“How many movies in streaming have marked you or changed your life?” asks M. Night Shyamalan

M.Night Shyamalan
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The director was recently President of the 72nd Berlinale.

As the 72nd Berlinale closed its doors on February 17 with a very feminine edition, having awarded director Carla Simón the Golden Bear for her second feature film Alcarrasand director Claire Denis with a Silver Bear for Best Direction with her film With love and determinationits President M.Night Shyamalan came back for The world on his experience of this festival, but also on his experience in cinema since its beginnings. He notably mentioned the crisis experienced by the world of cinema at the time of the pandemic, with the forced closure of theaters and the explosion of streaming. A moment which, for him, is a parenthesis: concerning the pre-pandemic period, the director of Sixth Sense think “that nothing has changed”.

Berlinale 2022: Claire Denis receives the Silver Bear for With Love and Acharement [palmarès]

The filmmaker clarifies his opinion. From his point of view, this pandemic has allowed the explosion of streaming but has not replaced the experience of a cinema. And it is around this experience that cinema must rebuild itself. He explains : “When we get back to normal, people will appreciate going to the cinema more, like in the United States. There, when restaurants, concerts, sporting events reopened, everything was sold out. It’s up to us to tell stories great stories, and audiences will come back, maybe even more numerous. This cinema crisis is the conjunction of two events: on the one hand a pandemic, on the other the rise of streaming platforms. During these two years, online providers spent billions of dollars on content and advertising, and shouted to the world: ‘Hey, now you can see what you want without commitment or buying a ticket!’ At first I found it infinitely damaging. But, thinking about it, the closure of cinemas also showed us what an invaluable experience it was. There is no equivalent.”

Martin Scorsese: “Cinema is devalued to the rank of content”

Faced with this observation, M. Night Shyamalan wonders: “On the one hand, we have this world without cinema, where everything is watched on a telephone. But how many films in streaming have marked you or changed your life? How many of them will you remember in ten years? And on the other, the one where you cherish the prospect of going out, of bringing your friends, of giving all your attention and your love to the images and the characters you are looking at.” Questions shared with other directors, such as Martin Scorsese or Christopher Nolan, great defenders of cinema in theaters.

For him, the pandemic has not got the better of the cinema, and on the contrary it will give him a second youth. Ironic for the director, whose recent feature film Old precisely questions life and old age. Released on July 21, 2021, the film had gathered 311,781 spectators in France. Gael García Bernal, Vicky Krieps and Rufus Sewell appear in the cast of the horror film.

With Old, M. Night Shyamalan signs a delightful B series [critique]

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