A schlock masterpiece. No matter what Stephen King thought of the liberties taken with his novel, Stanley Kubrick was the perfect director to adapt his work, perhaps second only to Brian de Palma. Despite all his arty, ponderous tendencies, Kubrick strove to entertain the pants off you, while King simply wanted to scare 'em right off. Call the registry, it was a match made in heaven.

10 Reasons Why THE SHINING is Transcendent, Genius Bad Art (Apart from "Here's Johnny!!!"):

1. Opening credits roll over portentous overhead shots of the Rocky Mountains, rendering man as puny and helpless against ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING.

2. As Jack Torrance, Jack Nicholson is clearly krraazzzyy from the get-go, his eyes bulging, his grin gaggingly sinister, even in the early interview scenes!

3. Tony: Danny's "imaginary friend who lives inside his mouth". REDRUM!

4. A piercingly loud and melodramatic but effective orchestral/electronic score, with contributions from Bela Bartok and Wendy Carlos.

5. Jack fucks around with a dead woman in room 237.

6. Poor Shelley Duvall, so fabulous in any Altman film, is reduced to an irritating victim who nonetheless gets to work out just a little aggression (and a lot of screaming).

7. Scatman Crothers refers to the Torrances as "irresponsible assholes", hours before getting the ax.

8. Voluminous quantities of Cran-Grape juice gushing from an elevator.

9. That amazing climactic chase through the snowy labyrinth, echoing endless shots of Danny studiously driving his Hot Wheels through the Overlook's corridors.

10. "Darling. Light, of my life. I'm not gonna hurt ya. You didn't let me finish my sentence. I said, I'm not gonna hurt ya. I'm just gonna bash yer brains in."



Culled from a 1976 Parisian concert... Unsurprisingly admits she's "half-high" midway through... invites the audience to sing ever so softly along to an ineffably sorrowful rendition of the easy listening standard "Feelings"... insistently calls out for her good friend David Bowie in the audience (he's not there) and scolds someone to "sit down!"... partakes in climactic African dance number... bows before the audience by kneeling and raising her hands to heaven as if in prayer... shows off her 200-year-old necklace and likens herself to a queen, and no one dare argues... alternately playful, stubborn, talented, idiosyncratic, commanding, wavering, sexy, androgynous, defiant, pleading, lackadaisical, vulnerable, bewildering, mesmeric...


Jacque Tati's 1967 masterpiece is all concrete and glass, with something always transpiring in the foreground and the background. It's about Mr. Hulot, of course, and a gaggle of American tourists in Paris admiring how "everything here is just like home". It's about modernism and futurism and their adherents to architecture and a fascinating time capsule of how at once everything was breathtaking and ridiculous and clever and redundant. It's about updating silent-era slapstick only making it subtler than Chaplin and more cerebral than Keaton. It's about carefully constructing a world prone to chaos, and really taking advantage at what one can do with film and a widescreen lens. It's about playfully dissecting a society without obscuring his obvious affection for it.