Study Guide

The Shining Director

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Stanley Kubrick

The director of The Shining is Stanley Kubrick. 'Nuff said.

Just kidding—there really can't ever be enough said about Stanley Kubrick. When it comes to literature written about film directors, Kubrick is right up there with the best of them.

Or, in the case of The Shining, the worst of them. A lot of the buzz around Kubrick's directorial style when it came to shooting the Overlook Hotel comes down to his being a harsh taskmaster. By the time he was done filming The Shining, actors Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall were either seriously ill or throwing away their scripts because Kubrick had a way of changing their lines every few hours.

According to the lore of people who worked on The Shining, Kubrick would sometimes reshoot the same scene over a hundred times. Just think about that for a second and imagine yourself going through the same movements and lines (with minor adjustments) over a hundred freaking times.

It'd be enough to drive anyone nuts if they weren't the kind of wacky perfectionist that Kubrick was… or the genius that Kubrick was. This guy puts the "ur" in "auteur"—he's regarded as the original original. He's the filmmaker's filmmaker, the critic's filmmaker, and the difficult-rogue-genius' filmmaker.

List off any of Kubrick's films in an auditorium full of film students, and you're bound to elicit cries of pure pleasure and admiration. This is the guy who, before setting his sights on creepy twins and cinematic Colorado landscapes, helmed such controversial and lauded movies as Lolita, Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and A Clockwork Orange.

And after The Shining? Well, he directed Full Metal Jacket and Eyes Wide Shut. But people have suggested that it's The Shining that reigns as Kubrick's masterpiece, and that this film channels all the obsessive, detail-oriented brilliance of this infamous director.

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