Jack Forman – Mustangs Ahead
(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – The rich history of film expands past common perception, as many films that get released today barely deserve the label “masterpiece.” This allows people to compare art to garbage.
Many people don’t have the time or money to see the good films, so they can’t truly understand the difference without putting in research and reading reviews.
In this set of articles, I want to describe what makes my favorite films so special and why everyone should watch them.
Every film on my list will always have one factor in common: they will be good movies that stand out in a genre.
From superhero films to horror movies, these examples are some of the greatest pieces of art produced for the widescreen.
Sophomore Nolan Carpenter said, “Hollywood dishes out so many bad movies that when a quality one comes out, it’s underappreciated because such unqualified movies have flooded the industry.”
The Shining (1980)
(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)- “The Shining” (1980) is one of cinema’s most mysterious and haunting experiences. It’s a film that can fuel wild speculative theories because it never reveals its full hand.
Many horror films feature a seemingly unstoppable villain, but there always comes the scene when the main protagonist details how to defeat the monster, making him more relatable and less frightening. Though “The Shining” is littered with hints and clues about a tangible villain, it still never manifests itself into a physical entity. You fear what you don’t understand, and this film relies on this.
The film begins when a writer, Jack Terrence (Jack Nicholson), and his family help take care of a secluded hotel for the winter. The problem is, he snaps at some point during the stay and threatens to kill his family. It sounds simple, right? Well it’s not at all presented that way.
Did he plan the murder all along or was he possessed by an evil entity within the hotel? Was the movie about European settlers slaughtering the Native Americans, or is it based on director Stanley Kubrick faking the 1969 moon landing? The motives are entirely unclear and the film is littered with ideas and lines that make you rethink your previous theory.
The most captivating subject is the way Kubrick realistically delves deep into the realm of domestic abuse. Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and Jack’s son Danny (Danny Lloyd) are snow bound in this isolated location with Jack, just as many women and children are trapped in abusive relationships. As a spectator, you want to yell, “What are you doing? Get out of there!”
The film refers to issues ranging from slavery, to the extermination of the native Americans, reminding you that even events in the distant past still reverberate today.
Nicholson’s character does so much with facial expression alone that you can’t take your eyes off his performance for less than a moment.
From the beginning of the film, you hear an evil, maniacal score playing over a shot of the characters’ car driving through the mountains. This gives a creepy feeling of an evil presence watching over, making you feel helpless to fight back, as if the trees themselves are scheming.
Kubrick fills you full of dread with a long, drowning, ominous soundtrack that never lets the audience breathe. The hotel seduces Jack throughout the film with a relieving melody, while transforming the image of his loving family into this horrible, oppressive noise. Then, Kubrick includes a nightmare orchestra of stabbing violins that makes you uneasy as you sit watching the horror.
The film ends with a final, lingering shot leading to the so-called “gold room,” a spot we’ve passed so many times throughout the length of this film. Then the camera pans to a wall populated with black and white photos from a different time, and in the middle of them, you see a photo of a lively party. In front of a sea of people, Jack Terrence is seen inviting us in. The answer to the riddle was hidden in plain sight.
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