[movies] I’ve never seen… The Shining … On watching the Shining the first time. ‘It was bad. Good, in a “cinematic appreciation” way, but bad in a sitting at home alone during a nationwide quarantine way. No one had mentioned the music to me before; the score undulating from fluttering strings to thundering synths and that shrill whistle tone making those long tracking shots especially heart-palpitating. In fact, Kubrick’s penchant for lengthy, silent takes makes perfect sense now, elongating observation into its own sense of anticipatory fear. And this gels so well with the evolution of Nicholson’s face throughout; morphing from smug and clean-shaven to craggy and wide-eyed, broken only by his terrifying rictus grin – a perfect foil to Shelley Duvall’s incredulity.’
[kubrick] How Stanley Kubrick Staged the Moon Landing … Analysing the classic conspiracy theory that Kubrick left cryptic messages about staging the Apollo 11 Moon Landing in the Shining. ‘The clincher comes when the Danny gets up from his tricycle and walks down the corridor, following a mysterious call, the sort that a government might make to a filmmaker in a time of crisis. The caretaker’s son is wearing an Apollo 11 sweater—weird, huh? It shows a rocket over the words Apollo 11. When he stands, it seems as if the rocket is blasting off, whereas of course it isn’t because it isn’t real. Danny walks, thus the rocket flies, until he finds himself outside Room 237. Danny, who stands for the child in Kubrick, the artist, has traveled to 237, that is, all the way to the moon. Only he hasn’t. Is any of this real? Of course not. It’s a face in the clouds.’
…this is why, I think, Jack is shown writing when he really should be murdering — because Kubrick had an idea for a great scene, one of the greatest in horror-movie history, where Wendy finds Jack’s “work” and discovers that it’s complete gibberish. Actually, it’s worse than complete gibberish, because complete gibberish could still be published. Rather, it’s the work of an obsessive-compulsive maniac. (Nicholson, who had just won an Oscar for playing crazy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, would later go on to play an OCD guy in As Good As It Gets.) This is brilliant stuff, and, again, dramatizes the essentially psychological nature of the horror in The Shining — the really scary stuff is going on in Jack’s mind, not in the corridors of the Overlook.
(One of my favorite factoids regarding the movie is that Kubrick didn’t just have a ream of “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” typed up, no — he had reams and reams typed up, in different languages, one for every major territory the movie would play in — Spanish, Italian, French, German, etc., all with a regional phrase specific to the territory. Production Assistant on a Kubrick movie must have been the worst job available in show business.)
[movies] Introducing the Horror Oscars: The 40 Best Scary Movies Since ‘Halloween’ … Great list of the horror movies since 1979 onwards. ‘1980 – The Shining: Slowly but surely in the 1980s, consensus started to shift—the box office grew steadily, the critical reputation was bolstered, and within a decade, The Shining was an American classic. Why? Like Alien, it is technically magnificent and eerily tense, like waiting for an ocean of blood to pour from an elevator shaft. The Krzysztof Penderecki score is deeply unnerving. Shelley Duvall, with her long face, eight-ball eyes, and pallid complexion, is the most vulnerable subject of spousal torture ever put on screen. There are moments of shock, psychological torture, and bloodcurdling terror. (RIP, Scatman Crothers.) It’s so mystifying and intoxicating, that it has become the subject of wildly imaginative conspiracy theorizing.’
Kubrick and his team protected him from the scary stuff, Lloyd says. In one scene, where Wendy runs screaming through the hotel with Danny in her arms, Duvall carried a lifesize doll. “I specifically remember I was banned from the set for the entire time Scatman Crothers was being axed,” he says laughing. There is something nice and Tom Hanks-y about his measured tone and efforts not to say anything mean or controversial.
I read that he accidentally walked in on Jack Nicholson filming “Here’s Johnny!” (voted the scariest scene movie history a few years ago). Is that true? “Yes, but not the actual ‘Here’s Johnny’ bit. Jack was out in the hallway with the axe. He was having fun and goofing off. I think it was a plastic axe he had. Both my parents were there and we were laughing. That wasn’t scary.”
[kubrick] Forever and Ever and Ever: Uncanny Doubles in ‘The Shining’ … A look at how Kubrick heightened a sense of the Uncanny in the Shining … ‘Robert Kolker writes that the film also features many instances of symmetrical framing. He notes that each side of the frame is doubled and perfectly composed, and therefore any horrific event happening within the frame seems even more out of place and strange. The symmetrical shots are almost too perfect, which can be uncanny and off-putting in itself. Kolker cites the red bathroom as an example of a symmetrically framed scene, with its rows of white urinals and sinks lining either side of the wall and the long mirrors running along the wall. The bathroom is symmetrical, yet Jack and Grady discuss violent, murderous plans in the middle of the room, throwing the symmetry off balance and into uncanny space.’
[movies] An electrician remembers: I worked with Jack Nicholson and Stanley Kubrick … ‘It was a small crew and he used us for bit parts. Because they rarely shoot leading artists when you can’t see their face, he said to me: “You look like Jack – put on the jeans and boots.” In the film, when a semi-conscious Jack is dragged into the food store, those are my legs on screen. He asked me to be the guy in a bear suit with his arse hanging out and his head in a man’s lap at the end. But I said: “No, mate, I ain’t having that.” Could you imagine? Everyone at home saying: “That’s Bobby Tanswell.” Nope, sorry.’
[kubrick] Rejected ‘The Shining’ Poster Designs From Saul Bass, With Stanley Kubrick’s Notes … fascintaing look at Kubrick’s process … ‘While the final result is the iconic, yellow one-sheet, there were a number of iterations, and we can now see the rejected ones. Drawing from different aspects of the film, including the maze, the hotel, and the family unit, there’s some striking imagery, but we can see why Kubrick went with the one he did.’
[kubrick] Stanley Kubrick’s Keys To The Shining … going far too deep on Kubrick’s The Shining and a conspiracy / cover-up by NASA … ‘Stanley Kubrick embedded the Narrative of a Murder in this Film. I believe it was His wish that it be found – by his Audience. I’m motivated to share this Narrative here, because ultimately it contains information that is profoundly pertinent – to All of Us.’
[movies] What Stanley Kubrick got wrong about “The Shining” … a look at Stephen King and Stanley Kubrick’s different approaches The Shining … ‘The two men represent diametrically opposed approaches to creating narrative art. One is an aesthete and the other is a humanist. Kubrick was a consummate and famously meticulous stylist; King’s prose is workmanly and his novels can have a shambolic bagginess. The great theme of King’s fiction is the capacity of the average person — especially working-class or similarly humble men and women — both for evil and for heroism. Although there’s almost always a battle against a supernatural antagonist in King’s books, the best of his novels hinge on the protagonists’ struggles with themselves. In “Doctor Sleep,” it is just as valiant for Danny Torrance — the psychic child character in “The Shining,” now grown up — to stay sober as it is for him to challenge the novel’s Big Bad.’
[shining] This is Uncanny: Number-play in Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’ … ‘If one needs further proof of Kubrick’s fascination with number play, the title page of his copy of Stephen King’s novel of The Shining is filled with Kubrick’s own handwriting as he works out creative ways to use the number 217. Room 217 was the number of the dead woman’s room in the novel, which Kubrick changed at the request of the Timberline Hotel management. His selection of 237 was not without forethought.’
[shining] The Top 5 Wacky Theories About ‘The Shining’ in New Frontiers Doc ‘Room 237’ … some perfectly reasonable theories about The Shining from a new documentary about Kubrick’s movie … ‘One of the more spectacular theories in the movie: That Kubrick was hired by the American government to fake the Apollo moon landing, and “The Shining” is his way of explaining himself. An interviewee says that owning “The Shining” on Blu-ray allows one to see enough detail to reach this conclusion. Jack Torrance’s constant bickering with his wife about his job responsibilities voice Kubrick’s own justification for why he had to comply with government orders.’
Q: You are a person who uses his rationality, who enjoys understanding things, but in 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Shining you demonstrate the limits of intellectual knowledge. Is this an acknowledgement of what William James called the unexplained residues of human experience?
A: Obviously, science-fiction and the supernatural bring you very quickly to the limits of knowledge and rational explanation. But from a dramatic point of view, you must ask yourself: ‘If all of this were unquestionably true, how would it really happen?’ You can’t go much further than that. I like the regions of fantasy where reason is used primarily to undermine incredulity. Reason can take you to the border of these areas, but from there on you can be guided only by your imagination. I think we strain at the limits of reason and enjoy the temporary sense of freedom which we gain by such exercises of our imagination.
[movies] Ask Metafilter On The Shining … ‘In my opinion the thing that really makes the movie is the payoff of the scene where Shelly Duvall is backing up on the stairs while Jack Nicholson terrorizes her, and she slowly, bravely and desperately crosses over from trying to keep the reality of the situation at uncomfortable arm’s length (by appeasing him when he gets scary and/or distant), to finally giving in to it and accepting it, fighting back as best as she can, even if she might not win. While the book is a heartbreaking story of a family falling apart, that scene in the film portrays one person’s descent into madness and evil, and another person’s defeated but brave decision to slowly but steadily escape from it so brilliantly. It’s painful and captivating to watch.’
[kubrick] Don’t Open The Elevator … Metafilter discuss the trailer for The Shining … ‘Now I’m imagining the reverse shot, which would be the blood patiently sitting in the elevator, listening to Elevator music, until there’s a *ping* and the doors open and it rushes out.’
[kubrick] Scorsese on Kubrick … Martin Scorcese on Stanley Kubrick, Full Metal Jacket, Eyes Wide Shut and the Shining … ‘I also love the visions—the maze, the elevator, Nicholson bouncing a rubber ball across the vast expanses of the hotel lobby to kill time, the enormous golden ballroom, the red Formica bathroom in which Nicholson “meets” the butler. And, perhaps most frightening of all, the vision of an ordinary American family, beautifully acted, who’ve wandered into deep psychic waters.’
[conspiracy] Secrets of The Shining … a totally loopy conspiracy theory involving Stanley Kubrick and the Shining … ‘The truth is that The Shining is the story of how Stanley Kubrick cut a deal with the U.S. Government to fake the Apollo moon landings.’ [via Metafilter]
[tags: Funny, The Shining][permalink][Comments Off on Sasha Obama Keeps Seeing Creepy Bush Twins While Riding Tricycle Through White House]
January 20, 2009
[rEDrUM] Finally Published: All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy by Jack Torrence … you can buy a copy at blurb.com: ‘If it’s nearly impossible to read, let us take a moment to consider how difficult it must have been to write. One is forced to consider the author, heroically pitting himself against the Sisyphusean sentence. It’s that metatextual struggle of Man vs. Typewriter that gives this book its spellbinding power’
[movies] One Storyboard from The Shining showing Kubrick’s meticulous and controlling eye for detail … ‘THERE IS NO OTHER WAY TO DO IT REPEAT NO OTHER WAY exercise the greatest care as the compositional effect of a different path might be BAD BAD BAD’
[soundboard] The Shining Soundboard — yet another flash soundboard using clips from The Shining … ‘Does it matter to you at all that the owners have placed their complete confidence and trust in me, and that I have signed a letter of agreement, a contract, in which I have accepted that responsibility? Do you have the slightest idea what a moral and ethical principle is, do you? Has it ever occurred to you what would happen to my future if I were to fail to live up to my responsibilities? Has it ever occurred to you? Has it?!’
[film] His ‘Secret’ Movie Trailer Is No Secret Anymore — NYT on the remixed Shining trailer … ‘The challenge? Take any movie and cut a new trailer for it — but in an entirely different genre. Only the sound and dialogue could be modified, not the visuals, he said. Mr. Ryang chose “The Shining,” Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 horror film starring Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall. In his hands, it became a saccharine comedy — about a writer struggling to find his muse and a boy lonely for a father. Gilding the lily, he even set it against “Solsbury Hill,” the way-too-overused Peter Gabriel song heard in comedies billed as life-changing experiences’
[movies] Five Things You Probably Didn’t Notice in The Shining — interesting commentary on Kubrick’s Horror Film … ‘Kubrick deliberately undermines all the most frightening moments in the book. He’s still trying to scare you, but not the way it’s usually done. Jack Torrence is trying to kill his wife with an ax. Isn’t that frightening enough? Isn’t violence terrifying all by itself? Kubrick feels no need to cheat you by not showing what’s on the other side of the door. To Kubrick, Ozzie and Harriet is the ultimate snow job, and a man, woman and child trapped alone together is the most horrifying prospect imaginable.’
Come and play with us, Danny …for ever, and ever, and ever.
Shining Script: ‘On another of his exploratory bike rides as he comes around a corner in his inexorable progression, Danny is petrified when he confronts the two undead girls at the end of a hallway blocking his way. In unison, they beckon to him in metallic, other-worldly voices with an invitation: “Hello Danny, Come and play with us. Come and play with us, Danny.” For an instant, Danny is horrified to “see” another slide-show flash with horrific images of the carnage of past murders – the two mutilated girls lie in large pools of blood in a blood-splattered hallway, with an oversized axe lying on the floor in front of them. And then they add as they appear to get closer: “…for ever, and ever, and ever.” He covers his eyes to shut out the deathly apparitions. As he slowly uncovers his eyes, it appears that they have vanished.’
‘Have you ever had a single moment’s thought about my responsibilities? Have you ever thought for a single solitary moment about my responsibilities to my employers? Has it ever occurred to you that I have agreed to look after the Overlook Hotel until May the first? Does it matter to you at all that the owners have placed their complete confidence and trust in me, and that I have signed a letter of agreement, a contract, in which I have accepted that responsibility? Do you have the slightest idea what a moral and ethical principle is, do you? Has it ever occurred to you what would happen to my future if I were to fail to live up to my responsibilities? Has it ever occurred to you? Has it?!’
[film] Oh, I can’t bear it. I really can’t bear it — Nicole Kidman talks about her fascination with The Shining … ‘In The Shining, Kubrick made these ostentatiously smooth camera movements – relatively new to audiences – into a motif for the film. The steadiness of the camera movements mixed with the grisly subject matter into a mood of unease, especially when juxtaposed with the odd, often emotionless speech. “Stanley would tell us he was not interested in naturalness,” Kidman recalls. “He was not interested in a sort of documentary style performance. He liked it to be slightly odd, slightly off.”‘