Yet, the connections between these two films go even deeper in how they attempt to use spatiotemporal ambiguity to further disorient the spectator. The hallways and spaces of Kubrick’s Overlook do not make any spatial sense. There are windows that look outdoors in rooms that face inwards. The flow of time, as aforementioned, is also mysterious. The film’s title cards marking off days and hours represent a linear march of time, yet Jack’s encounter in room 237 and the photograph at the end would suggest that time is a circular or that alternate timelines exist simultaneously. Similarly, the times and spaces of Resnais’s film blend together. Costumes provide only a temporary reference point, because jump cuts, voice over, and the similar interiors of separate resorts make the differences between past, present, and future indistinguishable. Yet, viewers of both films can probably agree on one aspect. Violence haunts these corridors.
Watch: Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’ Meets Alain Resnais’ ‘Last Year at Marienbad’
Dr. Drew Morton is an Assistant Professor of Mass Communication at Texas A&M University-Texarkana. He the co-editor and co-founder of [in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies, the first peer-reviewed academic journal focused on the visual essay and all of its forms (co-presented by MediaCommons and Cinema Journal). [in]Transition recently won an award of distinction in the annual SCMS Anne Friedberg Innovative Scholarship competition. His publications have appeared in animation: an interdisciplinary journal, The Black Maria, Flow, In Media Res, Mediascape, Press Play, RogerEbert.com, Senses of Cinema, Studies in Comics, and a range of academic anthologies. He is currently completing a manuscript on the overlap between American blockbuster cinema and comic book style.