Top 10+ Music, Movies, and Visual Art of the Week (2022)

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  • #971
  • Posted: 08/17/2022 10:39
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Working on this now... Recs welcome... Several familiar to me still need to be added below 7.3... Plus I'll most likely view some that are new to me and add those as well...

Re: Genre... Most of the inclusions shouldn't be controversial. However, some semi-arguable genre selections were included if their purpose was essentially the same to that of other horror films even if not as purely of the "horror" genre. More specifically, there are some (usually "psychological thrillers") included that I think should be listed as among horror or its direct subgenres (usually "psychological horror"), just as much as any other main genre tag, even if they aren't always given such credit by databases (such as by RYM, Letterboxd, whoever). Inland Empire is such an example that I've argued for in the past with such listings, but for a long time wasn't being given such credit by most (any?) databases (but has been rectified by RYM and Letterboxd).


Possession - Andrzej Zulawski (1981) [Original Cut, 123 minutes]

Psycho - Alfred Hitchcock (1960)
Rosemary's Baby - Roman Polanski (1968)
Lost Highway - David Lynch (1997) ***arguable genre selection***
Repulsion - Roman Polanski (1965)
Dressed to Kill - Brian De Palma (1980) ***arguable genre selection***

Perfect Blue - Satoshi Kon (1997)
Funny Games - Michael Haneke (1997) ***arguable genre selection***
Mother! - Darren Aronofsky (2017) ***arguable genre selection***
The Kingdom - Lars Von Trier (1995)
Antichrist - Lars Von Trier (2009)
Inland Empire - David Lynch (2006)
The Tenant - Roman Polanski (1976)
Peeping Tom - Michael Powell (1960) ***arguable genre selection***
Eraserhead - David Lynch (1978)
Hush... Hush Sweet Charlotte - Robert Aldrich (1965) ***arguable genre selection***
Videodrome - David Cronenberg (1983)
Get Out - Jordan Peele (2017)
Alien - Ridley Scott (1979)
What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? - Robert Aldrich (1962) ***arguable genre selection***
The Birds - Alfred Hitchcock (1963)
Valerie and Her Week of Wonders - Jaromil Jires (1970) ***arguable genre selection***
Don't Look Now - Nicolas Roeg (1973)
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari - Robert Wiene (1920)
Curse of the Demon - Jacques Tourneur (1957) [aka, "Night of the Demon"]
The Shout - Jerzy Skolimowski (1979)
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - Tobe Hooper (1974)
Nosferatu - F.W. Murnau (1922)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers - Don Siegel (1956)

Rocky Horror Picture Show - Jim Sharman (1975) ***arguable genre selection***
Us - Jordan Peele (2019)
King Kong - Merian C. Cooper / Ernest B. Schoedsack (1933)
Taxidermia - György Pálfi (2006)
The Exorcist - William Friedkin (1973)
Candyman - Bernard Rose (1992)
The Shining - Stanley Kubrick (1980)
Annihilation - Alex Garland (2018)
Suspiria - Dario Argento (1977)
The Witch: A New-England Folktale - Robert Eggers (2015)
Jaws - Steven Spielberg (1975)
Vampyr - Carl Theodor Dreyer (1932)
Cat People - Jacques Tourneur (1942)
Freaks - Tod Browning (1932) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
The Wicker Man - Robin Hardy (1973)
Halloween - John Carpenter (1978)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers - Philip Kaufman (1978) [remake] ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
Psycho II - Richard Franklin (1983)
The Devil's Advocate - Taylor Hackford (1997) ***arguable genre selection***
Black Swan - Darren Aronofsky (2010) ***arguable genre selection***
Carrie - Brian DePalma (1976)
The Thing - John Carpenter (1982) [remake] ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
Beetlejuice - Tim Burton (1988)
Night of the Living Dead - George Romero (1968)
The Babadook - Jennifer Kent (2014)
The Silence of the Lambs - Jonathan Demme (1991) ***arguable genre selection***
The Omen - Richard Donner (1976)
Re-Animator - Stuart Gordon (1984) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
Jacob's Ladder - Adrian Lyne (1990)
Hour of the Wolf - Ingmar Bergman (1968)
The Fly - Kurt Neumann (1958) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
Bride of Frankenstein - James Whale (1935) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
Frankenstein - James Whale (1931) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
The Evil Dead II - Sam Raimi (1987) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
Shaun of the Dead - Edgar Wright (2004)
The Fog - John Carpenter (1980)
Hellraiser - Clive Barker (1987) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
Dawn of the Dead - George Romero (1978) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
The Descent - Neil Marshall (2005) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
Gremlins - Joe Dante (1984)
Hausu - Nobuhiko Obayashi (1977)
Fright Night - Tom Holland (1985) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
Blair Witch Project - Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez (1999) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
28 Days Later - Danny Boyle (2002)
The Witches - Nicolas Roeg (1990) ***arguable genre selection***
Poltergeist - Tobe Hooper (1982) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
The Evil Dead - Sam Raimi (1981) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
A Nightmare on Elm Street - Wes Craven (1984)
Sisters - Brian De Palma (1972)
Scream - Wes Craven (1996)
Child's Play - Tom Holland (1988)
Godzilla - Ishirō Honda (1954) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
Dracula - Tod Browning (1931) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
Christine - John Carpenter (1983)
An American Werewolf In London - John Landis (1981)

Scream 2 - Wes Craven (1997)
Prometheus - Ridley Scott (2012)
The Cabin in the Woods - Drew Goddard (2012)
The Lost Boys - Joel Schumacher (1987) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
Alien: Resurrection - Jean-Pierre Jeunet (1997)
The Fly - David Cronenberg (1986) [remake] ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
Bram Stoker's Dracula - Francis Ford Coppola (1992)
Interview With the Vampire - Neil Jordan (1994) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
Nope - Jordan Peele (2022) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***

Saw - James Wan and Leigh Whannell (2004) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
Jeepers Creepers - Victor Salva (2001) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
Jaws 2 - Jeannot Szwarc (1978)
Psycho III - Anthony Perkins (1986)
A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 3: Dream Warriors - Chuck Russell (1987) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
The Ring - Gore Verbinski (2002) [remake] ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
Let the Right One In - Tomas Alfredson (2008)
From Dusk Till Dawn - Robert Rodriguez (1996) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
The Lawnmower Man - Brett Leonard (1992) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
The Craft - Andrew Fleming (1996) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
Tremors - Ron Underwood (1990)

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master - Renny Harlin (1988) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
Pet Semetary - Mary Lambert (1989) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
Scream 3 - Wes Craven (2000) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
The Thing From Another World - Christian Nyby (1951)
The Happening - M. Night Shyamalan (2008) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
Event Horizon - Paul W.S. Anderson (1997) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***

Aliens - James Cameron (1986) [Original Theatrical Cut, 137 min / Extended Cut, 156 min: 5.0/10]
Child's Play 2 - John Lafia (1990)
Alien 3 - David Fincher (1992) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
Child's Play 3 - Jack Bender (1991) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives - Tom McLoughlin (1986) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge - Jack Sholder (1985) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***

Friday the 13th - Sean S. Cunningham (1980)
I Know What You Did Last Summer - Jim Gillespie (1997) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***

Jigoku - Nobuo Nakagawa (1960)
Jaws: The Revenge - Joseph Sargent (1987) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood - John Carl Buechler (1988) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
Friday the 13th Part 2 - Steve Miner (1981) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***

Friday the 13th Part 3 - Steve Miner (1982) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
I Still Know What You Did Last Summer - Danny Cannon (1998) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***

Jaws 3-D - Joe Alves (1983) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter - Joseph Zito (1984) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning - Danny Steinmann (1985) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan - Rob Hedden (1989) ***tentative rating/may need revisit***

To Add/May Need Revisit First...
The Mummy - Karl Freund (1932)
The Blob (1958) / The Blob (1988)

Genre qualification?
The Terminator - James Cameron (1984)
Jurassic Park - Steven Speilberg (1993)
Seven - David Fincher (1995)
The Sixth Sense - M. Night Shyamalan (1999)
Signs - M. Night Shyamalan (2002)
Pan's Labyrinth - Guillermo del Toro (2006)

Need to see...
House of Wax (1953)
Black Sunday - Mario Bava (1960)
The Innocents (1961)
Carnival of Souls (1962)
The Haunting - Robert Wise (1963)
Black Christmas (1974)
Phantasm (1978)
Near Dark - Kathryn Bigelow (1987)
Ringu (1998)
Ravenous (1999)
The Others (2001)
The Devil's Backbone - Guillermo del Toro (2001)
The Orphanage - Juan Antonio Bayona (2007)
Best Classical
Best Films
Best Paintings

Last edited by AfterHours on 08/27/2022 05:26; edited 8 times in total
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  • #972
  • Posted: 08/17/2022 22:48
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What made you upgrade The Shining up a little bit? I think we talked about this movie before - I questioned if you thought the various easter eggs (such as the references to the idea that he staged the moon landing, or the metaphor for the genocide of Native Americans) sprinkled in the movie made you think highly of it (i.e. that it's, like, some sort of masterpiece with MANY hidden messages, which a lot of people credit Kubrick to do in his movies), though I don't remember if you thought highly of these little easter eggs or not. So, what do you personally find amazing about the movie?
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Gender: Male
Location: originally from ;-)

  • #973
  • Posted: 08/19/2022 01:57
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TiggaTrigga wrote:
What made you upgrade The Shining up a little bit? I think we talked about this movie before - I questioned if you thought the various easter eggs (such as the references to the idea that he staged the moon landing, or the metaphor for the genocide of Native Americans) sprinkled in the movie made you think highly of it (i.e. that it's, like, some sort of masterpiece with MANY hidden messages, which a lot of people credit Kubrick to do in his movies), though I don't remember if you thought highly of these little easter eggs or not. So, what do you personally find amazing about the movie?

Did you receive my reply about Candyman? There's just "crickets" right now sitting between that reply and your next (these) set of questions... Laughing

Re: The Shining... (a more extended reply than usual, and written in haste, as usual, so apologies for any errors or if any points are too incomplete)

Upon revisiting, the film is still very impressive to me (by that I mean, to answer when you previously asked me about it and also to note that I'm not sure why Scaruffi dropped it to 6.5). I am partially impressed/partially mixed about its multitude of potential and actual symbolism/subtext/Easter eggs (or what have you). Kubrick was undoubtedly a genius but he also had a penchant for making some of his symbolism almost too "vague" or "nonchalant" in expression -- not particularly expressive from a cinematic point of view. A general rule of thumb is that "it is significant (of importance, holds lasting or in-depth emotional/conceptual weight) to the degree that the artist/director lends it such credibility (adds import to it, through the technical and aesthetic rendering of his artistic medium ... in this case cinema)". If the director simply shows a book on someone's desk about practicing witchcraft this does not mean the film all of a sudden becomes a powerful symbol of witchcraft (that's not a Kubrick-specific example here, I'm just making an obvious point to work from and to easily see what I mean). A book of witchcraft on a desk and the camera simply passing by with this in the shot is only vaguely cinematic, and hardly immersive or applying the medium in an interesting way to express the theme of witchcraft. It would possibly be a small element in the film that assists in a minor way or clues one into the theme, but would certainly need to be developed more strongly and cinematically elsewhere in the film for this to add much to the significance of the film. The symbol/metaphor/subtext has to be expressed in a cinematically powerful and/or compelling way for it to be of great significance cinematically, in the art or medium of film (not merely a prop among the art direction or a vague thing to be seen in the passing photography; again, such things often do and certainly can add to a theme/concept expressed more elsewhere but shouldn't be over-emphasized as concepts of great import especially if not developed otherwise or if said development is too often mitigated my such less cinematically expressive means as this). If a camera simply passes over a sign that one has to adjust their contrast to see and can only be seen on super-HD 4K video quality, than the director probably didn't consider it important or essential enough (yet some super hardcore Kubrick buffs-analysts pay tons of time and attention to these sorts of things -- the same as other more important symbolism -- as having great significance even when the director is himself is given them only very vague or minor importance through his own cinema/craft) -- he certainly didn't devote much time or energy towards expressing such cinematically for the viewer to take this any other way as a passing element in the film that may hold some significance but undoubtedly much smaller than those shots or sequences the director DID take lots of time, energy, commitment to lend such credibility with much more artistic ambition or technical choices granted to them. It is easy to get carried away with easter eggs like that and get caught up in how much meaning an artist has loaded his work with, but I think repeat experiences (and comparisons with the greatest works of history) sooner or later proves out the difference. Basically, ll I'm trying to say is that the smallest details given the importance of "fandom trivia" by the director (not even being focused on by the camera, or just "passing props" on the screen, or the like...) can easily become symbols and themes of "great import" by the sort of fans that watch a film 100 times hunting all these down, whereas the director (by his own decisions/actions within that film) probably wasn't giving them that much significance (or if he was, it is questionable that he was successful).

Kubrick's Shining, a great film, seems to have subtext that is somewhere in between those two points. I am rather undecided and torn on its success (I'm open to it either way, and am somewhat conflicted while watching it). Certainly a well paced, tense, eerie, ferocious and intense film (no major drawbacks there, on the surface it is as or more intense as many higher rated films, my questions are more to the credibility of its true depths). I am torn on the subtext and how much real and lasting depth it adds to the work (it certainly adds a degree of additional depth; HOW MUCH is difficult to feel certain about as it is mixed between questionable clarity/vaguely expressed, versus powerfully expressed at times throughout the film). My 7.2 is both an "update" and a hesitancy to put it 7.3 or above. I would prefer to feel more stable in my view of the film before upgrading it further. That said, I strongly considered upgrading as high as 7.5 this last viewing and could maybe be pushed higher than that if the additional themes felt stronger (which again, is still open to happen on repeat revisits)

Some thoughts/insights (not all one could say, but the main ones that come to mind while answering your questions)

*I do think the Native american genocide is almost certainly an intended theme of the film, and pretty well expressed as subtext. For instance, the opening shots, of Nicholson driving to the Overlook for his interview, through the vast landscapes, mountains, with the eerie music (that has a ghostly, 'tribal' overtones/undercurrent to it) can certainly be read as him splitting (the road, his car, through the middle of it all) through the landscape and forestry that was once occupied by native americans and now could be seen as symbolic of their graveyard.

The interview with the JFK lookalike (with American flag, symbols, intermixed -- perhaps "overtaking" -- the Native American curtains behind his desk, etc) in his office can be seen as him gaining an entry point (through the "elites" of society) to this hallowed ground (the hotel, its grounds, soon to be explained as a native american burial ground).

Of course there is the Native American cultural art on the windows and above the fireplace (etc) in the building, particularly the main lobby area and ground floor.

Jack throwing a baseball (its a baseball isn't it? Or was it a tennis ball...) at the Native American art above the fireplace (off the wall, back to himself), symbolic of his ignorance, arrogance, disrespect of this facet of the culture around him (if it is infact a baseball this perhaps gives it a further connotation of "American" culture). It also may foreshadow his late-film violence with the axe (the rhythm of violent strikes is similar). It may be symbolic as well, that the Native American art (featuring abstract people) is above the large fireplace (potential hints at genocide, sacrifice, ritual...).

Wendy sometimes is made to look like a cross between a Native American lady and herself (with the attire she's given, her hair and look from a distance gives her that appearance, to a degree). Of course, Jack tries to kill her later (plus the similar rhythm of the axe strikes) lends credence (perhaps) to such a symbol.

Dick Halloran, returning after telepathically communicating with Danny, can be said to have a look that is a cross between ethnicities and can be argued to have a partially Native American look. He is of course killed brutally with the axe by Jack, not too different than may have happened in those previous generations. He can also be seen, being black, as representing the next course of racial war/segregation/discrimination that unfolded in America following the virtual elimination of Native Americans. The correlation with him to the genocidal/racial theme underlying the film is symbolically supported by his death, when he lands square on a native american carpet (instead of the floor) after Jack axes him.

*There are the tidal waves of blood envisioned multiple times spilling from the elevator, whereas the blood itself could be symbolizing all the blood of Native American genocide arising out of the grounds of the Overlook. Another detail, possibly a stretch, but this may also be seen as a wide open mouth, the dials above can be seen as its eyes, also mirroring/alluding to the terrified facial expressions of Danny.

There are also various other (plainer) double doors in the film which might be said to have "skull-like" look/dispositions (not explicitly, but alluding to), with Kubrick eyeing them by the lighting and POV of the camera as it works its way through certain halls.

At various times, the lighting of certain shots gives the actors a "skull-like" appearance to their facial features (where they are lit just so their eyes and indentations are darkened very specifically, giving a skull-like look).

Naturally the "elites" in the final group photo and in the Gold room and some urgings/comments made throughout the film (such as from Grady to Jack in the red colored bathroom), are probably not just a coincidence (that, symbolically, Jack can be seen as doing his murderous American duty to maintain access to their "club" or "secret society", perhaps a Kubrick statement that this was the murderous foundational social system America was build upon).

*Danny's "steadicam" rides through the hotel feature various incongruities in the hotel that seem implausible in their spatial relationships, verses various rooms, doors (etc) that don't make sense (clearly intentional by Kubrick and set designers, especially as this visual theme is further developed with relation to the maze above all, and other spatial, lighting, rhythmic anomalies in the film) and if noticed mid-viewing, give a sense of disorientation. This is further expressed by the designs on the carpet where Danny is playing (as the camera expands its view, it seems to be referencing/alluding to as well, a "maze")

In these "steadicam" rides (or at least one of them), Danny is seen to be riding over the flooring, then suddenly native american carpet, then flooring again (repeated along his path), and combined with the sound design (the sudden, hard and harsh, fluctuation of it) perhaps a sly symbol of native american genocidal violence in the "collective subconsciousness" of his past/history, buried underneath and replaced by the hotel and its flooring.

*The disorientation of the steadicam rides is of course mirrored by the trips into the maze and there is definitively (cinematically expressed) a parallel being drawn between the hotel interior and the labyrinth outside -- spaces that are confusing, don't make sense, possibly ever-changing. Further, when Jack looks over the maze model it is symbolic of the minotaur (the idea later expressed further by his chase of Danny through the maze before death). The maze becomes far more complex (incongruous with the model and any of the maze maps we see in the film) when Jack/we look down into it from his perspective (after Jack is shot looking above the model on the inside of the Hotel, as if towering over, dominating, Wendy/Danny, insinuating the idea that he will "ensure they can't leave"), the increase in complexity symbolizing a far greater expanse of entrapment and spatial disorientation.

One of the trips into the maze, Kubrick (disorientingly) switches the shots from the real-life exterior maze (actually outside, with real sky), to a separate one that was built on a set, removing the sky (from the previous shots we have just seen establishing the scene as they are entering the maze) that was above them into the new "steadicam-like" shot where we see a blank "all-white" view above them (without clouds or variation of blue as was there before). This gives their walk through an eeriness from above, like they are trapped without the sky to orient them. This "might" (probably a stretch) have symbolism in being "all-white" and (maybe less of a stretch) without the sky to guide them (as the Native Americans would've used). But the main point is that it is a (certainly intentional) discontinuity "error" to disorient the viewer (even if subliminally, just feeling something seems off, even if one can't quite pin-point it).

*This disorientation is further added to by various conversations in the film between two people (such as Danny and Dick Halloran when he is talking to him about the "shining"; such as Wendy and Jack when she is asking about how is writing is going), where a close up shot is given to each actor (alone in the shot) during the convo and are edited to stop and start at a slightly awkward rhythm -- plus a (likely intentional, directed) disorienting incongruity between their acting, incongruous way and timing that they're speaking to each other (peaking with the Wendy and Jack scene). This and other "disorienting" points give the apparency that we are constantly under the rule of an unreliable narrator and things are slightly off. It also perhaps gives the sense that each character is under the spell of visions of the hotel (or the "shining") and these conversations are being "viewed" (like premonitions) just before (or maybe entirely separate of) each new moment of them taking place, thus lending them an awkward, pausing rhythm just before their occurance in "reality" (the characters faces, dispositions and camera gradually pushing in and holding or lingering, also gives them a "trance-like" or "hypnotic" sense).

This disorientation is further added to by the constant play of light in the film (in one shot carrying over to the very next, lights will be off that were once on, and vice versa) as intentional discontinuities being placed by the director/art director/cinematographer/lighting people throughout (surely overseen by Kubrick, no way they're just "mistakes"). Also in exterior shots of the hotel usually very few lights are on, but when we see from the interior, the family (for reasons that seem inexplicable) often have way too many lights on throughout the whole place relative to how unoccupied it is.

*The days of the week and times given in the "title cards" between scenes are increasingly ambiguous as to when specifically they're taking place and when they're taking place in relation to the rest (instead of telling us the date, it just says "Wednesday" or "4pm", etc, even though this is over the course of months, through Summer-like weather to the harshest winter in the end) ... further disorienting the viewer and further adding to the "unreliable narrator" of its perspective(s) (all of the main characters) and further confusing what might be "shinings", what might be "ghosts" and what might be "reality". Also adding to the theme that "Jack has always been the caretaker" and that what year/date is confused or irrelevant.

There is of course the general disorientation of rooms coming alive with visions/ghosts where no one is/was, and the unreliability of the narrator here as well.

*Danny's stunned or seizure like sequences in terror are the most powerful shots in the film, along with whatever he is looking at/envisioning when this occurs. There is also a subtle symbolism (possibly) being built throughout the film that Danny has not just been abused, but sexually abused, starting from the subtle framing (and body positioning, pants off) of the early scene with the doctor checking on him (plus the obliviousness of his mother), juxtaposed by the interview and disposition of Jack at the Overlook, and later given credence by the possible symbolism of various sequences (especially the horror scene in Room 237 when Jack checks on Danny's story, plus cross-checking this with the eerie scene with Danny and Jack alone in his parent's bedroom). Note: I do not mean I think the doctor sexually abused him, just that this is a scene that may be subtly establishing the idea through said visual motifs. The abuser I am referring to would be Jack. If legit, this lends extra power to Danny's terrified scenes and extra symbolic weight to the visions, which each have potentially symbolic relationship to sexual abuse beyond just the physical abuse or how haunting they are in a ghoulish sense.

*There is possibly further symbolism of Jack becoming a nightmare out of Danny's children's stories/cartoons with the scruffy "animalistic" way (wild hair, eyes, unshaven) he looks and increasingly acts (including physical mannerisms), culminating in his chase of Wendy and then Danny (as the "big bad wolf"). Which adds further symbolism to the abuse, into Danny and Wendy's reality "from the dark side of a children's story or cartoon" (now a real-life nightmare and manifestation of Danny's terror-stricken visions).

*This symbolism is further added to (very slyly, nuanced) by the intricate synchronization of the music soundtrack (haunting, disturbing, suspenseful, terrorized music of Ligeti, Bartok... various others) to the characters actions and dialogue throughout the movie, often very precise, detailed, rigorously, typical of cartoons rather than live action films (in such an intricate way, where each step/movement, even phrases, is supported, dramatized, suspended upon, by musical accompaniment)

Those above with asterisks I consider powerful examples (cinematically) and most likely completely legit. Those without asterisks may be legit as well but I'm just not sure how much or how significantly they were intended OR (even where intended) if they're of much value as "cinematic expression" (ex: just a passing shot of decor or a prop) and so may just add marginally to the argument of the others (but perhaps all collected, the case becomes pretty strong that it was all intended).

Besides the possibility that its symbolism maybe (somewhat) under-developed/under-expressed (again, up for debate) one flaw I am more sure about is that I do think the last few scenes of Wendy (after Jack gives up on killing her upon Halloran's arrival). Wendy, seeing ghosts in the room, downstairs, etc, are kind of weak, a bit anti-climactic (before the more interesting chase and culminated symbolism in chasing Danny into the maze). These haunted house scenes of hers just feel a bit rushed (as if Kubrick ran out of time or ideas and still needed to tack on clearer examples of Wendy having terrified visions like the others, but they're uninspired, a bit cliche especially the one of her seeing all the skeletons in the ballroom). What would've been immense is if he would've came up with the idea of (or something like, similar to) after she goes downstairs, the tidal wave of blood comes out of the elevator and sweeps her up and drowns her (also would've been very symbolic). And maybe the tidal wave crashes through the front door and she ends up outside in time for Danny to retreat from the maze (or maybe she dies, drowned in its blood). And maybe then we just see Danny standing there, with Tony talking to him about his mother as she lays there dead from the tidal wave. Or, back in the the hotel, playing alone, while his dad dies in the maze. Something such as this (or a million other variations of ideas) could've lended all sorts of more thought-provoking content or ambiguity to the ending and the course of events that have played out over the film, instead of the less inspired conclusion of them just getting into the tractor to escape after her (rather forced) 3 haunted house scenes (that again, seem tacked on at the end to give her some scenes like the others).

I think it is unfortunate the native american symbolism is mostly vaguely expressed (on the interior of the building). I would think it more powerful if Kubrick applied greater technical and aesthetic weight to enhancing what are generally just passing or stationary shots showing decor of the building (besides those with asterisks). For an example of how much more significant giving an environment or interior symbolic/metaphorical weight and powerfully immersing one in the theme (cinematically) of a film, see for instance, Tarkvoksy's Nostalghia where he films Italy, overwhelmed by thick and heavy mists, its ruins, the "sculpting in time" of the camera movements and scene composition, into a mental paralysis and emotionally catastrophic rendition of "Russia" (Italy becomes, is merged with, Russia and his longings towards others in Russia, in the mind of the homesick protagonist). If Kubrick would've used technical skills and cinematographic applications to will a really potent and haunting sense of Native American genocidal past from the hotel (beyond mostly indicating this through decor and props) it could've become a far more powerfully developed theme. That said, Kubrick perhaps had as his intent "the lack of awareness of this subtext" to mirror ours/America's ignorance of their historical genocide and so that it is only vaguely, subliminally there affecting our perception of what is going on and how it is being motivated without obvious, visible cause (like Jack). And he also probably didn't want to come too close to the more obvious and traditional (and often cliche) haunted house where the house (or hotel) itself takes on too much (surreal, expressionist) character and, therefore, wanted to keep it more expressively hidden. Just a guess.

Also, Kubrick has a tendency to keep his symbols very inconspicuous, which may be the hallmark of a genius that prefers to keep much of his genius to himself. I think this is both interesting and can be a drawback. I am (obviously) not opposed to "deep meanings" in art but if it is not technically rendered in a compelling or powerful way by the medium in application, is it really worth finding (in the context of that medium)? Or is just for obsessive nerds like Kubrick? Think Again, again, again, I'm mixed on my answer to that and I'm sure will revisit again to further fine tune my perspective on the film.

As regards "the moon landing", I don't know, maybe. There's (seemingly) little evidence of this in the film and all of it is vague (that I wouldn't asterisk) except maybe the Apollo shirt Danny is wearing and maybe the carpet design (that apparently matches the launch pad design). It might be more of an in-joke (with Kubrick being aware of the rumors?). The idea that Room 237 applies because "it was 237,000 miles from the Earth to the moon" seems pretty silly/"tin foil hat" to me as there is nothing (that I'm aware of) in that scene to grant credence to the symbolism besides (very questionably) that number translated to hundreds of thousands. But again, I haven't seen the Room 237 movie so maybe I'm missing some points that would lend credence to the overall symbolism of the moon landings being staged by Kubrick and The Shining (for some reason) being a medium where he would express such a thing? Perhaps its a further theme as just another secret the "elites" in the film are hiding under the same guise of American imperialism (or something?), beginning with the interview scene as a symbol of JFK (who helped lead the space race, didn't he?). I'm not much of a standard history buff (pretty good with art history) so I'm just shooting off the cuff here...

NOW, that said, 2001: A Space Odyssey, loaded with potential subtext, has a much more compelling and realistic argument for the "moon landing theories". It is very hard to talk/write about like this (because so nuanced and detailed) without a side by side/shot analysis of the film in sight to both of us, but I will say that it isn't entirely implausible that (in advance of the trip the following year) Kubrick would've been asked to do some "back up" shooting of the moon scenes for public consumption in the event some of it wasn't film-able or didn't translate well to film.

Kubrick, being a highly intelligent individual, obviously aware of and capable of seeing things outside the "media culture" box, and skeptical of politicians/"the establishment" and the military (off all things, Dr Strangelove was his previous film, where he also parodied one of the leading scientists of the space race, not to mention ex-Nazi, with the famous Sellars character). It is unlikely to be "just a coincidence" that 2001 followed this, and was billed as propaganda for the space race and NASA. And where it seems like Kubrick may have tricked several of its funders and scientific advisors and even Clarke (who collaborated with him on the book/screenplay, but seems like he was kept at least partially in the dark by Kubrick, with many differences between the book and film). Ultimately, making a film that had a result far different to what they felt they were getting during production. Some involved, expecting a very different result, expressed confusion and disappointment at the time.

The main point I'm getting to is that the 2nd act moon sequences (the whole section following the Dawn of Man) and space scenes leading up to them feature:
-multiple continuity errors of movement of the spaceships (in relation to each other); ex: one shot they're moving one direction, the next the opposite
-rather subtle errors with the planets, and with lighting
-several subtle errors with the lighting of objects/spaceships/stations and the moon's grounds, in relation to the sun or other bodies
-the sequence features a general air of satire (that is often not really mentioned), and most likely a sly distrust seems to build around the Haywood leading scientist ("elite"?) character (he is generally very ambigious with his messaging and it is never made clear what he means by anything he says around what was found on the moon and the worries surrounding it)

It is not implausible to see this as Kubrick's sly, even subliminal (not intended to be caught consciously by most) joke or expression (to those seeing the film) that the moon landings will end up being staged, or a portion of the footage staged. I do not necessarily think he himself is saying he will stage them (who knows) but perhaps that he predicts they will be or is satirically expressing his dislike for the authorities that want him to do so for the public in the face of "science". It is rather remarkable that there are sly discontinuities and lighting and movement errors in most (maybe all) of the scenes, very unlikely for them (especially all of them) to be accidents with someone like Kubrick, a notorious perfectionist and highly precise mathematician and especially in a film with many advanced technical advisors supposedly assisting him (who he seems to satirize with sly errors throughout).

Now, many of the shots/scenes also seem to have further symbolism in relation to the monolith, which, beyond a symbol of advances being signaled by an alien civilization, is a symbol of consciousness that one must realize, outside of the reality being presented to the viewer. The way the camera placement/views and objects are rotating (exterior shots of the stations and interior shots of cockpits and doorways, etc) are very possibly subliminal symbolism where the viewer is being subliminally pulled towards a realization that the monolith physically represents the screen itself and the viewer him or herself is the conscious entity outside of this, and while viewing, upon recognizing this, upon getting this subliminal message (that starts at the very beginning of the film, where the whole pitch black "overture" screen, with Ligeti's music accompanied, IS "the monolith" itself, you looking directly at it just like each of those in the film forced to confront it in each stage of the movie), one is supposed to become conscious of the difference in realities, starting here and as a gradation throughout the film thereafter. Anyway, the way the camera frames or moves in relation to objects throughout the film and the way those objects behave seems to be a constant subliminal message towards this made more profoundly in the stargate sequence (when the entire light show turns to the side) and when Dave, inside the Renaissance room, perhaps being watched over by intelligent beings (the diamonds in the stargate sequence?), keeps viewing himself in the mirror then "in third person" (symbols of him having the epiphany we are supposed to have with the monolith), until at the very very end the camera finally rushes forward (from his finger pointing at it from his death bed) into full on immersion into the monolith taking up the whole screen again, from which the star child emerges (a rebirth of consciousness) heading back to Earth. Another nuance in those scenes is that one can conspicuously see the camera crew on Dave's helmet in one of the shots, while he is looking directly at us/the camera, as he has perplexedly began "viewing himself" and aging rapidly (unlikely just a "mistake" by Kubrick). He is looking perplexed/stunned/worried in our (and "his other self's") direction, at least that's apparently what's happening. But also, as we can see in the reflection, this starts occurring (in that shot) when he appears to be (based on the reflection) looking directly at the camera crew, very possibly expressing (assuming its intentional) that Dave is recognizing that he is (symbolically) "in a movie" (a false reality) and greater consciousness lies above/outside of that (further symbol of the monolith epiphany we are ideally supposed to have along with the him and the trajectory of the whole movie expressing this subliminally to us) ... And also those, the whole film, seem to have symbolism in coordination with Homer's Odysseus (HAL is the cyclops etc) and with Nietzche's philosophical ideas for Man's advancement (the stages of the film and the star child a metaphor for "Ubermensch", the timings of Thus Spake Zarathustra, along with an "eternal return" theme expressed very subtly throughout the film in its very structure and in many subtext-ually, profoundly related shots/imagery).

Anyway, the additional point or quandary I am eventually getting to with the whole monolith point and Dave's eventual recognition that he (even if just "symbolically") is "inside a movie" (or a "staged" matrix-like, alien-made reality) is that this falls in line with the "staged moon landing" (on TV, for the public, not the real thing) symbolism that is very possibly hidden in the 2nd act (there are many other technical and expressive anomalies and strange nuances beyond that act, I'm just referring to it more specifically to draw attention to the question at hand). Again, this was a year or more before the actual moon landing events so I'm just saying this sort of messaging (if Kubrick was asked to partake in such, as back up footage or whatever), may much more plausibly be in 2001 (or at least much more prominently) than The Shining (which, if there, is maybe just a sly joke, on a child's sweater, than anything else).

And, Kubrick's films from (especially) Strangelove on throughout most of his career are loaded with subtext and skepticism towards the establishment, towards politicians, military, towards "the elites", etc, so its not much of a jump in logic to see more of this in the subtext of his films especially 2001, its timing with the space race, just following the more obvious satire of Dr Strangelove (which lampoons, above all other characters, the ex-Nazi that led the space race for NASA: ).

I hastily typed most of the above so let me know if any of it doesn't read well or doesn't make sense.
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Last edited by AfterHours on 08/23/2022 00:22; edited 9 times in total
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  • #974
  • Posted: 08/20/2022 19:46
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  • #975
  • Posted: 08/21/2022 21:59
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I thought the above was a great video with some insights on Tarkovsky, but also (just a useless aside) I was amused that it appears to be the exact same shot as my avatar.

I don't mean that it is surprising to me that a Stalker photo would feature that essential scene of the film -- just that it appears to be the EXACT same moment as in the avatar, which is also the "person" (me, but not really, because that's just a representation of "self" inside an internet forum) posting said video ... woah, man, like stop and stuff ... let's not go down the rabbit hole as to how that may connote with the comments just prior about 2001/monolith symbolism Laughing

Anyway, here is another interesting one:


And here is a longer one that summarizes his films and art a bit more extensively:


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  • #976
  • Posted: 08/24/2022 02:11
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Insights on Don Caballero's 2?
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  • #977
  • Posted: 08/24/2022 22:44
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AfterHours wrote:
Did you receive my reply about Candyman? There's just "crickets" right now sitting between that reply and your next (these) set of questions... Laughing

Yeah, sorry about that. I forgot to say that what you said about Candyman actually makes sense, I can start to see what you see in it, at least in some areas. And thanks for The Shining analysis! It's definitely I appreciate more than Candyman, personally.
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  • #978
  • Posted: 08/27/2022 21:40
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TiggaTrigga wrote:
AfterHours wrote:
Did you receive my reply about Candyman? There's just "crickets" right now sitting between that reply and your next (these) set of questions... Laughing

Yeah, sorry about that. I forgot to say that what you said about Candyman actually makes sense, I can start to see what you see in it, at least in some areas. And thanks for The Shining analysis! It's definitely I appreciate more than Candyman, personally.

Okay, no worries, it can just get kinda boring when it appears that I am only/mostly writing replies (especially if they're more extensive) "for myself" so to speak. I tend to get less and less interested in providing them if that seems to be the case. So, while it's not something you need to be too concerned with -- in that it's NOT like I'm particularly "upset" with you or anyone else about it when it happens -- my main goal with providing my insights is better met when it also strikes up at least some feedback or conversation. I don't mean to say this is a "requirement" for those asking (and don't let it stop you from doing so) but it is helpful and adds more motivation to me replying, and I am more likely than otherwise to take more time/effort (more consistently, maybe not always, time permitting...) in replying when feedback/conversation is more commonplace or expected. So while, one way or the other, I'll probably still reply to most requests, that's just something to keep in mind in the future (for you or anyone) if that is of interest.

One thing I shouldn't neglect to mention for you or anyone out there is that a very successful way to "polish" or improve one's knowledge of a given work is to convey one's thoughts/insights about it to another or "in a way that forces one to outwardly express said thoughts/insights" (such as in conversation, or on an internet forum or the like). This tends to instill in one a necessity to formulate and describe said knowledge/insights in a coherent (or relatively coherent) way, to work them out from (perhaps abstract, less defined) thoughts into a more defined manner and to align them all into a more cohesive whole. Fundamentally, in the very act of conveying said insights/thoughts in this way, one will tend to bring one's own knowledge up a little bit (maybe more) during the very act of doing so (in forming it, organizing it, so that it can conveyed and understood beyond the somewhat more "abstract" grasp one may have had on it before doing so). It's an interesting exercise that I strongly recommend. It can be surprising how useful it can be to one's own knowledge of a work. I can't tell you how many times I've actually realized a little bit more about a work while in the act of doing this.

On the other hand, while receiving information (such as insights from me, Scaruffi, others) about a work may be of use (for that given work and perhaps some similar works), I am not so sure it has much impact on improving one's own ability to do so on one's own without that assistance (perhaps marginally). But, I am very sure putting oneself in the above type positions (of communicating, conveying one's points to others) does so, at the very least a little bit and often more than that or even markedly. I guess what I am saying is that I recommend not just receiving insights, but really both, especially (and most strongly) the latter. One may start off rather tentative and perhaps even find some difficulty in describing one's points/insights, but is bound to get better and better at it the more one does so (assuming the effort is there, to try and really convey and say something particularly specifics). I think a key is to only state things one is more sure about and where one isn't so sure, then simply qualify them as such. And try not to be afraid of disagreement. And be willing to change one's view if they are altered by additional insights or another's point of view (etc).

I would prefer if this log (or any other lists/pages under discussion) became more like it used to be on listology (at its peak activity) or even better (and like it sometimes approaches here), where there was more discussion/feedback taking place (or even arguments ... at least the more civilized ones!). Again -- if you're not interested in that, don't let it stop you from making comments/asking questions -- it's just a personal preference and something I personally think would make for a more interesting, worthwhile, useful log (for this or any of my lists/pages). I would also LOVE to see others posting their own lists/logs. Facetious has sort of got this going, but it would be great to see more if he has it in him, has the time to do so, etc. As much as I like sharing my own, I am actually quite interested in what you find to be the "best albums/films/paintings" (or whatever art/genre) and if you have any insights you want to share about them.
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  • #979
  • Posted: 08/27/2022 23:56
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homelessking wrote:
Insights on Don Caballero's 2?

I don't have much, if anything, to add to Scaruffi's review.

Features perhaps the greatest drum performance in rock history (across a whole album; Che is so dynamic and acrobatic that, several times, he seems like two percussionists simultaneously). Think the key is following most of it as an ever-evolving analytical dive/immersion (like that of a conscious entity/individual), through all sorts of atmospheres, mental impressions, violent psychological turns, dramas, dangers, catastrophies. And in this wise, it revisits the instrumental, lyricism and technical similarities the likes of Slint (without the more determined, specific narrative) and a much more vigorous, less abstract, less impressionistic Tortoise (almost as if played by the most dynamic, varied instrumental assault of peak Metallica).
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  • #980
  • Posted: 08/29/2022 01:14
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Not sure if I ever asked you this, but when you are listening to an album or watching a movie, during it, are you (1) analyzing it, making thoughts here and there about it (e.g. "This melody fits the gloomy vocals" or "I wonder if there's symbolism behind Kane saying Rosebud") or (2) just being immersed in it, not really taking mental pauses to understand it but rather something along the lines of meditation (or something like that)? Or...both (1) and (2)? Just wanna get more of an idea of what helps you "understand" a piece of art better.

As far as receiving information about a work, I feel like it can have a decent impact on understanding a piece of art. It at least provides some context on what makes a certain piece of art great. Sometimes I can immediately understand a good chunk of what a certain song is trying convey using the elements within it, but very often I have trouble putting it to words what it's trying to do or why it's doing what it's doing. Especially the more abstract stuff like material from Neu, Red Krayola, and the infamous Captain Beefheart.

Maybe in the future I could make a list. Not sure if I could coherently share why the entrants on the list are on it (again, I have trouble putting into words the expression of art).
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