We All Shine On...

For the last few years, I've kicked off my IB Year 2 Film classes with Stanley Kubrick's classic The Shining. In addition to all the thematic layers on which it can be analyzed, the amazing technical aspects, and how those elements intersect in such fascinating ways- its just an engaging film that (to my mind anyway) its still scary-as-all-get-out 30 years later.

Yes, but what is the shining? It's the question that is always asked and also helps dive into the textual analysis of the film. As we discussed it this time around, I threw out this tangential bit of trivia- Stephen King originally got the idea for The Shining while listening to the Plastic Ono Band's Instant Karma. You know, like "we all shine on, like the moon and the stars and the sun"?

Interesting little tidbit of information anyway, but I also came across this neat bit as well- the image of the twins was inspired by the Diane Arbus photo (pictured above) Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey, 1967. This got me thinking about how interesting the confluence of multiple sources of inspiration result in totally new works of art. An energetic John Lennon song and an Arbus photo of two innocent little girls who happened to look alike. Who could have seen The Shining as a result of those inspirations*?

How do you teach "mash up anything that inspires you and make it new"?

*granted these are not, by any stretch of the imagination, the only influences that resulted in The Shining.


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