AN IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS OF STANLEY KUBRICK'S FILM THE SHINING - SATURDAY

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:

WHITE-OUT AND JACK IN THE COLORADO LOUNGE, JACK'S NEW RULE AND THE SNOWSTORM

LINES DOWN, THE HOTEL CUT OFF FROM THE OUTSIDE WORLD - WORD PLAY AROUND ICE CREAM AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO CRM-114 - THE HOTEL AND ALL THE NOTICES ON CLEANLINESS

THE RADIO CALL TO THE FOREST RANGERS - ON FLAGS AND MAPS - THE LAST OF THE "SHA" SOUNDS

THE MIRROR FLIP OF THE TIME FROM 11:40 to 6:10 - THE OPEN CABINET OPPOSITE THE TIME CARDS FORESHADOWS THE CABINET IN WHICH DANNY WILL LATER HIDE - DANNY CONFRONTED BY THE SHINING OF THE MURDER OF THE GIRLS - THE CEILING LAMPS OF THE STAFF AREA - THE PECULIAR DOUBLE KNOB SUSPENDED IN SPACE

CALL US AS ABOVE, SO BELOW, JACOB'S LADDER AND THE SABBATH - ON CYCLES REPRESENTED IN ShV AND KDK - THE RELATIONSHIP OF THE POSTER IN THE SWITCHBOARD ROOM TO THE GIRLS

Return to Table of Contents for "The Shining" analysis


Saturday - Wires down

WHITE-OUT AND JACK IN THE COLORADO LOUNGE, JACK'S NEW RULE AND THE SNOWSTORM

212 Title shot. Saturday. (46:51)

213 LS exterior lodge. (46:54)

Open with an exterior shot of the hotel in white out conditions. We see no lights. The mountain is not viewed beyond, nor will it be viewed again, in accordance with Tuesday's superimposition of Wendy's operation of the can opener over the mountain, which made it appear as if she was cutting the top of the mountain away.

The Shining - Snowbound Saturday
Fig. 1 - The lodge on Saturday, dark, showing no lights

214 LS Jack in Colorado lounge. (46:59)

Though we'd seen no lights from outside, the Colorado Lounge is lit. We view from above, from the second floor next the grand staircase, Jack typing away in the Colorado Lounge with its grand piano and a fire blazing in the fire place. Thursday had ended with Jack in the lounge, so Kubrick, returning to Jack, establishes a sense of emotional sameness while also showing us that Jack is alone as per his new rule. But it isn't an intimate shot, so distant that we get no new character information from it of Jack. All that we know is he is working and isolated.

The Shining - Jack working in the Colorado Lounge on Saturday
Fig. 2 - Jack types in the Colorado Lounge

When we reflect on the happenings of the previous Tuesday, Jack's demand for privacy, the new rule of no one entering the Colorado Lounge when he's at work in it, is not isolated from the larger story of the lodge and the snow storm that has shut it off from the outside world. These events work in tandem.

LINES DOWN, THE LODGE CUT OFF FROM THE OUTSIDE WORLD - WORD PLAY AROUND ICE CREAM AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO CRM-114 - THE HOTEL AND THE EMPHASIS ON CLEANLINESS

215 MS Wendy. (47:09)

Cut to Wendy in moccasins and a yellow jacket decorated with images such as cactus and teepees, iconography of the desert west that links her again with the aboriginal, original aspect of the place, that the lodge was built on something which had existed prior.

All real physical action in the lodge as far as the meeting of daily life and responsibilities is embodied in Wendy. She takes care of the family. She takes care of the lodge. Danny plays. Jack is holed up with his typewriter. Confronting the real world is Wendy's domain so as the storm surrounds them Wendy is the one to take stock of their situation.

This is our first view of the switchboard room. She's attempting to make a call, but the phone lines are out. A case full of phone books is behind her. Beside the switchboard, on the right, is a bulletin board which has emergency police numbers and fire information, an open envelope pinned to it, and a small card that reads EYE SCREAM. All these numbers and all of them useless without a line out of the lodge.

The Shining - Wendy attempts to phone out
Fig. 3 - Unable to make a connection, Wendy discovers the phone lines are down

We see above the bulletin board a good luck horse shoe. One thing this does is perhaps take us back to the Boulder apartment and the horse racing down the tracks toward the train, which we saw on the wall after Danny's collapse from his vision and his visit with the doctor. Danny is about to see the two girls again.

The lodge closed on October 30th, and the Eye Scream perhaps has to do with Halloween festivities before then. But Eye Scream also brings to mind Dick having offered Danny ice cream on the closing day, as in eye scream equals ice cream. When Danny had heard Dick ask if he liked ice cream, it was when Dick was talking to Wendy about the supplies in the "story" room, so that in a sense we had already a dual language. Dick was saying one thing to Wendy and Danny was hearing another, but the audience didn't hear what exactly Dick was saying to Wendy at the moment of the shining as his speaking voice was obscured by a voice over. The layering of language and communication suits well the numerous doublings in the Lontano music which continues to play here, carrying over from the Thursday section.

When Danny had heard Doc say "ice cream", Doc had been standing before canisters of Calumet baking powder decorated with the American Indian in feathered headdress, and here we have Wendy in the jacket with American Indian images.

In Rememberance and Repetition in Kubrick's "The Shining" I propose a meaning for the curious CRM-114 that is found in different formations in Kubrick's films. In Doctor Strangelove, the CRM 114 radio equipment of a military jet is damaged so that it is unable to receive a recall code that would stop it from continuing its mission to drop a nuclear warhead on Russia. In A Clockwork Orange, Alex is separated out to be given the treatment that will make him into the "perfect Christian", which involves the injection of Serum-114. When Alex is told he's lucky to have been chosen, as the word "chosen" is said the camera zooms in on Serum 114. Because of this, I have reasoned it is likely that CRM and Serum are a variation of the Hebrew word ChRM, which means "chosen", secluded, devoted to religious purposes.

ChRM (herem) is a peculiar word and there's some debate on its exact meaning. Often it is used for things purposed for destruction--not as a matter of personal vendetta but as a dedication to god as commanded by god, as in a ritualized killing, that thing thus marked apart as belonging to god.

Rabbi Howard Cohen writes of "herem":

The second half of Leviticus 27:28 states that "...every proscribed thing is totally consecrated (alternatively, is considered to be super holy) to the Lord". Since something that is "tamei" (ritually unclean) must be set aside, that is put into a kind of temporary "herem", for varying lengths of time and must not come into contact with things or people who are deemed "tahor" (ritually clean) or "kadosh" (holy) it is hard to understand why the Torah describes something proscribed as also super holy ("kodesh-kodeshim"). Moreover, both "herem" and "kodosh" have essentially the same meaning: something set aside for specific purposes associated with the temple, property (so to speak) of God. How is it that something which is "herem"- proscribed can also be "kodesh-kodeshim - holiest of holies? Rabbi David Kraemer offers a brilliant insight into understanding this problem. Both "herem" and "kadosh" mean set aside for God. The difference, Kraemer argues, is that things which are proscribed are completely cut off from human access while things which are 'kodesh' have limited access. In other words, "herem" is like "kodosh" only more so, hence the reason why Leviticus 27:28 conflates "herem" with "kodosh-kodeshim".

In Islam, the sacred black stone Kaaba resides in the holy house called Masjid al-Haram. Haram can mean an inviolate zone as in a sanctuary, or something which is impure, forbidden.

Keeping in mind the above, a different light may be shed on the many notices at the hotel emphasizing cleanliness, using the appropriate bins for litter, and Wendy's game with Danny as they ran into the maze, she saying the loser would get the job of keeping America clean, the litter bins about the grounds of the hotel decorated with "Keep America Clean" posters.

In Eyes Wide Shut CRM 114 is supposedly formed by appearing as the C-Wing, room 14, the morgue where Bill sees Amanda's body (I've personally never seen 14 connected with the morgue) and we have again the idea of separated out as she had offered to redeem him at the party.

Going to Leviticus 27 we see:

Notwithstanding, no devoted thing, that a man may devote unto the Lord of all that he hath, whether of man or beast, or of the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed; every devoted thing is most holy unto the Lord. None devoted, that may be devoted of men, shall be ransomed; he shall surely be put to death.

Thus we have Bill asking, in Eyes Wide Shut, "How is this woman to redeem me...I can't let this woman pay for me." And the answer being he can't change her fate, that when a promise has been made there is no turning back.

So, my idea is that CRM-114 and Serum 114 are the same as ChRM, and that we may find it in "ice cream" in The Shining. If one is looking for the 114, it will show up as soon as Wendy goes and calls the forest ranger. His clock will read 11:40.

sh_frontjacket
Fig. 4 - Wendy turns to exit the switchboard room for the lobby, giving us a good front view of her jacket

We see on Wendy's jacket pockets two cacti. They are in the shape of the number 4. Daleth, door.

As Wendy leaves we see the back of her jacket. The cactus which appears on the pockets on the front has been reversed (befitting the cactus now being on the back of her jacket) and a person is taking a siesta against it. (Ow).

sh_backjacket
Fig. 5 - Entering the lobby, we are given a full glance at Wendy's jacket.

THE RADIO CALL TO THE FOREST RANGERS - ON FLAGS AND MAPS - THE LAST OF THE "SHA" SOUNDS

216 MS Wendy. (47:34)

Smoking, Wendy exits this enclosed area behind the reception desk.

sh_poster
Fig. 6 - Our only view of the poster on the door in the switchboard room.

We see a much discussed poster, the subject of which has people wondering, "What is this?" Different people have different ideas. To me, one of the more interesting aspects of the poster is its capacity for inspiring an optical illusion like the internet meme spinning woman illusion. An article on About.com says of the spinning woman,

In reality, the spinning dancer illusion is related to bistable perception in which an ambiguous 2-dimensional figure can be seen in from two different perspectives. Because there is no third dimension, our brains try to construct space around the figure. Similar illusions include the Necker Cube and the Reversible Face/Vase Illusion...In a New York Times column, Thomas C. Toppino, chair of the department of psychology at Villanova University suggested, "What's happening here to cause the flip is something happening entirely within the visual system. If we can understand why it is these figures reverse then we're in a position to understand something pretty fundamental to how the visual system contributes to the conscious experience."

We have the same happening here with this figure which can be seen from two different perspectives.

sh_figureillusion
Fig. 7 - Bistable perception optical illusion

When, as in example 1, the screen right leg of the figure is viewed as dominant (forward of the other) by the observer, then the figure is seen as facing forward. As in example 2, when the screen left leg of the figure is viewed as dominant (more toward the viewer than the right leg), then the figure is seen as facing to the rear.

And that, to me, is what is most interesting about the figure. Never mind what it is. It is instead that we have this optical illusion. It is actually pretty important to this section.

We see down the hall beside the reception desk and that there are red doors which that do not lead to elevators but to restrooms. To the left, we see the door to the service hall is shut.

For the first time, too, we get a clear picture of the phone booths in the lobby opposite the reception area.

The Shining - We finally see that these red doors lead to bathrooms

Fig. 8 - The first time we are able to see and tell the doors opposite the main entrance lead to bathrooms

As Wendy continues through the lobby, we see the television is on but not what is playing.

The Shining -Wendy crosses the lobby to the office
Fig. 9 - The television is on. The lobby's lights are off, as they always are when Wendy is in the lobby.

Coincidentally, as Wendy crosses over the circle where Dick is to die, an oval flaw appears in the film stock on the wall to the left, white enclosing a tan field. I saw this because I paused the film to get a shot that showed the television was on but we're unable to see what is playing, and for the brief period of time it is shown whatever is on the screen appears static and isn't moving.

She comes around and into the General Manager's office in order to use its ham radio, and as she passes, just outside the door, the photos of the mountain, we begin to hear the howling wind. As she moves into the office proper, we see through the impossible office window the blizzard.

She calls out on the ham radio.

WENDY: This is KDK12 calling KDK1.

The Shining - Wendy radios the forest ranger
Fig. 10 - Wendy's only time in the office

217 MS forestry service office. (48:06)

There are three individuals in the forestry service office, a woman, an older man, and a younger man.

The time appears to be 11:40.

WENDY (off-screen): KDK12 to KDK1.

YOUNG FOREST RANGER: This is KDK1, we're receiving you, over.


218 MS Wendy. (48:14)

WENDY: Hi, this is Wendy Torrance at the Overlook Hotel.

217

218

219 MS Ranger. (48:18)

YOUNG FOREST RANGER: Hi, how you folks getting on up there? Over.

The Shining - The Forest Ranger
Fig. 11 - The forest ranger's office.

220 MS Wendy. (48:22)

WENDY: Oh, we're just fine but our telephones don't seem to be doing too well. Are the lines down by any chance? Over.

221 MS Ranger. (48:28)

Cutting back to the forest ranger, there are a couple small changes in his room. A white sheet on the cork board above is now pink and there is now a blue notebook sitting next to him.

RANGER: Yes, quite a few of them are down due to the storm. Over.

The transition in color from the white page to the pink reminds of an exchange between Kubrick's mother, Kubrik and Nicholson in Vivian's documentary on The Shining. Gert, Kubrick's mother, sitting at a table in the Gold Room, has asked what is the meaning of the different colors used for the scripts and Kubrick replies it has to do with the newer versions but that after a while you're lucky if people get the new copies. Nicholson clarifies you start with white, then blue, then pink, then green, then yellow. "So blue or yellow isn't significant, just colors," Gert says.

The Shining - The forest ranger with his notebook
Fig. 12 - The forest ranger's office. There have been a few subtle alterations with the props.

WENDY (off-screen): Any chance of them being repaired soon? Over.

(48:36)) We hear a loud "sha", this time not concealed as ambient background noise.

YOUNG FOREST RANGER: Well, I wouldn't like to say. Most winters they stay like that until spring. Over.

222 MS Wendy. (48:41)

WENDY: Boy, this storm is really something, isn't it? Over.

223 MS Ranger. (48:45)

He confirms for her it's one of the worst they've had for years, then cuts short the chit-chat. Aware she is eager to talk, the ranger gently but pointedly ends the conversation, asking if there is anything else they can do for her.

YOUNG FOREST RANGER: Oh, yes, it's one of the worst we've had for years. Is there anything else we can do for you, Mrs. Torrance? Over.

224 MS Wendy. (48:52)

WENDY: I suppose not. Over.

225 MS Ranger. (48:54)

YOUNG FOREST RANGER: Well, if you folks have any problems up there, just give us a call. And Mrs. Torrance...

226 MS Wendy. (49:00)

YOUNG FOREST RANGER (off-screen): I think it might be a good idea if you leave your radio on all the time now. Over.

WENDY: Okay, we'll do that. It was real nice talking to you. Bye. Over and out.


Wendy's loneliness and pleasure with even having briefly spoken with another person evident.

220

221

222

223

224

225

226

In the ranger's office, to the left we'd seen a US flag, its white stars reflected in the sheen of the wood paneling, and on the right there had been a stand of maps. In the movie, whenever the US flag appears, if there isn't the Colorado flag on the other side, there are instead maps of Colorado. In the Game Room and Colorado Lounge there are the U.S. and Colorado state flags. An exception is that, in the Overlook office, the little U.S. flag is on the desk and there is no Colorado flag. Instead, above the nearby ham radio is a Colorado map.

This scene is the last, to my knowledge, in which we hear the "sha" sound. As the conversation in which we hear it has to do with the lines being down--Wendy asking if there's any chance of repair and the "sha" being heard before the ranger answers--my assumption is going to be that the "sha" sound somehow has to do with this and the lodge's status of CRM-114, as it were, of estrangement, of being cut off, just as was the jet carrying the bomb cut off from the outside world in Dr. Strangelove, and Alex was separated out for the Ludovico treatment then cut off and shunned. The "sha" sounds may stop as a state of some degree of irreversibility has been reached. The Torrances, previous to now, perhaps had the possibility of leaving the lodge without a catastrophic incident occurring, whereas that is no longer the situation.

THE MIRROR FLIP OF THE TIME FROM 11:40 to 6:10 - THE OPEN CABINET OPPOSITE THE TIME CARDS FORESHADOWS THE CABINET IN WHICH DANNY WILL LATER HIDE - DANNY CONFRONTED BY THE SHINING OF THE MURDER OF THE GIRLS - THE CEILING LAMPS OF THE STAFF AREA - THE PECULIAR DOUBLE KNOB SUSPENDED IN SPACE

227 LS service hall. (49:16)

The camera now tracks Danny riding his Big Wheel through the green service hall behind the lobby, in the direction of the phones and supposed Gold Room area.

The clock reads 6:10. At the Rangers office we had seen the time was 11:40 and this is that flipped upside down.

The Shining - Danny begins his journey

Fig. 13 - Danny in the service hall. A no smoking sign is seen. The clock reads 6:10, whereas it had been 11:40 when Wendy spoke with the ranger.

He passes a pair of the cabinets on the right, opposite employee time cards, and we see one of the cabinet's doors appears to be open the same amount of space as also will be the cabinet Danny later hides in that is further down the hall. When he later hides in that cabinet, we will get a glimpse of this one and it will then appear to be closed.

The Shining - A panel of the cupboard is open

Fig. 14 - The cabinet with the open door, opposite the employee time cards.

If we examine that first cabinet on Closing Day, we'll see that it is also open there. The area is brought to our attention by a man in green coveralls stacking dishes on the cabinet. After Ullman, the Torrances, and Bill Watson pass by, this individual rather conspicuously crosses from that cabinet to enter the the door that leads into Ullman's office, Ullman glancing back at him as he does so, and via this Kubrick draws our attention to the area early on.

sh_opencabinet
Fig. 15 - The cabinet with the open door on Closing Day.

Note the difference in color temperature in the hall and that the green is more florescent, more like that green we see in connection with eerie scenes, such as the green in the stairwell of Room 237's second floor, and the green in the bathroom of Room 237. The color temperature of this green is more olive.

Cycling on, Danny passes a coffee machine, cigarette machine. Above a water cooler on the left we see a sign that reads "Please put cups and other garbage in the bins provided." One may remember the admonition to keep America clean.

At the end of the hall, Danny turns right.

The Shining - Danny cuts right
Fig. 16 - Danny cuts right into an area we will never view in the film.

What are those white dots behind which he appears to pass?


Fig. 17 - I'm unable to tell what the white dots are behind which Danny passes.

We are briefly able to see from this back service hall into the switchboard room in which Danny's mother had earlier failed at placing any calls out.

sh_switchboardroom
Fig. 18 - A brief view from the service hall into the now darkened switchboard room.



If we think back to Closing Day, it was toward this green service hall that Jack and Ullman went to collect Danny from the Games Room. So, he has turned in the direction of what Kubrick has shown us would possibly be the Games Room, where he saw the girls that day. But, the audience member who is seeing the film for the first time does not really know yet where this hall is located. Though we have a glimpse here of wainscotting such as seen as in the lobby, this green service hall is still free-floating, its placement unsecured. We don't know we are seeing into the darkened switchboard room.

228 MS Staff hall. (49:32)

Next, Danny is in the staff area with the blue carpet and blue flowered wallpaper, passing on his left a service cart with two coffee urns, the shelf underneath stacked with cups--and though they are ceramic rather than paper, that they appear immediately subsequent the request to discard cups and other garbage, suggests a link. There is also a coffee machine atop of which are two identical cardboard boxes, then on the left in an enclosed glass cabinet is a fire extinguisher.

The Shining - In the blue flowered hall
Fig. 19 - Danny cycles past coffee urns in the staff quarters area of the lodge.

At the end of this hall is a dumb waiter and a rolled, blue striped mattress standing on end in the right corner. The dumbwaiter suggests this area may have a relationship with the kitchen. As a dumbwaiter, it may also bring in the idea of "dumb" as in muteness, because a dumbwaiter's very name refers to it being a silent waiter. Also, I pay attention to mattresses. As I've discussed elsewhere, I see in "shining" also ShNH, meaning to double, fold, replication, and it also being cognate with to sleep. Here, we see a rolled up mattress and we are about to have a shining.

Have we seen other waiters in the film? Yes. On the day of the interviews, when Jack was arriving, a waiter had carried a tray over to a group of people seated where Jack would eat his lunch on Closing Day. As I've pointed out in the Interview section, the waiter had then effectively disappeared with the tray. On Closing Day, When Ullman and Bill approached, Jack was reading Playgirl in the same area and finishing lunch, a similar tray beside him. Jack and Ullman then went to collect Danny from the Games Room. This didn't happen, we were next shown Ullman, Jack, Wendy and Bill walking through the Colorado Lounge, after which we had the scene of Danny in the Games Room seeing the girls.

We are about to see the girls and they are about to ask Danny to come play forever and ever. The dumbwaiter anticipates their appearance.

Reaching this curled mattress, Danny takes a left, we to then see a rolled up rug leaning against the right wall--and the hall now coming into full view he stops abruptly, the two girls standing at the end of it.

He is in the flowered hall of the vision of the two girls. And they are there.

sh_light1prominent
Fig. 20 - The two girls await Danny. As Danny clears the corner and sees them the first light is prominent in the window.

sh_light2prominent
Fig. 21 - The two girls await Danny. As Danny comes to a stop, the second light is prominent in the window.

Above the girls are two lamps suspended from the ceiling, and interestingly they cast shadows on the ceiling in the shape of spoked wheels despite the fact they are fluted globes.

The ceiling lamps throughout the lodge in this film cast quite often stark shadows of their spokes on the ceiling, the only sure time this not happening, of course, being when the lamps are off (such as every time Wendy is in the lobby). In this staff wing we have no chandelier lamps with obvious wheel spokes, but spokes we shall have. The gently fluted globes of the ceiling lamps cast a stark wheel, their inner spokes being five, reminiscent of the pentagram, from which radiates a kind of static whirl of golden, fiery illumination.

There is an EXIT sign on the right and on the left a fire alarm bell.

When Danny cleared the corner, as we first saw the girls, the top light was most prominent in the window, its reflection burning brightly, which would be the lamp closest the girls. When Danny comes to a stop, a split second later, then the lower light is the one that is burning brightly in the window, the one above barely seen. In shot 233 both lights will be about the same. I think it's another expression of dominance, ascendancy, which aspect of the doubled thing, the thing which can be seen in different perspectives, is the one foremost, just as has been just illustrated with the poster.

229 CU Danny. (49:42) We cut to a reaction shot of Danny.

The Shining

230 LS girls. (49:45) Then back to the girls.

The Shining - The two girls from behind Danny
Fig. 22 - The two girls and Danny.

THE TWO GIRLS IN UNISON: Hello, Danny.

231 CU Danny. (49:50) Danny stares.

The Shining

TWO GIRLS IN UNISON (off-screen): Come and play with us.

232 LS Girls from behind Danny. (49:59)

TWO GIRLS IN UNISON: Come and play with us, Danny.

The Shining

233 MS. (50:06) An image of their bodies hacked and bloodied in the hallway.

The Shining - The girls slain
Fig. 23 - Danny's horrifying vision of the two dead girls.

234 MS. (50:06) Cut to the girls unbloodied.

TWO GIRLS IN UNISON: Forever...

The eye is drawn to an object on the ceiling between the two lamps. One might assume it is a knob, a spigot for spraying water in case of fire, but we see such a spigot, I think, in the images of the bloodied girls, in the ceiling before the window, and it is unlike this. Whatever this knob is in the ceiling, it is mirrored/doubled, perfectly presenting the idea of "as above, so below", and is suspended in and highlighted by a white light that stands out from the more yellow illumination given off by the lamps. This white light surrounding the double knob seems to me to be highly artificial, a special effect, I see no light source for it. And the knob, as well, its shadow is also decidedly artificial as it is a mirroring rather than a shadow. That this peculiar knob and its mirror image now appears seems to complement the girls.

The Shining  - Forever
Fig. 24 - The double knob in the ceiling observed as the girls invite Danny to play forever.

There is now only one dim light in the window, the one closest to the girls.

235 MS. (50:08) Another image of the axing.

The Shining - The girls slain
Fig. 23 Danny's horrifying vision of the two dead girls.

There are now three lights blazing in the windows. This seems to be in accordance with Kubrick sometimes giving us three perspectives. We have seen one of two lights in ascendance, then the second of the two lights as the dominant one, and now we see three blazing lights.

Kubrick's not done with the lights yet.

236 CU Danny. (50:09) Then one of Danny starting back in horror.

The Shining

237 MS. (50:10) Then back to the girls unbloodied.

TWO GIRLS IN UNISON: And ever...

The Shining - And ever
Fig. 25 - The two girls.

Note that here we don't see one light above another, that instead we see two lights side by side, or one light appearing to be split.

238 MS. (50:12) Followed by another shot of the bloodied hallway.

The Shining - The girls slain
Fig. 23 Danny's horrifying vision of the two dead girls.

These shots of the bloodied girls in the hallway don't change.

239 MCU. (50:13) Then back to the girls speaking.

TWO GIRLS IN UNISON: And ever.

Their eyes appear hollowed and absent, their faces as masks.

The Shining - And ever
Fig. 26 - A closer shot of the two girls.

The reflections of the two lights are low in the window now and barely discernible through the drapes.

240 MS (50:15) And return to the bloodied girls with the crescendo.

One girl lies on her back and behind is the other girl on her stomach, as if they are flip images of each other--just as the clock was flipped earlier, 11:40 becoming 6:10. Before them lies an axe. To the side is a toppled chair. A little of the blood has splattered onto the blue paper in the connecting hall in which the chair lies. Reflected in the window behind the girls are three lamp lights.

Earlier, above the cork board in the switchboard room, we'd observed a horseshoe. Lying before the black patent leather shod foot of the first girl is the heel of a shoe.

The heel would appear to have belonged to the shoe of the murderer.

As Kubrick has chosen to use music concerning the biblical figure of Jacob, do we have hear another reference to Jacob, the name meaning heel catcher, the idea being that when his twin Esau was born, Jacob was grasping his heel?

The Shining - The girls slain
Fig. 23 - Danny's horrifying vision of the two dead girls.

Observe the white dots littered about the carpet. I'll address these in a later section.

I mentioned earlier that we see perhaps the spigot of a sprinkler system in the ceiling above the murdered girls, and that it clarifies for us the other strange knob is not such. Below is a blow-up of the spigot.

sh_spigot
Fig. 27 - A fire sprinkler.

241 CU Danny. (50:16)

Danny covers his eyes with a screeching crescendo of horns. In a close-up of him we see in the distance the blurred mattress, the horizontal blue and white stripe of which is now prominent and recalls the horizontal stripe of the pocket on the blue and white vertical stripe apron Wendy was wearing in the Tuesday scene when she was operating the can opener, which preceded his vision of the girls at room 237.

sh_eyescovered
Fig. 28 - Danny peeks through his fingers.

242 MS Staff hall. (50:29)

When Danny opens his eyes again the girls have disappeared.

The  Shining - The girls disappear
Fig. 29 - The now empty hall with its peculiar double knob in the ceiling.

The floating metallic thingamabob between the two lights is an odd occurrence, and I would think that the "ghost" doorknob observed in the wall beside Room 237 in the "Tuesday" section is associated with this, for there is a distinct similarity between the doorknob and this dual knob suspended between the two lamps, floating there, absolutely surreptitious and inconspicuous with the focus of the viewer being riveted on the girls, just as in the "Tuesday" section the viewer notices neither the ghost doorknob or the open door of room 236 as focus is entirely on Danny and the the double doors of Room 237.

The double knob stands to be compared with the island in the opening shot of the film.

The Shining - The island in the lake
Fig. 30 - The island and its reflection in the opening shot

We may also see in this the design with the two arrows before the main door of the lodge.

sh_designbeforedoor
Fig. 31 - The design before the lodge's main door.

Also, room 237's door knob and its reflection, seen during Danny's prior shining of the girls.

sh_doorknobhand
Fig. 32 - The reflection of the doorknob in Room 237.

We also have another anomaly with the first lamp in the hallway where Danny sees the girls. It casts also an unusual shadow on the ceiling which seems as though it shouldn't be there if we look at how the bases of the other lamps are constructed and the manner in which they shine and shadow on the ceiling. Consider the upward pointing dart shaped shadow in the central image below, not observed with the other lamps in the halls, and that sometimes occurs in conjunction with the double knob so that it even appears to dangle from it, which takes us back to the pendulous idea of DLH, relevant to the doors and the hanging sheet, discussed in the Tuesday section.

The shadow dart or arrow shape, which shouldn't be there, is much like the mirrored knob which shouldn't be there, and these two anomalies complementing each other function a good deal like the ghost doorknob in the scene where Danny tried the door to room 237 and it was locked. The ghost doorknob only appeared when the door opposite was open but hidden, the viewer led to believe a door was there and closed due the latch plate reflecting light in a way that the viewer assumed it was a door knob. The ghost doorknob on the wall opposite was rather a commentary on the mirage of a doorknob which was instead the latch plate, which was a kind of trick and misdirection. We have the same thing here. One anomaly indicates and comments on another which is much like it and both are mirages.

The Shining - The arrow
Fig. 33 - The anomalous dart shadow above the lamp between Danny and the girls.

243 CU Danny. (50:32) A close up of Danny recovering.

The Shining

244 MS of hall from behind Danny. (50:41) Returning to from behind Danny's perspective.

The Shining - Again, from Danny's perspective
Fig. 34 - The camera returns to behind Danny, including him again in the shot of the hall.

245 CU Danny. (50:44)

DANNY: Tony, I'm scared.

TONY: Remember what Mr. Hallorann said, "It's just like pictures in a book, Danny, it isn't real."

The Shining - Talking to Toni
Fig. 35 - "It's just like pictures in a book."

Now, take a look at the above pictures of the girls compared to their previous appearances. As shown below on the day of the interview, in all former shinings of them the girl on the left is the dominant one standing with her arm over that of the girl on the right.

The Shining - The two girls as viewed in the bathroom scene
Fig. 36 - The two girls as viewed in the mirror in the Boulder apartment bathroom.

In the images below, when the girls are briefly viewed as Danny looks at the number of Room 237, it is barely perceptible, as the glimpse of them is so brief, but Kubrick chose a clip in which the girl on screen right moves, the first finger of the screen right hand coming slightly forward. However, overlaying the two images, it seems that the girl's heads are slightly shifted ever so slightly forward in the second view as well, so in that brief glimpse of them their heads tilt a little toward the camera.

Again, the girl on screen left is the dominant one, her arm crossed over the other's.

sh_doorgirls1
Fig. 37 - The two girls as viewed in the left door of Room 237.

sh_doorgirls2
Fig. 38 - The two girls as viewed in the left door of Room 237. Their heads tilt slightly forward toward Danny.

Or, in a gif...

how to make a gif

The dominant girl has been reversed in only this vision, when Danny is in the flowered hall and sees the girls. Instead, the girl on the right consistently has her arm over that of the the girl on the left.

These shots have been staged so that they are, otherwise, almost exactly the same. Look at the folds of the dresses and how the ribbons drape, they are the same. The placement of the girls in the hall is the same, and even their skirts measure about the same distance from the walls. Their unlinked arms are almost but not quite exactly the same, positioned ever so slightly different, but the print of the wallpaper behind their figures and how it relates to their outlines is an exact match. Their hair, in this vision, is different. The girl on the left, previously, has hair that is slightly frizzy at the ends, while the other girl's hair is perfectly curled. The situation is now reversed, the girl on the left has the hair that is perfectly curled at the ends, and the other girl's hair is not.

The Shining - And ever
Fig. 39 - The two girls as they are in Danny's fourth vision, in the hall. The girl on the right now has the dominant arm.

So, just as we'd observed with Jack in the Colorado Lounge, when he is speaking with Wendy and the table and chair sometimes disappear behind him but continuity is otherwise pretty much the same, we have continuity staged here so that is both precisely the same while also ever so slightly different, which leads one to believe the differences are purposeful. Things are just off enough that they perhaps have a grating, subconscious, psychological impact on the viewer, or they are different for another reason.

The wallpaper currently in the hall, which is the same as in the vision, we are at least led to believe is quite old, and I have difficulty believing that an exact replacement would have been found for the old bloodied wallpaper if the murders of the girls had happened recently--or if it was the murder of a single girl who becomes doubled in Danny's visions. But Kubrick has also sketched things so we make an emotional connection between the two Grady girls, eight and ten years of age, who were killed by their father with an axe. The audience will naturally assume these are the Grady girls, and they likely are. But I still wonder at the bloodied hallway having been restored with the same wallpaper, even the bloodied picture on the wall above them salvaged rather than thrown out. Just as the office window was impossible, and so many rooms are impossible rooms, the restoration of this hall after the murder of the girls is fairly outrageous. And why, after all, does the staff wing have the blue wallpaper and this flowered wallpaper as well? Why don't we see this blue flowered wallpaper any place else in the staff wing? Is it because the blue flowered wallpaper isn't there any longer at all? Where we see the blue flowered wallpaper is actually now papered in the same blue as the rest of the staff area?

COMPARISON WITH 2001

Let's first start with Danny viewed from behind his Hot Wheels.

The Shining

This may be compared with the pod as it supposedly turns then makes it's move to kill Frank. Bear with me here...

2001

Next, in 2001, we have 5 rapid shots zooming in on HAL's eye in the pod (shots 371-375). The 4th shot, before the extreme close-up of the eye, is the one below.

2001

Kubrick will repeat these 3 lights in Danny's vision of the murder scene of the two girls in The Shining. In that film they are in shots 233, 235, 238 and 240. Each shot between them is of the girls standing in the hall zooming in closer to them, just as we have here several shots dramatically zooming in on HAL's eye.

The Shining - The girls slain

These 3 brilliant lights in the window only occur during the shots of the murder scene.

The camera returns to Danny with his hands over his eyes, then separating his fingers so we see one blue eye peering upon the scene, the vision of the murder scene now absent.

Just as the girls are pseudo twins, so do we have here the twinned astronauts with one of them murdered.

If we look back to the Tuesday section, through Danny's encounter with Room 237, during which he sees the girls, we have also three lights, which may hook into the theme above.

The Shining - Danny keeps his head down as he cycles past the open door

I remark a little more on this in the 4th section of my analysis of 2001.

CALL US

The forest ranger had just told the lonely Wendy to keep the radio on and, cutting her off when she obviously desired to speak, said if she had any problems to call "us", that "us" echoing the letters U and S to either side of the tree in the forest ranger emblem. In the next scene, Danny, also lonely, cuts around the hotel's corner and sees the Grady girls who invite him to come and "play with us" for ever and ever and ever--and what is a child's version of heaven but to play for ever and ever?

What we have here with Danny's seeing the girls is a re-expression of Wendy's calling up the forest rangers on the ham radio, her loneliness and her desire for community.

AS ABOVE, SO BELOW, JACOB'S LADDER AND THE SABBATH - ON CYCLES REPRESENTED IN ShV AND KDK

The following notes on the web from a class of Rav Soloveichik addresses "as above, so below" in relationship to Jacob's Ladder and the Sabbath:

We consider Jacob's dream and the ladder which he saw rising to the heavens. The angels looked at the image of Jacob as from above and some as from below. All men have two images. One is man below--as he is--and the second is the heavenly image as engraved in the celestial throne. On one hand, he is a reality (below). The above image represents the non-concrete man. Below tells what he actually is; above tells what he could be. This double image theory therefore makes t'shuvah (repentance) possible. The image above is not involved in sin and pulls him up. This can occur in a single second, one thought. When a man realizes he has failed in his sin (his lower image), this is his first step to repentance. Chatatati (I have sinned) means "I have failed." For example, we think of the Beit Hamikdash (Temple as below and above. Below, it was concrete--reality, built in a geographic spot, existed and was destroyed. Moses said in his song, "You bring them in and plant them." That is the image of below. The Beit Hamikdash as a vision is never destroyed.

Another example is the double image of Shabbat. What is it? Food, rest, relaxation? Yes! But the image of Shabbat above is metaphysical--a world without death--a world of purity and beauty. "Shabtotei tishmoru" (My Sabbaths you shall observe) is written in the plural because of the double image.

I go to the idea of the Sabbath (from Sheva, seven) because it is Saturday and Jack is seen working in the Colorado Lounge. He will later be revealed as obsessed with his work (the defining phrase concerning him, eventually revealed, is "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy") while Danny is invited by the girls to play with him forever and ever, and this is the first time he hears them speak so they would seem to be most fully realized for Danny in this scene. Kubrick brings in also the idea of rest (and perhaps, too, the sleep of ShNH) with, in this section, one of the images on the back of Wendy's jacket being a person resting against a cactus during a siesta, corresponding with the Sabbath being a day of rest.

Seven is also expressed in this section with the return of the 7 Up bottles. We see 3 of them, I believe, in the forest ranger office. The last time we saw 7 Up was Closing Day when the Torrances were on their way down to the boiler room with Ullman and Watson. We had a crossfade from that scene to Danny in the kitchen with Dick, eating his ice cream, and Dick had told him what was shined in the hotel was like toast.

The ShV of seven is perhaps present in the U▲S forest rangers insignia. The flag beside the plaque reflected on the wall, if we were able to pursue that reflection further we would see instead of U▲S a S▲U.

How so? Where do I come up with that whacked out idea?

ShuV, a word for "to turn" or "to repent", is connected also with seven. As with the word teshuva, it connotes completeness. Concerning the opening sequence of the film in particular, with its use of "Dies Irae" for the music, I've commented on this bringing to the movie ideas of judgment to be found in Rosh Hashanah, upon which "Dies Irae" is partly based.

Leonard Bosman's Meaning and Philosophy of Numbers relates:

The root of the word (meaning seven), ShuV or ShV, expresses, according to the best authorities, the idea of return...the completion of a cycle, a consummation..."a return to the place from which one set out". This root is joined to the root OU meaning a cycle, or "to turn upside down", hence a revolution. Thus the word "seven" means not only one thing repeated seven times, but refers also to a cycle of days, weeks or ages, during which a certain work--human, terrestrial, or cosmic--is consummated and returns on a higher spiral, with the additional characteristics moulded into it during the "sevening" period, to the status quo ante. After these period of "sevening", whether weeks, ages or periods of evolution, man and the Universe return to rest to prepare for a new revolution or "sevening".

The primary idea I'm looking at here is the one of a return to a previous state, in which we can see a kind of reparation. As noted earlier, it is in this section, when Wendy is speaking with the U▲S forest ranger that we hear the loud and distinct "sha" after she asks when the lines will be repaired. And if we turn U▲S around, as in completing a cycle, a reversal, a return, we have S?U.

Another expression of this cycle, this reversal and return, is seen in the call signs for the Overlook and the forestry service. The Overlook's call sign is KDK12 and the forestry service's is KDK1. KDK was a kind of amateur ham radio popular back in the 80s, so I imagine that is where Kubrick got the idea for the KDK. The forestry service isn't using a KDK, however, they're using a General Electric. The radio at the Overlook is a General Electric Executive II. We see here a cycle too in KDK.

These girls, who we could even call the Playgirls (referring back to the Playgirl magazine that Jack was reading in the Closing Day section, seated in the lobby), who want Danny to play forever and over and ever, are the burned toast remnant that still lingered, which had not been yet put to rest. Danny, however, seems to silence this particular apparition, at least for himself, as this is the last appearance of the girls to him. Whereas Jack will be seen to conjure, to invite and not put to rest, Danny puts his hands to his eyes and casts at least this particular vision off, reminding himself that these are only pictures, not real.

Except, well, what happens next but things get amped up for Danny as it all does get physical with Room 237.

There are ideas to which I'm pretty well attached, such as I don't think it unreasonable to look for insights via Kubrick's choice of music and some of the oddities in the film which appear to be intentional. The above idea of ShuV or ShV I'm still kind of sorting out, but due the ideas of doubling and the twinship of above/below aspects, I'm not confident we're seeing two distinct girls here, but instead one who is an expression of the doubling, just as Jack seems to be doubled as well as we shall eventually see. We do, after all, have the curious knob which is "doubled" by virtue of its shadow on the ceiling, this pinpointed and augmented by a similar shape occurring in shadow above one of the lamps. So, one could ask, is one of the illusory girls an expression of the shadow side? Is that why Kubrick changes it here so that the screen right girl is the dominant one? Has the shadow aspect become dominant?

Other perspectives I think are present in the film concerning the "sha" sound, such as, I believe, the sha that means sheep, such as the sheep that Abraham told Isaac would be provided, but when the substitute sacrifice for Isaac is provided it is instead a ram, the Hebrew word for which can also mean a post, a chief, something which is strong. The word for sheep comes from sha'ah, desolation, destruction the concept of rushing as in a whirling to giddiness (we have the turning too with ShuV), which is the word used for the holocaust, I believe. That, I think, is an alternative suggested in the film. But the reason I am strongly leaning to ShuV, at least here, is because of Kubrick choosing to have the last instance of the "sha" sound on Saturday (Sabbath, seven) and due the 7-Up bottles being observed in the office of the forest rangers.

The Poster and the Girls

Now, let's go back to that figure on the poster on the door down in the switchboard room.

sh_figureillusion
Fig. 40 - The two perspectives had in the poster through the optical illusion.

Right leg forward we have one perspective of the figure. Left leg seen as dominant and forward and we have another perspective of the figure, a reversed one.

Up until this scene Danny had seen the girls with the screen left girl dominant. Now, it is instead the screen right girl. And it has everything to do with, I believe, why this particular poster is found on the door, because of the optical illusion and something which can be seen from two different perspectives. To me, we can find in it the 42 which becomes 24 and 242 (see the next section for more on this), and the above ideas of ShuV and cycles.

sh_handdominancechanged
Fig. 41 - A switch in dominance of the girls, with most everything else in the shots painstakingly duplicated, with the exception of which girl's hair is not as curled.

Perhaps it is notable, concerning cycles, that after this section we will no longer see Danny's Big Wheel. Kubrick now retires it completely. Danny ceases his cycling revolutions about the lodge.

In review, what has Kubrick given us in this section?

Scary girls speak!! The hearts of half the audience hit pause!!

What's the teaser candy bait?

Who's going to notice teaser candy bait with those scary girls and all that blood all over the carpet and the walls??!!!

What's the distraction?

First time you see it, even though you're kind of expecting them, the girls do scare the hell out of you, appearing like that right around the bend.

What's the Food for Thought?

The poster of the presumed basketball player.

What's the deep infrastructure?

What the two girls represent in accordance with the poster. The double knob in the ceiling etc. These things also require reflection in relationship to the double doors for Room 237 and the room number being on the left door rather than the right (the few other double doors we see on that floor having the room number on the right door). I begin to look at the double-doors as being not so much a design detail suggestive of Room 237 being a luxury suite, but representative again of the world maze in which we have twin opposing-mirrored halves, and what all this means as per the girls and these doubled objects...and the hotel situated on the continental divide.

Return to the top of the page.


NEXT: MONDAY
Return to Table of Contents for "The Shining" analysis
Link to the main Kubrick page for all the analyses
Leave a comment on FB
If you'd like to leave a comment, it can be left on the blog

copyright

2009 note: I am sitting here thinking what of the axe which here makes its first appearance, and of a later man who seems to have been axed in the head, and my writing on it at that point, the axe as labyrinth (labyrinth coming from the word axe, labrys) and its relationship to a myth in which Zeus has a splitting headache and Athena leaps from his head--and as I was sitting here thinking of this my son (with whom I've discussed none of this and can't see what I'm working on) promptly starts telling me a story "he had just thought up" in which a character's head is split open with a chaos bolt, the character says, "talk about a splitting headache", and out of the cottony contents of its head leaps a small person who is his real self and goes running off saying, in a high squeaky voice, "Forget this, I'm going home!" A striking synchronicity there.