The Shining (1980) Reprise
For us Kubrick fans, 2012 is shaping up to be a vintage year. Not only has a new digital print of his horror masterpiece The Shining been struck by the BFI, but the documentary Room 237 has also propelled critics and fans to re-examine his work and practices, inspired by the slavish devotion of the non-fictional Delbert Grady’s, obsessed and immersed in the haunted corridors of the Overlook hotel. The news of a sequel to the source novel was also announced by Stephen King, and the Kubrick Estate finally moved its Exhibition to the city of the angels he fled in artistic terror some fifty years ago, frustrated at the interference foisted upon his vision during the making of Spartacus. As I may have mentioned here I planned to revisit the film in its new digital print at the BFI last week alongside the usual context setting discussion, but alas I didn’t make it. I know, I know, call yourself a Kubrick fan Minty? What a disgusting lapse in effort etc etc. Well, in my defence the night before I stayed up either horrendously late of frighteningly early to watch the US election, and quite frankly once I’d retired and woken up the same day I was in no position to go anywhere, especially for a film that (and let’s be clear here) I’ve already seen through three times at the flicks, including prints of this so-called ‘unseen’ domestic cut, and the members of the discussion panel – Jan Harlan, Michel Ciment, Ben Wheatley and Kim Newman – are all figures I’ve seen before in one way or another. Yes I’m intrigued to see exactly how this new digital print looks but it’s not as if they managed to get on the real Holy Grail, a print with the excised Hospital intact, now that’s something I’d crawl through broken glass to see, but I just wasn’t feeling up to it and I simply wouldn’t have enjoyed it if I had made it over to the South Bank. That’s my excuse anyway….
I was also less than enthused in crafting a new review given that I think my original effort from 2008 still makes sense – see what you think here – but although you will be spared the terror of another in-depth analysis from yours truly on the picture which may be getting a little overexposed I couldn’t let the treasure trove of links and articles I’ve collected over the past eight months go to waste, so here is a starter for ten, then there is Jan Harlan’s vivid recollections which are expanded upon here, here’s some semiotics and dualism, here is Pixar director Lee Unkrich’s exhaustive website (he’s a collector of all things Shining, he recently acquired Danny’s Moonship jumper at auction), here’s some Zizek on Kubrick’s swan song, and of course finally here is that ultimate insane novel on the film, scribed by one of the lunatics of Room 237. I also like this and this is the most illuminating piece I’ve read on SK for years, its the first I’ve read of potential casting decisions such as Jon Voight playing Jack or more suprisingly Paul Newman was being considered for a role in 2001? Presumably Bowman I guess. Anyway, Rob Agers deconstruction are well-known in the community;
Well, he certainty has done his research eh? Whatever you make of his conclusions and assertions I enjoy these video essays for the sheer scale of obsessive detail, as much as I may violently disagree with some of the content they can be are fun viewing. These pieces however are somewhat more problematic;
That is just insane, these deluded publishers warping their preexisting paranoid theories to fit the film, rather than vice versa with the themes and readings emanating from the text as it stands. As I alluded to in my Room 237 review – and here is probably the best review of that film I’ve found - I’m actually becoming quite angry with the conspiracy theorists adoption of Kubrick, so I should probably refrain some posting them here for a while. So whilst we’re talking about insanity I’ve just started reading this which should be fun, now I have to find a film to go and see this week which is proving to be a frustrating task, it looks like a second look at The Master seems to be my only option at the local flickpit….