Rightwing Film Geek

The Shining, Miramax Cut

Just be glad that Harvey Weinstein wasn’t in the biz around 1980. Otherwise look at what he’d have done to THE SHINING.

THE SHINING was actually one of the few films from that era that I recall seeing in a theater (the cinephilia bug bit in the late-1980s … prior to that I rarely went to movies.) I saw THE SHINING, at the Galaxy on I-35 and Austin Highway, with my parents and sister and was so queasily scared by it (not terrified exactly … I remember the feeling), that I asked to be excused at the moment I could no longer bear the tension … when Scatman Crothers arrives at the Overlook Hotel. While my parents and sister watched the rest of the movie, I went to the game room to play Space Invaders.

But really, is it much more risible than this (indisputably real) trailer for NOBODY KNOWS or the poster you see here with its blinding white light and greeting-card-like soft focus or the happy-giddy kid on the DVD box. (By the way, NOBODY KNOWS is now out on disc. You really should see it.) Now obviously, I take second-place to nobody in my love for NOBODY KNOWS. And Lord knows, I’m not an idealist — I accept that distributors have to make money and I pity the fool who had to sell Kore-eda’s movie. “Saddest movie I’ve ever seen” is accurate, but not exactly a recommendation to many. But jeez-louise … just viewing that trailer again right there, I actually laughed out loud at “about to embark on the journey of a lifetime.” Somebody deciding to go to NOBODY KNOWS based on that trailer would be in for a nasty shock

What these trailers prove irrefutably that a movie is not “what,” but “how.” This knowledge was obviously Old Hat who know about the Kuleshov Experiment and can name the actor Kuleshov used (Mozhukin, thank you very much). And this is why I pay little attention to trailers (they’re made to sell the movie, without regard to accurately reflecting the film) and no heed whatsoever to those who react to a movie, either in praise or denunciation, based on its subject matter (Christian groups regrettably too present among them). Individuals have their sweet spots obviously (I love boxing movies, for example), but subject matter is at best neutral and I’d probably say ultimately of no importance as it can be manipulated by editing, juxtaposition, scoring and plotting. A genius can make something out of nothing. A hack director or the wrong actors can mess up a brilliant script or story.

October 3, 2005 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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