Fandango Interviews M. Night

For this prodigiously talented 36-year-old filmmaker, the beat remains the same. “I make independent movies that get released as blockbusters,” he maintains during a recent interview session. And as Shyamalan explains it, with Lady in the Water he has chosen to deliberately mimic the manic way he tells bedtime stories to his two young daughters in their suburban Philadelphia home.

Q: In Lady in the Water, you once again have characters walking a fine line between reality and perceived insanity. How do you make that conceit work?

A: You have to be right on the edge of a language that feels like you’re almost letting go, like you’re almost tipping. There’s a certain mania about it. When I told the story to my girls, it was the same as it always is when I tell them stories, which is: you don’t know what’s going to happen. That’s a dangerous and wonderful feeling.

Literally, I go, “Should we tell a story?” and they go, “Yeah,” and I say, “What should I tell about?” and they say, “About this glass,” and I go, “OK, there’s this man that blows glass. And one day, he was really sad, so when he blew the glass, it became a different color…” I literally just made that up as I was talking about this glass, and we would start going for another half an hour, and I don’t know where that’s going, but it will end up in this amazing place.

There’s this mania that happens, because I keep on talking and I’m like, “I don’t know where I’m going,” and the girls can tell I don’t know where I’m going, and they suddenly go, “Ohh!” and we all discover it at the same moment. That was how I wanted to make this movie.

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  1. By the way he talks about it now, it seems the whole Disney breakup has been blown way out of proportion, as is everyone's hubub about his role in the movie.

  2. I don't know exactly what it is, but M. Night seems really full of himself lately. I guess it's all his talk about how his films have so much emotion and beauty and magic about them…just don't brag about it.

  3. I understand what you mean but then again, Night has to be proud of his work so I dont blame him for talking like that. He has to have an extreme passion for his work and speak very highly of it because if he doesnt believe in it, no one else will.

  4. I would say that it is confidence in his own work. I don't believe that he's full of himself at all. I would rather have a director that is confident in his own work, than one that pulls back. If you're making a movie, you want to do it your way, and you are going to be proud of it. That's not a bad thing.

  5. I don't think he pulls back in his work at all. I don't think he is full of himself, nor is he not confident in his work.

  6. It's almost common sense. If you work very hard and you are dedicated for almost a year to making a movie that is good, and not only do you actors think it's a good movie, but also your crew, then you pretty much have bragging rights. I mean think about it, M. Night has grossed, all together, over 1.5 billion. That's an accomplishment. 🙂

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