Watch: ‘The Shining,’ The Twins, and You
There seem to be two general schools of thought on Stanley Kubrick’s timeless ‘The Shining.’ Either everything means something, or none of it means anything (and those who think otherwise are deluded). The two camps agree only on the fact that the film is terrifying. Rob Ager does a good job of straddling the two attitudes in his Collative Learning video essay on one of the oddest features of the film: the twins. Ager takes us through some details we may have missed (or may not have, if "we" are obsessive): the recurrence of the colors red and blue, the symmetrical relationship of the twins’ butchered bodies in one of Danny’s nightmares, a (possibly staged) making-of clip featuring two women who look quite a bit like the twins–as well as George Mason, of all people. (Not that surprising, given that Mason’s performance as Humber Humbert in Kubrick’s ‘Lolita’ was one of his greatest roles.) In any event, another thing all critical camps may agree on concerning ‘The Shining,’ and which this piece proves, is that you can never watch the film too much.
Watch: What If David Lynch Had Directed Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’?
If David Lynch had directed Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining"–let’s just stop there. In a sense, he did, just as much as Kubrick directed many of Lynch’s films. (In a sense.) It’s been said many times that there are only 4 or 5 good ideas, and they keep being passed around over and over, re-shaped, re-imagined. And the creative animus, the deranged, meticulous force of imagination that fueled Kubrick’s mind when he took a good thriller by Stephen King and made it into a horrific masterpiece could well have been flowing through Lynch’s mind when he made… anything. Except, perhaps, ‘The Straight Story.’ Or ‘Dune.’ This mash-up (though it’s a lot more) by Richard Vezina has a lot of beautiful little touches: a log truck rolling by outside the window as Jack Torrance is conducting his entrance interview at The Overlook; Dick Hallorann ending up in the tractor from ‘The Straight Story’ when he’s driving to the hotel to save the lives of Torrance’s family; Torrance watching ants gnawing and gnashing their teeth as he looks at a model of the hotel grounds… Far from just a random supposition, the question at the heart of the piece prods us to pay more close attention to the similarities between these two cinematic emissaries from the dark side of the mind.