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Old 26-09-2006, 07:43   #21
DanWilde1966
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Originally Posted by haineshisway
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.
I think this is precisely the point. It's true of The Killing too: not a frame wasted, and every bit of film a crucial part of the jigsaw. Is it possible to conceive of there being various cuts and versions of The Killing, The Shining-style? I don't think so. By The Shining, a certain muddle had set in. It's a movie based around a central performance which provoked critical derision back in 1980. Like all Kubrick, it's visually sumptuous, but unlike the mid-1950s movies, there isn't much else going on...
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Old 26-09-2006, 13:10   #22
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Originally Posted by DanWilde1966
Like all Kubrick, it's visually sumptuous, but unlike the mid-1950s movies, there isn't much else going on...
Perhaps, but then i've always felt that to be part of the point of The Shining, in a way not dissimilar to 2001. Both employ a haunted house-style conceit that play on precisely the emptiness and desolation of the settings to great effect. It hit me again watching it on Saturday quite how unnerving the desolation is - particularly in the ballroom scenes and especially in the bathroom

Of course it's understandable that this aspect of the film (as with 2001) may not float everybody's boat.

And Paths of Glory is definitely superior to FMJ

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Old 26-09-2006, 13:19   #23
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The Shining is easily my favourite Kubrick film. The atmosphere is astonishing.

Lolita has been mentioned in this thread, but I can't say I cared for it - a film will never do justice to that book (a) because of the subject matter and (b) because of the poetry in the writing.
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Old 26-09-2006, 14:14   #24
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Originally Posted by Johnny Vodka
The Shining is easily my favourite Kubrick film. The atmosphere is astonishing.

Lolita has been mentioned in this thread, but I can't say I cared for it - a film will never do justice to that book (a) because of the subject matter and (b) because of the poetry in the writing.
I would second that. A good effort it is, and James Mason is terrific, but it left me feeling cold after having read the book. I soon realised that, as you say, this is because faithful adaptation of such stunning prose is, for all for practical purposes, impossible.
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Old 26-09-2006, 14:23   #25
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Originally Posted by Steve Parkinson
I would second that. A good effort it is, and James Mason is terrific, but it left me feeling cold after having read the book. I soon realised that, as you say, this is because faithful adaptation of such stunning prose is, for all for practical purposes, impossible.
Well, it's funny that folks cannot divorce Lolita from its source material, but can for The Shining. I understand that The Shining as novel is not Lolita as novel, but The Shining on its own as a book is a stunning piece of work, IMO, King's finest hour.
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Old 26-09-2006, 14:28   #26
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I used to read Stephen King a lot, but never got round to The Shining. I can only judge the film on its own terms.
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Old 26-09-2006, 17:09   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Vodka
I used to read Stephen King a lot, but never got round to The Shining. I can only judge the film on its own terms.
Read it in 1979, in my early teens. It has some remarkable (and in 1980, unfilmable) stuff in it. Kubrick and Diane Johnson took the bits they liked, and in the manner of Stan, melded them into his own creature (see Fred Raphael's memoir of the writing of Eyes Wide Shut for a duplicate of this process.)
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Old 26-09-2006, 17:24   #28
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Originally Posted by Johnny Vodka
I used to read Stephen King a lot, but never got round to The Shining. I can only judge the film on its own terms.

Well, then Lolita probably works brilliantly for those who haven't read the novel and judge it on its own terms.
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Old 26-09-2006, 18:08   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haineshisway
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).
Each to his own - that scene in particular scared the bejesus out of me!
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Old 26-09-2006, 18:15   #30
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Indeed - it's the most horrific moment in the film. Nearly every other moment involving Jack and the ghosts of the Overlook is played tongue in cheek.
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Old 26-09-2006, 18:33   #31
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Originally Posted by anephric
Indeed - it's the most horrific moment in the film. Nearly every other moment involving Jack and the ghosts of the Overlook is played tongue in cheek.
It's a great moment in the film, but "horrific"? No way. It's a film of great visual moments. The film has "auteur" written all over it, but not horror. One spends too much time enjoying its visual splendour to be remotely frightened...
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Old 26-09-2006, 18:43   #32
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Well, then Lolita probably works brilliantly for those who haven't read the novel and judge it on its own terms.
Possibly, but it just doesn't work for me. (Neither, for the record, does the other film version.)

I guess I just don't find King that great a writer these days (sorry if that sounds snobby). I'd rather read Ian McEwan. Certain elements in The Shining are very creepy: the isolation, the hotel itself, Jack Nicholson in his quieter moments.
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Old 26-09-2006, 18:57   #33
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Originally Posted by Johnny Vodka
Possibly, but it just doesn't work for me. (Neither, for the record, does the other film version.)

I guess I just don't find King that great a writer these days (sorry if that sounds snobby). I'd rather read Ian McEwan. Certain elements in The Shining are very creepy: the isolation, the hotel itself, Jack Nicholson in his quieter moments.
Well, these days he's not quite the writer he was in THOSE days.

The moment in the hotel room being discussed above, as is pointed out by Dan, may be creepy but is not horrific. The moment I speak of in the book (the reason Danny is foaming at the mouth, which IS in the film) is NOT in the movie at all - it may have been shot, but it's not in it. If the scene as is scares the bejeezus out of someone, one can only imagine the scene as written in the book done by a director who understands the genre.

For the record, the King version, the TV movie, is wretched because it is directed by someone devoid of talent and it's poorly cast.
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Old 26-09-2006, 19:01   #34
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I'm sorry, I find the old lady covered with gangrenous sores to be most horrific. It's more than just creepy.

Of course, this is a moment that is outside my phenomenal experience. I understand completely if other posters in this thread are men of the world and have lived it up a bit with rotten old ladies, and hence are less perturbed.
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Old 26-09-2006, 19:08   #35
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Originally Posted by anephric
I understand completely if other posters in this thread are men of the world and have lived it up a bit with rotten old ladies, and hence are less perturbed.
You've obviously been reading my posts in the general forum.
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Old 26-09-2006, 19:13   #36
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Any other opinions on what happens in the film?
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Old 26-09-2006, 19:15   #37
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Originally Posted by anephric
I'm sorry, I find the old lady covered with gangrenous sores to be most horrific. It's more than just creepy.

Of course, this is a moment that is outside my phenomenal experience. I understand completely if other posters in this thread are men of the world and have lived it up a bit with rotten old ladies, and hence are less perturbed.
ageist!
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Old 27-09-2006, 08:43   #38
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Any other opinions on what happens in the film?
As someone else has already said, the ending is likely to be deliberately ambiguous. While this clearly annoys some, i have no problem with it, particularly since it ties in with Jack's conversation with Grady. I personally don't buy into an interpretation that says that Jack previously was the caretaker in some other life - that doesn't seem to be what the film is nudging us towards throughout. I'm more prone to idea that The Overlook has somehow captured his soul, though not in a sense that all the other people in the picture represent others that have been 'captured' in the same way.

As for anephric's point on the tounge-in-cheek nature of Jack's meetings (other than in 237), i wouldn't disagree, but it also seems partly deliberate, representing as it does his accelerating decline into madness. For instance, the difference between the two conversations with Grady is marked - the first in the bathroom is mch less tounge-in-cheek than the later one through the door of the store room. Of course, the alternative explanation is that Nicholson just increasingly hams it up, but i think it's a much better performance than that.

On the Lolita/adaptation topic, i have no problem taking a different line on adapting Nabokov from that on adapting King, regardless of whether anyone considers it snobbery. Much of the unfilmability of Nabokov resides in the nature of the prose (although some obviously lies in sexual content - but this was not my own personal point), whereas in King it lies in certain aspects of the novel that should remain unfilmable (*cough* topiary animals *cough*). One can of course debate Kubrick's approach to adaptation almost endlessly, what with the mass of evidence to choose from. As previously mentioned, Raphael's book is a fascinating insight into the process.
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Old 27-09-2006, 08:54   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Parkinson
As someone else has already said, the ending is likely to be deliberately ambiguous. While this clearly annoys some, i have no problem with it, particularly since it ties in with Jack's conversation with Grady. I personally don't buy into an interpretation that says that Jack previously was the caretaker in some other life - that doesn't seem to be what the film is nudging us towards throughout. I'm more prone to idea that The Overlook has somehow captured his soul, though not in a sense that all the other people in the picture represent others that have been 'captured' in the same way.
a bit like in Sapphire & Steel?
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Old 27-09-2006, 09:31   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Parkinson
As someone else has already said, the ending is likely to be deliberately ambiguous. While this clearly annoys some, i have no problem with it, particularly since it ties in with Jack's conversation with Grady. I personally don't buy into an interpretation that says that Jack previously was the caretaker in some other life - that doesn't seem to be what the film is nudging us towards throughout. I'm more prone to idea that The Overlook has somehow captured his soul, though not in a sense that all the other people in the picture represent others that have been 'captured' in the same way.
Kubrick changed a key emphasis in King's story. If memory serves, the novel offers a character who has his domestic issues prior to going to the Overlook, but who's basically sane. The hotel itself causes his decline. In the movie, however, it seems clear that Torrance (in Nicholson's hands) is already twitchy. Look at his face near the beginning of the movie, when he's driving the family to the hotel. He says something like, "See. It's ok. He saw it on the television," then looks... a bit maniacal. He's already a bit mad, and the hotel seems simply to accentuate a pre-existing condition.

To me, the photo at the end is a a fairly cheap way of ending the movie: it's a twist that provides a temporary moment of revelation, but which doesn't actually make sense. Follow it through: unstable Nicholson goes to the Overlook; his instability is exacerbated by writer's block and cabin fever; he has hallucinations (whether as a result of the hotel's evil or not), possibly kick-started by Ullman's revelation in the first scene; he goes on the rampage,


How would Torrance have been alive since the 20s? Has Wendy married a ghost?

Last edited by DanWilde1966; 27-09-2006 at 09:38.
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