The Shining Around the Corner

Box 237, as it appears in Lubitsch’s THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER.

Kubrick liked boxes, as we know. And here’s his Room 237.

Amusingly, the Lubitsch, with its moody b&w, disconcerting camera angle, and sexy strangler glove, looks more like a horror movie than Kubrick’s brightly lit, well-appointed interior.

In the documentary, ROOM 237, one point which is distinctly mysterious — even if you dismiss all the moon landing and Indian genocide theories — is that the story Kubrick told Michel Ciment, about changing the room number from 217 in Stephen King’s book, because the real Oregon hotel used as an exterior had a Room 217 and they didn’t want guests being afraid to sleep there, and they didn’t have a Room 237… that story simply isn’t true. The Timberline Lodge has a 217 AND a 237, so why did Kubrick change the number, and why did he lie about it?

Maybe there’s a theory we can spin about this being a Lubitsch homage? Which he was ashamed to admit to?

I know, sounds pretty weak.

2 Responses to “The Shining Around the Corner”

  1. Lubitsch? I’m not so sure about that. But Kubrick was greatly influenced by Ophuls — many of whose films were set in the late part of the 19th century. “Madame de” was a particular favorite and one can see traces of it in “Paths of Glory” and “Lolita.” Also “La Ronde.” Schnitzler’s “Traumnouvelle” was a “Passion Project” of Kubrick’s. But by the time he got around to filming it he’d shot his wad on period cinema with “Barry Lyndon” and the planned-but-never-filmed “Napoleon.” So he shot it as a contemporary film entitled “Eyes Wide Shut”

  2. Ophuls died during the shooting of Paths of Glory and Kubrick dedicated a shot to him — I like to think it was the tracking shot at Menjou’s ball.

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