Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Russell's Three Kings and I Heart Huckabees are dazzling movies, but after those ambitious projects, he seems to have become just a regular, good, overpraised director. Russell's volatile reputation, the tumult behind the scenes of Kings and Huckabees, plus the abandonment of the unfinished Nailed, seems to have prompted him to play nice and by the rules just to stay working. Silver Linings Playbook and The Fighter play it safe, and he's rewarded with big box office and glowing reviews, of course.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Monday, April 29, 2013
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
For instance, in a scene between Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall, a chair behind Nicholson disappears. The narrators read a lot into this. Knowing what I know about Kubrick, the real reason is that the scene is composed of two shots filmed a fucking year apart! A simple continuity error. If Kubrick wanted to give us a sense of unease, he'd already gone further by making the geography of the hotel completely nonsensical (elevator shafts that weren't there before, windows placed in impossible locations), I don't think he'd simply remove a chair, something that might be perceived as a mistake.
Some theories ring true, like the genocide of Native Americans, something even a casual viewer of the film would pick up. In the opening scenes, the manager states the hotel is built on an Indian burial ground and that many Indians had to be "fought off" during its construction (this gives heft to the stunning image of blood gushing from the elevator doors...don't take that elevator to the basement, lots of Indian blood down there!). Also, the Jack Torrence character as a minotaur (the monster of the hotel and hedge maze, plus Kubrick's first production company was called "Minotaur").
Through most of the film, Danny's gift aside, the set-up is that this was all in Jack's mind (whenever he sees a ghost, he's looking in a mirror, therefore he's talking to himself). Then near the end, Kubrick has that chilling scene when you hear the latch of the storage room door being opened from the other side by Grady. This completely shifts the implications that the sinister hotel and its ghostly inhabitants are at work. The one thing the narrators cannot explain (or agree on) is Jack Torrence's presence in the photograph in the final shot, dated "July 4, 1921" (who, or what, was he?).
Directors like Kubrick, or even David Lynch, who leave things vague or open to interpretation never own up to these theories, why would they? The thing I took away from this is the folly of overanalyzing films. It's enough to make you as crazy as Jack Torrence.