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February 8, 2012 12:47 PM   Subscribe

Is The Shining really about the gold standard? Using unpublished info from the Stanley Kubrick Archives as a key source, Kubrick's Gold Story [part 1 of 4] is a film analysis that uncovers economic themes encoded in The Shining with regard to gold vs fiat monetary systems. Written, narrated and edited by Rob Ager [Previously].
posted by albrecht (75 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm gonna vote, no. If you look hard enough you find things that aren't really there, patterns where no pattern exists.
posted by PJLandis at 12:50 PM on February 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


Haven't we already done this with The Wizard of Oz?
posted by Alterscape at 12:50 PM on February 8, 2012 [8 favorites]


Rob Ager needs to watch another movie from time to time, I think.
posted by The Whelk at 12:51 PM on February 8, 2012 [15 favorites]


So... I swear I read something by SK somewhere that extolled his 'constant reader' to take his (or possibly other writer's?) stories at face value most of the time.

That is to say that a story is often just a story and taking it farther is an affront to the writer.

If anyone can find that quote, I'd be forever grateful. I've looked....
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:52 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Brown-Eyed Girl is really about the gold standard.
posted by Beardman at 12:53 PM on February 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Spoiler: The freaky naked chick in the bathtub is really Ron Paul.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:56 PM on February 8, 2012 [46 favorites]


I think that as long as I can manage to avoid actually seeing The Shining, these FPPs that give it the Time Cube treatment will remain amusing.
posted by cgk at 12:58 PM on February 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


And there I was thinking it was about the plight of the injuns. Doh!
posted by Monkeymoo at 12:59 PM on February 8, 2012


We need independent verification: synch it up with Dark Side of the Moon and just watch what happens when "Money" starts playing.
posted by yoink at 1:03 PM on February 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Sure, whatever, let me know when he writes about how Gigli is about the rise of the proletariat.
posted by sawdustbear at 1:07 PM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Nah, The Shining is actually a subtle commentary about pareidolia.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 1:08 PM on February 8, 2012 [22 favorites]


Spoiler: The freaky naked chick in the bathtub is really Ron Paul.

Double spoiler: This is not metaphorical.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:10 PM on February 8, 2012 [11 favorites]


Psssh. The Shining was obviously about Stanley Kubrick faking the moon landing for NASA and his wife finding out about it.
posted by koeselitz at 1:10 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


that's bullshit, the shining is a philosophical meditation on book 1 of capital....duh?
posted by facetious at 1:12 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thus far secreted at the Overlook Hotel:
-The Native American Genocide.
-The faked moon landings.
-The Mayan Apocalypse.
-A critique of fiat money systems.

Yet to be disclosed:
-The real reason that the Turtles broke up.
-The fact that Scatman Crothers was actually psychic.
-A closely-argued proposal that the Olympics be held biennially.
-The mind-rending horrors of alcoholism.
-A really decent recipe for coq au vin that can be made in a microwave oven.
posted by Iridic at 1:16 PM on February 8, 2012 [24 favorites]


shining.metafilter.com
posted by The Deej at 1:16 PM on February 8, 2012


-A really decent recipe for coq au vin that can be made in a microwave oven.

What is this I don't even...
posted by pupdog at 1:18 PM on February 8, 2012


And sorry, I always thought it was about a creepy hotel and people that go bonkers, like supernaturally.

I guess I'm kinda shallow...
posted by pupdog at 1:19 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd respect this more if it was more straight-up 'pataphysical.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:20 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


GOOGLE RON PAUL CHARLES GRADY
posted by entropicamericana at 1:22 PM on February 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


The Shining was a tribute to Sesame Street. Watch it again, you'll start seeing Elmo working behind the bar.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 1:22 PM on February 8, 2012


This misses the main point, though: The Shining was actually written by William Shakespeare, not by Stanley Kubrick.
posted by alms at 1:27 PM on February 8, 2012


OMG I love Shining threads! I can't wait for the internet sleuth to start a website dedicated to the hidden peanut butter motifs throughout the film, and what they say about Kubrick's life.
posted by Theta States at 1:27 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


-A really decent recipe for coq au vin that can be made in a microwave oven.

The others? Plausible. This one? IMPOSSIBLE.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:28 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


In order to take this review seriously. I'll need a few things:

1. The review needs to be hosted on blogger.com
2. Black background, crazy colours that hurt the eyes.
3. I need to scroll like a billion times to get to the actual analysis.
4. A breakdown of important numbers and how they feature prominently in production and story.
5. Thinly veiled mania/obsession with numbers.
posted by Fizz at 1:29 PM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I suppose this is the reason for The Shining threads hidden meanings posts that have popped up lately? (The documentary got a distribution deal after Sundance)
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 1:31 PM on February 8, 2012


That's ridiculous. Everyone knows debate over the gold standard is really coded discussion of The Shining.
posted by Sangermaine at 1:31 PM on February 8, 2012 [8 favorites]


First we had the FPP about how there were mystic numbers in the film. Now this.

Sometimes a film about a clairvoyant kid in a haunted hotel is just a film about a clairvoyant kid in a haunted hotel.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:33 PM on February 8, 2012


Sometimes a crazy guy with an axe is just a crazy guy with an axe.
posted by octothorpe at 1:34 PM on February 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


OK, Kubrick was knowledgeable of the history of the gold standard and he uses that metaphor for dialog and other film elements. Isn't that just normal pre-production design along the same lines as concentrating on reds and yellows throughout the film, and saving blues and greens for special sequences?

Or succinctly, so fucking what?
posted by Ardiril at 1:37 PM on February 8, 2012


This was probably the best exigesis of The Shining that you're likley to see. [previously]
posted by clarknova at 1:38 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


If we think of The Shining as Kubrick's Finnegans Wake, we could expect to see all these themes and many more packed into it.
posted by jamjam at 1:42 PM on February 8, 2012


This is a very enjoyable piece; thanks. I'm halfway through, and he hasn't mentioned the Gold Standard yet, but it's been very interesting anyhow.
posted by koeselitz at 1:43 PM on February 8, 2012


(Okay, except that guy behind Jack in the photo is totally not Woodrow Wilson. Sorry, guy.)
posted by koeselitz at 1:45 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Glenn Beck lol... ;)
posted by Capricorn13 at 1:46 PM on February 8, 2012


And, near the end of the last vid, he starts talking about how much money he's made buying gold.
posted by Decimask at 1:49 PM on February 8, 2012


This was probably the best exigesis of The Shining that you're likley to see. [previously]


Yep, same guy. Check out the 2nd link of the FPP.
posted by albrecht at 1:53 PM on February 8, 2012


People are super into obsessive watching of The Shining, aren't they.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 1:56 PM on February 8, 2012


People are super into obsessive watching of The Shining, aren't they.

2001 is where my obession begins and ends.
posted by Fizz at 2:05 PM on February 8, 2012


I love the idea that Hollywood is (secretly!) as obsessed with the gold standard as Ron Paul and his fan club.
posted by straight at 2:09 PM on February 8, 2012


Doub... wait... there's fucking more of this shit??
posted by dgaicun at 2:10 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


its the gold standard of films secretly about the gold standard
posted by nathancaswell at 2:13 PM on February 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


alms: This misses the main point, though: The Shining was actually written by William Shakespeare, not by Stanley Kubrick.

HERETH YORICK!
posted by dr_dank at 2:18 PM on February 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


if only there were some way, some method, some sort of .... treatment we could use on cgk to ensure they watch a Stanley Kubrick film.
posted by mannequito at 2:21 PM on February 8, 2012


ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES JACK GOOGLE RON PAUL
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:23 PM on February 8, 2012 [14 favorites]


The first 30 comments here were done before the 45 minutes it takes to watch this analysis, explaining the 'Lol! Glenn Beck is the wizard of oz on the dark side of the moon' reactions.

Yeah, a lot have been said about the Shining, Apollo, amerindians, plate of beans and all that jazz but the last two parts contained really interesting stuff about the gold standard and fiat money. Personally , i learned some stuff.

This analysis refers to about 5 scenes in the movie and ... makes sense!

The 2 gold rooms, the empty one with just pictures and the big shiny one, wilson and the federal reserve, the fact that Kubrick was a 'gold hoarder' etc...

This analysis was really entertaining, thanks to the submitter.
posted by CitoyenK at 2:25 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Barry Lyndon is about The Wizard of Oz.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 2:25 PM on February 8, 2012


That is to say that a story is often just a story and taking it farther is an affront to the writer.

An affront to the writer? Nah. Maybe attempting to ascribe those interpretations to the author's conscious intent might be an affront, but just talking about what the story makes you think about beyond the surface level narrative? How could that be insulting?
posted by shakespeherian at 2:29 PM on February 8, 2012


a lot have been said about the Shining, Apollo, amerindians, plate of beans and all that jazz

If you really look at All that Jazz you'll see it's actually about Dexedrine, not the gold standard.
posted by nathancaswell at 2:29 PM on February 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


The Shining is really about this Dude who wants to get his rug back. It really tied the room together.
posted by not_on_display at 2:29 PM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


patterns where no pattern exists

That's kind of what a pattern is, though. It's relationships between things, not a thing itself. So, if you see a pattern, then it is "there." There could be an argument about intentional vs. unintentional patterning, but I don't find that particularly useful or interesting (ymmv). What's more interesting and productive (to me) is addressing the accuracy of the perceived pattern, its usefulness, its completeness, its elegance, its communicability...
posted by Saxon Kane at 2:35 PM on February 8, 2012


Seems like we only need one movie. The Shining does it all.
posted by mattoxic at 2:44 PM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm afraid I don't know anything about the gold standard, but I do so love little kittens. They're so soft, and furry.
posted by pecanpies at 2:48 PM on February 8, 2012


It's relationships between things, not a thing itself. So, if you see a pattern, then it is "there."

To an extent. What's observed in the film may have either an intentional or unintentional pattern, but the pattern-as-interpretation is in the thing that is making the pattern, which is the mind perceiving this pattern and the writing which lays the pattern out.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:34 PM on February 8, 2012


I'm afraid I don't know anything about the gold standard, but I do so love little kittens. They're so soft, and furry.

You should totally watch Dr. Strangelove.
posted by murphy slaw at 3:50 PM on February 8, 2012


But why The Shining, I wonder? Why is there no series of YouTube videos dissecting the political implications of the architecture in Barry Lyndon? Why are there no blogs dedicated to the messages concealed in the facial hair in Paths of Glory?
posted by Iridic at 4:45 PM on February 8, 2012


Because Jack Nicholson, dementedly smashing through a door with an axe, shouting a murderous Johnny Carson impersonation, is fucking cool. Ryan O'Neal pretending to be European is not.

And I say this as a Barry Lyndon fan.
posted by Saxon Kane at 4:56 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


so wait, is the lesson that people who are really into the gold standard will overinterpret and fetishize the meaning of objects other than gold as well?
posted by eustatic at 5:26 PM on February 8, 2012


But why The Shining, I wonder? Why is there no series of YouTube videos dissecting the political implications of the architecture in Barry Lyndon? Why are there no blogs dedicated to the messages concealed in the facial hair in Paths of Glory?

Good question. I guess The Shining is familiar, iconic, slow, filled with obsession, and the plot is simple but mysterious enough to hang any sort of interpretation you lie onto it.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:29 PM on February 8, 2012


albrecht: "Is The Shining really about the gold standard? "

That's a great idea for a short mockumentary!

Wait, you're serious? Ok, it's a hysterical idea for a documentary!
posted by chairface at 7:10 PM on February 8, 2012


To an extent. What's observed in the film may have either an intentional or unintentional pattern, but the pattern-as-interpretation is in the thing that is making the pattern, which is the mind perceiving this pattern and the writing which lays the pattern out.

This sounds like something that could have come right out of one of these Shining-obsessed fever-dream theories. I'm seriously not sure whether or not you're trolling. Which is to say what's going on in my mind right now with regard to your comment is perhaps an illustration of it. Which is kind of . . . creepy but intriguing?

Which is probably part of the appeal of these theories. They kind of flirt with (and/or perform) the idea that the movie itself (and/or Kubrik himself) is the real Overlook.
posted by treepour at 8:10 PM on February 8, 2012


Stephen King used to live in Colorado.

Stephen King is a recovering alcoholic.

Stephen King is a former English teacher.

The Shining is about a recovering alcoholic former English teacher stuck in a hotel in Colorado with his family.

WHAT IS THE SECRET CONNECTION BETWEEN KUBRICK AND KING

this conspiracy theory was brought to you by the letter K and the number 23
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:06 PM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


O. M. G. YOU GUYS I THINK MAYBE STEPHEN KING IS MADE OF SOLID GOLD
posted by No-sword at 12:01 AM on February 9, 2012


Also K looks kind of like a broken A and Au is the symbol for gold so Kubrick must mean "broken gold brick" → they BROKE the economy by going off gold bricks and onto fiat money (like copper pennies == "Cu bricks"!!!)
posted by No-sword at 12:04 AM on February 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Is The Shining even the most beanplated of Kubrick's own movies though? I feel like 2001 and Clockwork Orange have both been picked over more often over the years.
posted by mannequito at 12:45 AM on February 9, 2012


If you freeze the Bluray director's cut at the right moment, you can actually see a crate of Heinz beans behind Scatman Crothers.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:35 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ahh, so you're saying SK hid the beans a little better in this one, and it just took longer for the rabid fans to spot 'em.
posted by mannequito at 1:47 AM on February 9, 2012


waitaminute

SK

Stanley Kubrik

Stephen King
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 2:10 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


SK

Stanley Kubrik

Stephen King


Saxon Kane
posted by Edison Carter at 6:15 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Stanley Kowalski

=

The Shining is actually a remake of A Streetcar Named Desire.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:42 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Or is Streetcar a thinly-veiled commentary on the gold standard?
posted by Edison Carter at 6:49 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


"ROOOOOOSEVELT!"

*shakes fists, cries plaintively in the rain, and looks like Marlon Brando*
posted by koeselitz at 8:16 AM on February 9, 2012


I was totally hooked until the 4th part when it seemed to turn into a scammy "Buy Gold Now" ad
posted by Dr. Twist at 8:39 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was almost certain this was a parody of Rob Ager until I realized he was behind this.
posted by modernserf at 10:56 AM on February 9, 2012


The 10th Regiment of Foot: Spoiler: The freaky naked chick in the bathtub is really Ron Paul.

You, sir, will now be responsible for all of my nightmares from this point on. Well played.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 4:39 PM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


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