Sunday, 20 March 2011

Review of The Shining

Stanley Kubrick's 1980's psychological thriller 'The Shining' based on the novel by Stephen King is a classic example of how cinematography can affect the mind of the audience in order for them to become involved in the story of the protagonists. The story follows the Torrence family as they become caretakers for a large hotel up in the mountains during the harsh winter. Within this secluded setting the story delves into their isolation and paranoia.

It is clear that the three members of the family represent different parts of the human psyche. The dominant law enforcer or the (Super ego) being the father. The mother is the passive compramiser or the (ego) and the child, Danny is the (Id) the untamed uninitiated mind. Elements of the cinimatography, the camer angles and lighting all add to the paranoia of the characters. The photo to the right ( ) shows how a high angle elongated shot from behind the child takes the audience into a "god" view point becoming the second 'presence' in the room, an unseen presence. As the shot is from behind the child and the child is purposfully made to appear small in the shot his isolation is made even more enhanced. Our unseen precense also encourages the character to become paranoid.

Other elements of the cinematography such as lighting or coloured filters add to the menacing atmosphere of the mese en scene. The photo below ( from one of the final scenes in the film utalises specific lighting and green filters to create the cold icy atmosphere .

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