I saw THE SHINING about eight or nine times during the first run. (I DIDN'T get to see the original cut in NYC, which I'll always regret.) About the 4th time through, near the end of the film, as Hallorann is walking through the lobby, as Jack is about to attack, I had the odd sensation of being in the fictional space. I've never had this sensation before or since, and originally attributed it to a misfired synapse or a shift in the earth's axis. But that sense never left me, and I didn't consider it anything other than delusional until I read Yates. Here's what I think happened: Kubrick goes to great pains to "map out" the Overlook, through continual tracking shots; by showing various spaces at different times of day and during different seasons; by, in effect, superimposing the "map" of the maze onto the Overlook, etc. Critics saw the construction of a luxury hotel within a soundstage as pure excess on Kubrick's part, another example of his eccentricity, but there was a method to his madness. By connecting all the sets, Kubrick could have the action flow from room to room, again mapping the space. THAT'S why the famous early shot of Danny circling the Colorado lounge on his trike is so important. Kubrick is practically screaming at us to pay attention to the topography. (The shot of Poole jogging in Discovery serves a similar purpose.) So . . . by the time you get near the end of the film (i.e., Hallorann in the lobby), you've pretty much covered the entire space of the hotel and from every imaginable angle. And you've seen it both objectively (the smooth, wide-angle tracking shots) and subjectively (the hand-held shot, from both Danny and Jack's perspective, as they enter Room 237). The net result is that Kubrick allows you to create an extremely accurate, and potentially tangible, representation of the hotel within your brain. And THAT is what THE ART OF MEMORY is all about. (M.G.)
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