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.
SUBHEADERS FOR THIS SECTION:
THE PROBLEMATIC GOLD ROOM HALLS AND THE LODGE IN GENERAL, AND THE PROBLEM OF RADIANT HEAT AS VERSUS FORCED AIR HEAT
DANNY'S CIRCUIT OF THE COLORADO LOUNGE AREA
DOMESTIC BLISS, BREAKFAST IN BED - JACK'S SHINING OF THE HOTEL EXPERIENCED AS DEJA VU
THE ADLER TYPEWRITER, ITS BEGINNING CHANGE OF COLOR, AND POSSIBLE PERMUTATION OF THE NAME BEING LADER - PLAYING BALL ON THE NAVAJO RAINBOW PAINTING - THE FUNCTION OF THE RAINBOW AS THE DOORWAY BETWEEN THE RATIONAL MODERN WORLD IN WHICH LANGUAGE ARTICULATES BUT IS ALSO A BARRIER, AND A PRIMORDIAL WORLD WHERE MORTALS CONSORTED DIRECTLY WITH DEITY, AND A PROTO-LANGUAGE OF SYMBOL AND ARCHETYPE UNITED ALL - JACK AS THE GIANT AND ITS LINK WITH THE TOUR OF THE GROUNDS ON CLOSING DAY - WENDY AND DANNY TAKE THEIR OWN CAMERA WALK OUTSIDE WHICH SHOWS SOME CHANGES FROM CLOSING DAY
DANNY'S BIG WHEEL ON THE CIRCLE IN THE LOBBY WHERE DICK WILL LATER LIE SLAIN - JACK LOSES HIS BALL - THE LOBBY DRIFTWOOD AS BAT - JACK AS A VERITABLE OMNISCIENT PRESENCE OVERLOOKS THE WORLD MAZE AS WENDY AND DANNY ENTER ITS HEART - DIFFERENCES IN THE MAZES AND WHAT THEY TELL US ABOUT SOME OF THE PECULIARITIES EXPERIENCED AROUND THE HOTEL
164 Title shot. A Month Later (34:10)
165 LS exterior lodge. (34:12)
Distant shot of the lodge from below, smoke pouring from one of its right chimneys. Morning. Lonely, wistful animal sounds such as wolves or coyotes or loons (it is difficult to tell on my speakers, but I would imagine loons). In the parking lot there is one vehicle, The Little Yellow VW That Could.
The sun on the lodge on this clear day provides a compass orientation, the garage associated with the Snowcat facing east, the main entry facing south.
Closing Day had been October 30th, so if we are take "A Month Later" literally it is perhaps November 30th. Or not.
If we take a clue from the Playgirl magazine that the year is 1978, and try that out with King's Dec 2nd date of the Overlook's meltdown possibly retained as the day of the grand finale, then the 4 p.m. section would occur on a Saturday rather than a Thursday, which doesn't fit the movie's timeline of the finale being on a Thursday, so we can't try to get a fix on dates with King's Dec 2nd. The surrounding years that Dec 2nd falls on a Thursday are 1971 and 1981. Also 1909, the year that the Overlook supposedly finished being built.
Now, you'd think, the exterior set of the Overlook being as different from the Timberline as it is, Kubrick wouldn't insist on using the Timberline as an establishing shot in so many of the sections. Yet, he does. And the audience is continually having to subconsciously reconcile the differences and work around a kind of cognitive dissonance that Kubrick keeps reasserting via the differences and his doing nothing to visually reconcile disparities, which he could have done. Which he doesn't want to do.
166 MS lodge interior. (34:20)
Cut to Wendy dressed in a blue, yellow and pink plaid robe guiding a serving cart through a hall that leads to a hall at the rear that we likely assume is the one adjoining the Gold Room, and as she has come from this direction the feeling is communicated that she is coming not only from the kitchen but that the kitchen is in the proximity of the Gold Room. This reinforces Dick having guided Wendy to the kitchen from beyond the bar in the Gold Room on Closing Day, rather than returning to the Gold Room hall, a path we won't discover until later was highly improbable and likely impossible as it would have taken them into the bathroom area instead.
We see the photos on the right wall just short of where the surprise July 4th picture will appear at the film's end. The pictures on the left wall aren't the usual pictures of meetings and groups of individuals seen throughout the hotel, they are more like the photos behind Bill Watson on the day of the interview, showing somewhat eerie, indeterminate shapes.
The mirror on the right reflects the wallpaper of the Gold Room hall at the far end, virtually importing the Gold Room hall into this area. With the manner in which this corridor is decorated, Kubrick is giving the viewer the impression this hall is a transition/link between the lobby and the refurbished Gold Room hall, the walls painted in the same cream color of the lobby, but the carpet and red sofas being the same as found in the refurbished area.
Oh, that carpet. It's something else.
If the hall beyond is the one to the Gold Room, as Kubrick leads us to believe, then the placement of the Gold Room would be outside the known body of the lodge. Kubrick expects us to believe that, based on what we observed on Closing Day, if we take a right at the end of this hall, beyond the gold curtains, we will be in the Gold Room Hall, which means we must then take a left into the Gold Ballroom. The situation is as impossible as the window in the office of the general manager is impossible, and all the windows in the Torrance's suite, with the exception of the bathroom window, being impossible.
I used to have this below map titled "How the Gold Room fits with the lobby", but I was wrong. Why was I wrong? Because the Gold Room hall we see beyond Wendy is not the same Gold Room hall we see outside the Gold Room.
Fig. 3 - Most people view the Gold Room as being positioned relative to the lobby in this way, and Kubrick sets it up for us to imagine it as being this way, only to debunk that view with maddening little details.
John Fell Ryan, of KDK 12, notes that the alcove we see behind Wendy is far deeper than what we observe when Jack comes down the hall after his nightmare in the Colorado Lounge, or on Closing Day. He also notes there is a heater observed here which isn't observed in the Gold Room hall itself, but that may be set back far enough in the alcove, by just a couple of inches, that we wouldn't observe it.
Fig. 4a - Comparing the Gold Room hall off the hall next the lobby.
There are other differences however. When we are in the Gold Room hall we see every alcove/doorway except doorway A is framed by an overhang (see C in figure 4a). We don't see that same wall-overhang framing beyond Wendy (see C in figure 4a). And that is the most significant tell, the lack of that framing of the wall around the alcove beyond Wendy.
Fig. 4b - Comparing the Gold Room hall off the hall next the lobby.
I'll point out some more differences in a moment, but first to look at the possibility of a hairpin turn instead, as John postulates.
Fig. 5 - A hairpin turn? No, doesn't work.
That makes perfect, logical sense. But note A in figure 4c below.
Fig. 4c - Simply repeating figure 4b here so you don't have to scroll back up.
We see behind Jack the very edge of the off-white hall (A), the one that would appear to be leading from the lobby, and we also see the wall above the far left gold curtain is off-white. From what has been observed above, we know that this is not the off-white hall leading to the Gold Room off the lobby. But if this is a hairpin turn we also shouldn't be seeing that off-white wall, we should instead be seeing only gold wallpaper. For example, in the image of Wendy we see beyond her, in the Gold Room hall, only gold wall paper on the walls facing us. In the case of a hairpin turn, walking into that hall, turning right, and turning right again, just beyond our field of vision in the Gold Room hall would be a brief space of isolated white wall entirely disconnected from the hall outside the lobby, and reason says that won't be there.
Not that reason has much to do with the hotel. It doesn't abide by reasonable laws.
Another easy to see difference is that the alignment of the floor molding and the design on the carpet, in the supposed Gold Room hall beyond, is different from what we see of the Gold Room hall when we are in it. The wall is set further back, when one is in the Gold Room hall, in keeping with the alcove being shallower.
Kubrick's intent is that we believe the Gold Room hall to be immediately connected to the hall that leads from the lobby. He gives leads (the white bit of wall) that are intended to suggest this hall connects to that white hall. But he also throws in differences that make this an impossibility. It's left to the viewer to wonder if this is a problem with continuity.
Now, to step back a moment and meditate for a moment more on the fact the radiant heater seen in this hall from the hall off the lobby is not here in this version of the hall. One needs to remember that this is a confused hotel that in some areas is heated with boiler-fed radiant heat and in other places is heated with forced air heat, and in the opening shot in the lobby there appeared to be forced air vents behind radiant heaters to either side of the door leading into the cream-colored hall leading to the Gold Room. These peculiarities may help with understanding this hall a bit better and that there are two versions of it, one with radiant heat and one without. It may be we see no radiant heaters in this hall because it is not of the hotel that has radiant heat.
To continue on, the path Wendy is taking here is the same Dick will use when he approaches the lobby in the "4 pm" section, having come from a secondary entrance to the west. This is also the same path Wendy will take when she comes upon the ghost lobby. We never observe Jack or Danny in this transitional hall with the cream-color walls. It belongs alone to Dick and Wendy and the man and woman who were standing in it on the day of the interview when Jack first arrived.
The camera tracks Wendy right to left, passing through the next door over, as she emerges into the lobby. We see the sign for the Gold Room on the left of the entrance to this hall. On the day of the interview it was on the right of the lobby's entrance to this hall.
As far as I can tell, when Wendy is in the lobby it is always unlit. It is unlit now, unlit when she crosses it on "Saturday" to make a call on the radio, and unlit when she is in there on "Monday" watching the television with Danny.
The camera cuts away as Wendy reaches the area in front of the Cashiers.
We see beyond that the stairwell on the right is illuminated with light from the floor above. Because of this, when we shift to the next scene, in which Danny does his circuit of the Colorado Lounge, seeing that the lounge is brightly lit, we are likely to assume the light in this stairwell is spillover from the lounge above, even though we already know from Closing Day that this stairwell could not rationally lead up to the Colorado Lounge.
167 low shot Danny on Big Wheel from rear. (34:39)
Cut to a low ground shot of Danny riding down a service hall on his Big Wheel. This is the service hall behind the Colorado Lounge. Because it is lined with trays covered with tableware we are given the feeling it is in proximity of the kitchen, but then so is the service hall behind the lobby also lined with carts filled with tableware, it too giving the feeling it is linked with the kitchen. And Kubrick has had Dick lead Wendy through the back of the Gold Room to the kitchen. The kitchen seems to be everywhere in the hotel, except in close proximity to Suite 3.
We hear the whir of the wheels on the floor, then the wheels muffled as he turns left into the entry to the Colorado Lounge and churns over a rug toward the placard on a tripod that reads "Camera Walk", then another left turn into the Colorado Lounge where the wheels are alternately loud on the hardwood floor, then muffled on the rugs. The music of the big wheel. And this was indeed magically drop jaw amazing when the film first came out, this whole tour round the Colorado Lounge with Danny, we down on his level, tagging along behind him. It was a very sensory event.
The sofa we observed on Closing Day, just in front of the large table that will become Jack's desk, is still there, as is at least one of the end tables, but we no longer see the end table lamp with its large orange base.
At the end of the Colorado Lounge, Danny then turns left and circles round through the hall with the massive fireplace behind the great staircase. Coming to the end of it, he passes prints of two birds, one of which is resting on a branch, while the other has its wings raised as if it is preparing to fly or settle. He turns left again back into the service hall.
Danny's journey on his Big Wheel makes a full circuit ending at the "staff only" double doors in the service hall where he began, so we have wheels reinforcing wheels.
Other than being really cool (had to emphasize that) what this long steadicam shot through the Colorado Lounge and its associated halls does is establish the Colorado Lounge's exact relationship with the service hall that is directly under the hall where Room 237 is located. We also begin to establish Danny's intimate relationship with the lodge, he familiarizing himself with it on his Big Wheel. We can imagine him preoccupying himself by rolling round and round areas repeatedly.
His Big Wheel connects him with his mother's use of the cart (more wheels) in the prior scene as she trundles breakfast through the lodge to Suite 3, but Danny is the king of the Big Wheels.
The "Camera Walk" merits mention. Camera means room or chamber but is also a legal term for "in private". In court cases, public and press aren't admitted during camera sessions. The reason I note this is because it is in the Colorado Lounge that Jack has the confrontation with Wendy where he demands she never enter it again when she hears him in there.
Danny's clothing also merits mention. He's wearing a blue and white plaid shirt, red overshirt, blue overalls and red tennis shoes. This is not what he wears when he is later in this section seen with his mother going out to play in the maze. However, this is the same clothing he will be wearing in the Tuesday section when he does his other Big Wheel circuit through the halls off Room 237 above the Colorado Lounge.
168 MS Wendy in a staff living area hall. (35:18)
Cut to Wendy rolling her cart into the staff wing, smiling, looking pleased. I'd always thought she rolled it out an elevator, but a person commented that they believed it was instead a double staff door, and I think they're right and that at the bottom we see kick plates. But many see it as a staff elevator (as did I) and there's a reason for this, because we know she has come up stairs and she would have had to have used an elevator with that cart. So the elevator is somewhere beyond, unobserved, or Wendy is one amazing woman and she has carried that service cart all the way up the stairs.
We see a hall decorated with blue-flowered wallpaper behind Wendy as she cheerily enters the one papered in blue that will take her to the door of their suite. We clearly see the hot drink vending machine and that it is also decorated with blue flowers.
The blue flowered hall beyond her is likely the hall, we will later realize, in which Danny has his shining of the dead girls. The blocks of rooms to Wendy's right and left are illogical as they are enclosed by halls and none of them would thus have windows. They couldn't possibly be quarters for employees.
We notice Wendy's blue, yellow and pink robe has in it the colors of this staff area, the same blue and yellow, placing her in sympathy with it, if you will. We will also see that she is wearing white long-johns with a blueish-purple flower or snowflake design. Whether it is flowers or snowflakes, it reminds of the blue flowered wallpaper in the hall where the girls will be shown to be murdered.
We are briefly afforded a view of the number on the room opposite their suite and it is 2. We are given no indication of floor number.
She opens the door to their suite and we observe it's numbered 3.
Very simply, 2 and 3.
Things must be going fairly well with them so far for Wendy to be so chipper with her breakfast and juice and coffee laid out on a full silver service.
169 MS Jack. (35:29)
Cut to Jack sleeping. As the camera zooms out, away from Jack, we see we have been observing his reflection in the mirror of the vanity opposite the bed. Fully making use of and enjoying the niceties of the hotel, Wendy carries in breakfast on the silver service tray, entering the right of the frame and crossing the sitting room to the bedroom. Wendy calls to him.
WENDY: Good morning, hon. Your breakfast is ready.
JACK: What time is it?
WENDY: It's about 11:30.
JACK (laughs): 11:30! Jesus!
WENDY (smiling): I guess we've been staying up too late.
This exchange again suggests that things have been going well between them.
JACK: I know it.
Jack sits up, sticking out his tongue at the mirror, and we see in it a reflection of the shirt he wears which shows a bird of prey soaring left in flight, perhaps swooping down, descending. Above the bird the shirt reads in the mirror the reverse of STOVINGTON, the academy where Jack taught in Vermont, which is information from the book we're not privy to in the movie.
Jack's sticking his tongue out here at the mirror foreshadows the later scenes of crazy Jack, for this tends to be a tick with crazy Jack, he having a habit of sticking his tongue out in a grotesque manner.
Note that in the mirror's reflection, the white jar with the blue top on the vanity becomes a seeming blue jar with a white band below the blue cap, and though we are only looking at the same jar from the rear one may have the idea that the mirrored world is not exactly in sync with the physical.
This bird on Jack's shirt is perhaps anticipated by the birds Danny had passed outside the Colorado Lounge.
WENDY (bringing him his orange juice): I made 'em just the way you like 'em. Sunny side up.
JACK: Oh, nice. (He drinks.)
WENDY: It's really pretty outside. How about taking me for a walk after you finish your breakfast?
JACK: Oh, I suppose I ought to do some writing first.
Wendy brings him his plate.
WENDY: Any ideas yet?
JACK: Lots of ideas, no good ones.
Wendy sitting on the bed, we see the print on her long-johns that recalls the hall with the flowered wallpaper. Wendy assures Jack that something will come, it's just a matter of settling back into the habit of writing every day, and Jack looks at her with some disdain, as if frustrated by what he takes as her simpleness, her sunny optimism, and lack of comprehension of his situation.
WENDY: Well, something will come. It's just a matter of settling back into the habit of writing everyday.
JACK: Yeah, that's all it is.
He chomps away at his bacon.
But when she says it's really nice up there he agrees with her and says he loves it.
WENDY: It's really nice up here, isn't it?
JACK: I love it. I really do. I've never been this...
170 CU Wendy. (36:52)
Cut to Wendy as Jack continues.
JACK: ...happy or comfortable anywhere.
WENDY: Yeah, it's amazing how fast you get used to such a big place. I'll tell you. When we first came up here, I thought it was kind of scary.
Her level of comfort with the space suggests not so much her feeling now possessive of it as if it is her own house, but instead reflects perhaps the frame of mind of a servant or employee who feels a part of something they are not, by their proximity in servitude.
171 MS Jack from Wendy's side. (37:03)
Now back to Jack, who is no longer viewed in the mirror.
JACK: I fell in love with it right away. When I came up here for my interview, it was as though I'd been here before. I mean, we all have moments of deja vu, but this was ridiculous. It was almost as though I knew what was going to be around every corner.
He punctuates with a ghostly whoooo. Wendy laughs.
In the unreflected version, we don't see Wendy's long-johns, her leg now covered with the robe. This is either only a matter of continuity, or again the mirrored world is out of sync with the physical.
Hadn't Jack earlier, when shown the suite on Closing Day, remarked he found it homey? And we, the audience, just thought he was being facetious?
Jack having felt he knew what was around every corner, who else in this family possesses the shining? Perhaps they all possess the shining but are unconscious of it.
In Lolita, Humbert was brought breakfast, eggs and bacon, by Lo, who happened then upon him writing in his journal. He hid it away from her then read her the poem "Ulalume", by Edgar Allen Poe, which has to do with destiny and deja vu, just as we have Jack speaking of his sense of deja vu here. Humbert spoke with Lo about Edgar twisting a word such as "dim" and bringing it back as "mid"--a permutation or mirroring which we also have in this scene, our having viewed Jack and his STOVINGTON t-shirt first in the mirror. Lo ate Humbert's bacon and he greedily gobbled eggs from her hand. I have written more on this in my A Clockwork Orange analysis.
172 Crossfade from Jack to typewriter. (37:29 begin crossfade, ending in the Colorado lounge at 37:31.)
We have then a cross-fade from the bedroom to the Colorado Lounge, the bird on Jack's t-shirt replaced by an ascending eagle on the Adler typewriter.
The figure to Jack's right on the bed's headboard, the wood inlay, is also accentuated with the crossfade, reading as possibly a female form. I believe there is an intentional pareidolia happening here, the "breasts" recalling the seeming breasts of the female figure in the photo that was above and behind Bill Watson during the interview. That figure, as with this one, had appeared "headless" in the only broader view we're afforded in the entire movie, when Bill Watson is entering the room. No doubt, that is only pareidolia and were we afforded a good view of the photo it would be some mundane scene likely concerning fishing.
The bird design on Jack's shirt is observed on the shirts of the crew in Vivian Kubrick's documentary on the making of The Shining. Towards the beginning, as we go from Jack's dressing room down to the lobby, we see two individuals sporting them. Which is really rather odd, as no live birds are ever physically observed in the film, and the bird on the sweatshirts, in stark relief, more reminds of Hitchcock's horror film The Birds. Yet, enough of the sense of a bird was imparted in the opening aerial bird's eye view, following Jack up the mountain, that the bird symbol doesn't feel out of place. Plus, there's that bird statuette in Ullman's office.
Though Hitchcock's The Birds would seem to have nothing at all to do with The Shining...
...there may be a very good reason why...
...when I look at those shirts with the bird graphic in the documentary of the making of The Shining...
...I instead see The Birds.
CLUNK. Fade full in to the shot of the ADLER manual typewriter, a page of blank paper in its carriage. To the right is an ashtray with a smoking cigarette, and to the left a pack of Marlboros and pencils. We saw on the day of the interview a Marlboro cigarette in the ashtray on Ullman's desk, which suggested Jack smoked. Here again we have the suggestion that Jack smokes, a different brand than Wendy's Virginia Slims, but again we don't see him smoking.
The ADLER typewriters were first produced in 1909, the same year that the Overlook is given as having been completed.
The typewriter will, after this scene, change color so it is a blue-gray, but we already have an intimation of change here. To the left of the name ADLER it appeared to me as though something like a magic marker has been used to partially color a part of the typewriter blue, but in HD (which I finally got) it becomes obvious that this is a sticker that has been partly pulled off. then if one looks down one will see a blue dot on one of the typewriter keys on the left. A photo of this make of Adler typewriter at "The Overlook Hotel" blog shows that blue is the standard color for that key. However, the dot on the key beneath it is white in this view and it is red in the photo at the above-mentioned blog, so that is another alteration.
Why the ADLER? Here is where Jack later falls asleep and the music, "The Awakening of Jacob", concerning Jacob's ladder, is linked with him. The ADLER is aligned with the grand staircase physically, which one can take as a representation of Jacob's ladder. If we permute the letters of the name ADLER we get LADER. Intentional? I'm not married to the idea but thought I'd put it out there.
Perhaps the choice of the Adler typewriter has to do with Adler meaning eagle in German. After all, previous to this we have the Stovington bird on Jack's t-shirt.
Some view the discontinuities and implausibilities of the Overlook as being explained by our witnessing the visions of Jack the writer as he composes his book, we're viewing his fictional scenario. Perhaps that's so. The bird on the typewriter could represent his bird's eye view as the composer.
In A Clockwork Orange, the typewriter of Alexander, the writer, also changes color. It is bright red when Alex invades his home with the droogs, and we later see that Alex has a small typewriter of the same color. After Alex's programming, when he accidentally finds his way again to the home of Alexander, we see Alexander at the typewriter again but this time it is gray. One supposes that the typewriter had been broken during the home invasion when Alex first danced upon his desk then overturned it and his bookshelves.
Pull back to show a box of unused typing paper, and then, beyond, a sofa littered with magazines and newspapers suggesting a good amount of time is being spent reading rather than writing. Beyond that, Jack plays handball on the wall above the great fireplace where is an American Indian styled painting of figures Wendy had commented upon during the tour (a painting the audience hadn't observed at the time), pounding it hard, too hard, which can't be very good for the paint and strikes one as, at least, careless, even disrespectful.
Jack's movements, throwing the ball, echo the shape of the large wood centerpiece on the great table.
Earlier, when Danny was shown cycling through the lounge, the sofa was observed with its back to the desk, as it was on Closing Day. Here, the sofa and end tables and coffee table are instead facing Jack's desk. Why would Jack have moved the sofa and end tables and coffee table? Having just seen the mirroring of Jack and Wendy in the bedroom of their suite, are we to see this also as a mirroring effect? After this scene, this whole section of furniture will disappear for the rest of the movie--sofa, end tables, coffee table and rug. Kubrick thus is drawing our attention to the sofa and its magazines and the coffee tables and rug just before their removal.
Perhaps the removal of an entire section of furniture might remind us of the central section of the Timberline being removed in the studio set of the Overlook?
When we go next to the shot from behind Jack of him playing handball on the painting, we get a clear view of another sofa, and spreading magazines and papers over it and its coffee table would have sufficed to set up the impression of Jack spending time reading rather than writing.
In the shot below we clearly see the section of furniture which will hereafter disappear for the remainder of the film, along with the driftwood centerpiece on the table.
With certain dramatic changes coinciding with others--the removal of the section of furnishings occurring along with the changing of the color of the typewriter--does seem to indicate different experiences or versions of the Overlook being represented.
173 MS Jack playing ball from behind. (37:53)
We have yet another view of Jack slamming the ball against the painting and one feels a sense of desecration and building unease.
To the right side of the painting and the fireplace is a bison head that we see now for the first time, reminding of the Minotaur. Recollect that in the rear hall off the Colorado Lounge was the painting of an American Indian wearing a bison headdress, which in relationship to the hedge maze also brings to mind the Minotaur.
The Navajo painting shows corn and Yeis, holy spirits, the rainbow spirit Yei depicted encompassing the central figures with its arch.
On the door of Danny's room had been the rainbow arcing over Snoopy. In Boulder, the rainbow was a child's rainbow, the one of joy and wonder that precedes the adult world where rainbows may become only a matter of science and reason, their magic lost. At the Overlook, the rainbow is instead a part of American Indian symbolism, a doorway between the lodge of the supplanter and that which was supplanted, what recedes into the mists of history, just as childhood is remote from the adult, and a child's awareness of the world is different from the adult's, oriented more toward symbolism than the language of reality. Ultimately, the rainbow stands as a divider between the historical and the primordial. Post rainbow is the realm of modern man. Beyond the rainbow, in pre-history, is the world of symbol and archetype and a peculiar proto-language understood not only by all peoples but even all animals. A place of mystery, when there were giants, and gods and spirits consorted directly with mere mortals. Beyond the rainbow, the brand of logic that rules modern man's relationship with his world ceases to be the primary regulator.
174 Crossfade from Jack to exterior of studio set lodge. (37:58 crossfade begins, ending at 38:00.)
Jack pitching the ball hard against the wall, cross-fade to Danny and Wendy running down a semi circular walkway away from the lodge. The shots merge briefly so that Jack appears as a giant aggressively looming over the pair, the bison head looming above him.
Curiously, with the crossfade, the bison head is positioned on the east wing to the left of the garages. In the "Closing Day" section I included a photo of the old Timberline showing how on the east wing, just to the right of the garages, there was hanging a carving of a bison head. Was Kubrick aware of that bison head hanging beside the garages?
The Colorado Lounge fading completely, this is the last we shall see of the driftwood centerpiece, it disappearing as well after this scene.
Compare this with the shot of the group beginning to cross the road on Closing Day. Poof. Gone.
In the Closing Day section, I had noted how just as they begin to cross the road, Wendy asks when the Overlook was built, and Stuart begins to respond, saying, "Oh," this response overlaying the audio track as Kubrick cuts to the next shot where the group is already across the street, binding the two shots together, the group however now moving toward the Snowcat, and a number of feet down and perpendicular from where the "Oh" was initiated. Continuing his response, Stuart related the information on how construction was from 1907 to 1909, that the lodge was built on an Indian burial ground, and they had to repel attacks during the building of it.
Jack's stance here, looming as a giant over the scene, spans the road, as if taking that giant step Kubrick, via editing, had the group take between when they began to cross the road to the cut of them being a number of feet down on their way to the garage. It's a fun thing to notice.
If one is on the lookout for Carson City tunnels then with the entrance overlaying the cavernous fireplace, in the crossfade, we have a tunnel of sorts which even mimics the shot on Closing Day with the VW riding up the mountain when a cross-fade briefly suggested the car approaching a tunnel like entrance to the lodge/mountain.
Compared with our previous view of the exterior set on Closing Day, we see that the path where the Snowcat later exits has changed. For some reason, it is much grassier.
Also, there seems a peculiar amount of green grass for it supposedly being around November 30th in the mountains.
WENDY: The loser has to keep America clean, how's that?
DANNY: All right!
WENDY: And you're gonna lose!
Wendy challenges Danny as they run past litter cans.
WENDY: I'm going to get you, you better run fast. (She sings a few measures of the "March of the Swiss Soldiers" from the "William Tell Overture".) Look out, I'm coming in close.
The game foreshadows the film's end, the mother too as if playfully training her son for survival, though for both of them this is only a game.
There was a keep American beautiful (by keeping it clean) campaign in the 70's which showed an individual attired as an American Indian weeping at the sight of litter--and there is an emphasis on cleanliness throughout the hotel, many signs dealing with this. The "Keep America Clean" game is a Kubrick touch that's not in the book.
The top of the hedge is decorated with cone shaped topiaries. Throughout the hotel there are potted trees that recall this ornamental feature.
Kubrick had used this same piece music from the "William Tell Overture" in A Clockwork Orange in Alex's bedroom scene with the two women he brought home from the record store. Because of Wendy's being associated with the indigenous theme, one might make a connection here with the Lone Ranger, for which it served as theme music. But what of Kubrick's previous use of this music? What is the connection there? The original galop was intended to represent a victorious battle and a liberation of the Swiss from Austrian oppression and it may be that the galop thus anticipates the liberation found at the end of this film. In A Clockwork Orange, following this music Alex's droogs had made an initially unsuccessful attempt to liberate themselves from him, and then had betrayed him.
The map of the maze has moved from the screen left corner of the maze, where we saw it on Closing Day, to the foreground and right of the entrance of the maze, a bench taking the place of where the map once was. The bench taking the place of the map, and the location of the hut will match with the miniature maze in the lobby when Jack approaches it.
Where the map was previously.
This is a change that is made conspicuous by Kubrick, highlighted here by his focusing in on the map after Danny and Wendy have entered the maze.
Not only has the map been moved to in front of the maze, foliage backing it which we also hadn't viewed previously, we have large shadows falling over area before the maze's entrance, from the direction of the audience and camera, that don't appear to belong to the map or this foliage. If we go back to Closing Day and take a look at the crossfade of Wendy and Jack in the bathroom to the maze we see that these shadows falling before the maze "A Month Later" are ostensibly shadows cast by Jack and Wendy on Closing Day.
The direction of the shadows place this as being late afternoon, the sun coming from the west. For it was already 11:30 a.m. when Wendy served Jack his breakfast.
The supplemental information surrounding the maze map on the board has also changed. On Closing Day there were three supplements to the right of it. Now, a month later, the map appears to be smaller to accommodate the addition of 3 supplements also to the left, and the bottom supplement on the right is different than it was. With the addition one could say the map's presentation on the board has been made more symmetrical.
Dressed for not too bitter temperatures, Danny in a plaid shirt jacket and Wendy in a red heavy jacket, both wearing red gloves, Wendy carries a Polaroid camera and Danny wears what appears to be a holster with a child's toy gun in it. The color of the gun and holster are predominately black with a silver accent and balances the Polaroid camera that Wendy carries. This toy gun would have been the black and silver object that was on the table in the Boulder apartment during the scene in which they were eating lunch on the day of the interview. It is a toy gun based on the Star Trek series, and the graphics on the toy's box had depicted a character being shot who was half-black and half-white. This character was from the Star Trek story "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield". It would seem that Wendy's brief singing of the "galop", victorious battlefield music, does bring in the idea of freedom, the end of battle, just as does the Star Trek story. But the Star Trek story was ambiguous with characters who were mirror opposites fighting with one another into an unknown future.
Wendy's hair is tied in braided pigtails that here gives her an American Indian look--and meanwhile inside the hotel Jack is slamming the ball into the painting based on American Indian imagery.
Wendy and Danny enter the maze as the camera moves in to focus on the map upon which we see a compass orientation, showing the maze is slightly off kilter. We also see the map's description gives it as both a maze and a labyrinth.
As we know the "front" of the hotel to be situated facing south, its garage in the east, and the long shadows here are extending from the west into the east, Kubrick has arranged it for us to see, in this scene, the maze as being in front of the hotel. When Danny and Wendy enter the maze its entrance is facing west. The maze map appears to show, however, that if the maze runs parallel to the hotel as depicted, the hotel is in the south, and the maze's entrance is in the east.
DANNY (as he enters the maze first): The loser have to keep America clean?
WENDY: Oh, no!
DANNY: Keep America clean.
175 MS in maze. (38:19)
As soon as Wendy and Danny enter the maze, the sky becomes clouded and their shadows are obscured, whereas the day had been cloudless and sunny beforehand. What this means is no shadows, no orientation by the sun.
An eerie music begins.
WENDY: Okay, Danny you win. Let's take the rest of this walking. Okay?
WENDY: Whew. Give me your hand.
Despite the prevalence of photos, cameras are not often themselves observed. There is the camera with the man in the spectator shoes at the beginning. Here, Wendy's carrying a Polaroid calls to mind the "Camera Walk" in that she has told Danny they need to walk now.
This is the last we'll see of the camera and the toy gun.
As I mentioned earlier, we see that Danny is not wearing the blue overalls, red sweater and blue plaid shirt that he had been wearing during his earlier cycling about and through the lounge, supposedly that morning.
Having turned to the left upon entering the maze, Wendy and Danny explore it.
WENDY: Isn't it beautiful?
176 MS. (38:39)
Cut to follow Wendy and Danny from behind. Eventually, they come upon a dead end where is a red triangle on a post, which I suppose is for ringing an alarm if one is lost. They go the other way, passing soon another triangle on a post, and continue on their walk.
Below is the path they take, which as you shall see doesn't match any images of the maze.
177 Crossfade from maze interior to interior lobby. (39:13 begin crossfade, ending at 39:16.)
Cross-fade from the pair in the maze to Jack entering the lobby, so that it appears briefly that he too is in the maze, surrounded by its greenery, and that the very lobby is within and engulfed by it. And Jack's figure, in turn, engulfs those of Wendy and Danny, as they briefly walk the same path together in this crossfade, the maze path leading via the overlay to the miniature maze in the lobby. A ghostly, marvelous shot that melds the maze with the hotel.
The floor is littered with a few of Danny's toys including his Big Wheel that rests in a circle, a connection thus concretely made between the toy Big Wheel and these circular, wheel motifs, and in particular this one in which Dick will later lie slain. Lying on the Big Wheel is Danny's toy Bugs Bunny, which is a stand-in for Danny as he is called Doc after the bunny. Though not observed in the photo on this page, nearby is a Winnie the Pooh doll which could be taken as stand-in for Wendy, though she had told Dick she wasn't a Winnie. There is also a black or dark-brown stuffed toy of some sort that can be seen, which is possibly a stand-in for Dick, so that they are all present in the room by virtue of the toys.
We note another driftwood centerpiece on a distant table, beyond the elevators and under a wall textile decorated with a diamond pattern.
Standing upon a diamond design, Jack aggressively slams the ball one last time against the diamond pattern rug on the far wall above the wooden centerpiece. We have a brief glimpse of green light coming from the room beyond the cashier's niche, a color that will become associated with unpleasant happenings at the Overlook. The yellow ball bounces off the wall onto the driftwood centerpiece and then disappears to the right.
No longer having the ball, Jack then goes to stand before a table we'd not closely observed before, though it has been in several scenes, which holds the miniature version of the maze, displaying even the map of the maze to the right of its entrance, the hut to the left.
A sense of unease has been slowly building though all Jack has done is play handball. Walking past a sofa, Jack glances at the bat Wendy will later use as her defensive weapon against him, knocking him down the stairs. That it appears here after the ball bouncing off the driftwood to the side, makes me think that we can imagine the driftwood as having batted the ball. And now appears the bat. What I mean by this is the Overlook as a living, animated entity, materializing and dematerializing things in such a way that its occupants hardly take notice, or don't.
Standing before the maze, Jack slides his finger into the front entrance.
178 MS of Jack. (39:38) Cut to Jack before the maze looking down on it, his hands on the table rather than his finger entering the maze's entrance as observed at the end of shot 177.
We can see some differences between the model maze and the little we have of seen of the physical exterior. There were two sections to the left of the entrance of the outside maze, the map in one and the hut in the other. Here there are three sections to the left of the entrance, and seven sections total to that side, including the entrance, and the long side of the maze has 9 sections. Whereas the outside maze would have 5 sections to the short side and, if examined carefully, shows to have 7 sections on Closing Day and today. 7 sections and 6 lights facing the hotel. When the entrance of the maze is seen shifted, on the final day, it appears to be perhaps located in the 4th section.
The Overlook Maze map also appears to show 7 sections on the short side and 9 on the long.
Already there is a problem of reconciling the maze outside with the model maze and the maze on the map. You'd think Kubrick could have gotten to get the mazes to match and if he would have if he'd wanted them to match. And there are more problems to come.
The cut is an abrupt one, giving Jack no time to shift his position and remove his finger from the maze, but here he stands leaning against the table instead. He looks down into it with the long rectangular heart of the maze situated perpendicular to him, standing opposite where we had observed an elder individual, on the day of the interview, examining the maze. From the direction in which Jack's yellow ball disappeared, that individual had entered the lobby as Jack crossed where he will later slay Dick and we heard the first "sha" sound.
179 CU of Jack. (39:41)
Cut to a close up of only Jack looking down on the maze.
Jack's sky high view of the maze is as the view of the eagle on the Adler typewriter, and the bird of prey on the Stovington t-shirt in which Jack was sleeping.
Watching Jack watching the maze, when we realize he is seemingly "watching" Dann and Wendy, we will feel a violation of privacy, as if he is prying, spying on the pair (whereas the legal term for camera demands privacy). One senses a frightening, potential misuse of power, Jack looming over the maze like a near omniscient god. But, as we shall find, it's one thing to know the maze from looking over it, and another to know the maze from the inside out, down on the ground.
180 LS maze from above. (39:44)
And now we see from above, in this miniature, brightly lit maze, Wendy and Danny in the center, but the heart has moved 90 degrees in relationship to Jack and the maze is far more expansive than that displayed on the map and the replica on the table, and quite different. This maze is gigantic and its angular trails recall, from above, different pieces of patterns in use as design elements throughout the lodge. It is symmetrical, the left and right sides mirroring each other.
This isn't the maze on the table. It is a world maze, encompassing everything.
WENDY: Oh, isn't this beautiful?
They reach the end of the heart and turn back.
181 MS. (40:12) Cut to tracking from the front Wendy and Danny in the maze, at its heart.
WENDY: So pretty. I didn't think it was going to be this big, did you?
We know from our morning view of the Overlook/Timberline exterior that the sun rises east/northeast of it, to the right. The sun was coming from the general direction of the west-northwest when Wendy and Danny entered the studio maze in the afternoon, and the heart of the maze was positioned west-east and parallel the hotel if we can believe the map's orientation of the entrance to its heart, though the map itself is turned so it shows the heart as running perpendicular to the hotel. This places the set and live hotel in the same orientation to the sun.
Now, in this final shot of them in the maze, the sun seems to cast shadows fitting with the sun being in the northwest if the maze's heart runs perpendicular the lodge and so we would seem to see Wendy and Danny walking away from the lodge.
From what we believed to be Jack's perspective, looking down on the world maze, they would have appeared to be walking toward the hotel at this point, in the final shot, except that the world maze's shadows appeared to be coming from the southeast. We have two choices, to keep a seeming proper perspective according to Jack's view, or one appropriate to the hotel.
But then we realize that perhaps we weren't being shown the world maze from Jack's perspective. The camera was opposite the maze, looking at Jack. We were being shown the world maze from perhaps our own perspective, that of the camera, and it keeps a proper orientation of the world maze in respect to the hotel (with the 90 degree shift) and the sun all along.
Beside the obvious, yet another difference between the world maze map and the map of the Overlook Maze is the map of the Overlook Maze shows the heart is 5 sections long. The world maze heart is only 4 sections long. Kubrick is not going to clearly show us how long the heart is in the physical, exterior maze in the last shot, cutting away when we see 4 sections, so it could be either 4 or 5, except at the very last quarter second he briefly gives a brief glimpse of arch in the upper right corner which reveals we've come to the end of the maze's heart and that it is four sections long, the same as the world maze. But it is only at the last quarter second he shows this. It is an intentional glimpse of how long it is, and an intentional attempt to leave us questioning until we realize we've entered the archway.
I include this image above because it will be of some importance later in the Room 237 scene.
Having seen 3 different versions of the maze, the one outside the lodge, the one on the table and in the map, and the world maze, we could compare this to the three perspectives we had of Jack's interview in Stuart's office, as determined by the way the objects were oriented, and, later, the three seeming perspectives of Room 237. Kubrick often seems to give three perspectives of a situation.
But gets more complex.
In the final section, when Danny and Jack enter the maze at the end of the film, the entrance is curiously facing the lodge (which is in the north), rather than the entrance being in the west. It has shifted 90 degrees. When Jack goes to look at the miniature maze, its position is oriented in relation to the hotel as the outdoor maze, but then suddenly in the version seen from high high above, the world maze, the maze's heart is now parallel Jack (and us) rather than running perpendicular to him, which means it is perhaps now running perpendicular to the lodge, which I've covered above. We see the same via the shadows within the Overlook's maze.
And I've discussed above how we even have a possible switch in perspective of the world maze from our assumption we are viewing it through Jack's eyes to the possibility we were instead viewing it through the camera on the opposite side of the table from Jack. We would have been viewing it from the same side of the table as the older man on the day of the interview, the one we saw looking over it when Jack was on the phone with Wendy, the same man who had appeared from around the corner when Jack stepped on the spot where he will later murder Dick.
But, it can't be quite so simple. When Kubrick zooms in on the maze, we seem to get a compass orientation opposite what we have been seeing relative the sun to the lodge that morning, and relative to the lodge and maze that afternoon. According to the compass on the map, Danny and Wendy enter the maze from the east rather than the west.
It would have been so simple to have the maze be the same as viewed in the map, wouldn't it. Ever so simple. But Kubrick quirks it up and then quirks it up some more so we apparently have Danny and Wendy entering from the east which is impossible as the sun should be in the west. Kubrick's giving it this orientation appears to place the hotel to the maze's south which means the maze would be behind rather than in front. What does this mean?
Here is the same scenario, but a different view of it, with the compass showing them entering from the east, which would put the hotel in the south.
Again, viewing the world maze, with the 90 degree shift, the shadows are coming from what would seem to be the southeast in the overview relative Jack's position if the lobby is facing south. But then Wendy and Danny reach the end of the heart of the maze, turn about to walk the other direction toward the camera, and we view them from inside the maze with the shadows bearing down appropriately from the northwest. Or they have been in the proper perspective all along and watched from the side of the table opposite Jack, the camera's view. This places the entrance of the maze before the hotel, matching with the end 4 p.m. section when Danny and Jack enter the maze and its entrance is before the hotel.
If we take a look at what Kubrick has done, we see Wendy and Danny enter the maze and only know its entrance appears to be in the west. We know nothing about the interior. Then Kubrick zooms in on the map which is now to the right of the entrance (the south, facing west) when on Closing Day it had been to the left (the north). We have to orient ourselves because he's chosen to show, on the board, the maze shifted 90 degrees counter-clockwise to what we see before our eyes. That itself toys with our perception of the maze, having to re-orient what we see on the board so it matches with what we see relative to Danny and Wendy. And then there's the confounding muddle added of the compass.
In a way, that 90 degree shift we've already experienced outside (the way the maze is positioned on the board as opposed to what it pictures Danny and Wendy having entered) is then experienced again when Jack goes to the maze. He sees it first as the heart running perpendicular to him, and then it shifts 90 degrees and runs parallel, just as had occurred with us outside when looking from Danny and Wendy entering the maze to looking at the board.
But there's something else to consider. On Closing Day, the group had incomprehensibly passed the maze from its rear walking toward the hotel, what we would believe to be south to north (which counters the information given us on the maze map), and Ullman had introduced it to them as if they were just passing it for the first time. The map of the maze was on the opposite side of the entrance from them as they approached. When they reached the parking lot, there was suddenly a 90 degree shift where instead of walking toward the hotel they were instead walking parallel it and were past where the entrance to the maze will be after its 90 degree shift. Then, in the Month Later section, when Wendy and Danny go to the maze, it is from the hotel, but the map has been moved to the other side of the entrance. So, the 90 degree shift that happens after they enter the maze rather corresponds with the 90 degree shift that happens to the group on Closing Day.
Is looking at all this too piddling a thing to do? Did Kubrick never intend us to take any of this into consideration? But we already had the 90 degree shift on Closing Day between the maze and the lodge. Not only that, but considering both the 90 degree shift and how what we see of the maze and the hotel is opposite what is shown on the map, doesn't that have something to say about our experience of the kitchen on Closing Day? How Dick began to show Wendy into the C4 freezer and they instead entered the C3 meat locker opposite? How we saw an entrance to a C2 storage room located around a corner from the C1 storage room entrance, and when inside the C1 storage room we didn't see the C2 door, when it should have been there? So, why did the group pass the maze to the lodge on Closing Day, from south to north, for no comprehensible reason? When they should have approached it instead from the hotel? The same reason Dick began to enter the C4 freezer and then was reversed and entered instead the C3 freezer.
Kubrick gives us multiple more opportunities to consider all this as we progress along through the film, multiple more opportunities to consider what's happening.
We are working with oppositional/reversed perspectives, such as seen here with the maze, such as with one drive to the hotel being east to west, the other being west to east, and both ending before or around the area of the Continental Divide. We are working with 90 degree shifts. We have both, over and over, and in conjunction with each other. And Kubrick makes this plain to us with the physical maze and what we know about it as opposed to the map of the maze which has a completely opposite orientation.
Have I lost you? Or maybe you decided to not think about it too much and just kind of wisely skip over the above section? Pain's the brain, doesn't it, having opposing realities sandwiched together in this manner. If you're in tune with what Kubrick is doing you can, Closing Day, walk with the group from the south to the north of the maze, from its rear toward the hotel, and you can feel the world maze propogating about one, composed of oppositions and turns.
After this, the maze's entrance isn't shown until the end of the film. But it has already shifted, after Jack lost his ball, which is when we get a major shift in Jack's attitude.
Anyway, that's the big thing to know. The maze entrance shifts about 90 degrees between today and the end of the film, and apparently shifts today. There's a bit of muddle tugging here and there at the corners, but I'm just keeping my eye on the 90 degree shift that puts its heart perpendicular the hotel, which appears to have happened with the world map.
The way the maze explodes outward with its repeating motifs, it would seem it could encompass the entire world, that life is formed of repeating motifs, both expressing and commenting on Jack's earlier observation that he felt he had been at the hotel before and knew what was around every corner.
Wow! Danny's riding around on his big wheel is so cool! Nothing much seems to happen but it's wonderful! And Jack gets weird.
Jack's remark on his deja vu comes off as such an internal joke here that no one really pays that much attention to it, especially as the audience is all deja vu themselves, in a sense, already knowing much of what is going to happen, the basic story arc, and waiting for the adrenalin zaps.
All that crazy, wonderful use of the steadicam.
Couldn't be the maze that takes over everything, could it, that it becomes a world maze with opposing sides--east and west, north and south--mirroring one another?
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