M. Night Shyamalan: “The covid made us wake up for a moment, but we are zombies again”

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We live obsessed with time. Either we are constantly thinking about the past or trying to stop the future from coming. We refuse to grow old, to accept that we are condemned to die. The human being fights against the inevitable. And it does so with everything in its path. From science, which investigates any way to prevent us from looking old. We operate to live anchored in a time that no longer corresponds to us. Also the social media have contributed to creating that temporary suspension. People you have in your photo of Twitter an image from 15 years ago, when she still had hair and weighed 15 kilos less.

Somehow the cinema of M. Night Shyamalan it has always been linked to that unhealthy relationship of the human being with time. A person who refuses to accept his death and remains stuck in a present that does not exist; or a family that saves humanity from an alien invasion by accepting that everything is planned on a marked timeline and in which every detail counts.

It is now when he addresses the issue of time in a frontal way, so much so that his new film is called, Weather -which comes to sales this Friday, July 30-, a thriller that adapts the graphic novel Sandcastle -of Pierre Oscar Levy and Frederik Peeters- on a mysterious island where time runs its own course. A series of tourists will find themselves locked on a beach where they begin to age prematurely. One day there equals a lifetime. This helps the director to reflect on how badly we get along with time and old age, and to show his talent and his way of building tension in scenes that it is better not to reveal.

The novel came into his hands almost by chance, although for him it was surely a call from fate. “My daughters gave it to me for Father’s Day and it is a detail that touched my heart. They found it in a comic book store and it seems magical to me that they chose something like this work that connected with me in such a great way ”, the director tells EL ESPAÑOL. As soon as he read it, he knew there was material for a movie, but just having a good idea is not worth it. Shyamalan seeks the hearts of the protagonists, that there is an emotional core so as not to stay in the anecdote.

“When an idea for a film comes to mind, it is not enough that the premise seems interesting to me, I have to visualize how the trip is going to be, and in this I was clear that I saw that trip clearly, that it could be provocative, funny and intelligent, but also what was inside the film touched me a lot. I’m interested in the ramifications of the characters. For example, if I am interested in a film about the end of the world, or about an alien invasion, I think about what a family would do to save each other, and that is what I find really interesting “, he explains about his cinema.

We have a very dysfunctional relationship with time. I think that in history we have never had such a dysfunctional relationship with time, because of our phones and the internet

With Weather, who star Gael García Bernal and Vicky Krieps, speaks directly of that dependence we have on it. “We have a very dysfunctional relationship with time. I believe that in human history we have never had such a dysfunctional relationship with time, because of our phones, computers and the internet. We are at the mercy of machines right now and we have a relationship with them that is not healthy. I think the pandemic made us realize all this for a moment, but I think we will go back and be zombies again, but for a moment we woke up from the Matrix for a second, “he adds.

He worries that “we do not live in the present” and remembers how his parents had a different conception of time that made them value things more. “I remember when my father and mother talked about when they arrived in America, and how they called their brothers and maybe they had to wait days for them to call them again and how exciting it was to hear the voice of their relatives, listen to their breathing How that conversation was in your head for weeks, and now that has been lost and nothing impresses us anymore ”, ditch.