For film fans, or anyone with eyes and a brain who understands that a good film simply cannot be fully appreciated on a 4x2inch iPhone screen, there is nothing better than seeing a classic on the big screen. I consider myself to be both a film fan and to have a functioning brain and pair of eyes. Imagine my excitement then, when I learned that Kubrick’s 1980 cult horror classic The Shining was being re-released in cinemas in its original 144 minute form, adding an extra 24 minutes of footage never before seen in British cinemas. Kubrick fans rejoice. Not only that, this week also saw the release of Room 237, a documentary which delves into the world of ‘Shining-obsessives’ and the many conspiracy theories surrounding the cult film. Thirty two years after its initial release the film continues to entertain, cause speculation and scare the bejesus out of die-hard fans and first time viewers alike. But just why are we so obsessed with what went on in the infamous Room 237?
The Shining is so much more than just a horror film. Initially shunned by critics, the film has since become a cult classic. Kubrick’s adaptation comes from Stephen King’s novel, which the author himself described as ‘just a little story about writer’s block.’ Who would have thought that this little story would warrant a re-release over thirty years after the initial release of its film adaptation as well as an entire documentary dedicated to the conspiracy theories surrounding the film? King famously disapproved of Kubrick’s adaptation, specifically of his casting of Jack Nicholson as Jack, and so chose to collaborate with Mick Garris in 1997 on a TV mini-series that followed his original novel almost to the letter. I haven’t seen the mini-series (and after a quick view of the YouTube trailer, doubt I will any time soon) but needless to say it was not received in the same way that Kubrick’s visual masterpiece was. No blood flowing from the elevators, no freaky twins and no ‘Heeere’s Johnny? The television adaptation appears to have omitted all of the iconic moments that make the Shining the cult classic that it is today: all moments that did not appear in the original novel. The success of The Shining therefore, can be accredited to none other than the master himself: Mr Stanley Kubrick.
Bafflingly, of Kubrick’s nine post 1960s films The Shining was the only title not to receive a single Oscar or Golden Globe nomination. Instead, Kubrick and Shelley Duvall received nominations for Worst Director and Worst Actress respectively at the inaugural Golden Raspberry Awards in 1981. As hard as it is for a modern audience to believe, people simply didn't like the film on its initial release. However, these people have since come to their senses, or so I would hope. The Shining is full of visual delights and revolutionary moves in cinema: from that stunningly eerie opening helicopter shot, to Kubrick’s pioneering use of the Steadicam to follow Danny through the corridors of the Overlook Hotel. It also provided us with casino online that scene (see