In Which Kubrick Tricks Us Into
Not Noticing the Open Door
Opposite Room 237

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).

When Danny starts his circuit of the 2nd floor above the Colorado lounge, it is about the area of the elevators near the end of the hall that should connect to a hall behind the grand staircase of the Colorado Lounge. He passes room 237 on his right. His return has him pass room 237 on his left. This time he stops his big wheel and looks back at its doors.

Danny earlier did a circuit of the Colorado Lounge and its neighboring hall, on the first floor. That scene began and stopped at this approximate position in the service hall directly below.

As we can see, all the doors are closed. Danny's circuit of the halls has clearly shown all the doors to be closed.

We have a shot from below and behind of Danny, out of focus, looking back up at No. 237.

There follows a close-up shot of Danny, the laundry bin and door at the far end of the hall out of focus.

Again, another shot from below and behind of Danny looking back at Room 237.

Kubrick returns to a medium shot that shows Danny and the hall beyond. He rises from his Big Wheel and approaches room 237.

And did you notice that the door just beyond and opposite Room 237 is open now?

I dodged out the area of the door and as you can see it's definitely open. The floor beyond the threshold appears to be carpet, perhaps like that in room 237. I can't tell. It appears to be blue or blue-green, but if you really dodge it out, you see perhaps what may be unfinished set, and what is the suggestion of a carpet design on the floor may only be photo artifacts in this shaded area.

Danny tries the door of room 237 and finds it locked. Looking up at its number, he sees the twin girls. When Danny returns to his Big Wheel, he keeps glancing back at room 237 over his left shoulder, which keeps our attention on Danny and his focus on screen left. When he isn't glancing back to the left he keeps his head down, looking to the floor, such as the image below of him passing the still open door on the right.

It is only when Danny is back around the elevators that he lifts his head and keeps it up as he cycles, just as it had been up as he rode all around the floor before approaching room 237.

What this circuit of the hall does is break the "reality" of the story, revealing that none of the rooms on this side of the hall exist. In fact, it would seem none of the rooms on this hall exist. There is no space for any of them. Kubrick could easily have avoided this breaking of the fantasy, but instead he purposefully shows us the Colorado Lounge from before the elevators, and that none of the rooms overlooking the lounge are possible. When Danny circles behind the elevators we are shown that the rooms there are likely not possible. And there is fact no room 237 either, for its placement is in the interior of the lodge and means it would have no windows.

August 2018 extracted from analysis, originally on blog before 2010. Approx 523 words or 1+ single-spaced pages. A 4 minute read at 130 wpm.

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