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Discussion in 'The Shining (1980)' started by Gerald, Apr 28, 2014.
Oh. My. Lord. It took me this long to realize how that read.
ooh, I nvr saw but will now go watch. Luv that all, the good reccies on this site.. I loved the movie, too but agree what Daddio SK says about why he doesn't like it... but its the imagery that stickssticks in my mind that scared my little shorties off 1st time I saw it at my tender young age... the two girls in the hallway holding hands... deadfishy bathtub lady, ya? Hate, also Danny and Wendy. Wendy, well... "if you're going o cringe like a dog then someone will kick you...." she makes my foot itch.
I think you state your problem with the movie clearly in your second sentence: you like subtlety, and the film is the opposite of subtle: very over the top and overblown almost right from the beginning.
Apart from that I think everyone can sense the film is a bit messy, especially the first half. Kubrick constantly rewrote it during shooting, which is a sign that he must have sensed something problematic about the script too.
Despite that everyone is taken by it, because it is so unusual and unique.
Coming back to the topic of the thread, I can only suppose King's dislike grew over time. He liked it when he first saw it, it was still a favourite when Danse Macabre came out some months after it premiered. But somehow only later he began to become more critical of it. In the most recent interviews he's still not fond of it. That's the only explanation I can think of anyway.
But, really, the movie is SO different from the book, in atmosphere and everything else. If I was an author (O someday pls god) it would tend to make me more irritated as time went on and I realized how far from my vision the movie was... especially considering it is Stephen King's characters that are very deep and unique, so real you miss them when you close the book covers.. and the character departure, I felt, was one of the great divides. Especially, for example, Jack's portrayal, although so brilliant, like everything 'ol Jackie does, not anything like the character in the book at all.
messy.. so, so agree here. Disjointed and jumpy. Again, I did love it tho!
Agree totally about it being disjointed and jumpy. I wonder if the American longer cut is better than the European one. I watched the deleted scenes of that and though it is a lot of fun and exciting to see new scenes, they hardly seemed to help to make the film better, although you can only judge properly if you saw them implanted back in the film.
Also agree about Nicholson's portrayal straying from the book character, however it is also Nicholson's performance that holds it all together somehow: it is his crazy image with the axe that is most iconic about the film. The film has this spell over us, because it has all these contradictions: it's not really all that good at close scrutiny, but it's really, really unique.
And maybe that's what happened with King as well. He may have been overwhelmed by how original and, may I say, daring it was as a horrorfilm. But over time he may have felt, 'this is not my book though', as evidenced by his criticisms.
The Nicholson image that haunts me the most in the movie is the scene where he has really begun to come unwound, we see Danny and Wendy having a good old time playing in the snow, then the camera pans to the window and he is staring out at them with that look of complete murderous insanity. Man that still creeps me out.
That and his dead and frozen in the snow face. Yikes.
The difference between the two is simple but fundamental - the book is about a man who loves his family, the film is about a man who hates his family.
I like it as it's own thing. I have not read doctor Sleep, but would movie being different interfere w/ anything in Doctor Sleep when movie gets made?
I just did something I've never done before in connection with The Shining - I just imagined I was Stephen King. I've written a novel, and I've gone to some lengths to include backstory for the main characters so that you can see how much they love each other: this is important because it gives weight to the tragedy which unfolds as the hotel works on the weakest link, the father, in order to use him as the instrument to destroy his family. For this to happen despite the great love he has for them is heartbreaking: for the characters and for the reader/audience.
So I'm sitting there in the dark, and I watch this film unfold and, as I do, it becomes clear that the director has based his film around the picture on the dustcover, and his binned everything which made this story actually mean something.
I think I would have sat there in the dark with tears running down my cheeks as I mourned the death of my story while some imposter danced around on the screen wearing its clothes.