EYES WIDE SHUT ANALYSIS - PART SEVEN
Go to Table of Contents of the analysis (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).
The most important thing which must be kept in mind with Kubrick's films is there is the surface or principle story and then the internal or sub-story. In many of his films, if we're really paying attention, set elements pretty much immediately destroy the surface naturalism. One may not notice this destruction the first, second or third time one watches the film. Through constructive disorientation and disconnectedness, and sleight of hand as to where our eye focuses, Kubrick, the magician, intentionally obfuscates these elements that destroy the overt and naturalistic story line. The surface story lines are the principle ones, and this is maintained and supported by the intentional obfuscation of the deconstructive elements which keep them sub rosa. At the same time, these deconstructive elements are plainly there, alongside his tremendous effort to make things look real and believable, and once we bypass the disorientation and his purposeful refocusing they become a puzzle, annihilating the sense of reality. This destruction of the film's naturalistic story line is difficult enough to conceive of and accept that most people stop at this point and decide these puzzling aspects of Kubrick's films are errors when they are not. They are part of the art of a director cleverly designing the overt story line to be unimpeded by an internal story that tears it apart. Indeed, the sub rosa elements of the internal story may be discreet but they are enough in evidence to complicate the surface story with an aura of attractive, indefinable mystery, which is one of the reasons viewers return to Kubrick again and again. To work with the "reason" and "why of the internal story line is to try to settle into Kubrick's sensibility, examining how these internal stories form a dialogue in his oeuvre with repeating themes and ideas, elaborated upon from film to film. The internal stories haven't a "plot"; they aren't that kind of story. Instead, you have to be willing to deal with comprehending the themes and ideas represented in them as instead ultimately forming a different terrain for the setting of the surface story, guiding and interacting with the overt story and giving it a new form.
A handy-dandy diagram I made up of the streets Bill rambles and the various establishments he visits which are actually multiple fronts.
437 LS Exterior of the Harford's residential building. (1:51:58)
We continue the return to/repeating of situations. A view of the San Remo from 75th Street and Central Park West. This is almost a repeat of shot 7 only a few moments further along. In shot 7, the cut away is made when a man in a white jacket is crossing the street to the right and a taxi approaching, just as it reaches the first crosswalk. Shot 437 begins with that taxi now moving past that crosswalk and the man in the white jacket finishing crossing the street.
Quite a long time to cross that street! Several days!
438 Interior Harford's entry hall, facing the living room. (1:52:02)
This shot is an opposing view from when Bill returned home from Somerton the night before. As he enters and shuts the door, having presumably just returned from his second trip out to Somerton, we hear Alice in the dining room assisting Helena with homework. They are doing math and this scene links with the one in the Nathanson apartment when Dr. Thomas ("twin") arrived to visit his fiance, Marion. When Bill had arrived home from Somerton, he was shown entering from the opposing direction in his hallway, the same direction he was viewed entering the Nathanson home before the arrival of Dr. Thomas.
What returning to this exterior San Remo footage does do is take us back to the question of the man seated on the park bench across from the building, this person standing out to many as conspicuous due his being shown twice. We don't yet know that Bill is being followed. Does this man represent the stalking? In the book he is a homeless individual to whom Fridolin decides not to extend charity as he is worried if he gives him money that will establish a relationship and cause a domino effect that he would like to avoid. He feels guilt over this and rationalizes it away. He feels anxiety and is dismayed by his anxieties, how he continually frets over the future and how even a simple action could become a misstep that could eventually harm him. Such as his not wanting to fight the frat guys--for what if was injured? What if he was around the wrong person and contracted tuberculosis? These are Fridolin's concerns in the novel. He is disturbed by his wife's revelations, he muses on the possibility of a sexual adventure, he is pestered continually by the possible threats to his well-being that lie in wait for him. It is his entertaining the possibility of a sexual adventure that propels him into curious events that will ultimately reunite him with his feelings for his wife and family through a confrontation with death that is made profoundly intimate to him.
Before proceeding, let's consider Bill's actions for a moment. He had been warned to not say anything about what happened at Somerton for if he did so he would put his family in jeopardy. He hasn't said anything, no, but he has pursued inquiry, even going so far as to return to Somerton and receiving another warning. Kubrick is following Schnitzler's lead, and we understand that Bill is concerned for the woman who redeemed him and wants to find out what has happened to her and to Nick, but he also has his family to think about. The night before, when he returned home, he first checked on Helena, demonstrating his anxiety over her safety. Now, today, he plays detective. It may be that, not knowing he is being followed, he feels safe to do so. But then he goes to Somerton to demand an accounting. It is from this he is returning, from being warned away, which should scare him into the seclusion of his home office to brood. Instead, already he has his evening planned out, that he will return to his office. The night before, after turning down Marion's advances, as a disoriented wanderer he had made his way eventually to Somerton, provided it as a focus by Nick. Tonight he will attempt a return to Marion, and Domino as well.
As Bill enters, we see a photograph of Alice, a big smile on her face, holding a little bundle wrapped in white. I'm going to assume this is a baby Helena. We will see this same photograph in shot 438 on a side table in the dining room as Bill passes it to enter the kitchen. Bill's environment seems to be giving him the pitch, "This is your family! Your family, Bill. Alice is your wife. Helena is your daughter! Think of them!"
ALICE: (She says something like seven-hundred fifteen or seven fifty.) That's right. (Calls out to Bill.) Hi!
HELENA: Hi, daddy!
BILL (setting his briefcase on a chair beneath the cat painting in the entry): Hi. (Puts his coat on another chair and enters the living room.) Any, uh, any calls for me?
ALICE: Doctor Sanders and uhm Mrs. Shapiro.
Bill passing the bookcase on his right in the living room, I notice that at the end on the 4th shelf up, at camera-eye level, there are three books doubled: two of a book with a beige-coral cover, two of a book with a blue cover, and two of a book with a black or navy cover with bright red lettering.
BILL (entering the dining room): Hey, gang.
HELENA: Hi, daddy!
Bill strokes the back of Helena's head and leans in to kiss Alice.
439 MS The Harford dining table, facing the living room. (1:52:32)
Cut to continuation of Bill kissing the top of Alice's head.
HELENA (showing him her math workbook): Look, I got all of these right.
BILL: You got all of those right?
Alice yawns. I believe she yawns twice in the film. Here and back in shot 68 as she crosses from the living room into the dining room, having taken her circuitous route around the dining room table to the kitchen. Kubrick had opened the second day with the same waltz music from the film's beginning. In the first night's bedroom scene Bill cuts off the waltz at the same point that, on the second day, Alice yawns crossing from the living room to the dining room. The waltz continues for a few more moments in the living room with Alice seating herself beside Bill on the couch.
If I note that Alice yawns here in shot 439, it is because I have earlier compared the unnecessarily circuitous route Alice takes around the dining table in shot 68 to a shot in The Shining of Wendy taking a very long, unnecessary circuitous route to reach Jack at his table in the Colorado Lounge when he is having a nightmare. She wakes him from it and he relates to her his terrifying dream. In shot 439 Alice is again in the dining room, this time seated at the table and this yawn precedes Bill replaying in his head her relation of her nightmare from which he'd woken her the previous night, she starting up with a peculiar combination of a laughing grimace.
BILL: Every single one of them?
BILL: That's good.
ALICE: You hungry?
BILL: Sort of.
ALICE: You want to eat at seven?
BILL: Oh, seven, listen, can we make that a little earlier because I have uh some appointments at the office.
Bill lies not very ably here.
We see school work books spread out over the table, including a book titled "Carlos".
ALICE: Oh, you have to go out again tonight?
BILL: I'm afraid so.
HELENA: Daddy, am I going to get a puppy for Christmas?
I wish we knew which painting of Christiane's we view above the bottles in the background.
In the foreground, on the table, following the doubling of the 3 books in the bookcase, we see a couple of doublings on the backs of the books in the foreground. On one book we see two white boxes with four black dots, and the next book has on the back of it two yellow rectangles. I wouldn't bother to point this out except that we've just passed the three doubled books in the bookcase.
BILL: Well, uh, we'll see about that, OK? (He kisses Helena's head and starts for the kitchen.)
HELENA: But he could be a watch dog.
BILL (entering the kitchen): We'll see.
ALICE: Come on, baby, let's finish this off.
A watchdog? Interesting, considering the admonishment given Bill that his family could be endangered by his inquiries.
He passes by a candelabra holding 7 red candles, entering the kitchen. As he goes to the refrigerator (recall that he'd originally left the phone and pager numbers on it for Roz) he hears his wife doing a math problem with Helena.
440 LS of Alice and Helena at the dining room table. (1:53:12)
There is now a cobalt blue bottle on the credenza beside Alice and Helena that wasn't previously there, the oil and the vinegar cruets emptied (or else they're no longer there, difficult for me to tell), and the arrangement of liquor bottles is different. The spread of books upon the table is also different, and there are fewer.
To me, the cobalt blue bottle brings in again the color blue of the cloaks worn by the attendants who stood beside red-cloak. If you check back in section five you'll see how this quality of blue first was seen as night windows behind Alice and Marion, then in the Sonata Jazz club backing Nick. Now, Kubrick does a switch and brings in a bottle of the same quality of blue between shots 439 and 440.
ALICE: All right, we have Joe - Joe has two dollars fifty (we hear bottles clinking in the kitchen) and Mike has one dollar and seventy five cents.
441 MS OF Bill before the open refrigerator. (1:53:21)
ALICE: Joe has how much more money than Mike?
HELENA (this can barely be heard): (unintelligible) seventy-five?
Helena has said something that sounds like one seventy-five, she repeating after her mother.
Bill, his beer in his hand, seeming to have been given pause by this conversation between Alice and Helena, turns and looks at the scene searchingly.
What the heirophant had said at Somerton was when a promise was made there, there was no turning back. In a way, what we have with shot 437 returning to shot 7, 430 shots later, and continuing it, is a reinforcement of this.
These two shots are similar to something Kubrick does elsewhere but in those similar shots he winds back action in the background, showing it again and continuing on. When Bill was being driven to the Nathanson's we had shot 143 showing briefly in the background some repeated action from 141 then moving further along, nothing of any significance happening, but we are made aware of it as we see twice the clock that reads 1:22. The green/blue screen shots of Bill with the city street behind him in the background bookend his initial imagining of Alice with the naval officer. The same happened at the Jaso(n) hotel with two people passing the reception desk twice as Bill approached, first appearing in shot 388 and then again in shot 389 when Bill asks the clerk to ring Nick's room. We have the same in Lolita during the drive through what is supposed to be the White Mountains in New England but the blue/green screen instead shows the Black Hills in South Dakota. Humbert has picked up Lolita from summer camp, tells her that her mother is ill (not dead) and suggests a trip to the mountains. Lolita tells him she had not missed him and had been revoltingly unfaithful to him, but it doesn't matter as he must not care for any longer as he hasn't kissed her yet. Shot 272 repeats some of the same footage from shot 271 and continues. What stands out prominently is a Corral Trailer Park sign, repeated twice. Corral comes from a word meaning circle. Shot 277 repeats background scenery from 276 only closer in. Shot 281 repeats scenery from shot 279. What may be a Miller High Life sign stands out. We have the same kind of repeats in The Shining in shots 358 and 360 and then in shots 362 and 364 in the Gold Room when Jack is being served and is asking who's paying for it when he's told his money is no good there.
Instead, with shot 7, it cuts away just as the front of the taxi reaches the first crosswalk. When we return in shot 437 the taxi is moving beyond the crosswalk. If I am seeing it correctly, there is no rewinding. There is a rewinding of action in our returning to shot 7 for shot 437, but we do not review action again that we've already seen in shot 7. Instead we pick back up where the cut was made.
So we have a rewinding back to shot 7 to see it finish out but no rewinding of action. It almost seems that Alice's asking, "So is it gonna be a subtraction or an addition" comments on this in shot 442, but the answer is subtraction. Then, we have another flashback in time with in shots 443-446 Bill replaying Alice's relation of her dream in shot 375.
ALICE: So is it gonna be a subtraction or an addition?
442 LS Alice and Helena at the table. (1:53:33) The camera zooms in on them.
HELENA: Uhm, how much more means that it would be a subtraction?
ALICE: Yeah. You're going to be taking. Right.
443 MS Bill looking on the pair. (1:53:42)
ALICE: And then there were all these other people around us. Hundreds of them everywhere. Everyone was fucking.
444 MCU Alice. (1:53:53)
ALICE: And then I...I was fucking other men.
She smiles up at Bill.
445 MCU Bill. (1:53:56)
Bill returns a strained smile.
446 MCU Alice. (1:53:58)
ALICE: So many, I, I don't know how many I was with.
We hear him replaying his wife's confession of her dream in his head, that there were hundreds of people around them and everyone was fucking and then she was fucking other men. There is a slight difference between his memory and what Alice had actually said. A very slight difference. In his memory, I think, an "and" is added at the beginning of Alice's monologue.
Then there were all these other people around us, hundreds of them everywhere, everyone was fucking. And... (She cries.) And then I...I was fucking other men. So many, I...I don't know how many I was with.
Carl was a math professor, a scholar of numbers. We have here the Carlos (Carl) math book resting on the table and they are working out a problem to do with Joe. The meaning of IVSPh (Joseph or Joe) is "let him add" or adding.
As if in response to the Carlos math books, we shall next have Bill calling Marion but Carl, the math professor, answering instead.
There is no sense of foreboding in this scene for the audience, despite Bill's visit to Somerton. The peek of the painting beyond Alice and Helena, with its brightly lit beam of yellow breaking what is perhaps the sky, seems mysterious, mystical, but otherwise what the audience is given emotionally is such a sense of home security, Bill not even seeming particularly agitated, that we aren't worried about Alice and Helena coming to any harm. The film stays reasonably faithful to the book with the orgy, the warning (which had more to do with Fridolin's being lost should he tell anyone), his return home to find his wife, Albertine, deep in a dream in which he finally offers himself up for crucifixion, his return to the place of the orgy and being warned away, his wife then in a domestic scene as the wholesome mother but Fridolin being again later overcome with the sense it is but an illusion, a lie. When Fridolin goes to the office that evening it is indeed for real business, but then he finds himself visiting Marianne, wanting vengeance, for the good doctor to be less good, enjoying the idea of leading a double life that he could confess to Albertine and hurt her in kind. Instead he finds another doctor visiting Marianne, and so he only congratulates the despondent and largely unresponsive woman on her upcoming marriage. Then rather than going home to his identity as good Fridolin, in a dreamlike unreality, wishing even to vanish and assume a new identity altogether, he finds he has unconsciously returned to the home of the prostitute, who he is told is ill and won't be back for a couple of months. After this, at a cafe, a person he realizes has perhaps been following him thrusts a paper in his face, which is how he reads of a woman who has been found a victim of seeming self-poisoning, and he reasons this is the woman who had redeemed him at the party.
Kubrick gives us the domesticity. He returns us to Alice's dream but the many lovers in it rather than the crucifixion. Instead of voicing Bill's desire now for a double identity, he places the Carlos book on the table, bringing up Carl Thomas, and follows with Bill reaching Carl on the phone rather than Marion.
447 LS The front office of Bill's practice at night. (1:54:03)) Pook's music plays.
The camera faces a hall beyond the front counter on its left, this time showing a security camera above and a warning sign that informs there are security cameras on the premises, which reminds of the camera at Somerton and Helena's asking for a puppy watchdog. A sign about payment can be seen on the wall beside the counter. The camera pans right, over the counter, to the waiting area and the lit Christmas tree.
We're also shown a board on the wall that would be a display of the different MDs sharing the office with Bill. Earlier, Bill had asked Liza to switch Mrs. Akley and Mrs. Kaminsky over to Dr. Miller. No Dr. Miller appears on the board but a street on which Bill will later face off with his stalker will be Miller Street. The Kaminsky name has appeared before in 2001 as one of the astronaut scientists in hibernation. Victor Kaminsky. So he may have brought the name back in due Victor. Earlier I had noted how Alice's yawn ties in with Jack's dream in The Shining, and that in the same scene Bill is reminded of a portion of the dream she'd related to him. The subject of dreams came up in 2001 with the BBC inquiring of Poole what it was like in hibernation. His response was that it was like sleep except that one had no sense of time and one didn't dream.
We view again the painting that has the seeming number 7 embedded in it and the several enigmatic figures in red being followed or watched by the figure in a chechia hat, or fez.
Bill had said that he had appointments at his office at 7.
The number 7 stands out numerous times, particularly in conjunction with the cabs. Nick could be looked upon as referring to Nike, victorious, and Victor means, of course, victorious. The 7th sphere of the kabbalistic tree is that of Venus, Netzach, also called victory. It's said to have an appearance of harshness as a prelude to actions of deity that are ultimately chesed, kind. Inversely, Hod, Splendor, the 8th sephira, has the prelude of pleasantness but is followed by gevurah, retribution. These two are specifically given as the sephiroth of divine interaction with the world. There are other ways of interpreting and expressing but this seems apropos considering Victor's later assertions that his frightening Bill was for his own good.
448 MS Bill behind his desk in his office, a pen resting before him. (1:54:28)
Cut to Bill in his office, seated behind his desk, hand to chin, envisioning again the naval officer and his wife.
The pen. Kubrick focused upon one in 2001, it twirling slowly in space as its owner slept. Then in The Shining there was the business about the confusing pen that was sometimes turned toward Stuart and sometimes turned away from Stuart in the interview scene with Jack. And now Kubrick gives us a pen in association with a circle. In 2001 a parallel of sorts was drawn between the circling pen and the bone that morphed into a killing instrument.
449 MS Alice and the officer having sex. (1:54:33)
450 MS Bill in his office. (1:54:42) The music fades as Bill picks up the phone and dials a number.
451 LS The entry hall at the Nathanson's. (1:54:59) The phone ringing, Carl enters and answers it. The cordless phone and the column on which it rests had not been in this foyer previously.
Joe, a reader, pointed out to me that at the Nathanson's we see a pyramid and eye configuration (or vanishing point, or however you'd like to think of it). What he's talking about is the trapezoid shape on the wall beyond Carlos' head and the little circle above it. Kubrick doesn't privilege us with this view when Bill visits the Nathanson's and we see this side of the entry way. The "eye" portion is hidden by the lamp. Then when Carl arrives we instead see an opposing view of the entryway. This trapezoid shape repeats prominently several times on the registration desk at the Jaso(n) hotel.
452 MCU Bill on the phone. (1:55:09)
Bill audibly exhales.
453 MS Carl. (1:55:14)
454 MS Bill at his desk. (1:55:18)
He hangs up the phone. He had turned down Marion the night before. Today, if he was rethinking the matter, he finds there is no going back. This is a slightly different situation from the book in which he does physically return to the Nathanson household, intending to have an affair, but finds another doctor there.
Four rubber bands sitting beside the phone previous the call. After, one of them has been moved over to sit next to the pen and we see only two by the phone.
The rubber bands might take us back perhaps to the band-aid box that Alice had taken from the medicine cabinet in which had been the grass. After all, it was subsequent that scene that Bill was called to Marion's. Or perhaps we may think of Nick's band.
In the previous section we had 1's and 0's repeatedly. Here, with the pen and the rubber band, we have a straight line and a circle. We can look at it also as 01 or 10, depending on perspective. Some people will see a phallic symbol and vagina. The 10/01 is what resonates with me due the proliferation of 10s and extensions/permutations earlier. 10 was the address number of Rainbow Fashions. We also perhaps saw "10" in the password FIDELIO, written in all caps on the napkin.
Commenter Yoyonovitch wrote and pointed out that the seemingly missing 4th rubber band is on Bill's left hand (our right). She suggested that with Bill's two fingers resting on his forehead, and the 0's of the bands and the pen, we could perhaps see a reference to 2001.
As I've stated above, Kubrick has in 2001 the famous floating pen scene that communicates simply as a neat trick that demonstrates the gravityless situation within the ship.
The shot above shows the flight attendant slipping the napping Heywood's pen into his pocket in 2001.
If one reads my analysis on 2001, it will be noted I pay a good bit of attention to the horizontal flips Kubrick does in the film, and when, for instance, the space station will be rotating one way in a shot then will be rotating the other in another shot, just as at the end of the Dawn of Man section the bone, tossed into the sky, changes its rotation. There is no change of rotation of the pen but we have one peculiar shot in which it isn't rotating but is resting perfectly still, suspended parallel the floor. I suggest that the rotating pen, with the perfectly still pen, is a theme that's continued with the round rubber band beside the pen. And we have a similar situation, as far as rotations, in The Shining with the pen on Ullman's desk, during the interview, doing a horizontal flip, sometimes the cap facing toward Jack and sometimes the other end of the pen.
Here we have the horizontal flip/twin aspect also with Bill speaking to Carl, who functions as a twin (I cover this in some depth in the 2nd section). Just as with the astronauts in 2001 serving as twins--and one being left-handed and the other right-handed--so too do we have Bill speaking on the phone with his right hand and Carl with his left while his right is in his pocket. Then when Bill is seen off the phone, the band is wrapped about his left hand.
Is it possible we have just a sexual allusion? Phallus and vagina? Could be. Many seem to automatically go for a sexual correspondance. But we already have Kubrick showing Bill imagining his wife having sex with the Officer. Why then symbolize it?
Carl may have answered, and Bill would have been phoning for Marion, but Bill has just called the household of the deceased Nathanson. In what morgue does Lou Nathanson rest? Later, Bill visits the morgue to view Mandy who is in locker 10.
All I can say is that we have in these three pen scenes, which stand out, certain similarities.
Speaking of twins and 2001's pen that circles in a microgravity situation (sometimes called zero gravity)...
The world we live in consists of four dimensions, the three space dimensions and one that is not exactly time but is related to time (it is in fact time multiplied by the square root of -1). This is not at all easy to understand but it means that space-time as we call it has some rather weird properties. In particular, when you move through one of the space dimensions you also travel, unwittingly, through time. You do not notice this, indeed as far as you are concerned nothing happens to you at all, but someone observing you would say that you have travelled through time. Of course, we are always travelling through time, but when you travel through space you travel through time by less that you expect. The most famous example of this effect is the "Twins Paradox".
All the effects of special relativity, such as the slowing down of clocks and the shrinking of rods follow from the above. In fact, it is often better to think of some things, such as electromagnetic fields as being four-dimensional objects. However, the important thing to remember for the moment, is: when you move through space you are compelled to move through time but, when you move through time (which of course you are always doing) you do not have to move through space.
So, what does this have to do with gravity? It is quite simple! When a mass is present in the above space-time it distorts it so that whilst it remains true that travelling through space causes you to travel through time, travelling through time now causes you to move (accelerate) through space. In other words just by existing, you are compelled to move through space - this is gravity.
If I raise the "Twins Paradox" it is because of Kubrick's interest in twins and because of shot 7 continuing in shot 437, so that in shot 437 the perspective from 43rd street on the San Remo is of time continuing on from where it was left in shot 7.
Kubrick appears to exercise a form of the Twins Paradox in 2001 with Dave meeting himself several times at the infinity hotel--and we accept this because he has just made his great leap. He looks out the pod and views himself standing by the bathroom, then we have perspective entering that Dave and looking back at the pod that is no longer there. In the bathroom he meets himself in the mirror and appears shocked to find how old he is, as if the younger Dave having assimilated into the older. Already outside the bathroom door, on the bed, is the clothing in which an even yet older Dave will be seen to be dressed. In the bathroom, he hears a noise and looks and sees that older Dave dining. Then we have the perspective of the older Dave turning to the bathroom, then going to the bathroom to see what it is he might have heard, might have felt peering at him. Nothing is there. He returns to his table and faces then himself as a man of great age lying in the bed. With each confrontation, or near meeting, however, it's a single individual facing his mortality, but the older Dave is unable to see the younger one. With the Twins Paradox, which we feel we are observing a version, we should be seeing a meeting of two Daves--and we are, which is one reason we have the sense of the Twins Paradox. But what is really happening, for there is seemingly only one Dave Bowman who keeps meeting his future self and that future self sensing the presence of something else but unable to see what it might be, as if perhaps what is happening is memory in reverse for the younger Dave, and the older Dave experiencing a haunting memory that as far as we can tell he's unable to define. Was Kubrick playing with some idea of tachyons and breaking the speed of light resulting in backwards time travel? If so, are we finding this or a version of the Twins Paradox elsewhere in his films (such as with time continuing from frame 7 in frame 437, or his backgrounds showing as if small leaps backwards in time). Or is all this a metaphor for something else with Kubrick?
I may as well point out some ways Bill's office differs from the afternoon shot that wouldn't likely come of just cleaning up and rearranging. In the afternoon the order on his desk had been quite different. Also, there had been on the credenza behind him the shot of Helena playing piano (?) but there hadn't been this larger photo beside it. And there's now on the window sill a small bust of a horse. I've remarked on Helena and Troy and the turf maze at Somerton known as the Troy maze and Troy Town. I believe this is the first and only appearance of horse imagery in the film and may remind of the Trojan horse by which Troy was invaded and destroyed. Alexander Clayborne's paper, "Aeneas' Labyrinth and the Fall of Troy", connects the horse with the legendary labyrinth:
The first product of Aeneas' recital is his version of the wooden horse story. The horse itself is described in terms that make it seem as if the Trojan horse is a little labyrinth. From the beginning, it is clear that the Greeks construct the horse, making it symbolic. Then follows the description of its engorgement "delecta virum sortiti corpora furtim/ includunt caeco lateri penitusque cavernas/ ingentis uterumque armato milite complent" (2. 18-20). In his definition of the labyrinth, Miller says "It simultaneously holds within itself that which it is dangerous to let out, and keeps out those who would try to probe too deeply within and fall prey to monsters better left undisturbed" (Miller 234). The Greeks inside the horse are certainly too dangerous to let out, and they are simultaneously concealed and (despite Laocoon's virile projectile) shielded within. Furthermore the horse, like all symbols, requires interpretation. Sinon (once again, in spite of the ardent Laocoon) persuades the Trojans to accept his interpretation, which is of course (much like the hallways of a maze) misleading. And so it goes until the Trojans, wrapped up in the winding passages of Sinon's lies, bring the horse into the city. With each misinterpretation (e.g., Sinon, Laocoon's death) or error in judgement (the horse itself, the hesitation of the horse before it enters) they make, they enter further and further into the labyrinth symbolized by the interior of the horse.
One could ask what is the Trojan horse in the film? Is it the band-aid box out of which Alice took the pot? Is it the costume bag from Rainbow fashions, the mask escaping from it and making its way into Bill's bed?
I have held that contained in this story are elements of the myths of Troy and Jericho as mazes, that Bill has been walking a maze, just as we also had a maze in The Shining. And now we have finally the appearance of the horse beside the two supposed photos of Helen, the right one of them a new photo. And Bill finally reflecting on the "10" on his desk. Or is it the straight line as opposed to the circle?
Returning to the story of the Trojan Horse, an interesting portion of it concerns Laocoon, the priest sacrificing the bull who endeavors to convince the Trojans not to bring the horse inside the city. I read several various treatments, but the repeated essense of it is that Laocoon, who has tried to convince the Trojans not to pull the horse into the city, is interrupted in his sacrifice of the bull by two sea serpents with red backs appearing and strangling his two sons and then also Laocoon himself. Laocoon thus becomes the replacement sacrifice on the altar, the bull escaping.
Through these tricks and the skill of perjured Sinon, the thing was
credited, and we were trapped, by his wiliness, and false tears,
we, who were not conquered by Diomede, or Larissan Achilles,
nor by the ten years of war, nor those thousand ships.
Then something greater and more terrible befalls
us wretches, and stirs our unsuspecting souls.
Laocoon, chosen by lot as priest of Neptune,
was sacrificing a huge bull at the customary altar.
See, a pair of serpents with huge coils, snaking over the sea
from Tenedos through the tranquil deep (I shudder to tell it),
and heading for the shore side by side: their fronts lift high
over the tide, and their blood-red crests top the waves,
the rest of their body slides through the ocean behind,
and their huge backs arch in voluminous folds.
There's a roar from the foaming sea: now they reach the shore,
and with burning eyes suffused with blood and fire,
lick at their hissing jaws with flickering tongues.
Blanching at the sight we scatter. They move
on a set course towards Laocoon: and first each serpent
entwines the slender bodies of his two sons,
and biting at them, devours their wretched limbs:
then as he comes to their aid, weapons in hand, they seize him too,
and wreathe him in massive coils: now encircling his waist twice,
twice winding their scaly folds around his throat,
their high necks and heads tower above him.
He strains to burst the knots with his hands,
his sacred headband drenched in blood and dark venom,
while he sends terrible shouts up to the heavens,
like the bellowing of a bull that has fled wounded,
from the altar, shaking the useless axe from its neck.
But the serpent pair escape, slithering away to the high temple,
and seek the stronghold of fierce Pallas, to hide there
under the goddess's feet, and the circle of her shield.
These serpents with the blood-red crests sound very much like oar-fish, about which I was coincidentally reading today. They can grow up to 50 feet and have a blood-red crest.
But twin "serpents" are often not deadly at all, such as observed with the cadaceus, which shows the twin serpents wrapped about the staff, and was carried by not only Hermes but by Isis, the personification of the rainbow. For Bill, it would be a symbol of significance as the caduceus is often used as a symbol of medicine instead of the appropriate Rod of Asclepius, which shows only one snake with no wings.
Twin serpents are known for licking the ears and thus providing the gift of prophesy and an understanding of the language of the birds. This was performed, for instance, upon Cassandra and Helenus, I think, who were twins and siblings of Paris.
Helen's twin brothers, Castor and Pollux, the Dioscuri, are represented sometimes by twin serpents. As one rises, the other sinks, neither present at the same time, one representing the spirit and the other the material nature, the immortal and the mortal.
Robert Graves believes the twin serpents have been mistaken in the story of Laocoon's twin children as strangling them when instead they were licking their ears, thus likely granting them the gift of prophecy. Whatever the meaning, it is peculiar they enter the story of Troy in the way that they do.
Back to the horse bust. Kubrick sometimes brings in chess moves, so there's that, too. The horse could refer to the knight that "goes around corners", as was pointed out in Lolita when Humbert and Charlotte Haze were playing chess and he took her "queen".
We should, however, give serious consideration to the horse on the credenza/cabinet behind Bill's office desk, the many expandable files on it, linking this back to the yellow easy chair (equivalent to the yellow executioner's chair in Lolita) that morphs into the credenza/cabinet in which he hid the Rainbow bag that is comparable to the expandable yellow bag in Albertine's dream that holds all the valuables, the yellow VW in The Shining that holds so many bags, and the expandable duffle in The Killing that was hidden in the briefcase purchased at the luggage store beside the maternity shop. There is a trojan horse in the film and one of its expressions seems to be the Rainbow bag from which the mask escapes.
455 Exterior street that leads to Domino's. (1:55:25)
We are given an opportunity to see how, to the left, the street and the city drop off into nothingness. There is nothing to be observed beyond the block that holds the hardware store. There are no buildings, no lights. We've a steady flow of cabs flowing in from out of the void, and one red car amongst them.
The Manning-Bowman "means best" ad duplicates the below one, though I am unable to tell if it still reads "Showrooms #7th Floor" or 1st floor. There is no 7th floor. The blog "Ephemeral New York", writes that this ad is on 32nd street and likely survived as well as it did as it had been covered up by another building.
Eventually, via the 14to42 blog I located it on Google Maps and it seems to be somewhere around 192 Levington Ave and the 120 block of 32nd Avenue:
Seeing it in its original context, we realize how the ad overwhelms the set. Conveniently, the globe in the ad, advertising electronics and gifts, blurred as it is, does well recalling Bowman's confrontation with the monolith near Jupiter in 2001.
A woman with a GAP bag passes. Bill gets out of what may very well be again the 7M96 cab, wishing the driver a Merry Christmas. A woman with a black cowl over her head passes, reminding of the black cloaks and hoods of Somerton, but she is wearing a brown coat.
BILL: Keep the change. Merry Christmas.
The postal drop boxes began making conspicuous appearances after Bill's visit to Somerton. Before that we had seen perhaps one or two and there was no graffiti. After Bill's first visit to Somerton, the postal drop boxes were all covered with the same graffiti. After Bill's second visit to Somerton, when he received his own message via an envelope, the postal boxes have again changed. They will no longer be all the same. Some have graffiti, some don't.
A small, white pastry box in hand, Bill enters the building, passing a woman who carries a large box that looks like one that had been carried past the Rainbow earlier as he was entering it.
A sign inside the building indicates that people must show ID when entering, but Bill needed to use no ID his first time, as he was with Domino, and this time the woman with the box is coincidentally leaving when he arrives, which permits him entrance.
Two times before when the larger box appeared it was associated with the 7P94 cab. This time, the 7P94 cab doesn't pass by. I don't know what the difference is yet except the two other times the box was in the vicinity of the Rainbow as well, whereas now we are at Domino's. It reminds very much of Alex's parcel in A Clockwork Orange, and I've written about that at length in my analysis of the film. I won't get into it here, but the parcel appeared first in Alex's room with a note atop it. That note would have been the one he took to the record store. Next we see the parcel, it is in his room and without the note. The third time we see the parcel, he's carrying it when he is let out of prison, and it is torn away from him when he's mobbed at the waterfront. We also see the parcel in the mural in the lobby in which Alex lives.
A man carrying a larger box stops with a woman to use the phone down the block before Bill ascends the stairs to 265, but that box is not the same size as the large packages we'd seen first in shot 381 then in shot 400. His box is also more square. Because the first sighting of the box involved individuals mounting the stairs to the Rainbow building (unidentified as the Rainbow in that scene), and the second shot of it also involved a woman passing by the Rainbow (and Bill entering the same time another man exits), the box commands some attention. Also for the role it plays in gaining his admission now to Domino's building.
What is in these boxes isn't a concern. It's instead what they represent.
456 MS Interior of the entry hall, Bill entering. (1:55:53)
The lighting is completely different from the time before, a glowing yellow falling from above on the wall above the doors to apartments 2 and 3. Bill pauses briefly, as if trying to recollect which door was Domino's. We hear the sounds of children playing, and these sounds must seem to him to come from apartment 2. He chooses door number 3 and rings the bell.
Kubrick also has in The Killing a confusion between two doors. Sterling Hayden, in The Killing rents a cabin at a motel across from a motorcycle shop emblazoned with the name Ariel (referring to "The Tempest"). The motel is run by a guy named Joe Piano. At that cabin Johnny stores a violin case. The morning of the horsetrack robbery he goes to the motel with a florist box and exchanges the flowers in the box with a gun that was in the violin case. This florist box is the "trojan horse" of sorts that will smuggle the gun into the racetrack employee's locker room. After the robbery, Johnny (Hayden) returns to the motel to pick up the duffle bag holding the loot, it having been taken there by a cop who picked up the bag from a drop point at the racetrack. At the motel, Johnny accidentally attempts to open the wrong door and thinks at first something is wrong with his key. Then he realizes his error and opens the correct door.
This error seems to be tied to an error that was in the book. In the book, Johnny takes a suitcase holding the gun to some lockers at Penn Station. Mike, the bartender at the track, goes to pick up the gun and is given as taking out of the locker a florist's box, "about three feet long, twelve inches wide and eight inches deep. It was beautifully wrapped and tied with a large red ribbon. There was only one thing wrong with it. It weighed about twenty-five pounds." There's more than one thing wrong with it, though, as it should have been a suitcase.
In the movie, when Mike takes the florist box to into the employee's locker room, making everyone believe that within are flowers for his ailing wife, individuals want to get water and have him take the flowers from the box to preserve them for her through the day. He gets upset, which baffles them, he's been a likable colleague, but they leave him alone. Johnny uses the gun within for the robbery then stuffs it in the duffle bag with the loot. When he picks up the loot in the duffle bag at the motel, we don't see the gun. Things go all wrong, everyone with whom Johnny pulled off the robbery is killed, and at the end I believe we see him not consumed by regret over having lost his money, but immobilized by shame and guilt.
From there we can go to an error in Fear and Desire, in which Sidney, the youngest soldier, has been charged with looking over an imprisoned girl. Sidney is already starting to lose it, besieged with guilt over several men killed by his group the night before. He tries to get the girl to love him and in doing so relates to her Ariel's song from The Tempest, but he does so erroneously. The song was sung by Ariel for Ferdinand, the king's son, who has assumed his father has died in a shipwreck when it was only an illusion. Ferdinand hears Ariel's song, follows it, and Ariel confirms for him in the song that his father is dead. Instead, Sidney tells the girl that the sung was sung for Miranda, that her father was dead.
Then the spirit in the magician's power goes back to the island and tells Miranda that her father's dead. The spirit sings how he's dead at the bottom of the ocean. His bones are coral, his eyes are pearls, and Miranda, her father's dead. Dead! Can't you understand anything? Dead! Dead! Dead! Now d'you understand?
Eventually he ends up killing the girl then breaks but also becomes as Ariel, speaking of how everything morphs and that it was the magician who killed the girl rather than himself.
I detail in the analysis of that film how this has to do with Shakespeare's mysterious chess game at the end of The Tempest, played by Miranda against Ferdinand. Unaware that his son, Ferdinand, is alive, believing he has perished, just as Ferdinand has believed his father, Alonso, is dead, Alonso has told the magician, Prospero, that if his son were alive he would have him marry Miranda, Prospero's daughter. This is when Prospero draws the curtain to show them playing the chess game in which Miranda teases Ferdinand that he plays falsely, he insisting that he doesn't. The idea is that, being in love, they are unable to partake in honest rivalry as each wishes the other to do well--a person being unable to play against themselves. They are as HAL making his supposed "error" in the chess game in 2001 when he tells Frank Poole, from Poole's vantage, how he might have won, first telling him he had "missed" something. When Sidney is relating to the bound girl the story that Miranda's father is dead, he means Alonso, who becomes also her father in this marriage, which we should take as a sacred, mystical marriage.
Sally, the girl who opens the door in place of Domino, is dressed in a denim shirt decorated with embroidered flowers. Millich, too, wore a vest decorated with a flower design and in the book the owner of the costume shop wore an old dressing gown also decorated with a floral design.
It may also be that this shirt connects her to the florist's box in The Killing. Consider that Bill has just replayed the confusion of Johnny before the two doors in The Killing. Johnny had accidentally chosen door #2, surprising a couple inside, then he goes to the correct cabin where he had earlier switched out the gun in the violin case to the florist box. Here, Bill almost makes the same error but regroups and selects the correct door, a woman in a shirt embroidered with flowers answering.
Eavesdropping had been a theme in The Killing and it was alluded to in Johnny's confusion between the two doors. Eavesdropping was important to the film as the effects of it proved catastrophic.
Speaking of confusions between 2 and 3, when Bill had visited Gillespie's, he had inquired when someone would be in at the Sonata. The answer had been at 2 or 3. We don't know yet that Bill is being followed, but he is. Where is the spy in Gille-spies?
We have a website that gives a seeming promo photo from the set, a scene we never see, and the provided description is that it is Alice and Bill's Greenwich address. It is Domino's apartment building next to a wig shop rather than the Lotto store. The wigs instead appear at the Rainbow in the dressing room that has a rug from Alice and Bill's dressing room, and that we can also find their closet here. I have also discussed how there can be no apartment #2 as the Lotto store is where it should be. What does Bill hear that helps him realize he is about to go to the wrong door? A child inside.
Bill pauses and considers which is the right door, and then chooses the appropriate one.
Welcome to Somerton states that a notice for the sale of a Keith Haring painting can be seen on the wall here. Keith Haring was an artist who died of AIDS in 1990 and the placement of the notice here seems to presage the news Bill will now receive about Domino. However, considering misdirections in the film and Kubrick's sometimes predilection for wordplay, I wonder if we might have with it a signal for a "red herring" of sorts.
457 MS Bill before door 2. (1:56:11)
SALLY (through the door): What is it?
SALLY: No. She's not in.
BILL: Uh. Are you expecting her back soon?
SALLY: No, I'm not.
BILL: Okay. I have something for her. Can I leave this with you?
SALLY: Uh, just a minute.
She opens the door part way. Bill holds up the box and she chooses to unchain the door. A woman with red hair, which is tied up, she wears a blue work shirt, and a blue skirt. decorated with flowers, her red hair up.
Sally distinctly resembles one of the masks at Somerton, which, as the circle closed around Bill, was briefly paired with the plague doctor who later leads Black Feather Woman away. This suits with Sally delivering the news to Bill that Domino had received an HIV positive diagnosis.
Why is it Sally who may be represented at Somerton?
SALLY: Can I say who it's from?
BILL: Well, just tell her it's from...Bill.
SALLY: You're Bill?
SALLY: The Bill? You're the doctor who was here last night?
BILL: Well, I suppose I am.
SALLY: Domino said how nice you were to her.
BILL: Did she?
SALLY: Uhm. Why don't you come in for a second?
458 Living room of Domino's apartment. (1:57:19)
One wonders what in the world has happened to the Christmas tree which looks pretty beaten up compared to the previous evening. Except for the central "spire" it gives the appearance almost of having been overturned.
That can't bode well.
He advances to the kitchen in front of Sally and as he removes his jacket before the yellow kitchen table (now cleared) she squeezes her body past him invitingly, saying her name is Sally. Their positioning reminds of the Rainbow, when Milich showed Bill through the door into the back hall and stood squarely in it, his profile to the camera, barely giving Bill room to pass.
Behind Bill is a card with a Santa in red standing. This had been only briefly observed during Bill's prior visit, when he was entering the kitchen, then had disappeared afterward, the camera focusing on the cupid card. Here, we only briefly see the cupid card at the far left when Bill enters the kitchen, then it is covered by a beam and for the remainder of the time that Bill and Sally are standing the Santa card is instead prominently in view. My guess has been that these Santa cards, the way they are used subsequent Somerton, may be the idea of Bill being followed, as if by the Hierophant in red. Or Nick=Victor.
"Helloooo, Sally." Bill says, they flirting with each other. He asks when Domino can be expected back, a blue half circle shape appearing on the camera lens in the lower left hand corner, rather like a rainbow (and has been observed at other points in the film, but it is especially prominent here). "No idea?" No. "She may not even be coming back," Sally says. "She may not even be coming back," Bill repeats, unbuttoning Sally's shirt. Sally leans her forehead against him, hesitating, this rainbow in the lower left corner, and says there's something she should tell him, acting as if she's struggling against arousal. She pushes Bill away and has him take a seat.
Sally's name isn't given in the book and she plays a somewhat briefer part than here. The previous evening, when Mizzi (the prostitute, as named in the book) and Fridolin had parted she had stated that she would stay in the rest of the night like a "proper lady". Sally is diminutive of Sarah, which means, "lady, noblewoman, princess". I don't know if there is a connection.
SALLY: I'm Sally.
BILL: Hello, Sally.
BILL: So, do you have any idea when you expect Domino back? (He drapes his coat over the tub.)
SALLY: No. I have no idea.
BILL: You have no idea.
SALLY: Well, uhm. To be perfectly honest, she may not even be coming back.
To be perfectly honest. Bill had used that phrase on the waitron at Gillespie's, saying he had to contact Nick about a medical matter to do with some tests he would want to know about. Then the clerk at the hotel had used the phrase on Bill when relating that Nick had looked scared when being taken away by the men.
BILL (laughing): She may not even be coming back.
Bill undoes Sally's shirt.
SALLY: Well, hmmm.
SALLY: I, uh...
BILL: You, uh...
SALLY: I think there's some...something that I should tell you.
SALLY: Oh, yeah. But I uh just, I don't know, I don't know.
BILL: You don't know.
BILL: Well, what is it?
SALLY: Uhm, I don't know whether to tell you this. Oh, wow. (She pushes him away.) Why don't you...why don't you have a seat? Okay? Let's sit down.
They sit at the table. While Sally struggles with what to say, Bill laughs.
SALLY: Oh, oh. I don't quite know how to say this.
BILL: You don't quite know how.
Note that Bill is only repeating everything that is said to him, as if in keeping with all the doublings. At least up to this point in the conversation where a surprise turn is taken.
SALLY: Well, considering that you were with Domino last night, I think it would be only fair to you, to let you know that uhm, she got the results from the blood test this morning and it was HIV positive.
BILL (sitting back): HIV positive.
459 MS Bill from behind Sally's left shoulder. (2:00:20) He stares. Blinks.
BILL: Well. I am very, very sorry to hear that.
460 MCU Sally. (2:00:33)
SALLY: Yeah. I mean, it's absolutely devastating.
461 MS Bill from behind Sally's left shoulder. (2:00:42)
462 MCU Sally. (2:00:51) We notice Sally wears a necklace with a heart shaped pendant.
SALLY: Listen, can I offer you anything? A cup of coffee maybe?
463 MS Bill from behind Sally's left shoulder. (2:01:01)
BILL: No, thank you. I think, uh, maybe I better be going.
464 MCU Sally smiling. (2:01:21)
Perhaps Bill remembers that earlier that morning, at Gillespies, he had falsely used his doctor credentials as a password to try to get to Nick, and failing, had said that he had a message to give him about some medical tests, which got him Nick's address at the Jaso(n).
Bill has been returning to the events of the previous evening, attempting to converse with them. He is making inquiries. But a bruised and scared Nick has been sent away, and Domino will not be returning...
That is, if Bill's informants are being perfectly honest with him, and not perfectly honest in the way he was at Gillespie's.
The appearance of the Josef Kriebich Knishery near Domino's is based on the real life Yonah Shimmler Knishery. If one studies the history of Yonah Shimmler's knishery, one learns that a couple of doors to its left used to be the Houston Hippodrome Theater, where the reopened Sunshine theater now is (photos exist of its facade in 1930). Before it became a Yiddish theater under Charles Steiner's ownership in 1909, in 1908 it had been a boxing venue. When it was a Yiddish theater, people purchased snacks from the Yonah bakery to eat while watching shows. Earlier, the Hippodrome had been a church, and retained its pews as seating, so we have many successive layers of history within that one building.
After Charles Steiner, the theater is given as having been purchased by lawyer Max D. Steuer.
On February 2 of 1913, during a showing of the film, "Dr. Gar El Hama, Daredevil", the theater had a fire in which two women were killed and 32 were injured in a crush of people rushing to escape, an audience of anywhere between 300 and 1000 reportedly jamming the exits. A small section of the film had caught fire, which the projectionist successfully put out, but the panic had already begun, a flare of red projected on the theater's movie screen followed by a muffled explosion and a boy in a balcony shouting, "Fire!" Arthur Davies, a lecturer who was explaining the film, implored the audience stay calm and keep their seats as an orderly evacuation was made by four exits. Many on the ground floor took his advice and escaped the crush, but not so those in the balconies who fled to the double stairways which led from the balconies to the front exit. Those stairs filling with the fallen, others ran for the side exits where individuals fell on the fire escape and again a great crush was caused.
"...Max D. Steur...had recently defended the owners of the Triangle Shirtwaist factory and found them not guilty of manslaughter. In an ironic turn of events, Steuer would have a fire of his own in 1913, a small, harmless flame in the projectionist booth that nonetheless prompted panic in the audience and caused two deaths by trampling. (This anecdote would later be referenced in the Supreme court case Schenk v. United States of America about the dangers of free speech.) This event returned control of the theater back to Charlie Steiner in 1917. He expanded the theater to 600 seats, stripped the interior, and renamed it the Sunshine." Source
A news article from the time instead gives Charles Steiner and Abraham Minsky as owning the theater during the event of the fire, Irving Steiner the theater's projectionist.
I guess it was renamed the bright and lively Sunshine to dispel the gloom of those deaths while under Steuer's owernship.
Hippodrome is a race course etymologically (Greek hippos is horse plus dromos is race,course) and we already have a scene in Domino's apartment building, Bill's brief confusion with the choosing between apartments 2 and 3, that connects us to The Killing, a film about a racetrack heist.
Did Kubrick know of this history? If he did, did he consider Steur's association with two fires to be a similar type of coincidence to be compared with the two train incidents that we see in the paper alongside the article on Amanda's overdose?
465 LS Deserted city street, Bill enters the lower frame walking away from the camera. (2:01:27)
"Musica Ricercata #2" plays.
I've a post on Bill's location here. He's at Grand and Wooster Streets in Soho. If he continues another block down Wooster, he would come to Canal. Take a left on Canal and he would be at Church Street. I mention this because after this shot Kubrick switches to street shots in London, the first being on Worship Street.
I found this location through pure dumb luck due the cobblestone street. Did a search for neighborhoods in New York with brick streets and came up mainly with places in Queens and Brooklyn. That wasn’t going to work. Then I wondered if perhaps the street only looked like it was paved in brick due the street lights. So I did a search instead for cobblestone streets and an article came up mentioning Soho. I zoomed over Soho in Google maps and this was my second drop. Whew. Like I said, pure dumb luck.
466 Crossfade to MS Bill walking. (2:01:37 crossfade begins, ending at 2:01:39)
We see garbage cans with the number 80 on them, like the cans we had seen when Bill walked with Domino to her place. He passes two lit phone kiosks. He is actually walking Hatton Garden street in London, between #32 and #38. He hears footsteps and looks back to see a bald man in a camel hair coat on the other side of the street. The bald man is, in real life, passing the Nicon House at 21 Worship Street.
467 LS Exterior on Worship Street. (2:01:50)
The bald man passes under a STORAGE banner sign and an ABACUS sign (an abacus was originally a board covered with sand on which one could write and then wipe it away, rather like an ancient chalk board), then before Nicon House. This reminds of Nick and the fact that Nike means victory, making a connection with Victor having Bill followed.
Why should the bald man appear now? After all, Domino has no overt relationship to Somerton. Bill's actions after his second visit to Somerton have involved no inquiries into Nick or Somerton. But, of course, all that he has done, his entire adventure, beginning at Victor's party, has to do with Somerton and his visit to the end of the rainbow.
There is a one way sign pointing the direction in which they both walk.
The direction in which the bald man is walking is (in real life) away from Tabernacle Street, which happens to be the next cross street back.
Kubrick has chosen to place this last critical encounter in streets with names that connote a religious, spiritual context--worship, tabernacle--but unless the viewer is familiar with these streets they won't be privy to this knowledge.
468 MS Bill (on Hatton Garden street, we see the numbers 34 - 3 in the rear). (2:01:56)
Bill passes the address 34*3, Kubrick not showing us the final digit of the second number. He passes a metal door on which is the word FINDINGS, and the number 36. Next, the shopfront of "Diamond Jewelry", on the awning of which is (212)555-7686. Under the awning we briefly see on the shop front two words. Though it doesn't look like it this reads "Vingt-trois", or 23.
Flashing back to Lolita, Humbert begins to suspect they are being followed. He stops at a gas station. While he's in the bathroom he looks out to see Lolita speaking with an individual and he queries her on this, however that car is not the same that has been depicted as following them which has a white top and dark bottom. The license plate on it is 4304. This seemed close enough to our being shown here 34*3 that I'd give it a mention.
He passes number 38, then Val D'Or LTD, Imperial Pearl Co. (Pearl Importers & Stringers.) He again looks back.
Currently, the "Diamond Jewelry" shop is on the first floor of a large building bearing the name of "Diamond House". Also located in that building is Manyhill Ltd. which in the movie is instead Val D'Or.
That Bill is passing Diamond House, could it be related to the diamond history concerning where the interior of Somerton was shot (see section six)? Maybe not. I'm just thinking out loud.
Val D'Or is a shop in Hatton Garden "in the heart of the jewelry quarter". In the movie it is at 38 Hatton Garden, but it is now instead at 24 Hatton Garden. Val d'Or was originally located at 38 and switched to 24 Hatton Garden, it seems, 11/10/1998 (according to a document I found online). Val d'Or means Valley of Gold.
Is this confusing enough, that he passes #36 that has the words "Vingt-trois" on the awning, then #38 and Val D'Or which is a real place and on 11/10/1998 switched addresses from 38 Hatton Garden to 24 Hatton Garden? In the meanwhile, supposedly across the street, the bald man has been progressing past the Nicon House at #21 Worship Street, which is 1.8 miles away in real life? Yes, it gets confusing.
32 thru 38 Hatton.
The mail drop box by which Bill passes appears to be the same on e that he had viewed during his last trip to Domino's. On the side is the scraped remains of 3 p.m.
469 LS The bald man before the Donnelley House. (2:02:14)
Again, this is on Worship Street walking away from Tabernacle Street. I would think the choice of location to be intentional.
The Online Etymology Dictionary relates as to tabernacle:
mid-13c., "portable sanctuary carried by the Israelites in the wilderness," from O.Fr. tabernacle (12c.), from L. tabernaculum "tent," especially "a tent of an augur" (for taking observations), dim. of taberna "hut, cabin, booth" (see tavern). Transferred late 14c. to the Temple in Jerusalem (which continued its function). Sense of "house of worship" first recorded 1690s. The Jewish Feast of Tabernacles (mid-October) was observed as a thanksgiving for harvest.
The Hebrew word is MShKN from ShKN, from 'shakan'; a residence (including a shepherd's hut, the lair of animals, figuratively, the grave; also the Temple); specifically, the Tabernacle (properly, its wooden walls):--dwelleth, dwelling (place), habitation, tabernacle, tent.
470 MS Bill rounding the corner onto the Rainbow street. (2:02:20 begin crossfade, end 2:02:22)
We see Bill turn a corner, a delicatessen with bright green awning across the street. He is back in the Rainbow neighborhood and is rounding the corner that would take him past Mancini's to the Sonata Cafe. He glances back, so we are given to believe that he is coming directly from the same street on which we have seen Nicon House and the Diamond House--Worship Street and Hatton Garden Street, but more significantly Worship Street. He passes by a restaurant lit inside with strands of white lights. On a building beyond we see a sign that reads "For sale, Vitali, 212-555-5005". He passes by another postal box, a C&P Cleaners shop with same day cleaning, wash and fold service, number 14. He looks back and sees the bald man in the camel coat rounding the corner behind him.
C&P is popular on this set. In shot 381 we clearly see a C&P Auto Repair shop in the building with the Thread Mills sign, the one on which we now have the Vitali sales sign instead.
As I've mentioned in section two, the camel is the beast which accompanies one through the spiritual desert of the abyss.
Bill, as far as he can tell, is experiencing his most critical part of the adventure thus far, finding himself followed by this threatening person, the dark streets for much of the time conspicuously empty.
471 LS The bald man rounding the corner on Benton Street. (2:02:37)
The mail drop box has changed again and is like the ones viewed earlier in the day, though only presenting a portion of the graffiti.
472 MS Bill before 237. (2:02:50)
He speeds up, frightened, and before address 237, a restaurant decorated with multicolored lights, he waves for a cab, fearful.
We see three arches within the glass facade of the restaurant. These are the three arches of the Jason Hotel.
What address had I said Victor's mansion was located next to? 237 Madison Avenue. We had wondered if this was purely coincidental. But these are the three arches of that 237 address. The Jason, however, isn't modeled after 237 Madison Ave., instead it is modeled after the Washington Square Hotel at 101-105 Waverly Place.
We will later see the hospital, which seems to have the address 237, possessing also 3 arches.
473 MS Bill hailing a cab. (2:02:55)
We now see him from another view, waving for a cab, on Wren street. He is at an intersection where a cross street dead ends into Wren, perpendicular him, and at the end of that street is the neon green awning of a delicatessen. To the left we can make out the sign for Gillespie's Diner. The bright green awning on the right of the street belongs to Sharky's, a.k.a. the Rainbow.
We are given the feeling that Bill had likely walked a straight line from shot from shot 470 to 472, but instead he had crossed a street and turned right. We are looking back down a where he and the bald man had entered this area in shot.
An earlier view down this street shows that he had here another distressing encounter, the one with the frat guys. In that earlier view, the Sharky's sign for this scene can be viewed above the cappuccino shop. In this scene there is a nails shop across the street from the news kiosk and this is another connection to episode with the frat boys as one had been speaking about the "scars on the back of my neck" from a Mexican lap dance.
He sees a cab round the corner from the left. It comes into focus at 2:03:00. He crosses toward it, and a cab passes before him honking its horn at him. He reaches the other side of the street as a passenger emerges from the cab.
I have read that the person exiting the cab is Leon Vitali, and if one looks closely it does appear to be him. Vitali is also the individual who played the hierophant.
474 LS Bill running to the cab, the Verona Restaurant in the background. (2:03:08)
CAB DRIVER: Off duty!
The cab is 7M96, the same number that took him to the Rainbow the previous night and out to Somerset and to the Rainbow the following day and to Domino's. It takes off and leaves him, turning left. Across the street is "A Hint of Lace" next to a "Nails" shop. We see the restaurant he was standing before when hailing the cab was the Verona Restaurant.
A Hint of Lace? Directly opposite it is a delicatessen. Delicatessen comes from the word delicate and is perhaps related to delicious. Once again, referring to the Online Etymology Dictionary:
c.1300 (implied in deliciously), from O.Fr. delicios (Mod.Fr. delicieux), from L.L. deliciosus "delicious, delicate," from L. delicia (pl. deliciae) "a delight, allurement, charm," from delicere "to allure, entice," from de- "away" (see de-) + lacere "lure, deceive" (related to laqueus "noose, snare;" see lace).
So, lace and delicatessen are related words.
Words can form fun alliances.
A stop sign behind him seems to be marked with the graffiti CMB. He continues away from the Verona, and the man in the camel coat appears at the corner, standing next to A Hint of Lace. The man in the camel coat stares Bill down as he takes refuge before a manned news and lottery kiosk which is before where the vacant lot has been. The individual who sells him a paper is Emilio D'Allessandro, a long time chauffeur and assistant of Kubrick for whom the Caffe de Emilio was named. We see at the kiosk a lotto sign, a price sign for 2.30, and a sign that all who are under 18 will be carded. These things may return us to Bill's choice between #2 and #3 at Domino's building next the lotto place, as well as the no admittance sign.
As far as magazines, I can identify the "Travel & Leisure" magazine from December 1996. "Special Report: Where to Go Next. A Country Holiday in Scotland." Other articles are "Jamaica's Undiscovered Shore", "The Best of Aspen, On and Off the Slopes", and "Love Affair with Buenos Aires". Another magazine is the December 1996 issue of "Sunset". "65 ideas to Savor the Season". "Beautiful Wreaths", "An Italian Feast", "A Rich Yule Log", "Scrumptious Cookies, "Hanukkah Cakes". There's also a December 1996 issue of "Southern Living". "Sharing Family Traditions", "Simple Decorations", "Trimming the Tree", "Getting Ready for Santa", "Festive Supper Club Menu".
It seems perhaps of some significance to Kubrick that he would have both Vitali and D'Allessandro in this scene in which Bill has his confrontation with the bald man. Bill believes he is likely being followed but would still be uncertain. He would wonder if this has to do with Somerton. Vitali is the last person who occupies a cab in which Bill had been riding throughout the film, it coming around the corner from the direction Bill and the bald man just came, and now the cab has refused Bill service. Just a couple of steps away is Kubrick's trusted chauffeur and assistant, D'Allessandro who from the time Vitali exits the cab to when Bill leaves the kiosk will be the sole witness to Bill's confrontation, and he has no reason to pay any mind to it.
475 MS Bill before the news kiosk. (2:03:29)
Cut to a side view of Bill watching the man.
476 LS The bald man. (2:03:33) The bald man stands at the corner of Wren and Miller St. by A Hint of Lace. Miller is the name of the doctor who was supposed to see two of Bill's patients that afternoon when he went out to visit Somerton again.
477 MS Bill. (2:03:37) Bill picks up the paper with the headline "Lucky to be Alive" and pays for it.
When Bill had been attending Amanda, after her overdose, he had called her "lucky" and the inference was that she was lucky to be alive. Now that inference is transferred to Bill in his situation.
478 LS the bald man. (2:03:48)
He crosses the street to Bill's side.
Again, he stops and stares at Bill.
479 MS Bill. (2:04:07)
480 LS The bald man. (2:04:11)
As a cab goes by, the bald man exits to the left.
An earlier view down this street, after the frat boys had jostled Bill, now taunting him.
Verona is Veronica, meaning "true image". The story of St. Veronica has her wiping the face of Christ with a cloth and thus recording a true image, an icon of him. She'd offered the cloth to him as he stumbled on the way to his crucifixion.
But, Veronica is also related to the idea of victory.
From the Online Etymological Dictionary:
fem. proper name, from L. Berenice, from Macedonian Gk. Berenike (classical Gk. Pherenike), lit. "bringer of victory," from pherein "to bring" (see infer) + nike "victory." The constellation Berenice's hair is from the story of the pilfered locks of the wife of Ptolemy Euergetes, king of Egypt, c.248 B.C.E., which the queen cut off as an offering to Venus. The constellation features a dim but visible star cluster. But the earliest use of the phrase in astronomy in English was as a name for the star Canopus (1601).
The comet is also known as Ariadne's hair, which brings us into the idea of the maze, Ariadne being the one who assisted Theseus in his battle against the minotaur by giving him the thread by which he would find his way back through the maze. Thus, I would guess, the Thread Mills advertisement that has been at the end of the street but no longer is.
If we refer back to Lolita the idea of the real and true enters via a Drome cigarette ad (would be short for dromedary, camel) in Lolita's room, viewed after she departs for camp. The ad shows Quilty, considered a teen heart throb. This problem of real or true rises periodically in Lolita and in other Kubrick films. And now here we have verona. What is the true image.
Let's return to Emilio.
Welcome to Somerton has a post that shows how in a set photo of Emilio standing before the Caffe Da Emilio, one of the garbage cans has on it Shepard Fairey's Andre the Giant image under which Fairey would put the word OBEY, inspired by the John Carpenter movie They Live. In that movie, the hero learns via a pair of sunglasses that aliens live amongst humans and are controlling the world through media. It's only with the sunglasses one can see their true faces and the true messages behind ads etc. In the photo of Emilio on the steps of the Caffe, we only see the face of Andre on the can, not the word OBEY. What is most interesting to me about this is that Fairey says he developed the art as an experiment in phenomenology.
Before continuing, should also consider that in Lolita, when Humbert becomes upset upon his discover that Lolita has left the hospital, one of the men who holds him down in the hospital hallway is a large black man whose name is Andre. At the end of that scene, given the task of helping Humbert home, he lifts him up and is rather touchingly observed brushing Humbert's clothing clean as he leads him to the door.
Now, onto phenomenology.
The OBEY sticker campaign can be explained as an experiment in Phenomenology. Heidegger describes Phenomenology as “the process of letting things manifest themselves.” Phenomenology attempts to enable people to see clearly something that is right before their eyes but obscured; things that are so taken for granted that they are muted by abstract observation.
The FIRST AIM OF PHENOMENOLOGY is to reawaken a sense of wonder about one’s environment. The OBEY sticker attempts to stimulate curiosity and bring people to question both the sticker and their relationship with their surroundings. Because people are not used to seeing advertisements or propaganda for which the product or motive is not obvious, frequent and novel encounters with the sticker provoke thought and possible frustration, nevertheless revitalizing the viewer’s perception and attention to detail. The sticker has no meaning but exists only to cause people to react, to contemplate and search for meaning in the sticker. Because OBEY has no actual meaning, the various reactions and interpretations of those who view it reflect their personality and the nature of their sensibilities.
Many people who are familiar with the sticker find the image itself amusing, recognizing it as nonsensical, and are able to derive straightforward visual pleasure without burdening themselves with an explanation. The PARANOID OR CONSERVATIVE VIEWER however may be confused by the sticker’s persistent presence and condemn it as an underground cult with subversive intentions. Many stickers have been peeled down by people who were annoyed by them, considering them an eye sore and an act of petty vandalism, which is ironic considering the number of commercial graphic images everyone in American society is assaulted with daily...
Shepard Fairey 1990
I earlier noted how a notice for the sale of some Keith Haring art is on the wall beside Domino's door. There happens to be an essay on Keith Haring at Shepard Fairey's Manifesto website.
...Traveling the New York subways, Haring immediately took note of the surrounding visuals. The graffiti and advertising posters seen on and around the subways influenced Haring as not only aesthetic references but as accessible images in the public right-of-way. He engaged with the pervasive forces of advertising as repetitive and graphically engaging, and graffiti as free-spirited, fluid transgression, sometimes interacting with or commenting upon the advertising. Haring illuminated his transition from an observer of these visuals to a participant adding his own work into the negative area in ads and other spaces of opportunity in the public environment. He discusses his idea of his paintings as visual poems with hieroglyphics or pictograms open to interpretation by the viewer. His journals provide ample evidence that the visual language he developed was not simply justified by retroactive intellectualization, but evolved from a desire to fulfill a very clear vision.
Haring had an unwavering belief in individuality, that no two human beings are alike. He didn’t want to be categorized as part of an art group or movement, yet he believed we are all part of a whole, and his empathy with humanity was strong and consistent throughout his career. He states, “I don’t think art is propaganda; it should be something that liberates the soul, provokes the imagination and encourages people to go further. It celebrates humanity instead of manipulating it.”
The essay is dated 2010 but it's possible that there were articles out in the 90s linking Haring's and Fairey's art and comparing purpose and sensibility and that Kubrick was familiar with these. Both are united in the expressed opinion of their art being open to interpretation of the viewer, Fairey further seeing his art as intended to rouse curiosity and a reawakening of consciousness of the object.
It might be helpful to give some basic, simple notes on phenomenology from this resource:
DEFINITIONS OF PHENOMENOLOGY:
(1) A description of the givens of immediate experience.
(2) An attempt to capture experience in process as lived, through descriptive analysis. It studies how things appear to consciousness or are given in experience, and not how they are in themselves, even if it is known that the given contains more than or is different from what is presented. (For instance, assault victims may experience fear for months or years after the assault, even when no apparent danger exists. What does this fear mean? Where does it come from? How is it experienced? The answers bring us closer to the phenomenon that is lived.
(3) A method of knowing that "begins with the things themselves, that tries to find a 'first opening' on the world free of our perceptions and interpretations, together with a methodology for reducing the interference of our preconceptions.
(4) A method of learning about another person by listening to their descriptions of what their subjective world is like for them, together with an attempt to understand this in their own terms as fully as possible, free of our preconceptions and interferences.
In ordinary life, we "capture" and conceptualize everything, using our preconceptions to turn everything into something other than it actually is, one or two steps removed from direct unfiltered experience. Phenomenology strives to clarify our receiving abilities and rediscover the actuality of what is.
THE EXISTENTIAL DIMENSION: Phenomenology is a way of unfolding the dimensions of human experience&emdash;how we exist in, live in, our world. It examines:
a. What is distinct in each person's experience
b. What is common to the experience of groups of people who have shared the same events or circumstances
THE PHENOMENOLOGICAL APPROACH: Says that we need to continually examine and reexamine our biases and presuppositions. The attitude is, "I want to understand your world through your eyes and your experiences so far as possible, and together we can probe your experiences fully and understand them.
In this sharing of experiences, in this dialogue, is the "betweenness" we're looking at in phenomenology. It is based on the fact that the experience of others is somehow accessible to us. We can enter into it, into an intimate dialogue. A theme that runs through it is that of interconnectedness.
"Edmund Husserl, generally considered the founder of phenomenology, who argued that we can study experience 'rigorously and systematically on the basis of how it appeared to consciousness.' Husserl began with "the phenomenon itself." A later phenomenologist, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, spoke of a "first opening" on things, before any intervening screen of concepts and ideas appears. Developing this ability to let go of our mental chatter, our conceptual categories, and all else that is spinning around in the vortexes of our minds is the goal at which Zen Buddhist training aims—a direct encounter with reality, and nothing more, such as:
"The frog jumps from the lily pad into the pond. Plop."
"But what does it mean?" someone asks.
"Don't you see? The frog jumped. The water splashed, making a sound. Ripples radiated outward from the spot. The frog disappeared. Period."
". . . Husserl also included another element in his phenomenology. In his view, experience includes both those concrete particulars of this situation here now, experienced as naievely as we can experience them, and the categories of meaning to which its things and events belong. A Red Delicious and a Fuji, for example, share the category of meaning that we might call "appleness." (Shades of Plato's pure forms!) These categories of meaning are "structures" in consciousness that are invariant and essential. Husserl used the term "essence," for them, setting the stage for Jean-Paul Sartre's famous existential dictum that "existence precedes essence."
DESCRIBE, DESCRIBE, DESCRIBE is a key part of the phenomenological orientation. The people in question tell their own story, in their own terms. So "fidelity to the phenomenon as it is lived" means apprehending and understanding it in the lived context of the person living through the situation.
BRACKETING is suspending or setting aside our biases, everyday unerstandings, theories, beliefs, habitual modes of thought, and judgments. Part of the larger process of epoche´.
Since bias is an inevitable part of the study of human beings, phenomenologists deal with it by putting it completely in the situation, by attemping to become aware of theiir preconceptions and biases before beginning the study and while the study is occurring, and then "bracketing" or suspending them so as to be as open as possible to what the subject wants to share.
EPOCHE´: Learning to look at things in a way such that we see only what stands before our eyes, only what we can describe and define.
If one was wondering if Kubrick is all about phenomenology and only phenomenology in his relationship to his audience, then the EPOCHE crushes this. Though Kubrick's works give the audience much to mull over if they watch carefully and describe what they are seeing in exact terms as opposed to what they believed they might be seeing, there is much that is contained in his work only by inference. There is much that is outside the realm of the cinema experience and can only be tapped through a reference that ultimately links to a thing that will be unknown to most observers. For instance, and simply, my relation of how Albertine's dream of the expansive yellow bag is never stated in Eyes Wide Shut, and yet it informs the yellow VW in The Shining that looks like it can only hold a small amount but they deliver several times that amount of luggage to the Overlook.
Still, Kubrick is concerned with actual, real, true, just as he is also concerned with dream reality, the in-between, and also misdirection and magic. In Lolita, the Drome poster in Lolita's bedroom appears to make sense, Quilty at his typewriter with a light over it, but if you examine it closely the image comes apart and one is at a loss to piece all the parts of it together according to everyday sensibility. In The Shining he exercises perspective dominance with one particular poster on the door of the Overlook where we find the switchboard, people seeing that poster various ways, and supports that expression of perspective dominance exhibiting it in the two girls (perceived as twins) in the hallway, how they hold hands changing so that they became a discrete example of perspective dominance.
Room 237 in The Shining seems to grant several different perspectives of what is happening to the audience. First we assume that Jack, Danny and Dick are seeing the same thing, but we also observe several things happening seemingly simultaneously which leads us then to believe perhaps they are each seeing something different. However, Jack says he saw nothing, and we never do hear what Dick or Danny have seen. Now we have 237 associated with Veronica, the idea of the "true image". What does that mean here and what did it mean to Kubrick? What does he expect it to mean to an audience--especially one that is only taking in through their eyes what they see on the screen as a story, taking in through their ears what they hear as a naturalistic story.
Kubrick uses graffiti extensively in Eyes Wide Shut all of it seemingly incomprehensible but for the CMB on the "Stop" sign. The graffiti is on walls and posts but where it is stands out the most is on the post boxes, appearing after Bill's visit to Somerton, with the disappearance of all he would wish to speak with. It seems to stand as a metaphor for the inability to communicate with those individuals. As these are on post boxes we may also have the sense of messages being sent that aren't making a connection.
Now, moving along. That STOP CMB sign. It is the one readable bit of graffiti and still it confounds. What is CMB? We understand STOP. Or at least we think we do. Fairey says that Andre and his OBEY is a phenomenological experiment but it is also intended to communicate a message about control and consumerism, having been inspired by the movie They Live.
What about that CMB? Have we been seeing it all along on the postal boxes? We may have been. If that is a CMB on the box (the C positioned like a U and slightly over the M), is the X on a post supposed to represent a stop sign?
Are we to piece this together, like Mandrake in Dr. Strangelove, who realized Ripper's talk of "purity of essence" and "peace on earth" bequeathed the anagram POE, its permutation as OPE being the key to the CRM-114 code that recalled all but one of the jets? (And is POE connected with Lolita's Humbert via Poe's "Ulalume" and its permutations?)
Should we look to the Manning Bowman sign looming over the set and wonder if within it we see MB? The original, below, has the M and B highlighted to stand out, not so on the set however.
Are we instead to reflect upon how MANNING BOWMAN MEANS BEST and consider what is this "best"?
Are we instead perhaps to look for a Hebrew word connection, a permutation, so we might find its meaning in MChBA, a refuge or hiding place? Alice's dream had in it the sense of a fall from Eden with the associated shame upon being found naked and the desire to hide, and MChB comes from ChBA which was that hiding. We have just seen in Sally's kitchen a picture of a green apple with a piece missing.
Is it Community Mail Box? Call Me Back? Who knows?
Coincidentally, not in 2001 but in Arthur C. Clarke's The Lost Worlds of 2001 there is a character named Jules Manning, in the "Universe" chapter, the space agency's director of public affairs, and he is working with Victor Kaminsky on commentary for a program on space exploration.
Man is the measure of all things, burned the slogan on the screen; then, superimposed on the lettering, appeared da Vinci's famous drawing of the standing human figure, inscribed in a circle.
"If this statement is indeed true, and not vanity," began the commentator, "we can use man as a yardstick to measure the universe. Of course, he is a very short yardstick; so let us multiply him a thousandfold..."
The camera zoomed away, the figure dwindled until it was barely visible. Then it reproduced itself hundreds of times, to form a dotted line--one side of an empty square....
Why have Bowman looming over the set? Certainly it is to remind us of Dave Bowman in 2001. There's no reason have Bowman staring us down in large letters otherwise.
Manning, Bowman & Co. was located in Meriden, Connecticut at Pratt and Miller Streets, occupying a triangular-shaped building. Kubrick has thus included in the film Miller Street, it seems, as at least a partial reference to this, and when Bill left his home to go to Marion's, the one building we're confident his taxi passes is the Flat Iron building, also triangular. Recollect that I've posited Kubrick may have alluded to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire through Domino's building. Meriden, Connecticut was named for Meriden, West Midlands, England, which Wikipedia states is the traditional center of England. I've written earlier of how I've believed Greenwich to represent a "center", such as of a maze--not just Greenwich but Somerton and the film and story in general. I'd also noted in the 4th section how the character in the tri-corner hat at Somerton seems to recall a statue located at Milton Keynes, which took its name from Middleton de Keynes. Through Manning, Bowman & Co. referring back to the traditional center of Endland, we have Kubrick again establishing a hidden center, not important to the audience, who doesn't know this information, but to Kubrick. He did the same in The Shining as well by alluding to the Overlook being situated on the Continental Divide.
If Miller is based on a real street, then what of Benton, Pitman and Wren streets?
Again, how does this perhaps play into "Stop CMB" and the seeming appearance of CMB on the postal boxes? I'm not convinced that C is a "C". I have wondered if it is instead an omega (24th and final letter of the Greek alphabet) such as was perhaps in The Killing with the horseshoe that speared Nikki's tire and resulted in his death at 4:24 p.m. If we look at the C as instead an omega, and use Hebrew gematria for the MB we have omega (24th letter) and 40 (M) 2 (B).
Omega, I'm pretty well convinced, also appears in Barry Lyndon. The scenes of Lady Lyndon signing for her debts are like Bill's maze in that they all create a sense of deja vu. We know these are supposed to be happening at different times, but in the first two scenes of the bill signings she wears the same attire. The bills in the first and third/final scenes of her signing are dated December 1789, which is in itself bizarre as the action should be around 1778 as that is when Barry sent troops over to America and the first bill signing is at about that time. The date on the 2nd bill appears to be 6 Dec 1821 but I think is instead possibly supposed to read as m1, which in Roman numerals would be 1001. Wikipedia reads:
Meanwhile, 1000 was a circled or boxed X: Ⓧ, ⊗, ⊕, and by Augustinian times was partially identified with the Greek letter Φ phi. Over time, the symbol changed to Ψ and ↀ. The latter symbol further evolved into ∞, then ⋈, and eventually changed to M under the influence of the Latin word mille "thousand".
The ↀ was also sometimes CIƆ, also CƆ, described as like a mirrored C.
The first bill is to Almacks. This may be Almacks, the proprietor of Almack's Assembly Rooms that Wikipedia gives as having been a social club in London from 1765 to 1871 and one of the first for the upper and middle class admitting both men and women. There is said to be a possible reversal in the name, that William Almack was instead born William Macall and as Macall was Scottish and was considered "foreign and uncouth" he reversed the syllables. It began as a gambling club/casino and men elected the female members. The club was opened to compete with Teresa Cornelys' Carlisle House, where masked balls and operas were held and is mentioned in Thackeray's Barry Lyndon.
The second signing of the bills occurs while the Lyndon mansion is obscured by a heavy mist, such as that Poe's "Ulalume", that Humbert remarks upon due the twisting permutation of "the misty mid regions of Weir" into the formation of dim.
In Lolita, in the book, while Humbert suspects they are followed they pass through Soda, pop. 1001. The "gray mist" is behind them when they have a flat (in the Badlands) and Humbert is convinced they are followed as the car that had pursued them stops behind them and then turns around and drives away. That U turn is followed by the catastrophe (for Humbert) of Lolita disappearing from the hospital. In Barry Lyndon, the young son soon will die from a fall on his horse, he describing on his death bed how he already feels half dead and begging his parents to reunite and be kind to one another. In The Killing, Nikki's death (he did not die in the book) augers ill for the rest of the enterprise. His killing of the horse, as it rounded the turn of the track, was a cover and distraction for Johnny's ability to access the employee area of the racetrack where he made his theft.
U turn? Mid to dim? "It was hard by the dim lake of Auber, In the misty mid region of Weir?" If we have lower case lettering and turn mb around we could have dm. And we're right back to Lolita and "Ulalume".
For all we know, the name of Harford may have come by Meriden, Connecticut's location near Hartford, Connecticut.
481 MS Bill before the news kiosk. (2:04:19)
Newspaper in hand, Bill turns and continues down Wren. We see that a delicatessen under the Vitali sign, a shop which had only moments before been open, is now shut and has two cars parked before it. These cars are also observed, but only briefly, when Bill is standing before the news kiosk.
At the middle of the block he turns toward the coffee shop with the bright green awning over its stairs, multicolored Christmas lights decorating, and goes inside. This is, of course, Rainbow "Fashions" which is now "jacketed" in green, just as in the August Macke painting of the "fashion" window a woman had been wearing a green jacket.
To the right of the door is a placard that reads "recycling program", apropos considering the many faces applied to these streets.
482 LS Bill entering Sharky's. (2:04:41)
The street, when Bill had entered the shop, had been curiously empty of pedestrians and moving cars, which heightened the sinister feel of his encounter with the bald man. However, the moment Bill steps through Sharky's doors we see people walking the street outside and auto traffic again.
He passes under a Christmas decoration shaped like a bow with two candles upon it, which is the same as we'd seen at Victor's party.
To reiterate, we should be now be aware that the building with the green awning that holds Sharky's is the same as that which had held the Rainbow costume shop, which was observed as an unlit building down the street from where Bill met Domino, and was a building with a green and white striped awning next to where Bill was slammed into a car by the frat boys.
483 LS Bill entering the coffee shop. (2:04:49)
He enters the body of the coffee shop proper, in which Mozart's Requiem Mass plays. Sitting before the camera is a man with a large bald spot on the back of his head, which may remind of Milich and his bald spot.
An earlier view as the Rainbow interior.
Just as the globes of light on the tables at the opposing Sonata had given the impression of stretching on into infinity, so do the globes of the ceiling lights here, reflected in the windows, give the same impression, as if stretching into the street and connecting Sharky's with the buildings beyond.
Kubrick used a similar inversion of lights in in 2001. At the Space Station there was a ceiling composed of lit tiles. At the end of the film, in the infinity hotel, the floor of the room is composed of these lit tiles.
The portion of the Requiem that is being played is Rex Tremendae, which is part of the Sequentia, which uses portions of Dies Irae, the poem on judgement day or the day of wrath. Dies Irae is also what began Kubrick's The Shining and I've already written a fair amount on it in my analysis on The Shining.
Dira is the Latin for "harsh, cruel, dire" and the singular of Dirae, which is the Latin name for the Furies or Harpies. A book on Latin synonyms gives Dirae (quasi Deorum irae). They acted as ministers of divine vengeance or justice.
Reflecting upon the Hierophant's threat made to Bill we can see how Dies Irae would be appropriate here.
...if you make any further inquiries, or if you say a single word to anyone about what you have seen, there will be the most dire consequences for you and your family. Do you understand?
Bill approaches the bar and orders a cappuccino, which links us back to our first sighting of Sharky's/Rainbow, when it was observed as the Cappuccino shop with the green awning. The server is brunette, as was the server at Gillespie's.
BILL: Just have a cappuccino.
SHARKY'S WAITRON (gestures to a table): I'll bring it over to you.
He takes a seat under a large portrait of a woman. Behind his head is an old image of a woman reclining on a sofa (settee.
I had noted the globes of lights on the ceiling, reflected in the mirror, that seem to extend Sharky's into the street, connecting it with the opposite side, and how they are reminiscent of the table globes at the Sonata.
We see on the back of the newspaper Cruise holds "Cool as Ice". "Lucky to Be Alive" is on the cover under "Holiday Special".
484 MS Bill reading the newspaper, from below. (2:05:40)
Behind Bill's head had previously been a black and white image of a woman reclining on a divan. That has been replaced with another black and white image, but it is impossible for me to say what it is. An easily comprehended picture has been exchanged for one that looks chaotic, as unreadable as the graffiti. And next we have a portion of a black and white photo in a paper, which as the camera pulls in on it, begins to lose definition and clarity, and thus story.
There are other paintings to be observed that are identified at the Dantisamor blog in the post "The Kubrick Connection: some Pre-Raphaelite references in ‘Eyes Wide Shut". (Sean O'Dwyer was so good as to point me to this.) As Bill enters, on the left wall we see John William Waterhouse's "Ophelia". On the right wall is Dante Gabriel Rossetti's "Astarte Syriaca". The blog's author further compares Rossetti's "Helen of Troy" with Alice, her curly hair undone, sitting on the living room couch smoking after Bill has told her of his adventures.
With the Astarte painting we have perhaps a triple goddess, but we can also see in the left and right figures, with their similar poses, twin aspects.
Astarte returns us to Lolita, the scene in which Humbert is tempted by Lolita to eat of the egg. He recites to her from these passages of the Poe poem "Ulalume".
It was hard by the dim lake of Auber,
In the misty mid region of Weir—
It was down by the dank tarn of Auber,
In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.
Thus I pacified Psyche and kissed her,
And tempted her out of her gloom—
And conquered her scruples and gloom:
And we passed to the end of the vista,
But were stopped by the door of a tomb—
By the door of a legended tomb;
And I said—"What is written, sweet sister,
On the door of this legended tomb?"
'Tis the vault of thy lost Ulalume!"
As I've noted before (and will do again), Humbert makes particular note of the reversals. How dim is twisted to become mid. Reversals. Kubrick employees reversals consistently and we can see this reversal in the painting of Astarte with the twin images to either side.
At the end of our path a liquescent
And nebulous lustre was born
Out of which a miraculous crescent
Arose with a duplicate horn
Astarte's bediamonded crescent
Distinct with its duplicate horn.
Toward the beginning of the film, at Victor's party we observed the statue of the Angel's kiss, which seems at least to allude to Cupid and Psyche, and I've discussed this in the first chapter of the analysis.
In Poe's poem, Psyche states that she doesn't trust this star and pleads to not linger. But she (the narrator's spirit) is pacified, she is kissed and led to the tomb. Ulalume. The poet only now realizes that it was on this very day the previous year that he had traveled this passage to the tomb but had forgotten it. Psyche's foreboding was an intuition of this and a reluctance to pursue that path.
ALICE: Why do you think Ziegler invites us to these things every year?
When Bill and Alice are at Victor's party, we observe the statue of Psyche and Cupid by the grand staircase. Then when Alice and Bill are dancing, she asks him if he knows a soul there, he says no (which is when we hear the tinkling of the piano keys of the pianist whom he does indeed know) after which she asks why they are invited to this party year after year.
I point out in my writing on Lolita, "So, in 'Ulalume', which Kubrick has quoted in Lolita--and we find is obliquely referenced here and at Edgwarebury, where Alex attempts suicide--Poe's psyche attempts to keep him from following a path that turns out to be one he had taken the previous year, of which he was unconscious..." As if he had amnesia. Then finally experiences deja vu as he discovers himself again at the tomb of Ulalume. Deja vu and repetition haunts all of Kubrick's films and we are about to be given several more doses of it in the article on Amanda's overdose.
As it turns out Rossetti's "Mnemosyne" (also titled "Rememberance" and "Lamp of Memor") began as an oil study for his Astarte. The two paintings are so similar it would be easy to confuse the two.
"Les cœurs, l'un par l'autre attirés Se communiquent leur substance; Tels deux miroirs ardents, l'un à l'autre opposés ; Concentrent la lumière, et se la réfléchissent : Les rayons tour-à-tour recueillis... divisés, En se multipliant s’accroissent, s'embellissent ; Et d'autant plus actifs, qu'ils se sont plus croisés, Au même point se réunissent."
Replaying Humbert's pressing open the door to the bathroom scene in Lolita, Jack does the same in Room 237. The bath's curtain is withdrawn to reveal a young woman. She climbs out of the tub and she and Jack kiss. Her reflection in the mirror instead shows she is dead. Repeated images of an elderly, dead woman rising from the tub follow.
Now to Eyes Wide Shut. The setting of Sharky's is the same as for the Rainbow but Bill doesn't recognize this. He is not only disoriented by having been followed, he has also learned that evening Domino was ill--a woman whose apartment is dominated by a bathtub. When Bill takes refuge in Sharky's, we see the portrait of Ophelia is hung on the same wall against which was the desk when Bill returned his costume and found the mask missing. He was told he could return later and that it needn't be for a costume, the popularly taken implication being to hire the daughter of Millich as a prostitute. He has in fact returned (in essence) to take refuge, only to discover that the beautiful model (with whom he'd shared a masked kiss) was found overdosed in her apartment. The audience will typically believe Amanda was murdered, just as Fridolin fears in the book, but we are also left uncertain if it was an accident or even possibly a suicide.
Kubrick's bathtubs are empty of water in Eyes Wide Shut, but the streets Bill wanders are often water-soaked, though we never see any rain.
One of the missing pieces here, for me, is the poem read to Lady Lyndon in her bath. We have in it the opposites, as the thing and it's other in the mirror, crossing where they reunite (recollect the book Shadows in the Mirror at Domino's). Ophelia, I think, ends up bringing in a Narcissus motif, and Narcissus's still waters in which he found himself are the same as the ritual aspect of the Dionysian mirror. On the wall opposite Ophelia is the Astarte painting in which she is bordered on either side by twin aspects facing one another. Bill's lost mask is depicted as a kind of image (mirror) of Bill when it takes his place on the pillow. The mask was supposedly modeled upon Ryan O'Neal in Barry Lyndon. Perhaps it refers to the scene in the bathtub in which the opposites, as two mirrors, cross and reunite.
From Jan Frans van Dijkhuizen's "Prospero's Dream--The Tempest and the Court Masque Inverted"
The Tempest is an intensely self-conscious play - it is, in many ways, theatre about the theatre. Many of the actions and events in it are explicitly and implicitly referred to as theatrical ones. Miranda's response to the shipwreck is a response to a tragedy, full of pity and fear:
0, I have suffered
With those that I saw suffer: a brave vessel—
Who had, no doubt, some noble creature in her—
Dashed all to pieces! 0, the cry did knock
Against my very heart—poor souls, they perished.
The shipwreck is described by Prospero as a theatrical show staged by himself. "The direful spectacle of the wreck" — where the predominant meaning of "spectacle", as defined by Orgel, is "theatrical display or pageant". Similarly, Ariel is commanded to assume the "shape", or role of a "nymph o'th sea". Prospero orchestrates the events in The Tempest and much of the play is a play-within-a-play, directed by Prospero, with Ariel as his assistant-director and stage manager.
So much to explore there.
485 CU The newspaper article. (2:05:44)
(I've a special post here on Kubrick and his use of railroad imagery.) The paper open, we see a headline reading "Party" on the right, but what catches Bill's attention is an article on the lower left page, "Ex-beauty queen in hotel drugs overdose".
Above it is a picture with a caption that reads "Derailed" showing cops taking an accused bank robber, Anthony Norman, away after his surrender, ending a hostage drama that had occurerd at the Wyandanch station (Wyandanch is in Babylon) of the Long Island Rail Road. The last sentence of the above story reads, "We have to have no-tolerance for violence.. . even this mental violence."
In The Shining, a railroad was associated with Danny's first shining of the Overlook, and in A Clockwork Orange with an image of a railroad and train was a distortion in time so that events and images from the past broke through into the present, which is much the same as happened in The Shining.
There are several passages that are doubled and I put those doublings in bold.
A former Miss New York was rushed to New York Hospital in critical condition after a drug overdose, police .... said.
Amanda Curran, 30, was found unconscious in her room at the Florence Hotel by security personnel after her agent asked them to check on her be- Hotel by security personnel after her agent asked them to check on her be cause he'd been unable to reach her by phone.
Workers at the Florence told police she had not been seen since 4 a.m., when she returned to the hotel accompanied by two men. The staff said the men seemed to be holding a giggling Curran upright as they brought her into the posh hotel.
Police have been unable to locate the two men, but a police spokesman said they did not suspect foul play in Curran's overdose.
"We don't believe there has been any crime against Miss Curran, but we would like to talk to these two men to see what they can tell us about her final hours" before she was discovered, the spokesman said.
Officials decline to say what drug or drugs Curran OD'd on. It was unclear if there was anyone in the room with her at the time she ingested the drugs. her at the time she ingested the drugs.
Her sister, Jane Curran, told The Post, "Her overdose must have been an accident. Mandy and I were as close as sisters can get. We didn't have any secrets. If there had been anything wrong, she would have told me."
Jane, a 26 year old perfume consultant said that her sister was emotionally troubled as a teenager but had managed to put it behind her.
"She'd undergone treatment for depression in her teens, but that was a long time ago."
She said that her sister was not totally satisfied with her career, but was still hoping to turn her beauty pageant success into an acting gig.
"Things hadn't gone as well as she'd expected after winning the Miss New York title, but she was considering several television offers.
"She has many important friends in the fashion and entertainment worlds "She has many important friends in the fashion and entertainment worlds and she believed she'd break through in the end. It was just a matter of time."
After being hired for a series of magazine ads for London fashions designer Leon Vitali, rumors began circulating of an affair between the two.
Soon after her hiring, Vitali empire insiders were reporting that their boss adored Curran -- not for how she wore his stunning clothes in public, but for how she wowed him by taking them off in private, seductive solo performances.
Leon Vitali played the part of the Hierophant in the film. He was seen exiting the cab that then went off duty. Vitali was also the name of the realty in the sign above the deli and grocery.
486 MCU Bill reading. (2:05:53)
The Musica Ricercata #2? plays as the camera zooms in on Bill slowly.
Our focus is on Amanda Curran, but it will be interesting to look more closely at the surrounding articles. One concerns an Anthony Norman who was a robber responsible for a hostage drama on the train.
...to Norman, two
the robbery fol-
...to the Brentwood
...got on the 12 car
...rying 400 passengers
...to the ninth car.
... (?) Jerry
...(?) a big
...LIRR and ordered that
...in Wyendanch. When
the train arrived, 12 cops
came on the platform with
their guns drawn.
They went through the
train ordering passengers off.
In the ninth (?) car, cops saw a
green jacket with red lining
that matched the description
of the robber's jacket.
...said it wasn't his.
...found a photo
...side the jacket and
...they started going
...it, Norman said,
...around the neck with
...and put the other in
...pretending he had a
...threatened to kill his
...not going down," he
..."You're not going to
...me alive. I'm not afraid
...You're going to have to
...me out of here in a body
...Quinlivan, 30, said
...10 to 15 passengers in the
...the floor and so did
...body else," she said.
...when police hostage (?)
...Richard (?) ar-
...Norman agreed to re-
...Maldomado and let the
...leave if the other
...the car cleared. Nor-
...and Sneider spoke for 10
...before Norman sur-
endered. He was charged ini-
...with first-degree rob- ...
This is not a fictional event. It was a real one, happening December 10, 1996, in which a man named Anthony Norman, 34, of Brentwood, L.I., took a passenger on the LIRR hostage and threatened to shoot others. This called up for people horrifying memories of another hostage situation, three years earlier, in which Colin Ferguson, of Brooklyn, killed 6 people and injured 19 on the LIRR train. The massacre had occurred December 8, 1993 and is what is being referenced in the article on mental violence.
Long Island Rep. elect
Carolyn McCarthy got
a shocking reminder
yesterday of her own
tragedy--the Long Island
Rail Road massa-
cre three years ago--
when she heard about
the latest terror train
McCarthy, who at-
tended a memorial
service Saturday for
her husband and the
other passengers killed
in the 1993 massacre,
said it reminded her
once again "just how
fragile we are and how
much violence is with
paigned for Congress
on the issue of gun vio-
"I don't know what a congressman can do,"
she said. "We have to have no-tolerance for
So here we have two train incidents of violence--one physical, one not progressing past hostage taking and threats of other violence--occurring on about the same date several years apart, matching well with how the train/rail in The Shining was coincident with Danny shining the past in the present (Dick later referring to these shinings being like aromas lingering from burnt toast which couldn't harm) and the railroad and train in A Clockwork Orange also having to do with past incidents breaking into the present.
Nassau County District Attorney Denis Dillon prosecuted both Colin Ferguson and the "Long Island Lolita" Amy Fisher. And that coincidence of course brings up Kubrick's film Lolita, in which a girl was taken captive by Humbert Humbert.
The news article may pinpoint the events of the film happening December 9-12 in 1996, a Monday through Thursday. Perhaps the party at Victor's was on the 9th. The argument between Bill and Alice was on the 10th, after which began his adventure which extended into the early hours of he 11th. He revisited many places connected to his adventure the afternoon and evening of the 11th. On the 12th he and Alice go Christmas shopping.
487 LS Exterior hospital. 2:06:20
The Musica Ricercata #2? continues to play.
The exterior of the hospital is St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center, located at 1000 10th Ave., and perhaps that address can be looked upon as continuing the concentration on 10s and extensions (110, 101, 1000 etc.).
Kubrick's choice for the facade is three arches.
In his first film, Day of the Fight, about a boxer and his twin, Kubrick shows an exterior view of the boxer's apartment, the screen framing three windows with arches, but subsequent views from the interior and exterior seem to show those three arched windows couldn't belong to the apartment. He then follows the twins to mass, where again he concentrates on three arches exterior the church. I've located the church and it's the Church of St. Francis Xavier at 46 W. 16th St.
We have the same three arches motif in Eyes Wide Shut not only with the hospital but with Somerton.
The center of the three arches on the second floor is where the Black Feather Woman makes her appearance when she announces herself ready to redeem Bill.
We have sacred architecture at Somerton, and sacred associations as well at the hospital through St. Luke. St. Luke's symbol happens to be the ox or bull and that is something that could fit in with the maze and labyrinth symbolism in the film. It's supposed his symbol is the ox due his gospel opening with the sacrifice of such, followed by the revelation of the pending birth of John the Baptist.
We have also the three arches at the Jaso(no) Hotel, based on the Washington Square Hotel, though the center one is obscured.
We saw these again at the Verona Restaurant.
At any rate, Kubrick could easily have chosen another hospital or opted to not show the exterior. After all, we see it briefly and the interior is instead a hospital in London. The three arches motif at Somerton, then the hospital, is a linkage between the two places, connecting the woman in the morgue with Somerton.
488 Revolving doors at hospital. (2:06:23)
View from the inside, through the large revolving doors, of Bill's cab arriving.
One can just barely make out through the glass the street number 236 on the wall opposite. The hospital the doors were filmed at is Westminster Hospital at 369 Fulham Road in London, so the 236 is Kubrick's doing. I would take it this then means the hospital is 237, as was the number of the Verona Restaurant, and the scary room in The Shining.
The real location, at 369 Fulham Road near intersecting Hollywood road.
Entering, Bill goes to the information desk.
489 MS The clerk at the Information desk, Bill approaching. (2:6:45) The clerk, as with Roz, as with Bill's secretary, as with the waitron at Gillespie's, as with the waitron at Sharky's, is brunette.
Bill shows his card, says one of his patients had been admitted and asks for her room number.
We've a good example here of how Kubrick chooses to divulge information on a scene. As Bill goes to the desk we see only the "Direct" of Directory on the left wall, the rest being screened. When he cuts to viewing Bill from the left, we don't have a mirror version but we see again a duplicate of the directory sign but only see "tory" or "rectory", the clerk obscuring the first part of the word. Perhaps "tory" is intended for our viewing in keeping with the word once having meant "outlaw" or "robber" and coming from a word which originally meant "pursuer, searcher" which would be in keeping with Bill the seeker, the inquirer. However, as Somerton concerns the Troy labyrinth, I would think, instead, that "tory" here is instead a permutation of Troy.
BILL: Good evening.
HOSPITAL CLERK: Good evening.
BILL: I'm Dr. Harford. One of my patients was admitted earlier this morning. Miss Amanda Curran. Could you please give me her room number.
HOSPITAL CLERK: Certainly, doctor. Her name again?
BILL: Curran. Amanda.
HOSPITAL CLERK: C-U-R-R-A-N?
HOSPITAL CLERK: Miss...
490 MCU Bill. (2:07:10) Bill, still fearful of the stalker, looks toward the revolving doors behind him.
HOSPITAL CLERK: Amanda Curran?
BILL: That's right.
HOSPITAL CLERK: I'm sorry, doctor. Miss Curran died this afternoon.
BILL: She died this afternoon?
HOSPITAL CLERK: Yes, at 3:45 p.m. I'm sorry.
491 LS Bill escorted down a hospital hall by an individual in scrubs. (2:07:30) A view from the rear of Bill going down a hospital hall toward the morgue.
492 LS Interior morgue. (2:07:38) The orderly and Bill enter the morgue.
I've read that it's said the morgue is 114 and that it's in the C wing of the hospital, and thus this is taken as being CRM-114 in this film, and I would beg to differ on that. If we pay attention to the hall outside the morgue we see that it has the same tiled floor and wall as the interior of the morgue and that this is nothing like what we later see in the C wing. Also, we never observe, I don't believe, the number 114 in association with the morgue. The hall we view Bill traversing directly before his entering the morgue also has nothing to do with the hall exterior the morgue.
The orderly opens the #10 locker and pulls out the tray on which lies Amanda's body.
As the orderly finishes pulling out the tray, the far ceiling light in the background brightens. Decidedly a subtle Kubrick touch.
Above her we see the #19 locker and #01 locker below. The way these lockers are arranged, the one beside her would be #11, which means she is surrounded by ones. 01 below. 10 11 in her row. The 19 above resolves to 10 if we had 1 plus 9.
493 MS Amanda's body, Bill beyond. (2:08:16) Bill hears the words of the woman at Somerton.
BLACK FEATHER WOMAN: Because it could cost me my life, and possibly yours.
494 MS Amanda from above. (2:88:23)
She is waxen, pallid. She hardly even resembles Amanda.
A piano score begins to play, "Gray Clouds", performed by Dominic Harlan.
495 MS Bill beside Amanda. (2:08:29) He walks around to examine her face from different angles. He stands at the end of the tray, looking over her.
496 MS The orderly. (2:09:08)
The orderly stands a white board marked:
L K (the L encircled)
R K (the R encircled)
L L (the L encircled)
R L (the R encircled)
497 MS Bill bending over Amanda for a closer look. (2:09:11) The rolling piano crescendos and fades. He draws away.
498 MS Bill walking down a hospital corridor. (2:09:55) He is walking away from a sign that would indicate he is on ward C. That is on the left and repeated by an elevator before which several stand. On the right we see the entrance to a clinic and beside that the letter G. Brightly colored paintings line the white wall to the right, the wall to the left yellow, and the wall beyond and behind red. His phone rings.
The screen, with three divisions, reminds of the closet, and on it is a red figure running from right to left, it seems, the figure marked with a white wave line, and decorated liberally with black and white and particolored triangles. To me, that figure reminds of the harlequin figure by which the teen girl runs in frame 256.
This screen, I would imagine, bears a connection to Somerton and Rainbow Fashions and the dressing room.
We have in the screen Bill waving for the taxi cab when he is being followed by the sinister bald man.
We have the wave that is repeated over and over again in the film, seen most prominently at Bill's office and at Domino's.
The wave is repeated in the road to Somerton's mansion, beyond the gate.
If we look at the paintings on the opposite wall we see in the last a field of green that appears to be the same green as in the screen. The paintings are framed in black and the arm of the figure in the screen painting seems to be escaping out of the green field that is framed in black. There appears to be a C in the painting and that C perhaps connects with the C's we see labeling the hall.
That broken C invites us to look at the Hotel Jaso(n) sign in another way, to see the final O as being something like it is here in the painting.
BILL: Hello. (His voice shows the strain of the day. He passes a sign with an arrow pointing to admissions.) Yes, this is Dr. Harford. Tonight? No, no, no, that's okay. Uhm, just, uh, please tell him I'll be there in about twenty minutes. Okay?
As Bill walks and talks, as he says "Tonight?" we become aware he is being followed down the hall via a reflection of a person in the glass of the paintings on the right wall. We never see who this individual is. We don't see them entering the hall or leaving it. They only appear as a reflection.
We are led to believe that the woman in the morgue is Amanda, that's the set up in the film, but the woman looks slightly different from the Mandy who was in Victor's bathroom. And though she is Amanda, it's significant that her features look slightly different. Her "shell" is such that Bill can't positively identify her, besides which he only suspects that this was the woman who was at Somerset and he hadn't seen her face. He hasn't made the connection between her and Mandy. In the screenplay Bill asks Ziegler later if it was Amanda, saying he went to the morgue and couldn't tell. In the book, again, he only suspects that the woman at the morgue was the woman at the orgy, he not having seen her face.
I'll return to this in the next section.
If you blinked during a Kubrick film, you likely missed something but it will come around again in another form.
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