Sometimes in my job as a film professor, the topic arises: why show certain things at all? For example, does any movie really need even a discreet rape scene? Why not just a title card that says “a rape happened” and move on? Why did anyone ever make The Human Centipede? Why show certain things, aren’t they only gonna give us nightmares? This is also known as My Mother’s General Case Against All Horror Movies.

These days, I am so happy that Stanley Kubrick made The Shining. As the film just turned 40, many of its biggest fans just learned that it was a critical and box-office flop upon release. Stephen King loathed this particular adaptation of his work. Count me as one of the people who was less than impressed upon first viewing. But it grows on you like blood coming out of an elevator. When it came out, I *was* that annoying nine-year-old boy with a bowl cut named Danny. Today I *have* that 11-year-old named Darry. And when he pushes me to the breaking point, I think about Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance, and I…laugh. It’s a comfort, I tell you.

I do NOT want anyone to read this and think that I have reached or am anywhere near reaching Jack Torrance levels of cabin-fever insanity. Oh, God, no. If that was the case, I doubt any movie would be helpful in any way. No. Dar wouldn’t know how to ride a Big Wheel around our house, but he finds many other ways to make life difficult. The screaming. The loud noises that are like hanging out in The Bush with monkeys. The asking for things without being able to say “yes” or “no” as confirmation. The food stealing. The mess-making. The throwing things over the fence, requiring me to mask up and walk around the house to gather them. The splashing. The bathroom inconsistencies. And this week especially, the coming up to me every other minute asking me to make a noise he finds funny. Really, it’s remarkable I get anything done besides CDM – Constant Dar Management.

Fairly sure this one minute and 25 seconds includes the best-ever use of both Peter Gabriel’s Solisbury Hill and Thomas Newman’s score from The Shawshank Redemption. Yeah, you heard me.

 

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