Correction To The Correction?

Andrew Sullivan —  Jan 30 2012 @ 5:00pm

A reader writes:

That shot with the bear guy and the tux guy from The Shining is my single favorite weird moment in all of cinema. No explanation, no context, over in less than ten seconds. Too racy and absurd to even get mentioned in the otherwise flawless Simpsons spoof, "The Shinning". Thanks for busting it out on a Monday.

A reader asks a great question:

Who says it's a "guy"? At no point in the film does the person in the bear suit remove the costume. Why does the NYT assume that the person in there is a man?

Update from a reader:

"Who says it's a 'guy'?" Easy answer: It's in the book.

From what I recall, the older man was a wealthy businessman. The man in the dog suit – not bear – was his younger lover. Jack is told during one of his flashbacks that in order to win back the affections of the businessman, the younger man was told he had to act like a dog at one of the hotel parties. This is one example of a plot point from the book that Kubrick gave only hints of in the film.

Another elaborates by pointing to a passage from IMDB:

At one point in the novel, Jack is dancing with a woman at a masque ball during the 1920s, and he notices a young man wearing a dog mask and behaving like a dog for the amusement of a tall, bald man. This bald man is the man in the tuxedo later seen by Wendy. The woman explains to Jack that his name is Horace Derwent, a former owner of the hotel, and an eccentric Howard Hughes type figure who poured over three million into restoring it after WWII. The young man acting like a dog is Roger, a former lover of the bisexual Derwent, with whom he is still in love. According to the woman, Derwent told Roger that "if he came to the masked ball as a doggy, a cute little doggy, he might reconsider;" that is, he might have sex with Roger. Although no actual sex scene between Roger and Derwent is described in the book, such a scene does seem to take place in Kubrick's film, albeit obliquely.

(Video: Scenes from Kubrick's classic set to DJ Koze von Okarola's remix of Radiohead's "Creep", via Nerdcore)