The Last Airbender, Part I: Harmony of elements

When M. Night Shyamalan’s flawed film starts working, its elements play in unison as in a symphonic work, where the sketchily drawn characters become pieces in a formal game of harmony.

After Earth, Part I: Much better than you think

With the artistic, commercial and critical success of his two latest films, it is about time to soberly unearth the very real qualities of M. Night Shyamalan’s disproportionally maligned middle period.

After Earth, Part II: Figure in a landscape

We look at three outstanding scenes in this better-than-you-think M. Night Shyamalan film, along with its pervasive motif of figures in a landscape, visual rhymes and many occasions of elegant staging.

Split: M. Night Shyamalan goes crazy and tender

The new leaner, meaner version of M. Night Shyamalan has made a bizarre but thoroughly gripping film, providing an emotionally deep understanding of why psychological survival mechanisms arise in abuse victims.

The Sixth Sense, Part I: Stature and Style

A stunning piece of high-precision filmmaking, formally inventive, thematically intelligent, emotionally gripping, a momentous commercial success, an almost perfect film.

The Sixth Sense, Part III: Motifs and a Funeral

We conclude our in-depth analysis of M. Night Shyamalan’s masterpiece with a close look at motifs and structural aspects, concluding with a shot-by-shot commentary on the post-funeral sequence.

Unbreakable, Part I: Characters and relationships

Our in-depth look at M. Night Shyamalan’s early films continues with Unbreakable: perhaps the only mainstream Hollywood formalist film, a mass-market movie approached with an unrelenting European art film sensibility.

Unbreakable, Part II: Motifs and colour

M. Night Shyamalan’s enigmatic superhero thriller is a film where everything seems to be connected to everything else. We look at various motifs and colour codings that move in intricate and sometimes very strange patterns.

Unbreakable, Part III: Visual style

M. Night Shyamalan’s visual style consists of a series of recurring formal devices. Watching Unbreakable feels like participating in a ritual where these devices are applied and reapplied, in new variations and combinations.

The Village, Part I: Motifs and story arc

Before The Visit came M. Night Shyamalan’s early masterpiece The Village (2004). Mismarketed and misunderstood as a horror movie, it has gained a following as a mood piece of pastoral beauty, intense emotion and stylised lyricism.

The Village, Part II: A tapestry of characters

After a general evaluation of this M. Night Shyamalan tour de force, the large cast of characters and their relationships are examined, with a special emphasis on subtext and how it is expressed through mise-en-scène.

The Village, Part III: Love, murder and monsters

Whispered echoes, nightmare logic, high melodrama, relentlessly ingenious staging – this visual analysis of M. Night Shyamalan’s pastoral masterpiece preserves the film’s own gestures, often rearranged in surprising combinations.