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Image copyright: see contents page of each issue. All other material © Visual Imagination 1998 - 2004
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The Village in our magazines

THE MOVIE: The Village

Joaquin Phoenix • Adrien Brody • Bryce Dallas Howard • William Hurt • Sigourney Weaver
DIRECTOR: M Night Shyamalan

In the dark… THE CONCEPT:
Set in the late 1800s, the new thriller from M Night Shyamalan centers on a village surrounded by woods in which resides a race of creatures, referred to as ‘Those We Don’t Speak Of.’

U.S. RELEASE: July 30 2004, Nationwide
• Rated: PG-13


: “The woods are the place that is genetically in us to be scared of because it’s unknown. It’s not safe to go out in the woods alone. It’s in our genetics to be scared of that, and rightly so.”

ADRIEN BRODY (Noah Percy):
“Night swore me to secrecy. I think Night even hesitated at me seeing the script if I wasn’t going to do the movie. Night made me promise not to show the script to anyone, including my representatives, so my agents didn’t even read it. I’ve been loyal to that.”

JOAQUIN PHOENIX (Lucius Hunt) on the Boot Camp before filming began, where the actors stayed in the village and lived a life set in 1897 for three weeks:
“It was good. It was an opportunity for us to really focus on the film, to not have any other distractions and to get to know each other really well, and to develop our relationships in character.”

“I wanted to form a real community of people where they needed to rely on one another for survival. I didn’t just want to do my version of this movie. I wanted to be surprised. I wanted to be entertained. I wanted to come to work and not know what was going to happen, and the only way that is going to happen is if the actors are in it with me, standing right beside me.”

“[During Boot Camp] I had to start a fire. I was there for 24 hours rubbing sticks together. Everyone else had gone to dinner and back and I was still there. Finally, I just took out my lighter. I knew the whole process was just about getting to know everybody. But I remember seeing Sigourney out in the field, and when her time was up she was like, no. She really enjoyed it.”

“Night works with such generosity and lets the actor work freely within the canvas he has created. I think he gives this same gift to the audience, a chance for them to intelligently manipulate and interpret the story. He assumes the audiences imaginations are vivid and that they are starved for a challenging and complicated story.”

“It’s difficult to talk to the press about this movie, because I’m really about the work, and I want to talk about the process and all the interesting people I met along the way and how it helped shape me. And they’ve asked me to be very general and vague, and I like to respond honestly. In general it’s kind of fun to keep a secret, as long as no one’s getting hurt. And I think people go to the movies and they know too much about the movie before they go in. I think that sabotages a thriller.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official The Village site
Images above © Touchstone Pictures
Feature © 2004 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #647, August 2004 cover

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