Friday, October 05, 2012

Some Shine and Some Don't

I was really into Room 237 for a good long while, but like a Winter stay at The Overlook Hotel you can't quite get the hell outta there before you start going nutty. The director warned us before the film started, "I hope you like The Shining," and it was only when the film passed the eighty-minute mark and kept going and going that I really felt what he meant. Because I do like The Shining. I love it. Indeed "love" isn't really a strong enough word. I loave The Shining, I luff it, two f's. But Room 237 is like being at a party where you tell somebody that and so they call over their friends and they all back you into a corner and interrogate you about indigenous genocide while keeping you cut off from the punch bowl - it overstays its point, eventually.

It is a movie about that of course, and it often wrings tremendous humor from the Ouroboros of Kubrickian fanaticism. Dissecting a film's minutiae right off the deep-end can be great fun, I've done it plenty (hell I got a college degree for it!), and if any director invites it it's Stanley. There are times when the people we're listening to deconstruct the film hit upon a splendid discovery, and plenty more when they strike gold-flecked ridiculousness instead. And often both at once - some of the images of the film playing overlapped back to front are stupendously pretty, even if we're witnessing utter nonsense. (Hell, just seeing shots from The Shining - not to mention 2001 and Barry Lyndon and Murnau's Faust - on a big screen are worth the price of admission alone.)

The film is just too long, and so begins to embody the helpless exhausting sensation of being stuck in someone's else's obsessions... I don't know, perhaps that's totally the point. It's certainly a Shining state of mind I was in by the end. Maybe I was right on when, in a frustrated impotent rage, I murdered all those people on my way home last night? If so - good job, movie!

1 comment:

M said...

I'd highly recomend you read Rob Ager's analysis of Shining, it's really insightful and never dull.