Into the Maze: Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining

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    Few films have prompted such widespread and sustained obsession as Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining' (1980). It is a film that audiences return to again and again. Indeed, this horror classic only becomes more mystifying and mysterious with each viewing, just as the director himself has confounded and delighted his devoted followers, for whom he represents the paragon of auteurism. With '2001: A Space Odyssey' (1968), Kubrick had acquired an unprecedented air of portentousness for a Hollywood filmmaker. Each subsequent film was keenly awaited as an intellectual object to be scrutinised and discussed. After media condemnation over copycat violence stemming from 'A Clockwork Orange' (1971) - an early precursor to the 'video nasty' moral panic - Kubrick's subsequent work, 'Barry Lyndon' (1975), was a sprawling, stately period adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's nineteenth-century novel. Steeped in the kind of arch, detached irony that had been a Kubrick hallmark since at least 'Dr. Strangelove' (1964), and carefully composed in wide-shot tableaux, 'Barry Lyndon' fared poorly at the box office, prompting Kubrick to consider returning to the generic confines of his early filmmaking in search of a more commercially viable project.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)124-128
    Number of pages5
    JournalScreen Education
    Issue number78
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2015


    • Kubrick, Stanley
    • Motion picture directors
    • Horror films
    • Shining - Motion picture


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