Yup, the Vindication File is getting thicker.
This from Entertainment Weekly, where film critic Owen Gleiberman was asked why showing scenes out of sequence in movies like Pulp Fiction or Memento is such an effective technique:
"This...has evolved, in no small part, because audiences today are so attuned to the detours and ruses of conventional story-telling. When a story is told out of order, it's far easier to conjure up that surprise, that what's going to happen next? rush."
That was just the set-up. Gleiberman then slams home the kicker:
"The real news is that what started as a novelty has now edged into the mainstream..."
Yesterday's rush is today's mainstream. I couldn't have said it better myself.
Is it any wonder that filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan has suffered diminishing box-office returns on each of his films since the breakthrough hit The Sixth Sense? The final scene twist in that film was so mobius-like, it sent a buzz through the movie-going public louder than billion bees in honey season. His next project, Unbreakable, followed the same pattern; okay, we were somewhat fooled again, but not as profoundly as last time. By the time Signs came around, we were impatiently waiting for it, and his most recent two ,The Village and Lady In The Water, were met by tidal waves of "So Effin' What."
I think Shyamalan is a gifted writer/director, but if he REALLY wants to Surprise us, his next film should have no Surprise ending at all. Imagine the shock when what we're all expecting never actually comes.
Maybe he should show some scenes out of sequence...