Friday, 18 November 2011

The Shining

Tonight I'm going to be watching my all-time favourite film on the big screen. I recently came to the conclusion that it was my all-time favourite film when I got a little bit too carried away about being able to watch it again in a theatre. Plus I also realised you can't be 35 and expect people to take you seriously when you say Heathers is your favourite movie, or that you can't decide whether The Breakfast Club, The Lost Boys or The Goonies is the better film (it's The Lost Boys, I mean, come on, there's vampires, there's a comic book store and there's the two Coreys).
Although I don't know how valid it is to say The Shining is my favourite film when I don't really understand the ending!! I've read long studies about the film, overanalysing it frame by frame, taking a deeper look at every tiniest little detail, but that still doesn't make things any easier. Thanks, Stanley.
Still, I'm not about to go into the magic and horror of room 237 (or 217 if you're going by the book, which is another masterpiece in itself) because this post does actually tie in with languages!

I watched the film for the first time when I was 12 years old. I'd sometimes stay over at a friend's house and her older brother would go to the video store and rent horror movies for us to watch. We were in Spain at the time which meant the video store only had dubbed versions of the films. I still remember to this day how we popped the video in the VCR... and spent the next 142 minutes laughing our heads off. We actually spent the rest of the evening pretending to be Jack Torrance. What made the film totally laughable was the ridiculousness of the Spanish acting, particularly the voice of the actress chosen to play Wendy and the weird choice of swear words used in the translation, which were limited to variations on joder. We may only have been 12, but even then we knew that Spaniards rely on a selection of mierda, me cago en la leche, puta and other colourful expressions apart from the omnipresent joder.
When I got back home, my dad asked about my weekend and was blown away by the fact that we'd laughed through the film.
About a year later, we went to London to visit the family and he decided to buy a copy of The Shining to watch at home. I sat down to watch it with him, with all the cockiness of my teenage self and got pulled into the film, no language distractions, all Jack Nicholson in all his glory. I absolutely loved the film and I was completely petrified!!
I didn't sleep for a month afterwards.

Kubrick was a control freak. I know he came to Spain to supervise and handpick the voice talent that would be portraying the actors in the movie. To this day, I still cannot understand what made him choose Verónica Forqué and I do not know a single person who does not find her ridiculous in the film.

That said, and although I didn't realise it at the time, my little bilingual brain was certainly aware of the importance of languages, dubbing... and swearing!

Now, if you'll excuse me, Grady is waiting to show me to The Overlook's private cocktail bar.


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