Virginia Woolf opines, in Orlando, that “… all extremes of feeling are allied with madness,” and there is nothing that better epitomizes this than obsession—for, if there ever was a descriptive word for humanity’s madness, it would be obsession. Obsession characterizes love and longing, passion and drive. Obsession is born of the things nearest and dearest to our hearts, but this is also the rub: obsession simultaneously holds the potential for greatness and the potential for a dark and bottomless abyss. Narcissism is obsession. Drugs are an obsession. But so is art. From Alfred Hitchcock to Timothy Treadwell (read: the prolific to the self-destructive), the worlds of motion pictures is lousy with obsessives of all types; and, if there ever was a film that fuels the fires of the obsessives of the world more, it’s Stanley Kubrick’sThe Shining .
2012 brought us Room 237, which feels like the documentary equivalent of Antonioni’s Blowup  a la The Shining edition where everything is magnified and scrutinized and theorized to death in the most entertaining way possible. Though the movies are often permutations of each other, certain movies end up becoming more than the sum of their parts and The Shining is one such example. Its influence and enigma are so far reaching that not only have the obsessives of the world poured hours into thinking and writing about this film, but they have also ‘remixed’ the film in search of hidden secrets. For instance, if you were in Williamsburg, Brooklyn earlier in the year, you could have caught a screening of The Shining projected frontward and backward, inward and outward.
However, if that isn’t quite your jam, then perhaps this is: One of the more formidable iterations of a The-Shining-inspired-obsession comes from Mythbuster Adam Savage who, if you know anything about the man at all, is no stranger to obsessions. This is, after all, the man who became so determined to have and hold the Maltese Falcon statue that he poured through photos upon photos in order to handcraft a replica of the movie prop. It should then come as no surprise at all to find out what he did when he attended a Stanley Kubrick exhibit and found that the replica of the Overlook Hotel maze diorama was not quite up to snuff. So, check out the video below and behold a great obsessive at work for, as John Waters says, “Life is nothing if you’re not obsessed."