what if david lynch directed ‘the shining?’

A fan-made mashup video of Stanley Kubrick and David Lynch’s eeriest work imagines just that.

by Emily Manning
28 February 2017, 11:01pm

Thanks to inventive film fans, we've already seen how Wes Anderson might imagine Stanley Kubrick's bone-chilling (uh, literally) classic The Shining. The edit refashioned the psychological thriller through the cheery whimsy of Anderson's Grand Budapest Hotel (and isn't the only instance in which Anderson's signature style has been ironically applied to horror). Yet The Shining has been re-cast through another iconoclastic director's lens, and it's a far more fitting pairing. Blue Shining, an eight-minute mashup collides Kubrick's sparse shocker with David Lynch's surreal works, including Wild at Heart, Blue Velvet, and, naturally, Twin Peaks.

Blue Shining begins by layering the two titular film's opening scenes on top of each other; as groundskeeper Jack Torrence and his unsuspecting family wind through the mountain roads, Blue Velvet's red roses bloom above the gloom. The monologue about the previous winter caretaker's mental breakdown is instead applied to Twin Peaks's deranged dad Leland Palmer. Instead of the Overlook's geometric carpet (the subject of much debate in Shining theory documentary Room 237), we find the Red Room's black and white zig-zag floor.

Though Blue Shining was created a year ago, the A.V. Club recently resurrected it in anticipation of Lynch's eagerly awaited Twin Peaks reboot. And though the projects have much in common (a stately hotel setting, for one thing), it's the Eraserhead parallels that arguably lend the most interesting new view on Kubrick's work. In the coolest scene, re-cut in black-and-white, Danny rounds the corridor on his Big Wheel not to find The Shining's twins standing in the hallway, but two of Eraserhead's Lady in the Radiator. She performs "In Heaven," the finale song from Lynch's debut feature film, which ignited his career almost exactly 40 years ago (it was released on March 19, 1977).

A seminal fixture of independent cinema, and a film often credited for jumpstarting the midnight movie genre, Eraserhead, like The Shining, is somehow simultaneously sparse and claustrophobic -- the movies are nightmarish, foreboding, and challenging to watch. Eraserhead focuses on urban industrial anxieties rather than an isolated woodland setting, but both films deal with parenthood, family, and male paranoia.

Lite film theory aside, who doesn't want to see Jack Nicholson stalk around set to the sweet sounds of Julee Cruise? Let Blue Shining get you in the mood for all things Lynch.


Text Emily Manning

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