Thursday, September 18, 2014

The ego has landed

Ego is a funny thing. For a lot of people, they don't actually have enough, constantly living under the shadow of their own sub-conscious' perceived lack of self-worth. In the select few, they have the opposite problem. Their ego rules their sub-conscious to such a degree that anything that doesn't fit within the view of their perceived superiority is automatically discarded whilst only their successes are acknowledged and reaffirmed into their assumed reality. Kanye West is a prime example. A great producer (no one should deny that), who has good fashion sense (more than likely from a stylist), is an average-to-bad rapper and has appalling taste in women. Now, of course, he won't let something like being married to a woman with the personality of a pretzel get in the way of being a genius. Or naming his son North ... because North West is such a clever name.

Of course, Kanye is not averse to riling up those around him. From claiming he's God, to stating that the (former) President doesn't care about black people, to interrupting (another) vapid woman at the MTV Awards, to attempting to demand a guy in a wheelchair stand up at his concert, he has an ego that very much rules his world. I think there is definitely a little media victimizing around him, though, but he doesn't make his life easy by being as candid as he is. Hey, I even like his music - at least he tries to move R'nB forward a little. But this brings me to my topic of the day:

M. Night Shyamalan

After being the darling of the circuit with his pretty good film, The Sixth Sense, he follows it up with Unbreakable ... or Unbearable, as I like to call it. Yes, the first film was slow-paced and had lots of staring off into the distance, but Unbreakable was simply horrendous. I'm pretty sure about at least two-thirds of the film is related to his son staring at his dad (Bruce Willis) or vice-versa. Yes, I liked the premise but hated the way it was implemented. The basic premise is: what would a super hero look like in real life whilst still (partially) obeying the principles of physics etc.? It was a cool concept and that was the reason I wanted to see the film. But what I got was a staring contest, a ridiculous hair piece (for Samuel L Jackson) and the world's most boring action sequences. And, of course, there was a twist, albeit, an easily identifiable one. I am guessing his ego got the better of him and, after the success of his prior film, he got 'final cut' privileges on the film; all 107 minutes (it honestly felt like 5+ hours). It is horrible when a Director becomes all-powerful. I'm looking at you, Tarantino, with your self-flagellating Kill Bill which could have quite easily not required volumes to tell. Again, you seem to think your every prose is worthy of us witnessing. I do not agree. Even if your dialog is better than most, your film should be for your audience's benefit and not for your narcissistic desires (well, unless it's art house). Your film will always be worse for your lack of self-control. 

Yes, Unbreakable could actually have been a good film but was hampered by ego. I guess that lesson could extend to hackneyed music producers too ... or even us. You should never get to the point in your life where your ego rules your being - there should always a liberal smattering of humility to bring you back to reality. I am sure you would agree, no one would want another Unbreakable to be brought into existence.