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THE SHINING: A VISUAL AND CULTURAL HAUNTING

The Shining: A Visual and Cultural Haunting - CoverIn 1980, Warner Bros. released a psychological horror film about a man who slowly turns mad while looking after an empty hotel with his wife and child. The film's called, 'The Shining', and it was directed by the late, great, Stanley Kubrick, and starred Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers, and Danny Lloyd. Here, check out the following video clip for a quick overview…







So, why are we talking about this film? Well, to cut a long story short, our mates over at Rough Trade Books are planning to publish a loose-leafed and beautifully boxed book that focuses on the aforementioned film. Entitled, 'The Shining: A Visual and Cultural Haunting', it will explore the film's cultural legacy through exclusive essays and interviews, along with original recollections, contributions from cultural luminaries, as well as art and printed ephemera.


The Shining: A Visual and Cultural Haunting - Pile


Why does this book come in a loose-leafed format? Throughout the course of the film, Jack Nicholson's character, Jack Torrance, is working on a 'writing project', and this is reflected in the overall design of the book.


The Shining: A Visual and Cultural Haunting - Three Books


Who was interviewed? Two of the lead actors who starred in 'The Shining'. Namely, Shelley Duvall, who played Jack's wife, Wendy Torrance, and Danny Lloyd, who played their mutual son, Danny.


The Shining: A Visual and Cultural Haunting - Jumper


Who contributed to this book? To examine the film through a contemporary lens, several specialists came on board to write specific chapters for the book. This includes…
  • Gavin Turk: An artist who explores myths, mirrors, and mazes.
  • Margaret Howell: A fashion designer who describes her iconic maroon jacket, worn by Jack at the end of the film.
  • Cosey Fanni Tutti: An artist and a musician who examines the sound design and the unfolding domestic violence featured within the film.
  • John Grindrod: An architect and a writer who analyses the role of the Overlook Hotel and the impact of such spaces on our behavior.
  • Jen Calleja: An author who focuses on folklore and fairytales.
  • James Lavelle: A producer who expands upon his enduring fascination with Kubrick and his art.
  • Michael Blyth: A BFI curator and an author who explores the differences between Shelley Duvall's character in the film and the original Stephen King novel.


The Shining: A Visual and Cultural Haunting - Two Tag


Aside from the interviews and the essays, will there be any pictures in this book? Yes, plenty of them, as art plays a significant role in 'The Shining', both literally and metaphorically, because historical paintings adorned the walls of the Overlook Hotel and the work of classical and conceptual artists are essential to the film's appearance and nature. So, to carefully reproduce these images, a number of artists were enlisted to create artwork for the book. Artists like Alex Colville, A.Y. Jackson, Fredrick H. Varley, and many, many more.


The Shining: A Visual and Cultural Haunting - Designs


Who are Rough Trade Books? According to their press release, Rough Trade Books are a publishing house that's modeled after an independent record label. They were founded in June, 2018, and since then, they've produced books about films ('They Live'), artists (Madge Gill), musicians (Enya), and others styles of entertainment. Every Monday, between 2pm and 4pm, they also host a show on Soho Radio's culture channel.


The Shining: A Visual and Cultural Haunting - Stuff


Anything else worth mentioning? 'The Shining: A Visual and Cultural Haunting' also contains several reproductions and republished pieces of text, including…
  • Original promotional postcards, featuring numerous locations that inspired the design of the Overlook Hotel.
  • Original hotel ephemera, showcasing existing hotels that cite direct influences on the Overlook Hotel, such as Native American themes, promotional decor, and even room design and names.
  • Three republished pieces of text that helped Kubrick prepare for the film, including extracts from H.P. Lovecraft's essay, 'Supernatural Horror in Literature', Stephen Crane's short story, 'The Blue Hotel', and Sigmund Freud's thesis, 'The Uncanny'.
  • Pre-existing elements featured in the film, such as ephemera from music, magazines, commercial culture, and design.
  • Archival promotional material from the BFI. Not only associated with 'The Shining', but other films discussed within it.



For further information, please feel free to check out Rough Trade Books' official Website, Instagram, and Twitter pages. Or better yet, why not back this book via their current Kickstarter campaign!

THE SHINING: A VISUAL AND CULTURAL HAUNTING THE SHINING: A VISUAL AND CULTURAL HAUNTING Reviewed by David Andrews on March 10, 2022 Rating: 5

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