Rounding the Bend – Revisiting “The Shining – Google Maps Redux
A perspective from Google Maps of where the yellow VW is when the helicopter would have made its pass of the VW in shot 4, soaring off over the lake.
It's wonderful that the image from Google maps is so close to that of the perspective of the helicopter as it passes the Beetle. We even have much the same kind of cloud cover.
The Google map.
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