Never has the work of so popular a filmmaker felt so distant from the mainstream than in the case of Stanley Kubrick. Just thinking of the man who directed movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, and Eyes Wide Shut in the same cultural context as a rom-coms and explosion-intensive blockbusters gets one chuckling. But Robert Ryang took it to the next level when he cut together the trailer above, which converts The Shining, one of the most haunting psychological horror pictures ever made, into Shining, a garden-variety feel-good dramedy.
Ryang, then a young editor, pulled off this astonishing conversion as his winning submission for an Association of Independent Creative Editors contest, which asked for new trailers for existing films that put them into different genres. The Shining trailer's success has spawned many imitators, including quite a few based on Kubrick's work alone. Just above, we have 2001 turned into an entirely different kind of science-fiction movie — the kind that try to overwhelm us with their sheer intensity summer after tiring summer.
This trailer produces another lighthearted Kubrick, this time out of perhaps Kubrick's most dark-hearted piece, the unrelenting Vietnam picture Full Metal Jacket. Here it plays a lot more like Stripes without the satirical edge. Below, Kubrick's family-unfriendly Christmas film Eyes Wide Shut becomes a family-friendly Christmas film. Ultimately, though, it speaks to the quality of the original movies that, try as they might to convert them into the blandest of standard Hollywood fare, these trailers still can't fully conceal the presence of something cinematically intriguing indeed. I know I'd still buy a ticket.
Colin Marshall hosts and produces Notebook on Cities and Culture as well as the video series The City in Cinema and writes essays on cities, language, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.