It’s no secret that Stephen King hates Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of his story, The Shining, and it seems the author just can’t let it rest. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, King laid into the Shining once again, but also found time to slam last years baffling documentary, Room 237.
While discussing The Shining, King said:
“I don’t get it. But there are a lot of things that I don’t get. But obviously people absolutely love it, and they don’t understand why I don’t. The book is hot, and the movie is cold; the book ends in fire, and the movie in ice. In the book, there’s an actual arc where you see this guy, Jack Torrance, trying to be good, and little by little he moves over to this place where he’s crazy,” King elaborates. “And as far as I was concerned, when I saw the movie, Jack was crazy from the first scene.”
“I had to keep my mouth shut at the time,” he continued. “It was a screening, and Nicholson was there. But I’m thinking to myself the minute he’s on the screen, ‘Oh, I know this guy. I’ve seen him in five motorcycle movies, where Jack Nicholson played the same part.’ And it’s so misogynistic. I mean, Wendy Torrance is just presented as this sort of screaming dishrag. But that’s just me; that’s the way I am.”
King then got stuck in to the Room 237 documentary, which was directed by Rodney Ascher. The baffling yet creepily fascinating doc shows scary fans delving deep into possible meanings in Kubricks film, and the theories get more and more out there as the film goes on.
King has no time for it:
“…Well, let me put it this way – I watched about half of it and got sort of impatient with it and turned it off
These guys were reaching. I’ve never had much patience for academic bullshit. It’s like Dylan says, “You give people a lot of knives and forks, they’ve gotta cut something.” And that was what was going on in that movie”
It wasn’t all doom and gloom though, and while King is not a huge fan of movie adaptations, he did admit to having some favourites:
“Probably ‘Stand by Me.’ I thought it was true to the book, and because it had the emotional gradient of the story,” King said, adding: “It was moving…When the movie was over, I hugged [Rob Reiner] because I was moved to tears, because it was so autobiographical. But ‘Stand by Me,’ ‘Shawshank Redemption,’ ‘Green Mile’ are all really great ones. ‘Misery’ is a great film. ‘Dolores Claiborne’ is a really, really good film. ‘Cujo’ is terrific.”
He then went to to explain why he is not a huge fan of film:
“The movies have never been a big deal to me. The movies are the movies. They just make them. If they’re good, that’s terrific. If they’re not, they’re not. But I see them as a lesser medium than fiction, than literature, and a more ephemeral medium,” he said.