Fail: Shyamalan the keynote speaker at 3D summit

Senior Editor
08.10.10 22 Comments

M. Night Shyamalan has directed precisely one 3D movie, The Last Airbender, which wasn’t even shot in 3D (it was converted in post, like Clash of the Titans).  About which people said:

  • “Shown in murky, cut-rate 3-D.” –NY Post
  • “The movie looks no worse if you take off your 3-D glasses. (It looks better only if you close your eyes.) The default color is murky purple. –WallStreetJournal
  • “As for the 3-D, I’m tempted to leave responsible critical language behind and say, quite simply, that it sucks — except that the 3-D visuals in this movie would have to exist before they could be called terrible.” –Entertainment Weekly
  • “A ghoulish simulation” of real 3D. -BostonGlobe
  • “Puts a nail in the coffin of low-rent 3D. …a disaster even if you like 3D. …the drabbest, darkest, dingiest movie of any sort I’ve seen in years. …looks like it was filmed with a dirty sheet over the lens.” –Roger Ebert

And now for the punchline: that same Shyamalan, who presided over one movie in which 3D conversion was done badly by someone else, has been announced as the keynote speaker at a 3D Entertainment Summit sponsored by Variety.

Bob Dowling announced today that Writer-Director M. Night Shyamalan and Chris Cookson, President of Sony Pictures Technologies, will be joining Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation SKG, as Keynote Speakers at the 3rd annual 3D Entertainment Summit™ presented in association with Variety. The two-day conference is scheduled for September 15-16, 2010 at the Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City, CA.

“Using new creative techniques to tell stories with fierce and brilliant intelligence has been the hallmark of M. Night Shyamalan’s remarkable career,” said Dowling, “and we look forward to his insights into the immersive narrative possibilities of 3D as one of our Keynote Speakers.” M. Night Shyamalan wrote and directed the 1999 breakout hit Sixth Sense, which was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay; other notable films include Unbreakable (2001), Signs (2002), The Happening (2008) and the current box office hit [!!], The Last Airbender.

At this point, I’m almost trying not to pile on with the Shyamalan criticism because it’s become so universally accepted that his last few movies sucked.  However, I sat through them, and some clichés are clichés because they’re true.  By the way, your restaurant isn’t a “hit” if everyone says it’s terrible and vows never to go back, no matter how much food you sold on opening night. That’s not a hit, it’s a successful con.  I’m not saying the guy should never make another movie, just that, I dunno, maybe he might wanna shut up and lay low for a while.  Inviting Shyamalan to be the keynote speaker at a 3D symposium is like having Michael Jackson’s doctor headline an anesthesiology seminar.

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