Brown, John

Brown, John
   John Brown, assistant director of the Scottish Film Council from 1970 to 1989, is a Scottish screenwriter and critic who produced several television series, including The Justice Game. Brown wrote a chapter on STANLEY KUBRICK entitled “The Impossible Object: Reflections on The Shining,” for Cinema and Fiction: New Modes of Adapting, 1950–1960 (Edinburgh University Press, 1992), edited by John Orr and Colin Nicholson. Although “completely dazzled” by 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, Brown was no fan of Kubrick’s cinema, which he viewed as “essentially about failure and defeat” and distinguished by “a kind of nihilistic delight in the repeated representation of defeat. ” The only “moment of positive triumph” was “the birth of the star-child in 2001,” aside, perhaps, from BARRY LYNDON, which “presented its characters, self-deluded or malignant, with some generosity and compassion. ” Brown’s faith in Kubrick was revived by THE SHINING, however, an “endlessly fascinating, astonishing and exhilarating” film which he considered “Kubrick’s masterpiece to date. ”An extended speculation follows, surveying the film’s reception and positing three readings linked to contemporary literary theory. Setting aside the hypothesis of P. L. Titterington from Sight and Sound “that the film is a relatively unproblematic fable,” Brown’s readings suggest that the film may be “a self-portrait of Kubrick as an artist,” or “a kind of critical parody” of the horror genre, resulting in an “anti-horror movie, an inexplicit critique of the genre. ” But Brown prefers a third reading, based on the postmodern assumptions of David Lodge and Philip Stevick concerning “the ‘writer’ in crisis and his alter-ego/enemy the almost mute child with the gift of shining that becomes a metaphor for the rival medium, cinema; the relishing of banalities in characterization, acting, and dialogue; the multiple references to other movies, including Kubrick’s own; the playful use of conventionally-read symbols such as the hotel; the displaced black humor and the flat anti-logic of the plot; the lapses and ‘mistakes’ in detail and continuity that break the illusion of the illusionism; and the remorseless teasing of every narrative assumption, and of any hypothesis or reading which we might try to construct. ” For Brown, The Shining “both necessitates and defies the critical act. ”
   J. M. W.

The Encyclopedia of Stanley Kubrick. . 2002.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Brown,John — Brown, John. 1800 1859. American abolitionist. In 1859 Brown and 21 followers captured the U.S. arsenal at Harper s Ferry as part of an effort to liberate Southern slaves. His group was defeated, and Brown was hanged after a trial in which he won …   Universalium

  • Brown, John — (1800–59)    Rebel.    Brown was a native of Connecticut. From 1854, he became convinced that he was divinely appointed to lead the campaign against slavery in the Union. Although he was probably mentally unbalanced, he organised a guerrilla… …   Who’s Who in Christianity

  • Brown, John — I born 1735, Buncle, Berwickshire, Scot. died Oct. 17, 1788, London, Eng. British physician. He propounded the excitability theory published in Elementa medicinae (1780), which classified diseases as over or understimulating and held that… …   Universalium

  • BROWN, JOHN —    1) American slavery abolitionist; settled in Kansas, and resolutely opposed the project of making it a slave state; in the interest of emancipation, with six others, seized on the State armoury at Harper s Ferry in hope of a rising, entrenched …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Brown, John — ► (1800? 59) Abolicionista estadounidense. Fue considerado un mártir. * * * I (1735, Buncle, Berwickshire, Escocia–17 oct. 1788, Londres, Inglaterra). Médico británico. Propuso la teoría de la excitabilidad, publicándola en Elementa medicinae… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Brown, John Robert — ▪ 1994       U.S. judge (b. Dec. 10, 1909, Funk, Neb. d. Jan. 22, 1993, Houston, Texas), as a federal judge (1955 67) and chief justice (1967 79) of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, played a pivotal role in championing and enforcing …   Universalium

  • Brown, John Gordon — (1827 1896). Brother of George Brown. Born in Scotland. Educated in Edinburgh and New York. In 1844 engaged on the Toronto Globe; in 1851 editor, and in 1880 managing director. In 1882 retired from the Globe; appointed registrar of the Surrogate… …   The makers of Canada

  • Brown, John Mason — (1900 1969)    The eminent drama critic, born in Louisville, Kentucky, studied under George Pierce Baker in the 47 Workshop at Harvard University, where he graduated in 1923. In 1925, Brown became the first string critic for THEATRE ARTS, then… …   The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater

  • Brown, John Storrow —    P With Papineau at St. Charles meeting, 1837, 125; preaches rebellion, 126; heads the Patriotes at St. Charles, 128, 133; charged with cowardice, 133; his letter to Dr. Nelson, 133.    Bib.: Christie, History of Lower Canada …   The makers of Canada

  • John Brown (abolitionist) — John Brown Daguerreotype of Brown, ca.1856. Born May 9, 1800(1800 05 09) Torrington, Connecticut Died …   Wikipedia

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