The Shining on the Big Screen

Apparently for the past few years TMC  has been sponsoring the return of The Shining to regular movie theaters for the Halloween season.  The next showings will be on October 26, so check the following site for showtime locations:

I was far too little to see this movie when it was originally released in theaters.  Although I begged my parents, but the answer was always no.  I couldn't understand why because I had been allowed to read the book which was probably more intense than a film. So I had to wait for it to be shown on TV mangled to hell because of TV censors.  Later on I saw the film on VHS, DVD and Itunes.  It showed well on all the formats.  But this film was made for Big Cinema and that is where it should be viewed at least once.

The small screen allows the film fan a bit more safe space and objectivity that is banned when watching it on a big screen.  The big screen shows how huge the spaces are, so that often the actors are dwarfed.  You can hear their voices echoing around the space.  The sheer desolate space, isolation and loneliness oozing from the screen is oppressive.  The opening set piece of a helicopter shot stalking Jack on his ride to the Overlook Hotel changes completely on a large screen.  On a TV screen it looks beautiful and scenic.  On the big screen, it feels as if you are hanging by your fingernails off the side of the helicopter.  You can see the sheer drops into deep ravines.

The soundtrack is amazing.  Not only the music but the ambient sound filled with furtive movement that works on the subconscious.  The heartbeat sound overlay thumps in your body quite disturbingly. The vocal chorus in one of the songs, Kubrick cuts and uses continually in diabolical ways.

It didn't look as if the showing was in HD.  It seemed to mimic the original look of the film.  It was in the original aspect ratio.  The non-HD allowed the actors' faces to look less harsh.  Which was a good thing because the film is filled with extreme close ups where you can almost travel up their noses.  I noticed that Shelley Duvall's performance is enhanced on a big screen.  She looks small, frail, elfin and extremely girlish.  She is like an overgrown child who is definitely not ready to face something horrific in a haunted hotel.  Nicholson becomes more menacing.  I also noticed that the film captured minute micro-expressions on the actors that the small screen totally misses.  It only expands the depth of the performances given by all the actors.

It was a great experience, and I recommend seeing it while it is in the theaters.

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