The Last Airbender, Part II: Ritualised form

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.

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 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.

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.