In preparation for the release of the much-buzzed-about Room 237 tomorrow, IFC Center has been showing the complete oeuvre of the best director to come out of the Bronx, Stanley Kubrick. To better understand the crazy (or so crazy they just might be true?) theories on display in Room 237, we went to a screening of The Shining, a movie we own but had never seen on the big screen.
In the theater, the movie's unsettling oddities become even more powerful: the hypnotically glacial pace, the unmotivated screeching strings on the soundtrack, the impossible architecture, the discomforting low and wide photography, the bizarre inconsistencies (just what is Grady's first name? or are there multiple Gradys?), and the famous Steadicam tracking shots of Danny on his big wheel. Everything combines to give the film an unheimlich feel that is difficult to shake. They also let you see that the movie is really about second-wave feminism. Or the mind-body problem. Or the unreliability of all narration. Or . . .