Posted on Tuesday, July 20th, 2010 by Russ Fischer
M. Night Shyamalan has a reputation, which is only partially founded, for not taking negative lines of questioning very well. So how do you think he responded when a reporter in Mexico starts a press conference question by saying “You had a very strong start to your career with The Sixth Sense” before winding around to “the audience has lost its faith in your work with Lady in the Water and many of your more recent productions”?
How about “If I thought like you, I’d kill myself”?
All things considered, Shyamalan’s reponse isn’t as angry as one might expect. He seems more befuddled than anything else, which in part might be the venue. At press conferences, I’ve seen foreign reporters be more willing to ask awkward questions of directors than most US writers, but most of the stuff aimed at filmmakers during these events tend to be softballs. It’s not often someone will basically be asked “why does your career suck?”
At the same time, Shyamalan totally disparages the question, saying it must be “something you read on Google or something.” Which is an interesting bit of transference — I’d think he’d be more willing to think of this characterization of his career as just coming from one jerk reporter rather than from the entire internet.
I’m not much interested to get into in-depth analysis of Shyamalan’s response. As far as I’m concerned his movies speak for themselves, and they don’t have much good to say. But listen to his answer and parse it in your own way.