Thursday, August 03, 2006

M. Night - Why I worship at the Alter.

With all the hullabaloo about Lady in the Water, which I haven’t seen because I’m too busy, damn it, I thought I’d blog about Signs.

Why? Cause it’s a freakin’ brilliant movie. M. Night at his best. The key sign (heh, sign, get it) for me that this was a great movie was when I watched it the second time and enjoyed it even more. I picked up on the details I’d missed the first time, when I’d been swept up in the story and kept in a state of breathless anticipation.

What about it worked for me? The absolute sparseness of the story. No detail is unimportant. Yet, there are few details that have a screaming hey look at me element to them that so many other movies do.

The tension slowly increases, the acting is great, and it all builds to a climax that’s actually worthy of the story. (unlike The Village, but that’s another blog).

For me the brilliance of this movie is in the details. What seem like character details at the beginning actually become elements of the plot, and vice versa. I try and incorporate this in my own books. The sense that every detail, no matter how small, must have a purpose.

It requires ruthless editing and an ego kept in check. Which judging by Maureen’s and Molly’s posts, the ego has run rampant for Lady.

Which is too bad. Cause when M. Night is in form, there is no finer story teller out there.

1 comment:

Molly O'Keefe said...

What a good point - that charcter traits turn into plot points. What a slick way of making sure that every scene both reveals character and forwards plot. smart.

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