to the Tisch School, the young student learned the ins and outs of the film industry. Although his first film, 1998’s “Wide Awake” with Rosie O’Donnell, bombed at the box-office and with critics, he finally caught a break. In 1999 he shocked the movie-going crowd with the sleeper hit thriller, “The Sixth Sense” and like a thief in the night, M. Night Shyamalan has stolen as much clout in Hollywood as a Weinstein. (Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the heads of Miramax.)
“The Sixth Sense,” starring Bruce Willis, was the second largest moneymaker in 1999 and received Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actor (Haley Joel Osment), Best Supporting Actress (Toni Collette), Best Film Editing, Best Screenplay (M. Night Shyamalan), Best Director (Shyamalan again) and Best Picture. With the tremendous success of his break-through film, Shyamalan rode its coat tails into the production of his follow up film, “Unbreakable.”
Before he could make “Unbreakable” he had to satisfy a prior commitment to the producers of the family film, “Stuart Little,” which proved to the audiences that this screenwriter was not only a master of suspense, but could be light and funny enough to entertain the children. He again met monster success and acclaim for his wit in writing.
“Unbreakable,” which starred Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis and was to be the second installment in a Shyamalan trilogy, met a poor standing at the box-office and got very mixed reviews from the critics. Despite a small cult following, it left the theaters in a hurry, which made Shyamalan second guess the third installment to the trilogy.
As it was evident in his earlier works it is also evident in his latest release that Shyamalan is a very tight director and a very well crafted screenwriter. Again in “Signs,” like all of his other films, he explores the deeper meanings to life and lets us in on his fascination of the coincidental workings of the world. His very deliberate, well thought out camera shots, his impeccable talent for the writing art and his mastery of the filmmaking craft has made this a mind-blowing saga of Shyamalan films.
This incredible ability of Shyamalan’s has not only gained him recognition but also opportunity. He has recently turned down many writing and directing jobs including offers for him to expand his original trilogy, write the new Harry Potter film and collaborate with Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford and George Lucas on the fourth “Indiana Jones.” Shyamalan has currently rejected all of these offers, but with his youth and his talent it is a guarantee that this writer/director will be the most highly sought after and most highly acclaimed mogul Hollywood has seen in a long time.
If you haven’t seen his earlier works or if you haven’t seen his latest release, “Signs” starring Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix, then you should. You won’t regret it.