Tuesday, October 11, 2011

That means I'm working

I watched "The Shining" over the weekend.

It's one of few horror movies that stands the test of time and remains truly creep-tastic to this day. There're lots of reasons for this. For starters, it's a Stephen King novel. Then, Jack Nicholson plays the lead, and he's simply genius in it. And lastly, this is a Stanley Kubrick film and he is known for obsessing over the most minute details and doing upwards of thirty or forty takes per scene. He would subject actors to whatever conditions he felt would make them perform better, and thus instructed the crew on the film to treat Shelley Duvall like crap for the entire time so she would feel hopeless and then portray exactly that emotion.

If you haven't seen the movie, stop reading this and go watch it and then come back. This post contains a couple spoilers.

So, there's this brilliant scene, when Jack's writing his book, which many of us know is just the sentence, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy," over and over and over again. Interesting fact: Kubrick hired a typist to type this sentence over and over and he recorded it for the movie to make sure it sounded like this sentence was being authentically typed.

Anyway, it's a scene I think any writer can relate to. I'll put the dialogue below in case you're somewhere that you shouldn't be watching video. Enjoy! P.S. Some of the language is NSFW.

Wendy: Hi hon! How's it going?

Jack: Fine.

Wendy: Get a lot written today?

Jack: Yes.

Wendy: Hey. Weather forecast said it's gonna snow tonight.

Jack: What do you want me to do about it?

Wendy: Aw, come on, hon. Don't be so grouchy.

Jack: I'm not being grouchy. I just want to finish my work.

Wendy: Ok. I understand. I'll come back later with a couple of sandwiches for you, and maybe you'll let me read something then.

Jack: Wendy. Let me explain something to you. Whenever you come in here and interrupt me, you're breaking my concentration. You're distracting me. And it will then take me time to get back to where I was. You understand?

Wendy: Yes.

Jack: Fine. Now, we're gonna make a new rule. Whenever I'm in here, and you hear me typing, or whether you don't hear me typing or whatever the fuck you hear me doing in here, when I'm in here that means that I'm working. That means don't come in. Do you think you can handle that?

Wendy: Yeah.

Jack: Fine. Why don't you start right now and get the fuck out of here?

Wendy: Ok.

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