Comparing Kubrick's LOOK Photos of Girls Testing Their New Hearing Aids with the two girls in The Shining and Diane Arbus' Photo of the Twins
Go to TOC for this film ( (which has also a statement on purpose and manner of analysis and a disclaimer as to caveat emptor and my knowing anything authoritatively, which I do not, but I do try to not know earnestly, with some discretion, and considerable thought).
Let's say we take a few photographs by Kubrick from 1948, for a LOOK magazine article on deaf children, these showing two girls adjusting their hearing aids. (From the Museum of the City of New York online collection.)
Now, let's say I tint one of the photos.
Let's say we look at a screengrab of the two girls from The Shining.
Let's say we compare the couple of screengrabs from The Shining with the Diane Arbus photo of identical twins in Roselle, NJ from 1967, and the images of the deaf girls.
I wonder--do the girls in The Shining (plus Danny's introduction to them in the bathroom mirror) more recall Diane Arbus' photo or the two deaf girls in Kubrick's photos from 1948?
Okay, yes, most people will probably say the Diane Arbus photo, but I personally favor the girls from 1948 due the style of hair and clothing and the introduction via the mirror, just as Danny first sees them while gazing in a mirror.
Which doesn't mean I don't think Kubrick wasn't referencing Arbus' iconic photo. Kubrick was, however, long interested in doubles himself, as we all know from his beginning works on the Cartier brothers. The subject has fascinated many artists, writers and filmmakers and is embedded in ancient myths from civilizations around the world.
First published Sept 2015 on my Tumblr. Thanks to those who have used my tinted version of Kubrick's LOOK photo and instead of giving attribution to me have instead stated it was found on the web.
Approx 416 words or 1 single-spaced page. A 3 minute read at 130 wpm.