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(Salon)   Stephen King is still bummed that Stanley Kubrick altered "The Shining," despite the fact that film is a different medium than print, direct adaptations are deathly dull, and that King didn't have a gun to his head when he optioned the film rights   (salon.com) divider line 224
    More: Stupid, Stanley Kubrick, auteurs, everyman, Jack Nicholson  
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1331 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 02 Oct 2013 at 1:40 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-10-02 01:21:50 PM  
Kubrick was a hack, King has a right to be bummed. Making changes because it will play better on film is sometimes necessary. Rewriting the whole thing to satisfy your massive ego, makes one a hack.
 
2013-10-02 01:29:14 PM  
That's surely the chief reason why he detests Kubrick's portrayal of Wendy as a gibbering victim; King's Wendy chooses to be a heroine.

He's dead right about that - the character is far more interesting in the book version. Kubrick's interpretation could be easily labeled as misogynist.
 
2013-10-02 01:42:16 PM  

vartian: That's surely the chief reason why he detests Kubrick's portrayal of Wendy as a gibbering victim; King's Wendy chooses to be a heroine.

He's dead right about that - the character is far more interesting in the book version. Kubrick's interpretation could be easily labeled as misogynist.


Olive Oyl waiting for Black Popeye to save her
 
2013-10-02 01:44:28 PM  

Majick Thise: Kubrick was a hack, King has a right to be bummed. Making changes because it will play better on film is sometimes necessary. Rewriting the whole thing to satisfy your massive ego, makes one a hack.


I guess that makes Francis Ford Coppola and Jonathan Demme hacks for making The Godfather and Silence of the Lambs, respectively?
 
2013-10-02 01:48:24 PM  
Kubrick and King are both geniuses of their respective arts.
 
2013-10-02 01:48:25 PM  
Stephen King, a hack pulp author who can't write an ending to save his life is grumpy that one of the greatest directors of all time turned one of his books into one of the most famous movies of all time... okay then.
 
2013-10-02 01:48:46 PM  
I would've loved to see the hedge animals in the movie. Then again, special effects don't always age well...
 
2013-10-02 01:50:32 PM  
I'm sure Stephen King is thrilled with all of the other adaptations of his books. Every single one of them is awesome.
 
2013-10-02 01:51:03 PM  
Yeah, I'm sure the made-for-TV one starring the guy from Wings will always be superior to the true fans. That having been said, I'd have rather Kubrick never made The Shining, had it meant that godawful Room 237 documentary would never be made.
 
2013-10-02 01:51:47 PM  

vartian: That's surely the chief reason why he detests Kubrick's portrayal of Wendy as a gibbering victim; King's Wendy chooses to be a heroine.

He's dead right about that - the character is far more interesting in the book version. Kubrick's interpretation could be easily labeled as misogynist.



Someone once pointed out to me that the smart, sophisticated, self-assured Wendy from the book would be very unlikely to stay with an abusive alcoholic who broke her kid's arm in a fit of rage.
 
2013-10-02 01:52:34 PM  

wiredroach: Majick Thise: Kubrick was a hack, King has a right to be bummed. Making changes because it will play better on film is sometimes necessary. Rewriting the whole thing to satisfy your massive ego, makes one a hack.

I guess that makes Francis Ford Coppola and Jonathan Demme hacks for making The Godfather and Silence of the Lambs, respectively?


Silence of the Lambs didn't deviate from the book too much. You're thinking of that hack Ridley Scott and his "Hannibal" film.

/you're right about The Godfather, though
//add Spielberg and Jaws to that list
 
2013-10-02 01:53:00 PM  
Kubrick > King
 
2013-10-02 01:56:36 PM  
Like most of Kubrick's movies, The Shining is more fun to talk about than actually watch. His use of steady-cam in every single freaking shot is the equivalent to how JJ uses lens flare.
 
2013-10-02 01:56:37 PM  

EyeballKid: Yeah, I'm sure the made-for-TV one starring the guy from Wings will always be superior to the true fans. That having been said, I'd have rather Kubrick never made The Shining, had it meant that godawful Room 237 documentary would never be made.


While I wholeheartedly disagree with every theory presented in the film, I disagree that the film is godawful. It's a pretty solid, well made representation of obsession.
 
2013-10-02 01:57:08 PM  

Click Click D'oh: Stephen King, a hack pulp author who can't write an ending to save his life is grumpy that one of the greatest directors of all time turned one of his books into one of the most famous movies of all time... okay then.


I always hear this but no one actually gives more than one or two examples of a 'bad' ending. He's written like 50 books and hundreds of short stories.
 
2013-10-02 02:02:20 PM  
Frankly, the movie is better.

The novel version of "The Shining" is okay, but it's big and obvious like everything King does. The film is subtle and weird and scarier, because it doesn't explain anything.
 
2013-10-02 02:03:12 PM  

Decillion: I always hear this but no one actually gives more than one or two examples of a 'bad' ending. He's written like 50 books and hundreds of short stories.


Seriously?  The guy used the unexplained intervention of the Hand of God once as and ending.  Literally, the Hand of God coming out of the clouds.
 
2013-10-02 02:06:46 PM  

Decillion: Click Click D'oh: Stephen King, a hack pulp author who can't write an ending to save his life is grumpy that one of the greatest directors of all time turned one of his books into one of the most famous movies of all time... okay then.

I always hear this but no one actually gives more than one or two examples of a 'bad' ending. He's written like 50 books and hundreds of short stories.


Best ending: The Running Man. Now there's a story that needs to be re-filmed properly, 9/11 allusion and all.
 
2013-10-02 02:09:43 PM  
Kubrick is mostly regarded as the greatest film maker ever. (or Kurosawa)

King is a pulp writer who is popular with young people who aren't usually very well read. (when is the last time you heard King mentioned along with Faulkner, Steinbeck, Salinger...etc?)

King is not even as good as other "pulp" writers. (Lovecraft, R.E. Howard)

King's work is utterly user-friendly and disposable. He is very popular but so is Justin Bieber.

Kubrick changed the way films are made and the way films are viewed. His impact on film is an entire chapter, not a footnote.
 
2013-10-02 02:10:00 PM  

Mateorocks: Decillion: Click Click D'oh: Stephen King, a hack pulp author who can't write an ending to save his life is grumpy that one of the greatest directors of all time turned one of his books into one of the most famous movies of all time... okay then.

I always hear this but no one actually gives more than one or two examples of a 'bad' ending. He's written like 50 books and hundreds of short stories.

Best ending: The Running Man. Now there's a story that needs to be re-filmed properly, 9/11 allusion and all.


I don't know. The movie is so fun and campy.

And so, so, 80s.
 
2013-10-02 02:10:08 PM  
If the hand of god ending refers to the Stand, then you mis-read and also missed a whole lot of book....
 
2013-10-02 02:12:12 PM  

thornhill: Like most of Kubrick's movies, The Shining is more fun to talk about than actually watch. His use of steady-cam in every single freaking shot is the equivalent to how JJ uses lens flare.


OMG.
 
2013-10-02 02:12:15 PM  

Decillion: I always hear this but no one actually gives more than one or two examples of a 'bad' ending. He's written like 50 books and hundreds of short stories.


The Stand, The Dead Zone, Christine, It, Thinner, Desperation, The Tommyknockers and The Regulators. And that's about 1/3 of all of his books that I've read.

Although, to be fair, my big problem with Dead Zone is Stillson's entire role, not the ending specifically.

That's probably King's biggest problem in the ending front. He just writes so much shiat that some of its inevitably going to suck. He writes some characters and events as simply too big (for example, Stillson's convoluted path from unhinged bible salesman to political grim reaper). But he was on NPR the other day and made a good point. He said that he's going to be dead for an awful long time, so he might as well do as much as he can while he isn't. Can't really fault that logic.
 
2013-10-02 02:12:57 PM  

vartian: That's surely the chief reason why he detests Kubrick's portrayal of Wendy as a gibbering victim; King's Wendy chooses to be a heroine.

He's dead right about that - the character is far more interesting in the book version. Kubrick's interpretation could be easily labeled as misogynist.


True. But it also fits with Kubrick's take on both Jack and Wendy. In the book, Jack is at heart a decent guy who is deviled by addiction and insecurity. Movie Jack is a guy who is pretending (badly) to love his wife and kid, but he actually resents the hell out of both of them. And on some level it seems that Wendy knows it. Movie Jack married a mouse (the way bullies with victim complexes do). By the time we meet Movie Wendy, she's a mouse who is vaguely afraid of her husband but pretending not to be.
 
2013-10-02 02:15:39 PM  

craigdamage: King is a pulp writer who is popular with young people who aren't usually very well read. (when is the last time you heard King mentioned along with Faulkner, Steinbeck, Salinger...etc?)

 
2013-10-02 02:17:38 PM  

realmolo: Frankly, the movie is better.

The novel version of "The Shining" is okay, but it's big and obvious like everything King does. The film is subtle and weird and scarier, because it doesn't explain anything.


Right--and Kubrick had to condense a 400+ page novel to feature length--to keep it compelling he had to take some license.

The movie is brilliant.  So is the book, but they are different works practically, and in different mediums.
 
2013-10-02 02:19:56 PM  
Yet he defends the TV version of  Under the Dome.
 
2013-10-02 02:21:25 PM  

Click Click D'oh: Stephen King, a hack pulp author who can't write an ending to save his life is grumpy that one of the greatest directors of all time turned one of his books into one of the most famous movies of all time... okay then.


He's still right though
 
2013-10-02 02:22:24 PM  

craigdamage: Kubrick is mostly regarded as the greatest film maker ever. (or Kurosawa)

King is a pulp writer who is popular with young people who aren't usually very well read. (when is the last time you heard King mentioned along with Faulkner, Steinbeck, Salinger...etc?)

King is not even as good as other "pulp" writers. (Lovecraft, R.E. Howard)

King's work is utterly user-friendly and disposable. He is very popular but so is Justin Bieber.

Kubrick changed the way films are made and the way films are viewed. His impact on film is an entire chapter, not a footnote.


What a stupid farking argument. Look, Kubrick did some great work, and some pretty crappy work. King too. But to characterize King as a "hack", and an author for youth readers? That just makes you look like a tool.
 
2013-10-02 02:22:40 PM  
craigdamage:

King is a pulp writer who is popular with young people who aren't usually very well read. (when is the last time you heard King mentioned along with Faulkner, Steinbeck, Salinger...etc?)


Yes, King only was awarded the National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the same award given to such hacks as John Updike, Norman Mailer and Toni Morrison.
 
2013-10-02 02:23:06 PM  

skozlaw: Decillion: I always hear this but no one actually gives more than one or two examples of a 'bad' ending. He's written like 50 books and hundreds of short stories.

The Stand, The Dead Zone, Christine, It, Thinner, Desperation, The Tommyknockers and The Regulators. And that's about 1/3 of all of his books that I've read.

Although, to be fair, my big problem with Dead Zone is Stillson's entire role, not the ending specifically.

That's probably King's biggest problem in the ending front. He just writes so much shiat that some of its inevitably going to suck. He writes some characters and events as simply too big (for example, Stillson's convoluted path from unhinged bible salesman to political grim reaper). But he was on NPR the other day and made a good point. He said that he's going to be dead for an awful long time, so he might as well do as much as he can while he isn't. Can't really fault that logic.


While "The Mist" the novel didn't have a bad ending, King did say the ending in the movie is superior to his.
 
2013-10-02 02:24:48 PM  

Mulchpuppy: wiredroach: Majick Thise: Kubrick was a hack, King has a right to be bummed. Making changes because it will play better on film is sometimes necessary. Rewriting the whole thing to satisfy your massive ego, makes one a hack.

I guess that makes Francis Ford Coppola and Jonathan Demme hacks for making The Godfather and Silence of the Lambs, respectively?

Silence of the Lambs didn't deviate from the book too much. You're thinking of that hack Ridley Scott and his "Hannibal" film.

/you're right about The Godfather, though
//add Spielberg and Jaws to that list


The Godfather wasn't DRASTICALLY different on screen vs the page. Less Gyno reconstruction, and the book had more of Vito's rise (which was covered in Godfather II), but it's not like it was radically changed.
 
2013-10-02 02:24:51 PM  
Oh for the love of God, Stephen, you've been complaining about this for thirty-three years. Let it go.
 
2013-10-02 02:25:39 PM  
I'm only halfway through but I am enjoying Dr. Sleep.
 
2013-10-02 02:31:14 PM  

Click Click D'oh: Stephen King, a hack pulp author who can't write an ending to save his life is grumpy that one of the greatest directors of all time turned one of his books into one of the most famous movies of all time... okay then.


Pretty much this.  At least the shining is a great movie, even if it strayed from the novel.  Though not enough that I could tell, having seen the movie and read the book years apart.  It's not like it got the WWZ treatment.
 
2013-10-02 02:42:13 PM  
I liked both The Shining book version and the movie version. The television version proved that King had no idea how to make a live version of the book. The tv version had great actors but cheesy special effects and bad writing/editing.

Besides, the movie is an adaptation. Things in the book like the hedge animals, the boiler room scene, the kid in the playground tube and other things I think were correctly left out of the movie. The only thing I thing Kubrick should have done make more than a passing comment from the hotel manager that the hotel was built on an ancient Indian burial ground.
 
2013-10-02 02:42:50 PM  

craigdamage: Kubrick is mostly regarded as the greatest film maker ever. (or Kurosawa)

King is a pulp writer who is popular with young people who aren't usually very well read. (when is the last time you heard King mentioned along with Faulkner, Steinbeck, Salinger...etc?)

King is not even as good as other "pulp" writers. (Lovecraft, R.E. Howard)

King's work is utterly user-friendly and disposable. He is very popular but so is Justin Bieber.

Kubrick changed the way films are made and the way films are viewed. His impact on film is an entire chapter, not a footnote.


LOL no.  No.  Stop typing.

I like King but I think some of his gripe was that somebody took his story, changed it and the end result was arguably more popular than his book.

But yeah f*cking Shelley Duvall in that movie.  She was just a f*cking helpless spaz and that was a cheap representation of the character.
 
2013-10-02 02:43:59 PM  

craigdamage: Kubrick is mostly regarded as the greatest film maker ever. (or Kurosawa)

King is a pulp writer who is popular with young people who aren't usually very well read. (when is the last time you heard King mentioned along with Faulkner, Steinbeck, Salinger...etc?)

King is not even as good as other "pulp" writers. (Lovecraft, R.E. Howard)

King's work is utterly user-friendly and disposable. He is very popular but so is Justin Bieber.

Kubrick changed the way films are made and the way films are viewed. His impact on film is an entire chapter, not a footnote.


Faulkner is awful and Salinger is meh.  Other than Lovecraft and Steinbeck your list is awful.

King has moments of brilliance in his works especially concerning human nature, and he is great at capturing americana in different decades.

And one of Kings favorite authors is Faulkner and you can see the inspiration in his writings in capturing the small town essence.

Are you one of those guys that reads Bukowski in coffee shops?
 
2013-10-02 02:44:13 PM  
I'm more bummed that he did literally the shiattiest casting job in the history of cinema. Yeah, you can change the story if you like (and BOY did casting Jack Nicholson as Torrence alter the story,) but don't imagine for a minute that the film is anywhere near as good as the book. It lacked all of the subtleties and characterization of the book. Kubric turned The Shining into a cartoon. He made one good movie in his career. The man is the most overrated filmmaker in history.
 
2013-10-02 02:45:27 PM  

vartian: That's surely the chief reason why he detests Kubrick's portrayal of Wendy as a gibbering victim; King's Wendy chooses to be a heroine.

He's dead right about that - the character is far more interesting in the book version. Kubrick's interpretation could be easily labeled as misogynist.


Yeah, because every woman in that situation would become Ellen Ripley. It's in the news all the time.
 
2013-10-02 02:48:42 PM  
Everything that makes Nicholson's performance iconic - his grinning, campy, manic nastiness - undermines King's point, which is that Jack Torrance could be you.

I'm guessing the author meant to write underlines? Undermines means the exact opposite of what he's trying to say here.
 
2013-10-02 02:48:49 PM  

Hebalo: The Godfather wasn't DRASTICALLY different on screen vs the page. Less Gyno reconstruction, and the book had more of Vito's rise (which was covered in Godfather II), but it's not like it was radically changed.


It isn't merely the plot differences; the film is masterfully crafted in every way. The novel, while entertaining, is a pulp trifle. Coppola took some decent, competently written source material and turned it into an artistic masterpiece.
 
2013-10-02 02:50:21 PM  

Keller: If the hand of god ending refers to the Stand, then you mis-read and also missed a whole lot of book....


Erm, I have the extended version at home. How else could the thing that sets off the nuke be interpreted? Hell, as I recall, it's even described as giant glowing hand.
 
2013-10-02 02:50:30 PM  

Mulchpuppy: Silence of the Lambs didn't deviate from the book too much. You're thinking of that hack Ridley Scott and his "Hannibal" film.


No, as with Godfather, Silence of the Lambs is an entertaining page-turner, but hardly great literature. The film, though, is a masterpiece.
 
2013-10-02 02:53:55 PM  

wiredroach: Majick Thise: Kubrick was a hack, King has a right to be bummed. Making changes because it will play better on film is sometimes necessary. Rewriting the whole thing to satisfy your massive ego, makes one a hack.

I guess that makes Francis Ford Coppola and Jonathan Demme hacks for making The Godfather and Silence of the Lambs, respectively?


I don't understand this. I haven't read Silence of the Lambs, but The Godfather was literally a shot for shot remake of the book. The only changes were to cut out some of the lengthy side bits about Johnny's pussy adventures out west. And at three hours, it's a bit understandable that something had to go.
 
2013-10-02 02:55:34 PM  

Mulchpuppy: I guess that makes Francis Ford Coppola and Jonathan Demme hacks for making The Godfather and Silence of the Lambs, respectively?

/you're right about The Godfather, though
//add Spielberg and Jaws to that list


Not really. I've lost count of the amount of times I've read the Godfather, and the differences between the book and the movie are subtle, unless you're talking about the flashbacks which they saved for the sequel. That being said, Mario Puzo was part of the process of filming the Godfather and it's sequels in a way that King never was.

\Mia familia non mangiare in Las Vegas,
//e mia famiglia non mangiare in Miami, con Hyman Roth.
 
2013-10-02 02:57:39 PM  

realmolo: Frankly, the movie is better.

The novel version of "The Shining" is okay, but it's big and obvious like everything King does. The film is subtle and weird and scarier, because it doesn't explain anything.


Just showing a hodgepodge of random inexplicable gobbledegook doesn't automatically make a movie "deep." The book is far more subtle. Jack is actually a loving father and his transformation/possession elicits confusing emotions in the reader. You hate him and root for him at the same time, right up until the end. Book Jack was, in a lot of ways, a Walter White kind of character. Movie Jack is a soulless cartoon monster-of-the-week who runs around screaming and murdering everyone the second Jack Nicholson's goofy hack ass steps foot on the set.
 
2013-10-02 02:57:40 PM  
Is Lovecraft a good author now?  Is that what I'm hearing?
 
2013-10-02 02:59:02 PM  
King had the chance to make a faithful adaptation, which he approved of and it sucked bantha balls.
 
2013-10-02 03:03:48 PM  

Tommy Moo: Everything that makes Nicholson's performance iconic - his grinning, campy, manic nastiness - undermines King's point, which is that Jack Torrance could be you.

I'm guessing the author meant to write underlines? Undermines means the exact opposite of what he's trying to say here.


Try reading that a few more times and I think you'll get it.
 
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