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The Shining (1980)


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Old 04-11-2013, 22:14
hownwbrowncow
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Anyone willing to discuss this masterpiece? Saw the whole thing on Thursday and am now mildly obsessed with the film
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Old 04-11-2013, 23:25
lionelmorton
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Did you see the uncut version ?
The US Bluray and dvd contains a version over 20 minutes longer than the UK release
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Old 05-11-2013, 06:32
little-monster
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Love The shining
We watched in Film class a few years ago but the day we watched it, i was off doing something else. But i watched it as a whole on Halloween and it is such an incredible film. I watched the uncut scenes on You tube and so many of them are vital to the plot and actually explain more things. I will buy it on dvd at some point. But it's left such a big impact on me. I love films that give you so many questions. Brilliant film.

By the way, Jack Nicholson was robbed of an oscar nomination.
Shelley Duvall is just bloody awful.
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Old 05-11-2013, 06:36
Jon O
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its a brilliant film, I remember telling my children it was scary & they laughed because its an old film. they were soon hiding behind the cushions

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDpipB4yehk
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:11
mgvsmith
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You might want to watch 'Room 237' and see how some people are obsessed with finding hidden meanings in the movie. For example, 237 referring to the 237,000 miles from the Earth to the Moon and therefore Kubrick is commenting on the Apollo moon missions. Not convinced.

I have visited the outside of the 'Overlook' Hotel which is The Timberline Lodge near Mount Hood in Oregon and it is very impressive, although there is no maze.

I think the The Shining is a study of the power of evil forces in the world but varies in its explanations of whether these are objective forces, eg ghosts or demons, or subjective forces simply in the mind of people. From Danny's point of view these would seem to be external ghosts who haunt the hotel as he can see them via his shining powers, However, Jack's decent into madness and the visions suggest that evil emanates from human frailty and invention.

I subscribe to the Faustian idea of Jack selling his soul to the Devil/Hotel for power and immortality. Hence his becoming a willing servant of the will of the place and it's agents and the need to kill his child. In that way the movie is a allegory for the evil that men can do. Some have drawn comparisons with the Holocaust, I'm not sure.
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:14
hownwbrowncow
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Love The shining
We watched in Film class a few years ago but the day we watched it, i was off doing something else. But i watched it as a whole on Halloween and it is such an incredible film. I watched the uncut scenes on You tube and so many of them are vital to the plot and actually explain more things. I will buy it on dvd at some point. But it's left such a big impact on me. I love films that give you so many questions. Brilliant film.

By the way, Jack Nicholson was robbed of an oscar nomination.
Shelley Duvall is just bloody awful.
Why is Duvall awful??
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:30
little-monster
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Why is Duvall awful??
She plays Wendy in such an over top and ridiculous way.

That scene when she is going up the stars and she keeps hitting the bat in front of Jack is one of the most cringey acted scenes in the whole film and of all time. It's brilliantly written and Nicholson is as creepy as can be, but her ridiciulous screams and poor body language ruin the element of horror her character is meant to be enduring

Her performance was savaged by critics and she even got a Razzie nomination. Stanley Kubrick himself hated Duvall's performance, as did Stephen King who felt Duvall portrayed her in a misogynist way.
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Old 05-11-2013, 14:01
hownwbrowncow
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She plays Wendy in such an over top and ridiculous way.

That scene when she is going up the stars and she keeps hitting the bat in front of Jack is one of the most cringey acted scenes in the whole film and of all time. It's brilliantly written and Nicholson is as creepy as can be, but her ridiciulous screams and poor body language ruin the element of horror her character is meant to be enduring

Her performance was savaged by critics and she even got a Razzie nomination. Stanley Kubrick himself hated Duvall's performance, as did Stephen King who felt Duvall portrayed her in a misogynist way.
I always think her fear adds to the film - its her normal acting that was quite shabby imo.
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Old 05-11-2013, 14:17
nessyfencer
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She plays Wendy in such an over top and ridiculous way.

That scene when she is going up the stars and she keeps hitting the bat in front of Jack is one of the most cringey acted scenes in the whole film and of all time. It's brilliantly written and Nicholson is as creepy as can be, but her ridiciulous screams and poor body language ruin the element of horror her character is meant to be enduring

Her performance was savaged by critics and she even got a Razzie nomination. Stanley Kubrick himself hated Duvall's performance, as did Stephen King who felt Duvall portrayed her in a misogynist way.
Didn't King hate the whole film though?
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Old 05-11-2013, 15:21
Virgil Tracy
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She plays Wendy in such an over top and ridiculous way.

That scene when she is going up the stars and she keeps hitting the bat in front of Jack is one of the most cringey acted scenes in the whole film and of all time. It's brilliantly written and Nicholson is as creepy as can be, but her ridiciulous screams and poor body language ruin the element of horror her character is meant to be enduring

Her performance was savaged by critics and she even got a Razzie nomination. Stanley Kubrick himself hated Duvall's performance, as did Stephen King who felt Duvall portrayed her in a misogynist way.


Kubrick got nominated too . !



.
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Old 05-11-2013, 15:44
elnombre
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Didn't King hate the whole film though?
Correct, hence the woefully crap TV miniseries version in the late 90s that was supposedly closer to his vision. King has written some terrific work but his mammoth ego prevents him from seeing that what works in a book may not work on screen and vice versa. His approved version is a slow, bloated, pompous ponderous mess.

Kubrick was a master of the screen, King was at the peak of his powers and the finished result is damn near a masterpiece. You only need to look at the 1980 version compared to the miniseries to see how wrong King was in his judgement. It's a shame that while Kubrick realised much of the genius in King's novel, King could never reciprocate and see the unique vision Kubrick brought to the film.

I'm inclined to agree with the comments on Duvall - to be fair she's given little to do but shrieking and act hysterical, but even taking that into account she remains the films weakest performer.
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Old 05-11-2013, 15:50
Finny Skeleta
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Shelley Duvall is just bloody awful.
Kubrick never really had much interest in directing actresses though.

He wrestled exceptional performances out of his leading men but, with the exception of Lolita, women in Kubrick films seem to fall more into the category of scenery rather than characters.
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Old 05-11-2013, 16:10
downtonfan
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Anyone willing to discuss this masterpiece? Saw the whole thing on Thursday and am now mildly obsessed with the film
I'm re-reading the book so I can work my way through the follow up Dr. Sleep!

Kubrick made a masterpiece. Stephen King didn't like it though.
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Old 05-11-2013, 16:32
Takae
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The Shining was a banned subject at my dad's house because we fought about the stupid film so many times.

Bearing in mind that I like the film, it's technically well made and has some undeniably memorable scenes (editing-wise, especially), but the story doesn't work. At least not for me, it doesn't.

My issues: the awkwardly-paced progress of Johnny's breakdown, the pacing, the conflicting themes, the climax, and Jack Nicholson and Shelly Duvall's take on their characters (I do hold Kubrick responsible for their performances, though). For me, the biggest issue is, having that many sources of evil or conflict in a story is an overkill.

1) Man against self (alcoholism, insecurity, etc.)
2) The nature (isolation) against man
3) The supernatural against man
4) The past against the present (a) (murders)
5) The past against the present (b) (societal changes)
6) The ethos (of the hotel itself) against man
7) Emotional instability (marriage problems, Johnny's alcoholism, fresh start, Wendy's fear, boredom, etc.)
etc.

It doesn't help that 'Nasty ******' in a blinking neon sign hangs above Johnny's head from the start. He's a sinister, drunken abusive arsehole at the start, and a sinister, murderous arsehole in the end.

All that said, Kubrick's adaptation is much superior to King's own adaptation, which is truly dreadful. (Note: I don't read Stephen King's novels.)
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Old 05-11-2013, 16:48
CLL Dodge
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Did you see the uncut version ?
The US Bluray and dvd contains a version over 20 minutes longer than the UK release
Should not the shorter version be deemed the Director's cut?
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Old 05-11-2013, 17:25
ItsNick
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Two things I don't understand/don't like about the Shining.

I never understand the ending of The Shining when the camera slowly zooms up to the photo with Jack Nicholson in it from 1926. Can someone explain that.

Secondly I thought Shelley Duvall was rubbish. I thought she was terrible in that film. I think Dee Wallace who was in Cujo, The Howling and ET was a much better actress and would have made a much better 'Wendy'. Either her or Jobeth Williams from Poltergeist.
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Old 05-11-2013, 17:28
Finny Skeleta
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Two things I don't understand/don't like about the Shining.

I never understand the ending of The Shining when the camera slowly zooms up to the photo with Jack Nicholson in it from 1926. Can someone explain that.
"You've always been the caretaker."
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Old 05-11-2013, 17:42
revolver44
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Just a classic, pure & simple. Still, wouldn't have quite the impact it has on me without the score. Wendy Carlos' terrifying music just totally unnerves me like no other soundtrack.
Greatest scene? The "All work & no play" reveal. Genius.
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Old 05-11-2013, 17:51
ChrisToria
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I love the film, and I love the book. I lean more towards the film though, because King's writing always feels a little, off, to me. I know he has plenty of fans but I always find myself struggling with his style. Anyway, the film has a feel and atmosphere that is unlike anything else and Nicholson's performance is outstanding. Take the theories, the comparisons, the predictions and all of that out of the picture and what remains is a brilliant horror film that stands in a unique and slight group of masterpieces from that genre.
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Old 05-11-2013, 17:54
Armi
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The scenes where he goes into the bar and meets Lloyd the bartender - then into the gents to meet Grady. Those are very disturbing.

It's an absolutely fantastic film - and by far the best horror I've seen.
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Old 05-11-2013, 18:16
Armi
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What do we think happened to Jack? Was it cabin fever and all in his mind? Was the place really haunted? A mix of the two perhaps?
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Old 05-11-2013, 18:29
Jo March
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Looks like I'm on my own with this one....didn't like it at all.
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Old 05-11-2013, 18:40
little-monster
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I have come up with my own theory on the shining

I have wondered whether The Hotel they stay in is some sort of Purgatory for ghosts. That Jack, Wendy and Danny are already dead, and were killed off screen by Jack killing them.
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Old 05-11-2013, 19:42
Zeus
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Didn't King hate the whole film though?

Looks like I'm on my own with this one....didn't like it at all.
I actually read the book first and was disappointed with the film. Stephen King also was not overly keen on the movie.

Clearly it was a great movie but I agree with King that the emphasis changed a bit, there was less of the supernatural and more of the crazed axeman.
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Old 05-11-2013, 20:31
Johnny Clay
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Hmm. Some of this thread needs to be 'corrected'

Should not the shorter version be deemed the Director's cut?
Indeed it should. Kubrick wasn't fully pleased with the edit he'd submitted for its US release (a time issue IIRC), and so made further edits for its UK/European release. In doing so, he made a leaner, better, and more effective film.

Of the omitted scenes, Wendy finding the Gold Room full of cobwebbed skeletons is the one everyone remembers. Hokey and decorative, it wasn't really needed.

Her performance was savaged by critics and she even got a Razzie nomination. Stanley Kubrick himself hated Duvall's performance, as did Stephen King who felt Duvall portrayed her in a misogynist way.
Critics weren't too favourable about The Shining in general initially, but then it usually takes a decade or two for a Kubrick film to be fully appreciated.

Doubtless he got the performance he wanted out of Duvall, and though Wendy is a meek character, we see her checking with the authorities, attending the boilers etc - i.e. her doing Jack's job as he indulges in his 'writing project'. And it's her concern for Danny that affords the film a much-needed foot in reality as the weirdness escalates later on (the Danny/Mother, Danny/Father relationship aspect roots the film throughout).

The problem seems to be the end sequence, wherein she does become something of a nervous wreck/scream queen. But you have to look at the context. At the same time, Kubrick has reduced Jack to an equal genre caricature - a limping, snarling, axe-wielding loon. It's all rather blackly comic, and thus very Kubrick. But I sometimes feel this post-modern wink at the audience was when the film struck a major dud note. Though I did like the fairy-tale/fable allusions sprinkled throughout - those twin girls are pure Lewis Carroll.

You might want to watch 'Room 237' and see how some people are obsessed with finding hidden meanings in the movie. For example, 237 referring to the 237,000 miles from the Earth to the Moon and therefore Kubrick is commenting on the Apollo moon missions. Not convinced.

I have visited the outside of the 'Overlook' Hotel which is The Timberline Lodge near Mount Hood in Oregon and it is very impressive, although there is no maze.

I think the The Shining is a study of the power of evil forces in the world but varies in its explanations of whether these are objective forces, eg ghosts or demons, or subjective forces simply in the mind of people. From Danny's point of view these would seem to be external ghosts who haunt the hotel as he can see them via his shining powers, However, Jack's decent into madness and the visions suggest that evil emanates from human frailty and invention.

I subscribe to the Faustian idea of Jack selling his soul to the Devil/Hotel for power and immortality. Hence his becoming a willing servant of the will of the place and it's agents and the need to kill his child. In that way the movie is a allegory for the evil that men can do. Some have drawn comparisons with the Holocaust, I'm not sure.
Haven't caught up with Room 237 yet, though I understand it's often as spurious as your example suggests. But it does underline the film's remarkable enduring appeal. Kubrick always built to last.

I get your study of evil ideas, and they fit squarely with some of the thematic tropes characteristic of Kubrick's work that we also see in the film - the fallibilty of man and its consequences, the faith he puts in his own constructs which often prove disastrous, the exploitation and misuse of power. Class and status also rear their head (almost a constant issue with Kubrick after his move to England - make of this what you will).

Myself, I can never get a definitive reading on it, despite sizeable study. Though I quite like the 'hub of evil' theory, wherein history is deemed to repeat itself over and over. Danny, Wendy, and Halloran all prove a threat to this, and are thus killed/banished. They were always meant to go, whereas Jack was always meant to stay, becoming part of the hotel's evil force in the process. He'd always been the caretaker - one of the film's most arresting ideas.

But as we know, there are many other readings to consider - Kubrick's nuclear winter, the hotel as a living 'monster' (blood courses through its corridor veins), to name but two.

However, subtext(s) aside, for the sensory aspect alone it remains one of my favourite films of all. The escalation of its status and its re-evaluation in recent times is as much as it deserves.

btw - Faust? Yes, it's there, but Kubrick was much more forthright about that in Eyes Wide Shut. Even Old Nick himself turns up there.
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