The Set of "The Shining" is Intentionally Impossible


The set in "The Shining" appears to be intentionally designed to confuse and freak out viewers, through subtle "impossible and illusionary designs used by Kubrick to disorientate the viewer, and to communicate the illusionary nature of the Overlook Hotel." Kubrick expert Rob Ager explains in this weirdly fascinating, mind-bending two-part video (full of spoilers, obviously!):

And don't get me started on the hedge maze that cannot exist outside the Timberline Lodge in Oregon, where some of the film's exteriors were shot. You can actually see in the opening credits that this maze does not exist, yet later...there it is. I visited the lodge last weekend, and noted that the location of the hedge maze is not only unsuitable for hedge growth (the lodge is at 6,000 feet, around the "timber line" where trees stop growing), but also occupies areas that in real life are actually steeply angled parking lots, cliffs, or snow-covered hills; I assume they used a matte painting or separately constructed fake building for later lodge exterior shots and used some pre-existing hedge maze for all that business. (Incidentally, the bonus features on the DVD include some shots of the hotel set, which was built in a studio. Watching Kubrick and the actors walk between rooms by heading behind the walls, between flats, is pretty freaky, since the hotel seemed -- to me, at least -- like a real location set.)

See also: Music Changes Everything, which includes some now-dead videos and a link to my own edit of the opening credits with happier music.

(Via Daring Fireball.)