Don't Miss The Stanley Kubrick Retrospective In Wynwood This Week
Ascher has seen The Shining 15 or 16 times from beginning to end, watching key scenes of the movie over and over again in slow motion and even backwards.
"Kubrick's always been one of my favorite filmmakers," said Ascher. "The Shining sort of left it's mark on me ever since I was frightened out of a screening that I had snuck into as a little kid."
Ascher says his fascination with the film was renewed several years ago when his friend Tim Kirk posted a long, in-depth analysis of the movie on the wall of Ascher's Facebook page.
"I was instantly ready to believe that The Shining did have some weird kind of black magic baked into its DNA," he said.
In the documentary, movie critics and fans say The Shining is about everything from the genocide of Native Americans to the Holocaust. One fan even argues the U.S. government forced Kubrick to create the moon landing footage and that Kubrick used the film to reveal the cover-up.
Ascher says Kubrick was never the type of director who talked at length about the themes behind his movies. And now that he's gone, it's impossible to say definitively what message he was trying to convey.
"I don't think that makes it any less interesting or important to try your best to understand what's going on in clearly a complicated movie," said Ascher. "Kubrick had been working on a symbolic level from his very first movie, 'Fear and Desire,' where he's got the same actors playing the Americans and the Nazis."
Now she's a photographer and cinematographer. She's also vice president of artistic programs at YoungArts in Miami.
Leone says happenstance brought her and Kubrick together. She is friends with the director's daughter, Vivian. When Kubrick was in the early production stages of Eyes Wide Shut, Leone says he asked his daughter to take lots of photographs of New York City for research purposes. But Vivian was getting ready to move and was too busy to take them, so Leone stepped in to help.
"I was doing my friend a favor," said Leone. "I never even thought about it."
Six months later, when Kubrick called Vivian to compliment her on the photos, his daughter admitted it was Leone who actually took them. The next thing she knew the director was offering her a job. "A few weeks of work turned into four years," said Leone.
Leone says to get the most out of a Kubrick film you have to have the right mindset.
"I think the mindset should be: Just be open to receive and not try and figure out every detail. Just receive the beauty and the humanity. Watch and observe."
Leone will be introducing Eyes Wide Shut on Saturday at O Cinema.