This is the next entry in a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time, a series that was begun here. With our next duo post kicking in on our usual last day of the month, which is tomorrow, might as well recall the first time I viewed a collaboration from a pair of my favorite artists. A story from my preferred writer of the last few decades adapted to the big screen by a filmmaker who mesmerized me as a teen when the 60s were coming to a close.
Images c/o Cinema Treasures site
May 31, 1980: I’ve said it before, my love of reading was instilled in me by my mother. Never did I see her without a book in hand, or laying next to her somewhere as she completed some chore; just waiting till she picked it up once more. When it became more difficult for her to get around, I or my brother were instituted to head over to the nearest library to drop off and pick up my mother’s latest batch of volumes.
That didn’t even cover those novels bought and shared with her by her sisters, my aunts. Many a hardcover or paperback got regularly rotated among mom’s sisterhood. One I found myself amongst. Living at my grandmother’s home, their mother, I was privy to overhear many a discussion for some of the fiction voraciously read and parceled out. A few even perused by their husbands, my uncles.
Here’s the thing, never was I explicitly told to read. Have wondered if it was just assumed I would since in this female-dominated clan the progeny always had a book in some state of scrutiny. Even my mother’s lone brother, the next-to-youngest, had a stack of ’em. And if mom influenced me to read, it was her sisters who indoctrinated moi toward their favorite mix of the arts. Books that received cinematic translations.
By late ’77, as a twentysomething, having finished my projectionist stint and moved on to work at a medical center, would find myself in some book conversation or another with friends or acquaintances on the job. Seemed like a pretty natural thing to do. Everybody back then had one novel on their minds: Stephen King’s The Shining. A Book of the Month Club selection that’d soon be in my possession, and thus consumed.
So when 1980 rolled around, spending more and more of my time with the woman I’d met at the medical center, I was more than primed to take the two of us to see the film adaptation of The Shining. Mainly since the guy who tripped me out in what seemed ages ago in a movie theater, Stanley Kubrick, was directing it. A week after it opened, we headed right over to the Village Theatre. Ironically, a favorite haunt back then.