With 'Glass,' Shyamalan Waits Nearly 20 Years to Say...This?


#1

Be Good and Rewatch It brings its three-part breakdown of M. Night Shyamalan’s Eastrail 177 trilogy— Unbreakable, Split, Glass—to a close with a conversation about the director’s latest musing on the nature of superheroes. Glass brings together the main characters of each movie, with the intention of commenting on what it would be like to live in a world where people were obsessed with superpowers. Like a lot of Shyamalan’s work, it’s a lot, but that’s why Natalie, Austin, Rob, and Patrick are here. You don’t have to go through this alone.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/3kgbbk/with-glass-shyamalan-waits-nearly-20-years-to-saythis

#2

Because Acela heroes
Never feel any pain…

It’s funny that Rob warmed up to the action sequences in Glass, because I thought they were proof (if any were needed) of his thesis on the climax to Unbreakable - that Shyamalan opts for mundane, underwhelming action because he’s incapable of shooting anything else. As with Unbreakable, it’s appropriate for the narrative and themes, but I found it way more transparent here.

McAvoy’s character remains awful, and the way Casey relates to him more so. The nadir of that for me was the cutesy callback to Dennis’s OCD, which in Split [cw: abuse] operates as a pretext for his desire to sexually dominate young girls, but here is played as just a fun reference to their “shared journey”.

I think everybody’s dead-on regarding the over-familiarity of the film’s supposedly unprecedented genre-deconstruction. Once again I’m going to point to Joe McCullough’s tweets on the subject:


I definitely liked Eastrail 3 better than Eastrail 2, if only for McAvoy’s reduced screen time and the return of the (uh, mostly male) Unbreakable castmembers. Personally I think Sleepy Willis worked perfectly in Unbreakable, for which I’ll be an apologist for life. Or at least until my next rewatch.


#3

I am still listening to this but feel like I need the Be Good and Rewatch It episodes for Ratatouille and The Incredibles after the discussion of them in this episode.

I might also want one for Ghostbusters, because it is the film where I trade in my bucket of popcorn for a critique of the film’s ardent Reaganism.


#4

I don’t know that I’ll ever watch Glass so it was nice to be able to listen to the Waypoint crew dig into what I suspect would be feelings I would end up sharing. I agree that it feels like there is (or was) a foundation here to say something interesting, especially when Rob describes what might have been the relationship dynamic between David and his wife. It’s a shame to see that mostly squandered and instead be given a series that continues to perpetuate unhelpful ideas about mental health & trauma.

Since the crew mentioned suggestions, here’s some horror/sci-fi flicks I’d be interested to hear discussed or given the excuse to rewatch:

10 Cloverfield Lane
It was mentioned briefly in the podcast episode on Split and I’d love to hear an extended discussion/analysis on. It is really impressive how much is achieved with such a constrained setting & set of characters. The performances are really solid and I was surprised just how much I enjoyed the ending. It’s easily one of my favourite horror films from the past decade.

Pontypool
I don’t know if I could call Pontypool a great movie but there’s so many fascinating ideas packed into it that have only gotten more relevant and interesting as the years have went on. It’s definitely a movie I think would benefit from being revisited. The opening monologue is just fantastic.

Under the Skin
This one is more thriller than outright horror but I still found it deeply unnerving and upsetting. It’s an abstract experience (one that should come with some content warnings) that stuck with me and I imagine the kind that I’d find even more affecting were I to watch it again today.
(especially given the trans readings of the film I’ve seen since)


#5

I think that the gang is mostly spot-on with its takes on Glass, but I have to say, one thing I disagree with is the reading that Casey is in romantic love with Kevin. When I watched Glass, my read on it was that Casey feels compassion for Kevin based on her understanding of his background, and not some kind of infatuation.

Also, is anybody else kind of annoyed that Casey doesn’t become an Acela Hero in her own right in this one, after it seemed fairly obvious that Split was intended to be her “origin story.”


#6

It’s not exactly a good movie but if they want a through line Deep Blue Sea is technically sci-fi horror and has sam jackson in it.


#7

Yo, I’m like ten minutes in but I gotta object: Jason Clarke is the man. He’s put in his dues for decades and he’s never been bad in anything.

Admittedly half the reason I like him is because I get him mixed up with Joel Edgerton, but never mind. I like my Hollywood dads. I can respect a dude who looks like he changes his own oil.


#8

Now a Be Good and Rewatch it for Incredibles 2 would be extremely appropriate considering that that film fulfills the two conditions of a) being trash that doesn’t know it’s trash and b) including Sam Jackson.

But like, for real for real, I would love to listen to an episode on The Handmaiden. That movie does so much with its narrative by leaning into its super-stylization and gothic vibes, and I so badly want to hear all of their reads on it.


#9

To be more relevant towards the topic at hand, I actually think Glass is more Objectivist than The Incredibles. Both movies are celebrations of individual power and special-ness against “normie” society. But The Incredibles is pretty specific that superpowers are meant to be used in Altruistic ways, it’s morality is purely 1940s Golden Age.

Glass has no interest in Altruism at all. It’s celebrating superpowers when 2/3s of its superpowered people are fucking monsters. The villains indeed are actually working for altruistic goals, which is to stop superpowered people from destroying society. And I believe M. Night didn’t intend this, but his movie kinda makes the Clover Society’s argument for them. David Dunn might have saved a few people, but Mr. Glass was an outright terrorist and The Horde molested and murdered young women. Yet all three are presented as triumphal martyrs at the end, equally blessed for their self-actualization.

It isn’t the overall goodness of the achievement that matters to Glass, it is merely the power itself.


#10

The aside on The Incredibles completely mirrors my own experience with it as “hey a cool new pixar movie!” back at release turned to “wow this makes me super uncomfortable” in the last few years when i finally rewatched it.

I am completely loving BGARI, by the way, I’m thrilled every time I see it on the feed. DEEPLY LOOKING FORWARD TO SERENITY because wooooooof. Wooof. But also, as long as the movie is p accessible, I am down for whatever is picked.


#11

I’ve just started to listen to podcasts on an android phone, and can’t find any way to review or rate them. Does this just not exist in Google Play?

Anywhoo enjoyed the ‘cast, got me thinking about the rich history of desconstructive comics, then post-deconstructive, just exactly what I would say were post-deconstructive and so on.


#12

It’s not really horror, but maybe consider The Matrix? We’re hitting 20 years since release and I think there’s a lot of material for discussion there. Especially since Danielle was recommending Jupiter Ascending as a Waypoint recently.


#13

Although I’d rather see a Jupiter Ascending podcast than a The Matrix one…


#14

I’d like Patrick to watch ‘Nattevagten’ (and NOT the American remake), and tell me if its a good horror movie, 'cause I honestly can’t tell.