Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mysterious Plague Hits Sydney?

What would you do if crowds of people around you started collapsing? Would you try to help? Would you call for emergency assistance? Would you pack up all your family and flee to the Pennsylvania farm country?

An ImprovEverywhere-style group enacted a scene from M. Night Shyamalan's upcoming movie The Happening among the crowds of the Pitt Street Mall in Sydney, Australia. Most of the passers-bye seem puzzled and concerned, but it didn't look like anyone was trying resuscitation. Check out the video:

Of course, being an M. Night Shyamalan movie, exactly what is killing people has purposely been left mysterious - and apparently won't be revealed until the end of the movie (no surprise there). Is it a virus? Killer mosquitoes? Pollution? All that we know is that it's a story of nature against man:
The idea for THE HAPPENING came to Shyamalan as he drove across the New Jersey countryside, watching a lush, green world whir by through the windshield. "I was on my way to New York," he recalls, "it was a beautiful day and the trees were hanging over the highway, and I suddenly thought to myself, "what if nature one day turned on us?"
The Happening is supposed to be the modern version of paranoid Cold War-era films like The Birds (1963), Godzilla (1954) and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), which "left audiences with the sense of a brave new world in which the earth might go on but the human species might not make it."

We'll have to wait until its release on Friday, June 13 to find out.

(video via Bloody Disgusting)



  1. There is far far too much "guerrilla art" which consists of faking genuine crises or distress. It is nowhere near as corrupting as the blankly ubiquitous fake smiles and bodies of advertising, but it does its little part to make the world a worse place.

  2. And having now subjected myself to the little promotional video, I see the defensive reaction which at least protects modern urban sophisticates from this sort of emotional vampirism: they are familiar enough with the idea to know that if a dozen people collapse in a mall in a coordinated fashion, it's probably bullshit, and probably safely ignored.

  3. It seems to be an advertising plank by the film maker....a prank which pays....

  4. I think that it's fair to ask whether it's right to perform a stunt like this in the name of promotion when it might cause some people serious distress. I wonder too if some of us have become so numbed to this sort of thing - assuming it's BS as you say - that if something similar were to actually happen that the crowd would do nothing to help people who were truly in need of assistance.


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