On Wednesday, March 9th, 2011, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, The Spectacle Theater screened Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining forwards and backwards simultaneously, superimposed. This experiment in projection was inspired by the analysis of The Shining by MSTRMND, and one line in particular:
The Shining is a film meant to be watched both forwards and backwards.
We took the MSTRMND gambit at face value. We put the US DVD version into Final Cut, removed all corporate logos and leaders at the beginning, and cut all credits at the end. The entire film image sequence was then copied, reversed and superimposed over the original forwards version. (For clarity’s sake we screened the forwards/backwards superimposition with the forwards audio only.)
[Youtube video has been taken down]
The following is a selection of stills from the superimposition:
[Note: once we get to the center of the film, we’ll stop, as the superimposition just repeats itself in reverse order from that point]
∆ And here is the center image of the film: Halloran lying in his bed in Florida, about to receive Danny’s ‘shining’ message. Note that he is looking into the television screen just as we, the audience, are looking into a screen at Halloran.
This is Hallorann’s view during the previous frame. His room is symmetrical and so is the film. Everything is even. The exact middle.