Jul 6, 2010

Does Night Have a Pagan Heart?



I just returned from another movie (seemingly my new Tuesday night ritual) - this time it was The Last Airbender.  Written, produced and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, this movie is quite a treat and really kid friendly.  One of my friends was a bit bored by all the martial arts in the film, but with the stunning cinematography, I thought it was beautiful.

I am a Night Shyamalan fan though.  Most people liked the Sixth Sense, but not everyone cares for his other films.  I love them all.  Well...The Happening was a bit hard to watch.  But it brings me to my point...finally.

Is Night a Pagan?  I find it interesting that many of his films have supernatural, spiritual or elemental aspects to them.  Lady in the Water was about a Sea Nymph.  The Happening was about the Earth (plants/trees) finally having enough of us humans, and basically eradicating us.  And this movie, about four tribes Air, Fire, Water and Earth all held in balance by Spirit is a classic Pagan theme. 

Of course, the cartoon/story was out long before the movie, so I realize that Night is just following the tale the way it has been laid out previously.  But he does seem rather at home here - and it seems as though this may end up being four films (for the elements?)

Whatever he is, there is no doubt he is talented and has an incredible eye.  This really is a movie to be absorbed.  I'm not sure I cared more about the story line than I did about the gorgeous scenery and the special effects when the benders moved their elements.

As we drove home, we all mused which elements we wished we could control.  I was Earth, of course - but it was fun to hear what everyone else picked, and why.  Is this an Oscar-worth film.  Probably not - but it was a fun night out with friends, and made my little Pagan heart happy!

15 comments:

Angela said...

I am a Shyamalan fan as well and I have often wondered if he was pagan. To be honest I am surprised that the Evangelicals haven't had an uproar about his movies. Or maybe they have and I have been sleeping under a rock?

Leathra said...

Three films dear. There are three seasons of the show, going through each element that the Avatar has to learn: Water, Earth, Fire (he knows Air already). Shymalan is trying to fit an entire season into one movie. If you enjoyed the movie please try the series--it is much better, and Night didn't honor it very well. I highly recommend it, just keep in mind that the first 4 episodes are designed for kids until they realized the actual watching demographic was much older (15-30). The show starts maturing after that, and is FUNNY. Night thought that humor would detract from the epic setting so scoured every bit from it.

Sorry, don't mean to rant. The movie may be good on its own merit, but its a poor stunted mockery of the show. ^_^;

Mother's Moon's Message said...

I am eager to see the movie. I figured as most movies made per books that there was a good chance that it would not adhere exactly to the series... Yet just from the previews it appeared to be a good movie... and like you Rue I am quite the Night fan.

I would have to agree with you that there is a strong possibility that he is pagan. I have always enjoyed how his movies make you actually think for a change... A bit of depth. although I have talked to some who do not see it at all... guess as most things are, it appeals to some and not to others..

Can not wait to go see the movie...

Rue said...

Leathra - thanks for clearing up the sequels for me. (I was wondering if four might be too many movies!)

My friend has older teens and they rave about the show - I may have to actually check it out now - thanks!

Linda in New Mexico said...

Interestingly enough, my 6 yr old has just started watching the cartoon series. He was so thrilled that he knew the elements and was telling us all how they worked and how he knew they were part of ritual...blah, blah, blah. Now keep in mind this is a kid with Aspergers who the "learned" people said couldn't grasp concepts....yeah boneheads, not. The only limits he has are in their minds, not his.
His sister 10, and I will go see the movie first and then probably again with him. Thanks for the review.

the wild magnolia said...

These days I am unable to afford movies. So I especially enjoy hearing about movies other have seen.

I too, can become enthralled with a movie for reasons other than the story. The landscape and special effects can all capture my attention.

Thanks for sharing.

Moon Daughter said...

Is the series also called The Last Airbender? I'm terribly removed from TV and movies... since I had kids I just don't have the time... but now they're older, and hubby and I sometimes watch TV after the kids are in bed... I'd like to see the series...

Laura said...

That's one I've been wanting to see. I've often wondered about the pagan-ness of M. Night as well. Glad you liked it and shared your thoughts with us.
blessings
~*~

The Frog Queen said...

I too love his movies...well, most of them :) Thanks for the great review. Definately looking forward to seeing this one.

BTW - just wanted to tell you again how much I love your post, very full of heart - makes me smile. That is something we all need.

Cheers!

mxtodis123 said...

Gosh, I haven't seen any of them. I don't get out much and movies are so expensive here in the city. I'll be watching for them on cable.
Mary

The Traveler said...

I do like the way he leaves you pondering. I'm a little gun shy about this movie though, just because I don't tend to do well with movies based off of series or books that take too many liberties with the plots and characters.

Jay said...

Hy Rue,
Chanced upon ur space, while blog hopping. Loved your space and the interesting posts...! Am your happy follower now...!
Do drop in at my space sometime.

Michelle said...

Oooh, I am also a Shyamalan fan and I've been wanting to see this. Now I really have to now that you've posed this question. :)

xoxo

Kathy said...

I've always felt he was exploring spirituality in his movies. Signs struck me as dealing with Christianity but the rest I think deal with more Pagan themes, the Village especially.

I've loved all his movies so far.

Mary said...

You've made me anxious to see the film. I enjoy his movies but I don't hold him to the same level of expectation as others. I think he suffers a bit from a syndrome that affects authors as well was directors. He's a victim of his own success. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary