Saturday, October 1, 2011

Overheard at Booth 4: The Happening

By M Night Shayamalan

What I really like about this guy, and I've said it before, he doesn't make your typical genre movie. And like a really good painter, or an artist of any real talent, he doesn't follow a formula, but you always know that his work is his. He owns it. Good or bad, liked or disliked, each one of his works is distinctly his.

I remember when the movie came out that the conservatives gave it the big 'pooh-pooh' as 'just another one of those pieces that's supposed to make us all feel guilty just for livin' on this planet,' but when I finally watch it, a it's totally different thing altogether.

It's a sci-fi piece with a flair of what they had in the 50's - nature taking back what's its, kind of. Whereas in the 50's, you'd see big giant plants walking around and eating people, this time it's a much more subtle attack, where the plants have suddenly released spores that humans actually trigger as they walk among the trees and the grass, and the spores, when triggered, stop the chemicals in the brain that give us our sense of self-preservation. When that chemical is blocked, people just start killing themselves. Sometimes pretty gruesomely as well. I mean, we're talking guys who start up their riding lawn mowers and laying themselves down in front of it, that kind of thing.

Which actually reminds me of some articles I'd heard on the radio a few years back, about how trees actually do go to war with each other: the article was saying that some spoecies of trees will actually drop their seeds to the forest floor that will have a chemical that will prevent the seeds of other species of trees from being able to germinate - thus killing off the other species. They don't know how this is made - it just is.

Pretty spooky when you think about it. And yes, the movie does have the typical talking heads discussing the greater metaphysical implications of such actions - such as, is this the planet finally saying, 'hey I've had enough of you raping me! Take this, human scum!' ?

Hm. Food for thought

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