As it’s known, we like to fancy ourselves to be cinephiles over here at Tablet. So when news comes along that allow us to break out the popcorn, we happily do. This week it was announced that this coming Halloween, the American version of Stanley Kubrick’s film “The Shining” will be screened for the first time in its entirety in the United Kingdom. Based on the Stephen King novel, the American-version of “The Shining” is twenty-four minutes longer than the British version, which in Kubrick-time means a whole lot can (and does) happen.
Just this past winter, Scroll Editor Emeritus Marc Tracy put together an essay about “The Shining, in which he chronicled, quite thoroughly, the belief among many that “The Shining” was Kubrick’s Holocaust film.
And among the most prominent is that of Professor Geoffrey Cocks, of Albion College, author of The Wolf at the Door: Stanley Kubrick, History, and the Holocaust. For Cocks, whom I chatted with this morning, The Shining is the Holocaust film that Kubrick, who grew up in a Jewish Bronx household in the 1930s (his father was born Jacob but Anglicized it to Jack—the name of Jack Nicholson’s deranged protagonist), always wanted to make but felt that, for aesthetic reasons, he could never make except in the most oblique possible manner.
The Times highlights the prevalence of the number 42 in the film—Danny, Jack and Wendy’s son, wears a t-shirt with the number on it; Wendy takes 42 swings of her baseball bat at Jack—and notes that since the early ‘70s, that number was seen as an ominous metonym for the Final Solution, which was launched in 1942. (The number was prominent in the ‘70s also as the answer to Douglas Adams’ question.) But there’s more.
For the rest, check it out here. For our British readers, get thee to a cinema.
Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’ to Return to U.K. Theaters [Hollywood Reporter]
Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.