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Old 24-09-2006, 18:03   #1
Barny79
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The Shining????

Watched this last night and just was wondering at the end where Jack Nicholson's photo is from 1927, does it mean that Jack Nicholson's character has always been at the hotel, or that he is possessed by the spirit when he begins working or is it something else? Sorry to sound dumb but wondered if someone could answer it for me.
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Old 24-09-2006, 18:11   #2
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Barny - I think Stanley would say, "Barny, that's a good question."
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Old 24-09-2006, 18:15   #3
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No idea. I love the film but that ending has always stumped me. Sorry Barny.
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Old 24-09-2006, 18:35   #4
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Ties up with Grady telling him he's always been the caretaker, but the question of whether he's really the same person or someone possessed by the spirit of the caretaker is just one of those things best left open ended to leave you puzzling. Much the same as the ending (or even the whole) of 2001.

I tend to go with the idea that any new caretaker becomes "the" caretaker, i.e. spirit possessed.

Though how does that tie up with Danny's "shining" ability which (in the longer version of the film) is shown before they even leave for the hotel. It's like the family was destined to go to the hotel and Jack really was always the caretaker (perhaps in a past life?).

Who knows. It's a frigging excellent film whatever

Last edited by DeadKenny; 24-09-2006 at 18:36.
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Old 24-09-2006, 18:49   #5
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Because it's Stanley, we perhaps assume that there is some ultimate answer to that final picture of Jack in the movie. I don't think there is. The film's atmosphere is more than the sum of its parts. It's visually striking, but I have never found it frightening, and the script does not bear much scrutiny. I can understand why King was irritated with it. The film has its moments, but as Full Metal Jacket showed, 80s Kubrick was flawed...
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Old 24-09-2006, 19:07   #6
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I always thought it meant the hotel had taken his soul and the photo is a trophy showing all the other victims whose souls have been possessed over time.
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Old 24-09-2006, 19:26   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanWilde1966
Because it's Stanley, we perhaps assume that there is some ultimate answer to that final picture of Jack in the movie. I don't think there is. The film's atmosphere is more than the sum of its parts. It's visually striking, but I have never found it frightening, and the script does not bear much scrutiny. I can understand why King was irritated with it. The film has its moments, but as Full Metal Jacket showed, 80s Kubrick was flawed...
Kubrick delighted in not providing the answers. While it's true that The Shining is not all that frightening, I do believe he stepped down a road that showed horror doesn't need to be the cliched genre it is and that King would prefer it to have been. King didn't like it because it despensed with all his usual cliches and spiritual touches. Whilst that is true, I prefer Kubrick's vision to King's.

As for FMJ I just can't see how you can even put the word fawed in the same sentance

80s Kubrick was Kubrick at nearly his best, only surpassed by Clockwork Orange before it which I regard as one of the best films ever made.
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Old 24-09-2006, 22:57   #8
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while I have grown quite fond of The Shining, the book is King's masterpiece - I don't find the book has ANY cliches (he hadn't written that many books at that point), and the book is indeed genuinely frightening. Mr. Kubrick goes out of his way to not be frightening (the scene in the mysterious hotel room with the old lady/beautiful lady being the prime example - in the book I literally jumped - in the film that moment isn't even there). I think Mr. Kubrick's version has grand style and is always fun, but it's a one-note film from start to finish - unlike the novel, you know what road Jack is on from frame one. Since most doing the raving were wee tots when the film came out I will only say again that it was pretty much loathed by everyone (as I've said, I saw the original ending the opening night the film played), me included. Only in the TV/cable/video era did its reputation change, when people were finally able to divorce it from its source and just appreciate it for its style and pleasures.

But "80s Kubrick was Kubrick at nearly his best"? Not for me - Kubrick at nearly his very best is The Killing, Paths of Glory, Lolita, and Dr. Strangelove.
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Old 24-09-2006, 23:21   #9
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I have to agree with HHW on the Kubrick matter. Personally, for what it's worth, I think Kubrick's best film is "Lolita", a film which looks better and better as every year goes by. I thought "FMJ" was pretty weak myself.

I like "The Shining" quite a lot, though more as a showcase for camera tracking and Jack Nicholson than anything else.
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Old 24-09-2006, 23:41   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadKenny
Though how does that tie up with Danny's "shining" ability which (in the longer version of the film) is shown before they even leave for the hotel. It's like the family was destined to go to the hotel and Jack really was always the caretaker (perhaps in a past life?).
Was the version shown by BBC last night an extended version then? There was a scene at the beginning where Danny was in the bathroom and said that Jack was about to ring and say he had got the job
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Old 25-09-2006, 03:36   #11
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Mike - Lolita is probably my favorite, along with The Killing - two films I can watch over and over and over again.
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Old 25-09-2006, 09:14   #12
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For me, the only Kubrick film to withstand repeated viewings is Barry Lyndon. Utterly hypnotic, endlessly rewarding, a unique movie. It also ties in with several of my other interests - the English landscape movement, for instance, whereas I'm not too interested in the lives of caretakers or astronauts or paedophiles. 2001 bored me witless the last time I saw it; Lolita is undermined by its British-made compromises; and there's a look-at-me element to The Shining and Clockwork Orange. FMJ is pointless, though its final stages are technically flawless. Dr Strangelove would be my second fave, a movie that still holds up beautifully. Paths of Glory . . . I've always filed that in the Message Received And Understood department. More like Stanley Kramer than Kubrick.

Barny should note - to return to this thread's origin and purpose - that BBC2 still runs the edited version of The Shining. The R1 has the longer cut, which I much prefer.
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Old 25-09-2006, 11:51   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell Armbruster
Barny should note - to return to this thread's origin and purpose - that BBC2 still runs the edited version of The Shining. The R1 has the longer cut, which I much prefer.
Yeah it was ITV in the 90s that broadcast the longer cut
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Old 25-09-2006, 14:32   #14
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I have never seen the shorter cut, which I presume is all you Brits ever got. In the US, it's always been the original version sans the penultimate scene that was in the film only during its opening days.
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Old 25-09-2006, 19:03   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haineshisway
while I have grown quite fond of The Shining, the book is King's masterpiece - I don't find the book has ANY cliches (he hadn't written that many books at that point), and the book is indeed genuinely frightening. Mr. Kubrick goes out of his way to not be frightening (the scene in the mysterious hotel room with the old lady/beautiful lady being the prime example - in the book I literally jumped - in the film that moment isn't even there). I think Mr. Kubrick's version has grand style and is always fun, but it's a one-note film from start to finish - unlike the novel, you know what road Jack is on from frame one. Since most doing the raving were wee tots when the film came out I will only say again that it was pretty much loathed by everyone (as I've said, I saw the original ending the opening night the film played), me included. Only in the TV/cable/video era did its reputation change, when people were finally able to divorce it from its source and just appreciate it for its style and pleasures.

But "80s Kubrick was Kubrick at nearly his best"? Not for me - Kubrick at nearly his very best is The Killing, Paths of Glory, Lolita, and Dr. Strangelove.
I agree with this post 100% - certainly with its emphasis on early (superior) Kubrick.

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As for FMJ I just can't see how you can even put the word flawed in the same sentance
Easy peasy. I saw FMJ on its release, and immediately thought it to be inferior to say, Paths of Glory - Kubrick's great war movie. What's FMJ about? What's the point of it? It's beautiful to be sure, but completely pointless, and I don't think the narrative structure works. As a reviewer of the time noted, it's a film made by remote control; a HAL-style miscalculation.
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Old 25-09-2006, 19:11   #16
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FMJ is great at boot camp - it falls apart for me when they go in country (well, in Isle of Dogs).

I just don't see the point of the second half of the film - the microcosm of the boot camp seems to readily provide Kubrick with what he wants to say about mankind, duality, war, all that bad Jungian stuff.
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Old 25-09-2006, 20:25   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anephric
FMJ is great at boot camp - it falls apart for me when they go in country (well, in Isle of Dogs).

I just don't see the point of the second half of the film - the microcosm of the boot camp seems to readily provide Kubrick with what he wants to say about mankind, duality, war, all that bad Jungian stuff.
And it's all done vastly more effectively in Paths of Glory, and much more concisely.
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Old 25-09-2006, 20:45   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjg
Was the version shown by BBC last night an extended version then? There was a scene at the beginning where Danny was in the bathroom and said that Jack was about to ring and say he had got the job
If it's got the bit with the doctor following that scene then it's the long version. It would also have the classic "unreliable assholes" quote from Scatman later in the film

Quote:
Originally Posted by haineshisway
But "80s Kubrick was Kubrick at nearly his best"? Not for me - Kubrick at nearly his very best is The Killing, Paths of Glory, Lolita, and Dr. Strangelove.
I did say "nearly" his best

Best for me is Clockwork Orange by miles, followed by 2001, Paths of Glory, The Shining, Doctor Strangelove, Barry Lyndon, FMJ and then I'm undecided over which I prefer out of Lolita, Eyes Wide Shut, and ending up with Spartacus, The Killing and Killers Kiss at the bottom.

All but the bottom three are leagues ahead of most other films, but then I'm a big Kubrick fan anyway . A bad Kubrick film is still an excellent film.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanWilde1966
And it's all done vastly more effectively in Paths of Glory, and much more concisely.
Better and superior film yes but it's a different story really. I do like the two part nature of FMJ which I feel is a reflection of the duality thing. One thing I find is the second part echos the first in ways, with private Pyle in the first being driven to do what he does (I won't spoiler it), and private Joker in the second half driven to do what he does, and all the more effective given his supposed pacifist stance.

Now Paths of Glory is less about the human element of those fighting in war and more about the idiocy of those in charge and the war itself. FMJ doesn't really make much comment about 'nam either which is why it doesn't really matter that it was shot in London's Docklands (works for me though anyway).

From a photography (well, cinematography) point of view, FMJ has the edge on Paths, but then I tend to like films not just because of their story but how they were shot and given Stanley's photography background I know that was very important to him and I appreciate the 'art' side of his films as much as anything else. Hence really I just love all his films
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Old 25-09-2006, 21:36   #19
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Oooh, I wouldn't say that - PoG is magnificently shot, and FMJ seems purposely sterile and bland. The dynacism of the chiaroscuro in PoG - in particular the fluid shots of Dax striding through the blistered trenches with the explosive debris all around him - is spectacular. Kubrick's arch angles (particular during the court martial) are also pretty fab. I can't remember much in FMJ (aside from the great washroom sequence) that comes anywhere near, but then again much of the blandness is part of the point.
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Old 26-09-2006, 01:07   #20
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If Mr. Kubrick had only directed the opening scene of Paths of Glory, with George MacReady and Adolphe Menjou gliding around the chess-like floor, he would, for me, be in the pantheon of greats. What a sequence! But all the scenes in Paths of Glory work, and it's one of his tightest films - a mere eighty-eight minutes, with not a frame wasted. The photography is incredible - especially if you've ever seen it in 35mm.
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