Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Shining

Verble sitting at the counter with Lucky Moran and John Steppenwolf, talking about nothing at all, when for no apparent reason, blurts out,

"You know, there just come those moments on a Saturday night, when it's getting late, and you just have to watch The Shining."

Steppenwolf says, "Now that you mention it, I think you're right . . .. 'Honey! - I'm home!' - classic!"

Verble says, "And really, I don't even know why, it's just one of those things."

Lucky Moran says, "My dad let me watch it when I was a kid - scared the pee out of me. I mean, I was a kid myself still riding around on my big wheel. and those girls! 'Come play with us - forEVER and EVER and EVER!' Man, that still gives me the heebie jeebies!''

"Know what you mean," says the Steppenwolf, "Every time I stay in an old hotel, with carpet and REALLY long hallways, I keep expecting to see those girls."

"In many ways it was a pinnacle production for three great talents, and that's why I think it was so powerful: Stephen King really exploded onto the horror story scene with that one, and in many ways it is still the standard for all his books. Stanley Kubrick, I mean wow! The guy had already blown the world away with A Clockwork Orange and 2001, and now here's this horror story, and then, of course, Jack Nicholoson!"

"Nickolson was the only guy who could have done that part," says Lucky. "I mean, heck, people don't even remember the characters name!"

"Wasn't it Jack?" says Steppenwolf.

"All I can remember is him sticking his head through the hole in the door saying, 'Heeeerre''s Johnny!' - What is it about that face through the door? Why has that become such an icon?"

"It's got to be that look," says Verble. "That look on his face . . . pure malevolent evil."

The Barista, walking up to the men, offers this, "You are essentially accurate when you state that it was the culmination of work by three masters of their craft: the story, the art of the film, and the actor. But at the heart of it all, really, the key to the continuing popularity of the film is that it enacts the secret fantasy of every man . . . which is to chop his wife and children to bits with an ax."

The three men are silent for a few moments. Finally, Verble asks, "Your film study class is being taught by a feminist, isn't it?"

The Barista's mouth curls slightly. "She does have a Master's in Women's Studies, yeah."

The men groan loudly, "Oh yeah!" "Knew it" "Good god!" and moving their arms and turning their heads side to side.

"But that doesn't mean it's not a valid point!"

"All feminist interpretation and no sheer fun make Barista a dull movie watcher!" says Lucky.

"Thanks a lot!" says Verble. "I don't think I'll be able to watch it again, not after hearing that! Tell your feminist boss thanks for ruining a perfect guy movie"
The Barista replies dryly, "And I'm sure she'll be happy to know that she's put one more notch in her belt!"

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