SHERDOG MOVIE CLUB: Week 174 - The Shining

Discussion in 'Mayberry Lounge' started by europe1, Sep 4, 2019.

  1. xenomorph4prez

    xenomorph4prez Sanity Assassin

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    Do you think the pose Jack is striking indicates that he wasn't operating under his on agency and was in fact possessed by whatever evil resides in the Overlook?
     
  2. Cubo de Sangre

    Cubo de Sangre President of the War Room

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    I think he was clearly being influenced by either ghosts or the hotel itself in some supernatural way. Maybe some evil from Hell is pulling those strings or Kubrick just threw in the pose for more flavor.
     
  3. europe1

    europe1 It´s a nice peninsula to Asia

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    To expand upon this statement. Jack is performing a masterclass, but it's in the vein of the crazy-men he specializes in. Duvall's character, on the other hand, is often operating at extreme levels of emotional distress. She's literally so frightened that she's down to the reptilian part of her brain (which she conveys excellently). It's not really a part of you that you naturally bring out. So prickling her constantly was probably done to achieve that special sort of state.

    I kinda wanted to see if anyone would notice:cool:

    I take that as Jack being a spiritual continuation of those who inhabited the Hotel before him. Like with the whole Native American stick. Him continuing the violence.

    <mma4>

    Also, that piece of info wasn't in the novel. Kubrick specifically added all the Native American symbolism to the film. So he must have included it for some reason.

    Someone once told me that the hollering in the opening of the movie sounds like Native American whooping... but I don't know about that.

    Yeah this will undoubtedly be your meme-image the next time you nominate
    <Gordonhat>

    Honestly, this body-language and behavioural quirks out of Jack and Danny has always made me in favour of the "past sexual abuse" angle.

    Concerning these themes. Hey @MusterX! Have you ever thought about how Reagan's early stages of demon-possession in the Excorcist mirrors the sort of reaction kids often experience after sexual abuse trauma?

    1. Sexual self-harm (masturbating with a crucifix)
    2. Losses control of her bladder (pissing herself during the party)
    3. Becoming insultive and often cursing.

    [<cena1}

    So I'm guessing you're super-hyped for the sequel? <45>

    [​IMG]

    It's kind of interesting that so few other directors seem to be going for these types of reaction shots. I mean, this is a very extreme reaction. A gaping mouth, wide-open eyes, and aghast stare. And Kubrick shows it headlong, straight-on. It's basic, primal, and brought to full-force. It's ultra-simple, really.

    Yet so few other directors do these kind of reactions. Why?

    Hey MusterX here is a curveball for ya...

    With Kubrick being such an attention madman.

    Why did he pick twins who weren't exactly identical? I mean those look very similar, but not identical. You can still see physical distinctions between them. One is slightly larger. More prominent eyes, etc. Why didn't he go with exact identicals when he had the possibility to do so?`

    Obviously, they're there to give the impression of being identical. But when you look closely, they aren't identical. Why?

    <mma4>

    Yeah but those aren't identical. The finger-positioning isn't the same. The devil holds one finger upright, and his palm is showing in the other hand. Doesn't mirror Jack's posture.

    [​IMG]

    That has always been my main take-away after diving into The Shining rabbit hole.

    Somehow I've seen the Phantom Carrige and don't remember anything about it:oops:
     
  4. europe1

    europe1 It´s a nice peninsula to Asia

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    While I think that's a kind-of accurate assessment of the cinematic analytic landscape in general, I don't really think it applies to Kubrick films.
     
  5. FrontNakedChoke

    FrontNakedChoke ____________________ Yellow Card

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    [​IMG]
     
  6. MusterX

    MusterX Titanium Belt

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    Came upon this oddity on a guys website that has tons of stuff about The Shining. Its pretty weird. The "making of" doc may reveal some of the answer. And remember, Ullman told Jack Torrance that the girls who were murdered were about 8 and 10.

    The sexual abuse theme is even communicated in the “making of” documentary. Kubrick was renowned for not allowing visitors during a shoot, but in the documentary we see James Mason and his family visiting the Torrance apartment set. Vivian Kubrick explains in the commentary that James Mason was acting in a local theatre, and so Kubrick gave him an invitation. In particular, we see Jack Nicholson and James Mason having a personal chat, while the rest of Mason’s family meet Kubrick himself.

    [​IMG]

    Why did Kubrick break his code of on-set secrecy and why did he show this meeting in the documentary? It’s actually quite simple. He was creating a parallel between Jack Torrance and the main character of Kubrick’s earlier film Lolita. In Lolita, Mason played Humbert Humbert, a man who has a sexual relationship with his underage stepdaughter. Sound familiar? Let’s compare the two characters in more detail.


    Both Jack and Humbert are writers. Both of them keep their personal writings hidden from their wives. Both of them secretly despise their wives. And both of them have sexual relations with a minor within their own family unit.

    Now here’s an oddity in the “making of” documentary that could very well be a reference to the twins. We’ve already discussed the symbology of Jack Nicholson being introduced to James Mason on set in that they both played sexually abusive father figures in Kubrick films. But also in the same scene Nicholson is introduced to a variety of other people who seem to be friends and relatives of James Mason. Among them are “two little girls about eight and ten” who are introduced as Katie and Liza. Katie, the older of the two, is almost a dead ringer for the twin girls of the film. She has her hair done in the same way with a white head band and she is facially very similar to them as well. We get a very good look at her because she glances straight into the camera for a moment. Her younger sister, Liza, doesn’t look anything like the twins, however her sky blue dress is almost identical to those worn by the twins.


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Cubo de Sangre

    Cubo de Sangre President of the War Room

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    Kooky.

    There was a good video on how the hotel layout wouldn't work in reality. Actually two. The idea being that it all adds to the creepiness by giving the hotel a surreal quality.




     
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  8. MusterX

    MusterX Titanium Belt

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    Watched both videos. That guy Rob Ager has a ton of information. The set design is impossible and Kubrick intentionally did it that way. What gets me is how subtle it is to the viewer. I never even noticed all the impossible details until they were pointed out to me. Kubrick made the hotel creepy not in a traditional way with dark hallways or cobwebs or creaking doors, but with impossible set design and moving furniture, both of which seem to attack the viewer subconsciously.
     
  9. Cubo de Sangre

    Cubo de Sangre President of the War Room

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    Yeah, one would think it was continuity errors and shit. Like there being no maze out front of the hotel in the wide shot. Most of it I didn't notice either.
     
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  10. MusterX

    MusterX Titanium Belt

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    We know Stanley doesn't make continuity errors. Or if he does, he certainly doesn't make 20 of them in one film. He's the type of guy to go nuts if one of his set designers or employees didn't catch a continuity error and bring it to his attention. FIRED mother fuckers, every last one of you. We know he does all this shit on purpose but the sheer volume of details is what is crazy. Even the art on the walls seems to say something. What really stuck with me this time around was his use of color. The red and blue especially.
     
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  11. Cubo de Sangre

    Cubo de Sangre President of the War Room

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    As I recall we had pretty rich discussion over his use of color in Eyes Wide Shut.

    You put any stock in this?


     
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  12. MusterX

    MusterX Titanium Belt

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    Man I don't know what to say about that. Its kinda freaking me out that the "Shone" is in there 14 times. As deep as I've gone in on this film there is always more oddities that are found. Why the fuck was Stanley putting that evil on me? I didn't even notice that it was in the background, or if I did I just dismissed it as an odd sound.
     
  13. Cubo de Sangre

    Cubo de Sangre President of the War Room

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    If it's in there and divides up in the time segments the video says then that's some oddball stuff.
     
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  14. MusterX

    MusterX Titanium Belt

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    Also, why "Shone" the past tense of Shine? It almost seems like its a loop, its past tense, you are watching something that already happened or is happening again. I don't know man. I bet you 100 years from now some movie club will select a Stanley Kubrick film and everyone will be like, what's this shit? Its 100 years old...then have their minds blown.
     
  15. Cubo de Sangre

    Cubo de Sangre President of the War Room

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    There's another guy who says it's "sha". No matter what it is, if it's in there and strategically placed then it must mean something.
     
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  16. MusterX

    MusterX Titanium Belt

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    Here is another tiny detail that you wouldn't notice.

    Never at any time during the film does Jack wear a wedding ring.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    But we can clearly see, Wendy does.

    [​IMG]


    Bonus gif: Jack getting psyched up for the axe scene. I bet it was crazy to be on set and watch Jack just become a nut.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Peteyandjia

    Peteyandjia Summer Chida Staff Member Forum Administrator

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  18. Cubo de Sangre

    Cubo de Sangre President of the War Room

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    But does Danny wear a ring?

    Gotta say I was one of those who never thought this film lived up to its reputation. Thanks to @FrontNakedChoke and you, my whole perspective has changed. Stanley crushed the horror genre with this one.
     
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  19. Tufts

    Tufts Green Belt

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    @FrontNakedChoke - this is for you amigo. Sorry it is late.

    Good spooky introduction. I found myself wondering where this is filmed. I'm guessing central western Colorado, Crested Butte area. The interior hotel scenes are filmed at the Stanley in Estes Park. I wonder if the actual hotel has a room 237. I bet they could charge extra to have folks stay there.

    [​IMG]

    Nice ironic foreshadowing: 5 months of peace is just what I want.

    For some people solitude and isolation can become a problem has never been truer than in this film!

    I haven't had a chance to read everyone's comments yet. The two times I set aside to do so, I was waylaid at work. Since I don't want to say stuff others have probably also said, I think I will focus on Wendy.

    [​IMG]

    The first time I watched this film, it was all about Jack. I actually remember him overacting more than he did. I found him to be more subdued, subtle, and also scarier this time around. He did a tremendous job of playing an abusive, controlling husband. I remembered Wendy as being annoying, and not a good actress.

    This time around, however, I was actually super impressed with Duvall's performance. I feel like she nailed the role. Last time I saw her as the pathetic woman Jack sees when he looks at her, this time I saw the performance that led me to that conclusion. It bothers me to think what Kubrick made her go through, so at the very last, I feel that her performance deserves recognition. I felt like in some scenes she was pushed to the absolute brink. Don't think I would ever want to feel what she must have felt. I love that she was a confirmed ghost story and horror addict. It made the events of the movie all the more ironic and horrifying. I also love how she nailed the role of the abused wife. It was painful watching her sweet efforts at socializing with the hotel personnel during the tour of the hotel. Her personality peaked through as she expressed her amazement over the art, did the little dance step in the ballroom, and made the comment of leaving a trail of breadcrumbs so she wouldn’t get lost. She filled the silence made by Jack's simple presence. You can tell she has done this a lot. She is his social buffer. You can see who she used to be as a person through the veneer of vulnerability and timidity that she wore so well. Her description of Danny’s shoulder dislocation is painfully classic: He had too much strength and he injured Danny’s arm. She describes violent child abuse as something that happened to Jack and not something that he did. It is certainly no coincidence that Danny's alternate persona, Tony, showed up when the injury happened. Duvall is fragile. She is living on a promise, a promise that Jack won't drink. She can live with him as long as he sticks to his word, because she is able to blame the violence on the alcohol, and not the man. She teeters from the beginning of the movie. She knows just how tenuous her grasp on happiness is. I don't think she is surprised that things went so wrong.

    Wendy showed a lot of strength and resilience in this movie. She was clearly managing the hotel while Jack lost his marbles. She had to be resilient to survive her marriage as long as she had. And when things went south, yes, she was crying hysterically and waving her knife around ineffectively on the stairs, but she got the best of him in the end. She was a victim of the usual horror movie bullshit, like not knowing to pull the chain on the food locker, but she still got him locked away safely. If not for the ghosts, that would have been that. Instead, she managed to get her kid out, start the cat and get the hell out of there.

    [​IMG]

    I have a whole bunch of other notes. Not sure if they merit a post.

    This line of my notes was worth keeping though: Someone in a dog suit blowing a dude in a room? I need to remember to ask @MusterX about this.

    LOL! He beat me to it!
     
  20. MusterX

    MusterX Titanium Belt

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    Yea, Kubrick tortured Shelley Duvall. I don't know if you can ever make a horror film the rises to the height of The Shining without some of those types of shenanigans. This is more stuff from Rob Ager's site. It really clarifies they way Kubrick would pick at Duvall.

    As for Shelley Duvall, we actually get to see Kubrick repeatedly degrading her in the documentary. After she complains, “Look at this. I pulled hunks of hair out on the window sill,” she passes a few strands of her hair to Kubrick, who holds them up to the camera and sarcastically comments “Hunks of hair. Okay”.

    [​IMG]


    He then prompts her to do another take. “Come on. Let’s go Shelley.” And when she carries on grumbling he interjects, “Don’t sympathize with Shelley. It doesn’t help you.” This kind of arguing may occur on some film sets, but it generally wasn’t Kubrick’s approach and it is definitely a golden rule of industry practice to keep these personality clashes in private and off camera.


    While filming a dialogue scene in the Torrance bedroom Kubrick tells her, “Many parts of that were very good. There were quite a few fuck ups, but many parts were good. … Come and look at this Shelley. The only part CLEARLY wrong was at the end when you said ‘we’ve gotta get him out of here’ is that you got strong at the end, and I think it has to be a last desperate begging. You know. And I still think that you shouldn’t jump on every emphatic line. It looks fake. It really does. … Shelley I’m telling you it’s too many times. Every time he (Jack Nicholson) speaks emphatically you’re jumping and it looks phoney.”


    [​IMG]

    And Kubrick continues to talk down to Shelley as they discuss the script, “I think that line is in the right place … I honestly don’t think the lines are gonna make a lot of difference if you just get the right attitude.”


    And he gets even more cross with her in an exterior scene, “There’s no desperation. Oh come on, what do you mean ‘roll video’? We’re fuckin’ killin’ ourselves out here and you’ve gotta be ready. Shall we play mood music? When you do it you’ve gotta look desperate. Otherwise you’re just wasting everybody’s time.”


    [​IMG]

    My mind gets a little conflicted when I think about what The Shining is really about. Is it a supernatural horror about a haunted hotel or is it really about domestic abuse? I guess you might say both but I think the domestic abuse core of it gets a little lost. Yea we all know its domestic abuse but not in the form of a guy in a wife beater who slaps his wife. The Shining is like watching something monstrous unfold and all we can do is just gawk at it as it happens. We know that monsters on that level are real too. Sometimes a man axe murders his family. The Shining is all the more horrifying because it depicts things that occur in real life.

    The breadcrumbs reference is a little interesting as well because it builds on all the other cartoon stuff in the film. Breadcrumbs is a reference to Hansel and Gretel where they were going to leave a trail of breadcrumbs to try to escape the witch. The Shining also containing a witch. The weird thing is when I looked up the Hansel and Gretel book the first one I saw depicts Hansel and Gretel in red and blue clothes, just like the color scheme in The Shining. There is also a little parallel there because Hansel and Gretel need to escape and they are male and female and Danny and Wendy need to escape and they are also male and female.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I agree with Wendy's fragile state and she also is in a state of denial about how bad Jack really is. Plus if we look closely at the details we know Jack already checked out of that relationship from the very beginning. Jack never at any point wears a wedding ring, but Wendy still wears hers.

    [​IMG]

    Then we have the moment in the film when Jack falls off the proverbial wagon and he's in the Gold Room at the bar and says he would sell his soul for a drink, then Lloyd the bartender appears and gives him a drink.

    In the book it was a dog, in the movie a bear. This is one of those things Kubrick was pointing to that was different than Stephen King's novel. I don't think there is any doubt, at least not to me that Kubrick was saying that Jack sexually abused Danny. I mean the guy was an axe murderer, might as well go all the way with it. Its pretty subtle though, he doesn't outright say it but the clues are there.
     

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