Wednesday, July 19, 2006


I haven't seen Lady in the Water yet, but since M. Night Shyamalan is like, the easiest auteur to keep tabs on, I always feel compelled to check out his latest work in case I ever need a last minute dissertation topic, or something else equally obscure that requires a case study. But now I have another reason to check out this seventh offering from the guy who sees people who see dead people: sympathy. Anyone that gets trashed in upwards of 1100 words in the New York Times and isn't, like, a dictator or something has one raw deal on their hands.

Early buzz on the movie ain't so hot, but the rocky historical backdrop behind the film's production certainly is fascinating, even if the book about it is apparently hit-or-miss. Watching something fail miserably after such a long struggle is sort of like experiencing a great tragedy narrative. I mean, Apocalypse Now took forever to make and ended up being pretty good. If you tell me that Shyamalan is no Coppola, I'll tell you that Paul Giamatti is no Marlon Brando. So everything is relative, m'kay?

Anyway, I'm going to see it, but even if there wasn't this Shyamalan-as-psychotic-egomaniac epic being projected onto the film's reputation, I feel like checking it out because it sounds campy as hell. Michael Atkinson has pointed out that the baddies in the movie, scrunts, share their name with a rather unflattering reference to a part of the female body, but he neglected to mention another of the film's supposedly invented terms that has precedence elsewhere: Bryce Dallas Howard's character is a magical creature called a narf. A narf! Ring any bells? Here's a referesher. Pay close attention to the very end of the video.

Well, Shyamalan did say that the film was based on a bedtime story for his kids. Maybe they dug the show.


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