It’s a lengthy, Kubrick-styled tracking shot behind the scenes of “The Shining”, and as with most things Kubrick, the attention to detail is astonishing. There isn’t much there for non-Kubrick fans, and might not wow casual viewers into tuning in, but it’s an uncompromising treat for members of the cult of Kubrick.
Perhaps I’m so awed by this because Kubrick’s been on my mind lately. Recent viewings of Full Metal Jacket, 2001, and Dr. Strangelove (thank you Universal HD Movies – you should really look into licensing this spot for your own run of Kubrick films, by the way) has gotten me ruminating on the icy obsessions in his work. I’ve been clamoring for high-def screenings of the less famous Kubrick works – Lolita and Barry Lyndon.Â I even recently attempted to watch Eyes Wide Shut, and was dismayed when UHD switched it out for the other Tom Cruise obsession and desire flick, the awful cinematic travesty Vanilla Sky.
Regardless, this promo isn’t a one-note gimmick, it exudes a reverence for the subject and the source material that you would never see on American television. Stateside promos shamelessly chase after what was cool ten minutes ago, network executives feel that there’s far too much at stake to push any sort of edgy, non-branded content. And the neurosis over being “cool” leads to cramming as much evocative sound design and swirling-nebula graphics as possible into each :20 spot. Crafting a :65 spot that unfolds with a deliberately creepy and engrossing rhythm would never, ever fly on American television.
Maybe my career work in promo has biased me against domestic television sales. This spot, though, is a beautiful piece of work. Would this work on American television? Could you see CBS or ABC running something this languid and compelling for “Lost” or “CSI”?
If you’ve missed the link above, the promo can be seen HERE.