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Word Count: 1,555
The Shining is to graze in a field of possibilities to lose oneself in a phantom garden to seek the shapes of clouds 2001 is a passive vision of the universe and history and thought itself The Shining is an active experience like an intimate conversation with an uncomfortable relation or an old nearly forgotten friend who remembers more of the friendship than we do It pulls us gently in and traps us there to tell us horrible things Unlike more straightforward works and Id even place 2001 in that category with regard to The Shining I would argue that this film beckons to us to help it out Kubricks strategies involve a radical and extreme involvement on the part of the audience At every crucial point in the film we as audience members are given moments to reflect to question and to disagree The most apparent of these is when Jack leaves the locked pantry in which Wendy has confined him The unexplainable nature of the escape he manifests calls into question nearly everything weve seen so far Are the ghosts he sees then real and he not mad The Shining practically begs us to ask questions of it and to demand answers back And the film is prepared to provide us with a meaningful dialogue The pace is certainly more leisurely than horror films are supposed to be Were prejudiced into thinking that horror gore no time to think catharsis The film undermines each of these Were given only sporadic bloodshed a puzzling and contradictory ending and most upsetting of all much more time to think on our own than we feel we ought to have This is far from a roller-coaster ride of terror Kubrick again and again asks us to look at why we came to The Shining and to feel ashamed How small how petty we are to expect to be entertained by watching an abusive alcoholic
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