Crossing the Field – Revisiting “The Shining” – Google Maps Redux
Before The Narrows, at St. Mary Lake, the little beetle crosses a field, shot 3. The previous serpentine bends shot was already past The Narrows. The shot after this will take us back past The Narrows again, further beyond.
Above, in the still from the film, you can see not only a line of trees just ahead to the right, as in the Google maps image, but there is also still the same patch of green before them which can be seen both in the image from Google maps and the movie still.
Location on Google Maps.
The red numbers and arrows show the Opening Day approach to the Overlook, the cliff drop off always on screen left: (1) the helicopter begins here and swoops up to the 4 point, moving west; (2) is the next shot of the serpentine road Jack travels; (3) is the field he crosses and is out of sequence; (4) is the point where the helicopter passes him; (5) is the west tunnel he goes through, rather the east, still going west, but on the lower section of road; (6) is where he is shown after the tunnel, passing the kayak car; (7) is where Kubrick fades out, Jack still going west on the east side of the Continental Divide.
On Closing Day, the car is always going west to east, the cliff drop off always on screen right. The blue numbers and arrows showing the Closing Day shots, (1) appears to be where we enter, (2) is what we view out the window rather than having an aerial shot, and (3) is where we crossfade, still to the other side of the Continental Divide, heading east.
Though the Overlook is in Colorado, the opening shots, along with the Closing Day shots, pinpoint a kind of psychological/philosophical/mystical place for the lodge as being on the Continental Divide. In the opening, the VW travels east to west on the Going-to-the-sun road, and the final crossfade is just to the west of the Continental Divide. In the Closing Day section, the VW travels west to east on the road and the final crossfade to the lodge occurs west of the Continental Divide. There is only one road to the Overlook, so it would be impossible to approach the lodge from the opposite, westerly direction, as the VW does on Closing Day, but Kubrick has mirroring doubles happen not only throughout The Shining but also in his other work. A "divide" is usually had, a "between", which is part of the significance of his single point perspective work with its high degree of symmetry. For example, in 2001 we finally see, toward the film's end, that this "between", the "divide" is the monolith itself. In The Shiningit is represented by the heart of the maze, and geographically by the Continental Divide. At the same time, this divide, though it may be represented geographically, as a metaphor, is not tied to one geographical spot but is ever-present.
Below are links to the posts on the initial and Closing Day ascents:
St. Mary Lake
Before the Narrows
Helicopter Takes a Pass
Entering the West Tunnel
Exiting the West Tunnel
The East Tunnel (not used in the film)
After the West Tunnel
Last Shot of Glacier Park in the Opening
Pinpointing the locations of the Closing Day ascent
Originally posted on blog 2012. Transferred August 2018 to html.