Sunday, 13 March 2016

the overlook

While iconic producer and director Stanley Kubrick’s staging and ensemble could never be labelled derivative, having inspired countless other homages, and nothing less could be ascribed to The Shining, there is nonetheless than some point for point correspondence that Kubrick himself attributes to a much earlier inspiration.
The Swedish film called Körkarlen, the Wagoner, was presented to British and American audiences a year after its debut under the title of Thy Soul shall bear Witness or The Phantom Carriage in 1922. Both films have to address the torture of alcoholism and the resulting missteps in family life, although the silent version had more ledgend to draw upon than the local lore of hotel staff with a sort of Flying Dutchman curse of the street urchins and dissolute of the town of Landskrona that holds the last person to die in the previous year is charged with acting as the Grim Reaper and collects the souls of those to die in the next. A departed drinking buddy who led the protagionist astray in life tries to make amends in death by arranging encounters with people who can help him get his life back in order. One can view the film in its entireity at this link, and appreciate its pioneering use of special effects and complex storytelling which makes use of flashbacks within flashbacks.