Jack Nicholson in The Shining
[Image: Warner Bros]

What is The Shining really about?’

That's a question that has been asked over and over and over again ever since the horror film was released back in 1980.

So much so that a documentary entitled "Room 237," which examines the various different theories that viewers have about the true meaning of "The Shining" was even made in 2012. 

In it, one viewer suggests that "The Shining" is about the genocide of Native Americans, while another theorized that it is proof Kubrick directed the fake moon landing.

 

But what’s the real answer? Well, according to Leon Vitali, Kubrick’s long-time right-hand man who played a key role in the development of "The Shining," none of them are.

“All I can say is when I was looking for the little boy in ‘The Shining,’ Stanley actually said to me, ‘I need you to go around all the hotels and photograph everything. Kitchens. Staff quarters. Ball rooms. Offices.’ I must have taken thousands of photographs," Vitali recalled.

“These were used to help build the sets. Of course, in kitchen larders you would have all these cases of corn oil and certain brands. But they turned it into a thing about apologizing to the Indians. It becomes so sort of fancifully farcical.”

“There is a picture of a skier going downhill. Which is just that. But one of the theories is that it is the devil. You can’t help but think, ‘Oh my goodness. What are these people on?’ There were no hidden meanings in that way.”

I then pointed out to Vitali that this just proves how impressive Kubrick was as a director, as so many people could have so many different reactions to one movie. 

“Exactly. I don’t know whether it comes out in ‘Filmworker’ or not, but you had to think quickly and keep going just to keep up with him.”

“Very often it was because he was changing direction. But Stanley wouldn’t think too much into these things. He would find all these theories laughable.”

You can learn more about Stanley Kubrick and the career of Leon Vitali in the documentary “Filmworker,” which is now in cinemas in New York and will extend across the country over the next few weeks and months. 

You can find out exactly where and when it will be hitting your city by clicking here

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