Friday 24 February 2012

The Shining : Looking At One Image

This is one of the last shots of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. This is the (driven) mad father whose attempt to kill his family has been thwarted.

The devil's hell has frozen over.

He is frozen in an expression of inhuman rage. A pure emotion, a state.

It is an uncanny and horrifying end to those uncanny and horrifying last days. It is pathetic and blood-curdling. Even though he is gone and seemingly no longer a threat, it is uncomfortable to look at him. He is a beast.

It is humorous too. This is a cartoon villain like the ones with whom he is associated, and who he associates himself with, in the film - Wile E Coyote* or the Big Bad Wolf** - who are never able to catch their prey or satisfy their hungers.

This is an extreme image of the frustrations of an artist paralysed by writer's block.

His eyes are rolled up in death but also as if the awful flame of his ardours have been doused with refreshing cool - he almost looks ecstatic, his mouth slightly open (aaah!)

He is stuck in the ground like a tombstone to himself, an epitaph of insanity written on his face. There is no need for anything beyond "here lies".

Time is frozen. He is the so-called "caretaker" who has somehow been here before. He is being preserved. He is a tombstone to a type of man, perhaps.

There is something monumental here, something larger than life.

Will he come again; will he thaw? The danger is still alive. What is frozen implies life and movement before. Will he, it, move again when spring comes? The ground is angling downwards but it hasn't taken him all the way down into hell/the earth.

* Earlier we saw Danny watching a Road Runner cartoon and we can hear the lyrics "the coyote's after you... when he catches you, you're through."

** When he is standing outside the bathroom with an axe he takes on the role of the wolf "little pigs little pigs let me come in...then I'll huff and I'll puff".

Wile E. Coyote cemented solid in Going Going Gosh!, 
a victim once again of his own trap

Monday 6 February 2012

Movie Morality Blogathon : 6 - 14 March

Because I think it would be fun, I propose a stock-take of everything that has to do with ethics and morality in modern film.

As long as it has a moral dimension you can write about whatever concerns you, interests you, gives you hope, no matter how big the pressing issue or how small the pet peeve. Hopefully this can get people thinking and create various debates.

Once you have a piece ready you can leave a link to it in the comments section at the bottom of this post or send me the link by email at Alternatively (if you don't have a blog, for example) you can send me the full piece and I can post it on the site in its entirety.

Here are just a few of the subjects you could tackle:

The responsibility of film-makers towards us; our responsibility towards a film as viewers; relationships (sexual and otherwise); censorship; the ratings systems; normalising and glamourising; shock value; torture porn; where a film might be immoral or moral; the rating system; what is being shown to children; profanity; dealing with real historical events and people; piracy; what we do with old films and how the moral rules of engagement have changed over the decades...

The blogathon will run from the 6th to the 14th of March.

Thank you.