If you read Open Culture even casually, you know we love Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, and videos that make us see film in a new way. It only makes sense, then, that we’d jump right on Adrien Dezalay, Emmanuel Delabaere, and Simon Philippe’s The Red Drum Getaway, which mashes Hitchcock and Kubrick up into a four-minute shot of distilled cinematic collision. “Jimmy was having a rather beautiful day,” reads the video’s preparatory description, “until he bumped into Jack and things got weird.”
“Jimmy” refers, of course, to Jimmy Stewart as seen in the work of Alfred Hitchcock. “Jack” refers to Jack Nicholson seen in the work of Stanley Kubrick — which, of course, means Jack Nicholson of The Shining. Strange enough, you might think, that those two would ever encounter each other, but what might happen if the gang of droogs from A Clockwork Orange also turned up? Or if poor mild-mannered Jimmy found himself at the aristocratic, NSFW fetish party from Eyes Wide Shut?
When an auteur successfully taps into our subconscious minds, as Hitchcock and Kubrick so often did, we describe their work, in a complimentary sense, as “dreamlike.” But art that feels like a dream can also feed material to our nightmares, and as The Red Drum Getaway more closely intertwines these two disparate cinematic worlds as it goes, it begins to resemble the most harrowing filmic freakouts any of us have ever endured. It makes a perfect setting for Jack, who, as we know, has already gone insane due to his own alcoholism and the goading of the spirits who haunt the Overlook Hotel. And as for Jimmy, surely Vertigo put him through enough of the surreal to prepare him for the psychedelic end of 2001.
Colin Marshall writes elsewhere on cities, language, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer, the video series The City in Cinema, and the crowdfunded journalism project Where Is the City of the Future? Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.