HIDDEN GEMS: 20. THE SHINING

Hidden Gems brings to light little known film gems which have somehow slipped through the collective cinematic consciousness. This week ‘horror’ film: The Shining. You’re welcome.

Man with family stays in snowbound hotel for the winter and can’t write a book. I know. Doesn’t sound like a great film, does it? Would it help if I told you that the film has some of the most revolutionary trike shots in the history of film? No, probably not. Shelley Duvall is in it. Still not interested? Jesus.

Based on a book by an American writer called Stephen King, The Shining was so poorly received even Stephen King, the writer, came out publicly to denounce the film as ‘an unflushed toilet’ in his essay ‘Supernatural Fiction (and Shit I Think)’. Director Stanley Kubrick had given up directing. He’d moved to England and was hosting a popular chat show for the BBC called ‘Parkinson’ when he read the novel. He immediately saw the potential for a hilarious comedy. He told Jack Nicholson: ‘It’s about a bad writer, who becomes a bad ax murderer.’ Jack Torrance, the murderous novelist, is terrible at killing people, repeatedly bested by his child and wife. The only victim he manages to kill is a man who can see into the future who is worse at seeing into the future than Jack is at killing people with an ax.

The film is neither scary nor funny, but a weird amalgam of the two.  It was released to huge indifference and Kubrick went back to being a TV chat show host and never made another film again.

For more Hidden Gems CLICK HERE.

AMY ADAMS TO PLAY OLIVE OYL

HOLLYWOOD – Amy Adams has signed up to play the object of Popeye and Bluto’s affections, Olive Oyl in Sam Raimi’s new movie: Olive.

Amy Adams spoke EXCLUSIVELY with the Studio Exec about the role:

Ever since I was a child I have been fascinated by the character of Olive Oil. She is a very powerful woman torn between the love of two extremely violent, potentially abusive men. This is a world of slap stick certainly but also a violent energy that you simply don’t know where it is going to go. And yet despite being surrounded by this whirlwind of craziness, Olive is a remarkably modern woman. Her look is very of the age. The classic flapper, but with enormous feet. And yet she is also very much in control of the situation, shifting her affections as she sees fit.

Sam Raimi has revealed that his film will return to the origins of the character as delineated in Elzie Crisler Segar’s Thimble Theatre comic strip. The Spider-Man 3 director told Studio Exec:

Olive Oyl as a character predates Popeye by ten years. TEN YEARS! So this is where we’re putting our film. This is very much Olive before Popeye. At this time, Olive is in love with Harold Ham Gravy (John Hamm), but he’s a no good louse who keeps chasing other women. Olive goes into these mad rages which transform her, so in that she is similar to what would become the Incredible Hulk. It’s going to be a lot of fun.

Although the animated series has for many been the classical adaptation of Popeye and Olive Oyl, Robert Altman also made a feature film/musical in 1980 and starred Shelley Duvall as Olive. Adams concedes:

Duvall’s Olive will be the one which I will be judged by. I understand that and hope to rise to the challenge. But I also think that Chris Pine has made Captain Kirk very much his own character, despite William Shatner’s ghost lingering on. I hope I can do the same with Olive.

Olive will be released in 2016.

THE JACK NICHOLSON COOK BOOK 3: Eggs Benedict



















Hi I’m Jack Nicholson.


People often say to me, Jack, they say. Why are you the only man on God’s green earth who can get away with wearing sunglasses indoors without looking like a sissy boy.

Well I’ll tell ya. Back when I was making The Shining big Stan Kubrick insisted that every member of the cast provide him with their vital statistics so he adjust the camera in order to ensure he could perfectly frame each shot. At least that’s what he told us though Scatman Crothers swore he wanted to know our exact measurements because if he murdered one of us in a fit rage he could conceal his crime by disposing of the body in a vat of acid, take a stiff from the local morgue of a similar height and weight, put it in a car, douse it in gasoline and push it over the edge of the nearest ravine. Now like most black fellas Crothers was a fan of conspiracy theories but I wouldn’t have put it past ole Stan. That famous scene when I hack my way through the door  to get to Shelley Duvall wasn’t in the original script. Kubrick had been chasing Shelley around the set with an axe for a couple of hours and after running out of breath he asked me to pick up where he left off.
Anyway later that evening Kirk Douglas dropped by to punch Stan for some reason or other and after I talked him down we went to a local bar to sink a few. One Scotch led to another and before I know it I’m on the piano wearing boot polish and shades singing Ray Charles numbers whilst Douglas dances the old soft shoe. I bet him a 1000 bucks he couldn’t do a back flip and he bet me 1000 that I couldn’t keep those shades on for the rest of my natural life.

So that was the story of why I wear sunglasses indoors and although years have passed I still get a letter from Douglas every week asking me if I’m wearing the shades. At least I think that’s what the letters say, they’ve become increasingly illegible over the last decade but then the man has had fifty strokes and is still going strong.

You know one of my favourite breakfast treats is good ol’ fashioned Eggs Benedict and the way I make it is guaranteed to impress that certain lady, or gentleman the morning after the the night before. It’s quick, it’s easy and here’s how you do it.

1.      Call Dirk Benedict
2.      Shout “ Get me some f*cking eggs!”
3.      Wait for Dirk to arrive
4.      Eat your eggs.

There you go. Eggs Benedict the Nicholson way. Join me next time when I’ll tell you how to make an Apple Tart out of nothing but Oranges.

Adios.