The Fear of God: The Shining

13 Mar

In this episode, Reed and Nathan discuss Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.

5 Responses to “The Fear of God: The Shining”

  1. FictionIsntReal March 14, 2018 at 5:47 pm #

    What would you say is a good example of a horror movie which shows someone overcoming their internal demons?

    • Reed March 15, 2018 at 6:30 pm #

      The Babadook, The Exorcist (in the young priest), Flatliners (original, of course), 1408, and The Machinist just to name a few.

  2. a_freudian_fan March 17, 2018 at 7:25 pm #

    I love the book since the first read and I love the film since the second watch when I realized it really is an FU to the source material. King believes in God and redemption, Kubrick does not. King is sentimental, psychological. Kubrick is pragmatic, political (you really should have read something about the political subtext of the movie, guys, before you gave your “no substance” rating).

    P.S. I love the character of Wendy in the film. She looks so repulsively weak and shaky that most people fail to see how active and resilient she really is. She’s the real hero of the movie for me.

    • Reed March 21, 2018 at 1:48 pm #

      Well, I’m defense of the film, Kubrick has always been a deeply complex and deliberate filmmaker. Room 237, the Rodney Ascher documentary, would on its own be enough to prop up the heft of substance in Kubrick’s film. Political, psychological, etc. Kubrick had a wealth of conversation points in his film.

      In defense of my rating of “no substance” that was a bit too dismissive of me (which I even called out on the episode), but I wanted some measure to distinguish my feelings about the film compared to my feelings about the book and I didn’t want to ding down its style or its fear factor.

      Should I have rated it higher? Yes, I should have. But these ratings are entirely subjective and largely instinctual, so really no amount of research might have changed my feelings about the substance of the film when compared to the substance I found in the book. A DSP rating of the film in isolation would have likely between fives across the board — or at the very least 2 fives and a 4.

      Either way though, thanks for listening! We hope you enjoyed the conversation.

    • Nathan March 22, 2018 at 5:21 am #

      I do think a more researched look at the context surrounding the film could yield interesting results, it’s true…but that could be said of any piece of cultural material. Which isn’t to suggest a complete disregard for the research, more simply to state our general approach to the material we cover has less to do with the specificity of all surrounding factors as much as what the film stirs/says to us regarding things from a faith perspective. In other words, merely knowing the surrounding factors may not have necessarily changed the substance quotient. “Substance” can sometimes have less, for me at least, to do with “was this storyteller trying to say something specific” (most are), and more to do with “what can we intuit out of the presented work that speaks to what it means to live a faithful life?” Two different questions.

      That said, I can totally understand someone having a strong affection for the film. It’s a technical marvel. For me it’s just overshadowed by the source material’s strengths.

      Granted, the source material does not have Scatman, so points down for that. 😉

      Thanks for listening can, and for your thoughtful feedback.

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