I love Stanley Kubrick. And I love The Shining. And when I found out that I could see it for the first time on the big screen, I was all yusssssss.
The Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace – yes that is its real name – has held a Kubrick Film Fest all month long, showing every one of his movies. After I
saw totally had a life changing experience seeing 2001: A Space Odyssey in 70mm Cinerama, my life mission has been to see all his movies on the screen. So this month has been one of those times where I really, really, really wish I was independently wealthy and could have taken the month off of work to see all of them. Alas, I am poor. So I chose The Shining and got real excited.
The first time I saw The Shining, I was 10 years old. It was at my birthday party, where we had a taco bar and watched movies (badass). We capped the night off with this beauty, and I can’t figure out why my mom thought it was appropriate. I was always creeped out by the movie box, which looked like this:
And my mom told me about the Redrum! Redrum! scene, which was instantly intriguing to my eerily obsessed with insanity 10 year old self.
But 10 year olds are dumb. And 10 years growing up in the Beavis and Butthead era are even dumber. We were idiot children cackling and making 10 year old jokes about rotting corpse booobies in the bathroom, high fiving any time Jack said fuck, making fun of Shelley Duvall’s teeth, starting blankly at the screen as we, a room full of kids, witnessed furries in action for the first time, not knowing what we just saw, just knowing that it was fucking weird (pun intended). We complained about the lack of gore and there was many a “THIS ISN’T SCARY” to be heard. As I said before, dumb kids.
But I’m all grown and up and totally sophisticated, and The Shining is unsettling and beautiful and a damn near perfect ghost story – actual, demonic ghosts, and the lingering ghosts from addictions and rage and disappointment. And Jack Nicholson. Shit.
Seeing it in theatres was amazing. The soundtrack engulfed me and I felt it right in my bones, and since I was riding solo, I had no one to fan girl to incessantly, so I noticed little nuances and nods to the novel that I hadn’t seen before (like when Wendy and the doctor are sitting in the Torrence’s apartment, the only book with its spine facing the audience is called The Wise Child? Or Jack reading a copy of Playboy in the Overlook’s lounge?) And even though everyone in the audience had seen it before, so when Jack gave lines like “I’d never hurt you. Or your mother,” everyone cracked up. It was one of those instantly annoying/instantly bonding moments – a small part of me was like, aw man, can’t we pretend we all don’t know it’s going to end with an ax murder?
And you want to know how to make that blood coming from the elevator door scene even creepier? See it on a giant screen with booming orchestration. /yikes But I think my new favourite part is the scene between Wendy and Jack, when she brings him breakfast in bed. She asks how his writing is going, and he’s less than enthusiastic. So she says, “it’s all about getting in the habit of writing everyday.” And Jack kinda gives her this half smile, half fuck you face while saying “Yep. That’s all it is.” And it’s just magical. Like, I feel that.
All in all, I had a great time. The Hayden is an art deco style, independent theatre and it’s really fucking cool. Each theatre has its own theme and lush Gatsby era decor. The candy bar sells inexpensive candy and popcorn – in cardboard movie boxes – and not hot dogs or chicken wings. The seats don’t recline, and you can’t buy alcohol. The staff wear vests and bow ties and they still tear tickets. It’s my new favourite place.
It was perfect.
And yes, I’m pretty sure I’ve found a new place to spend all the money I don’t have.
Also, I still sometimes make fun of Shelley Duvall’s teeth. As I said before, I am totally sophisticated.