An In-depth Shot-by-shot Analysis of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining - Table of Contents


Are you one of the league who find Kubrick's cinema fascinating and wonderful but are also confused by seeming peculiarities? Are you certain those often under-the-radar-over-the-head weirdnesses must mean something? Or maybe you're just curious? Here's my request. That you, please, think in terms of art with intention, which isn't conspiracy and has nothing to do with conspiracy theories. Would you think of music composed of unspoken themes as being conspiracy? What's difficult is teasing out the artist's conscious intention as versus accidental as versus the viewer's role as an active pilgrim walking the road that art provides to accessing the unconscious and mythic archetypes. As an author and artist, I know what it is to hope for at least a few such pilgrims, confident they are the minority, that most think in terms of being only entertained, and to attempt to compose for both. Even with those who are just wanting a good story, or who want to dissect a film for practical good-cinema purposes, the majority would likely admit that it is the inherent mystery in Kubrick's films that functions as their primary gravity. It is that sense of something deeper, a subterranean coherence that provides the glue, that compels individuals to return and perhaps begin to move, without their even realizing it, from a passive state into a more active, participatory role where art becomes a transformative experience rather than just visual popcorn.

Note on method of analysis and a kind of disclaimer:

For the real film buff, I've gone through and listed shots, images from each, and length of time of shots. Because I raised myself on the old Evergreen Black Cat cinema books which took pains to do the same and loved studying them. And because that is the only way to really begin to do a good, involved analysis of Kubrick's films, which are very complex internally and in their relationships as an oeuvre.

Kubrick's films elicit a lot of whys and wherefores,"What does this mean?", because he included so many seeming puzzles inviting review, mysteries that demanded second and third notice, editing quirks and both subtle and obvious shifts in staging. My analyses haven't much to do with the psychology, but look at Kubrick's choices of stories, music, places he filmed, staging, the differences between the literature and the script that made it onto celluloid and how he chose to edit it all together, carrying themes from film to film, and based on these elements I dip into a variety of possible influences. But, of course, I do not know for certain about any of my insights, and I could very well be in error from beginning to end. So, please keep in mind I make no claim on knowing anything but that art should never be dissected like this and I apologize to Stanley for being a cinema heathen, well, except for the fact that I believe Stanley constructed his films for spelunking, for following the clues in the maze, so no apologies really are necessary.

My suggestion, if you're really interested in studying the films, is to start with my analysis of 2001. You will be glad for it as an introduction.

Link to the main Kubrick page for all the analyses.

An In-depth Shot-by-shot Analysis of Stanley Kubrick's Film The Shining - Table of Contents

I used to have all these posts on my blog, but converted them to html as Wordpress couldn't really handle the load.

The Sections

The Opening (shots 1-8 about 3:01)
The Interview (shots 9-95 about 17:37)
Closing Day (shots 96-163 about 34:09)
A Month Later (shots 164-181 about 40:27)
Remembrance and Repetition in Kubrick's The Shining
Tuesday (shots 182-208 about 45:59)
Thursday (Shots 209-211 about 46:50)
Saturday (Shots 212-245 about 51:14)
Monday (shots 246-253 about 56:59)
Wednesday, Part One (shots 254-299 about 1:09:47)
Wednesday, Part Two (shots 300-403 about 1:35:43)
8 a.m. (shots 405-507 about 1:54:18)
4 p.m. (shots 508-661 about 2:20:45 beg last shot)


The Real Horror of The Shining : The Misogyny of the Audience for Wendy Torrance

The Shining Locations: Mapping the Two Ascents, Their Relationship to the Continental Divide, and Why it Matters

A 7 Circuit Cretan Labyrinth Possibly Hidden in the Opening Shots of The Shining

The Alex Colville Painting That Doesn't Appear in "The Shining" But is Written All Over It. On the yellow VW.

The Relationship of The Yellow VW in "The Shining" to the "Traumnovelle" Novel. How the yellow VW is able to comically hold so much relates to a yellow bag Albertine dreams about and the credenza in which Bill hides the Rainbow Fashions bag.

The 1974 film Himiko and its relationship to why we view the helicopter filming in the opening of The Shining

Kubrick's The Shining, the Use of Colville's "Woman with Terrier", and its Relationship to Kubrick's The Killing and a Kubrick LOOK Photo

Comparing Hitchcock's Treatment of a Window in Spellbound with Kubrick's in The Shining

Management of Psychic Space with the The Elevator, the Two Girls and Danny's Room

Stanley Kubrick, Anamnesis, and His Use of Railroad Imagery

Kubrick's The Shining, the Use of Colville's "Woman with Terrier", and its Relationship to Kubrick's The Killing and a Kubrick LOOK Photo

Exploring the Monarch Poster in the Game Room and its Relationship to 237 and the Maze

Comparing Kubrick's LOOK Photos of Girls Testing Their New Hearing Aids with the two girls in The Shining and Diane Arbus' Photo of the Twins

A Brief Look at Close Encounters Through the Eyes of The Shining

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

The Shining, The Birds, and The Summer of 42

How Touchdown Mickey Relates to The Isolation of the Overlook in The Shining: The Story of the Shutting Down of BBC Broadcasting and Hitler's Invasion of Poland

How the Kubrick Carpet Trick Works

The Relationship Between the Chess Game in 2001, Dave’s Dinner in the Room Beyond the Infinite, and Danny on the Reversed Rug in The Shining

The Possible Dialogue Between Kubrick's The Shining and Tarkovsky's Solaris (On the Rolling Ball)

Dorothy Oxborough's Pastels of First Nations' Children in The Shining

How Shot 306 in The Shining Duplicates Shot 230 in Lolita, #237 Intimately Connected with Charlotte's Death, and That Watery Death (Perhaps) Connected with Hitchcock's Psycho

Roger Vadim's 1962 film, Le Repos du Guerrier and its direct influence on Jack's writing table and his novel that is all repetitions of a single sentence

Kubrick's Lolita and Hitchcock's Vertigo, with a Touch of The Shining

Comparing Jack's Nightmare in The Shining to the Problem of the Monster ID in Forbidden Planet

That Thing in the Elevator in The Shining

The Clenched Fist of Jack Torrance

The July 4th 1921 Ball Photo

Possible Influence of the 1969 Traumnovelle film on The Shining

The Shining and L'Inhumaine?

The Nietzsche Stone, The Shining, and the Opening of 2001 : The Influence of the Nietzsche's Madness and Dostoevsky's Horse

Nietzsche, The Shining, and The White Man's Burden

The Maps

Maps of the Overlook Hotel

The Locations

I had thought it fun to study the locations of the shots on the Going-to-the-Sun road in Glacier National Park in particular, and below are posts showing shots from Google Street View of the locations. All of the below are in the blog portion of the website.

Repurposed shots from Google Maps street view pinpointing the locations of the opening shots on Going-to-the-sun-road are in the following posts:
St. Mary Lake
Serpentine Bends
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

Though the Overlook is in Colorado, these opening shots, along with the Closing Day shots, pinpoint a kind of psychological place for the lodge as being on the Continental Divide. The final crossfades to the lodge occur before it. In the opening, the VW travels east to west and the final crossfade out to the lodge occurs east 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. Kubrick often gives us several perspectives of a scene. Such as with there being several perspectives for the "shining" in Room 237. Such as the several mazes. We have the set maze outside the Overlook, we have the map for the maze (different from the set maze), we have the model maze (different from the set maze), and then finally he shows us the "world maze" in which the left mirrors the right side. This is a double labrys--the labyrinth--and we may find the same with the VW approaching the Overlook from either side of the Continental Divide.

Repurposed shots from Google Maps street view pinpointing the locations of the ascent on Closing Day.

Repurposed shots from Google Maps street view pinpointing the locations of Monarch Pass and the Monarch.

Repurposed shots from Google Maps street view pinpointing the location of the Boulder apartment.

Repurposed shots from Google Maps street view showing the view down the mountain and the maze of ski slopes before the Timberline.

Repurposed shots from Google Maps street view of the Miami Channel 10 radio station and where the Stapleton airport was once located and the Westminster/Boulder exit from Denver that Dick passes by on his way to the Overlook.

Repurposed shot from Google Maps street view showing the exterior of a snow-drenched Timberline/Overlook.

Repurposed shots from Google Maps street view showing Dick's travels up the mountain to the Overlook. Through sheer luck I believe I may have been able to pinpoint the location in which the Snowcat is shown in a pristine winter wonderland that hardly seems real, but is.

Repurposed shots from Google Maps street view showing a couple supplemental, pretty shots of the Timberline area.

Link to the main Kubrick page for all the analyses