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 cat-and-mouse sessions between psychiatrist and patient form a thrilling acting laboratory, where M. Night Shyamalan’s fundamentally static set-ups are done with rigour and discreet invention. Bonus: film references.
The apparent simplicity of Split conceals a surprising amount of ideas, refinement and subtlety. This is a moment-by-moment analysis of the brilliant abduction scene, plus a hard look at isolation, corridors, animals and flowers.
Karlovy Vary 2017: Fancy having your dreams documented? Or maybe some tall story you made up for a laugh – or to get out of jail? Well, some indie filmmaker with an iPhone might just make you an offer you can’t refuse!
Karlovy Vary 2017: «Isn’t the real miracle of film the capacity to open up another view and give us a sense – however illusory – of seeing as others do, in a way we never considered, never even imagined?»
This is the first of three analytical articles on Christopher Nolan’s transcendent Interstellar. It has both a newfound emotional maturity and structural complexity, holding an abundance of deeply embedded motifs, patterns and parallels.
During the monumental, relentlessly hypnotic climax, M. Night Shyamalan succeeds in finding a cinematic equivalent of the effortless unfolding of superhuman powers, in a formal framework also suggesting the hero’s ritualised path to that state.