The insanity of space in Kubrick’s The Shining

Image of The Shining animated GIF

Image credit: Mr Whaite's awesome work. Click image for link.

A few weeks ago Andy Rush shared a link to the following video essay on YouTube which features Rob Ager of Collative Learning discussing spatial awareness in Stanley Kubrick’s horor masterpiece The Shining. The video was so brilliantly done, and the reading so smart that I haven’t stopped thinking about it since so I figured I would try and blog it to see if that breaks the spell. Ager talks about how playing a modified level of Duke Nuke Em that was redesigned to replicate the Overlook Hotel got him thinking about some of the spatial impossibilities of this. All the more curious given how detail obsessed Kubrick was more generally about his films. What follows then, is a meticulous and intelligent reading by Ager of space in The Shining and how Kubrick might be using this seeming impossibility as a way to more subtly communicate the subconscious horror of space in this film. This is so brilliantly done, the model for video essays in my mind, plus the choice of film doesn’t suck 🙂

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3 Responses to The insanity of space in Kubrick’s The Shining

  1. Allan Gyorke says:

    I have watched that film so many times and never noticed any of these issues. For whatever reason, they make the film much more creepy.

    This is also an excellent example of why fair use needs to exist.

  2. Reverend says:


    I couldn’t agree with you more on that count. This is one of my top 3 films all time, and he opened up a whole new world to the subtext. A fair use argument indeed, and we need more of this at our universities.

  3. Pingback: The Shining as Seen through Duke Nukem | bavatuesdays

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