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Chosen One of the Day: M. Night Shyamalan's cameo game
M. Night Shyamalan is many things. Auteur. Twist ending loyalist. A person who seems to actually enjoy being around Bruce Willis. But when I think of Night, one thing comes to mind: a commitment to the most distracting cameos in cinematic history as a human exposition machine.
In Signs, for example, he appears almost entirely in profile, refusing to look at Mel Gibson (hey, same) to the point where I was certain that when he inevitably turned his head a bit, he'd be full-on Harvey Denting us.
But no. T'was just a Choice. An Acting Choice.
Then, in The Village, we only see the back of his head, his newspaper, and his reflection in a medical supply fridge. This scene goes on for over two minutes, and his REFUSAL to let us see him and apparent INSISTENCE this is INTERESTING TO THE AUDIENCE is honestly the wildest thing about this movie, including the ending and that Adrien Brody performance.
In this 2-minute-plus scene, Night spends literally the first 12 seconds reading a newspaper in real time. Do not mistake me; he keeps reading the entire scene, then delivers a solid minute of exposition wherein he just tells us the twist of the movie. But literally the first 12 seconds is just the newspaper thing. The CHOICE! The LINGER! It's like the cinematic version of RuPaul including a full, lovingly shot runway walk in every episode. With these two cameos, followed by his role of a lifetime as the writer who will save the world in Lady in the Water, this cover girl put the bass in her walk, cameo-wise. AND WHAT, M. Night. AND WHAT, indeed!