In previous films, you have worked within the conventions of specific genres (science-fiction, thriller, war film, etc.). Were you attracted to The Shining because it gave you the opportunity to explore the laws of a new genre in your career?
Stanley Kubrick: About the only law that I think relates to the genre is that you should not try to explain, to find neat explanations for what happens, and that the object of the thing is to produce a sense of the uncanny. Freud in his essay on the uncanny wrote that the sense of the uncanny is the only emotion which is more powerfully expressed in art than in life, which I found very illuminating; it didn’t help writing the screenplay, but I think it’s an interesting insight into the genre. And I read an essay by the great master H.P. Lovecraft where he said that you should never attempt to explain what happens, as long as what happens stimulates people’s imagination, their sense of the uncanny, their sense of anxiety and fear. And as long as it doesn’t, within itself, have any obvious inner contradictions, it is just a matter of, as it were, building on the imagination (imaginary ideas, surprises, etc.), working in this area of feeling. I think also that the ingeniousness of a story like this is something which the audience ultimately enjoy; they obviously wonder as the story goes on what’s going to happen, and there’s a great satisfaction when it’s all over not having been able to have anticipated the major developments of the story, and yet at the end not to feel that you have been fooled or swindled.


Amazing advice from Kubrick (of course) on working within the horror genre.

In previous films, you have worked within the conventions of specific genres (science-fiction, thriller, war film, etc.). Were you attracted to The Shining because it gave you the opportunity to explore the laws of a new genre in your career?

Stanley Kubrick: About the only law that I think relates to the genre is that you should not try to explain, to find neat explanations for what happens, and that the object of the thing is to produce a sense of the uncanny. Freud in his essay on the uncanny wrote that the sense of the uncanny is the only emotion which is more powerfully expressed in art than in life, which I found very illuminating; it didn’t help writing the screenplay, but I think it’s an interesting insight into the genre. And I read an essay by the great master H.P. Lovecraft where he said that you should never attempt to explain what happens, as long as what happens stimulates people’s imagination, their sense of the uncanny, their sense of anxiety and fear. And as long as it doesn’t, within itself, have any obvious inner contradictions, it is just a matter of, as it were, building on the imagination (imaginary ideas, surprises, etc.), working in this area of feeling. I think also that the ingeniousness of a story like this is something which the audience ultimately enjoy; they obviously wonder as the story goes on what’s going to happen, and there’s a great satisfaction when it’s all over not having been able to have anticipated the major developments of the story, and yet at the end not to feel that you have been fooled or swindled.

Amazing advice from Kubrick (of course) on working within the horror genre.

Notes

  1. larsvontrierr reblogged this from kubrickit
  2. sthennos reblogged this from strangewood
  3. 11thcloud reblogged this from vehxt
  4. dlbogosian reblogged this from xstachx
  5. anunnaki-genetics reblogged this from xstachx
  6. mowgliprynne reblogged this from xstachx
  7. bro-basquill reblogged this from nathenstreet
  8. yurei-machine reblogged this from salamandatory and added:
    This is why i get so pissed off when people whine about how a movie “doesn’t make sense” or “doesn’t explain anything.”...
  9. salamandatory reblogged this from cbjeebies
  10. cbjeebies reblogged this from cansofbeans
  11. ifoundabody reblogged this from v-o-g-u-e-i-s-a-r-t
  12. machia-velli reblogged this from v-o-g-u-e-i-s-a-r-t
  13. msbolshevik reblogged this from taffetapunk
  14. aslimpixie reblogged this from abnegad0
  15. taffetapunk reblogged this from foxxhole2122
  16. 40068 reblogged this from v-o-g-u-e-i-s-a-r-t
  17. tradramblings reblogged this from cansofbeans
  18. fart-patio reblogged this from davechisholmmusicandcomics
  19. peaceblank reblogged this from cansofbeans
  20. cansofbeans reblogged this from davechisholmmusicandcomics
  21. davechisholmmusicandcomics reblogged this from foxxhole2122 and added:
    I love this. Kubrick was a total genius.
  22. frostkillinghour reblogged this from v-o-g-u-e-i-s-a-r-t
  23. foxxhole2122 reblogged this from righteouspineapple