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:
DANNY IN THE ROOM 237 HALL ON WEDNESDAY - THE YELLOW BALL - THE SEEMING CARPET REVERSAL
DANNY'S APOLLO SWEATER AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO HIS BIG WHEEL - THE USE OF POLYMORPHISM IN THE SHINING AND KUBRICK's WORK IN GENERAL
PAROKETH, QShTh, THE ABYSS, THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
DANNY ENTERS ROOM 237 WHILE HIS MOTHER WORKS IN THE BASEMENT CHECKING THE BOILER - THE CHOKING POSTER, THE PYRAMID AND ITS VANISHING POINT EYE, AND LOOK THERE'S DANNY CHOKING OR SCREAMING IN ROOM 237 RIGHT BEFORE OUR VERY EYES
JACK'S EYES OPEN TO LLOYD THE BARTENDER - THE JACK DANIELS (WHAT'S IN A NAME) - WHITE MAN'S BURDEN - PERPETUALLY FIVE MONTHS ON THE WAGON
THE JUDGMENT OF DANNY
WHICH ROOM WAS IT?
For more on the rolling ball, see the post The Possible Dialogue Between Kubrick's The Shining and Tarkovsky's Solaris.
254 Title card. Wednesday. (57:00)
255 LS exterior lodge. (57:03)
We view the exterior of the snowbound Overlook Hotel again washed in watery blue, lights observed in the east and west wings. Another more distant version of this scene will open the final section of the film.
The Awakening of Jacob plays, which is the same music heard on the day of the interview when Danny has his shining of the Overlook and the girls, and which I have written about already in that section, elaborating further in other sections as well.
This appears to be the exact same shot from Saturday, the Saturday one having different treatment. The snow drifts are the same, as is the snow on the trees.
The Overlook blog provides this interesting production sketch of the exterior of the Timberline in which Kubrick gives strict instructions on shooting and what lights were to be on.
Source: Overlook blog
The drawing further informs on Kubrick's fastidiousness as to detail, not that we aren't already aware of this, but there remain those who have their doubts.
Kubrick seemed determined to preserve, in the drawing, the impression of a pathway leading through the snow to the mouth of the lodge. He states, "exercise the greatest care as the compositional effect of a different path might be BAD BAD BAD". He also states, however, "Ignore what looks like a central path just have the snow smoothly and roundly change its direction up the slope at about the position of what is drawn as a central path". In the film, there ends up being no impression of a path through the snow, instead it is smooth, but the eye does move toward the entry to the lodge through the two center trees.
The path cut by the VW to the lodge's entry on Closing Day was not curved, but I imagine that the significance of the path hinges upon this, as well as the crossfade of the curved highway that appeared to deliver Humbert and Lolita directly to the Enchanted Hunters hotel.
256 MS Danny. (57:07)
Danny plays on the carpet that we recognize has the design of the hall near room 237. Quite frequently he wears red. Previously when he approached room 237 he was wearing a red top. When he came upon the girls in the hallway he was wearing a red top. When he was with Jack in the suite he had on a red plaid shirt. But today there is no red at all in Danny's clothing. His sweater is blue and his shirt is a brown plaid.
Playing with toy cars, possibly a combination of Matchbox and Tonka and Hot Wheels, using the outline of the hexagon as a path, in a notable action he takes a yellow bulldozer that is being towed by a blue car then flips them around as the camera pulls back. The blue van that flips with the bulldozer may be a Tootsietoy SWAT police van. I'm not confident of this but they do look very similar.
Before this we've not seen Danny play with this cars. We have viewed a few of them previously, however. They were around the television in the kitchen in the Tuesday section, Wendy watching the news on the disappearance of Susan Robertson and the coming snow storm. The blue van on the left and the green truck with the yellow enclosed bed on the far right were the two vehicles in that scene.
Now, a yellow tennis ball suddenly appears, rolled down the carpet into the hexagon via Danny's play "road" which leads into the hexagon. The camera view is such that we are above Danny looking down on him, removed. As the ball comes to a stop against two of the toy vehicles, we hear a distinct click as Danny lets the two vehicles settle. The click is too distinct. Could it also be intended to convey the sound of a key unlocking a door?
In the A Month Later section, Jack had been playing with a yellow tennis ball. In the Colorado Lounge, he had pounded the ball on the painting of the Rainbow Yei that is on the 2nd floor level of the lounge and directly behind this hall. A little while later, when Jack was playing with the ball in the lobby, it had bounced off a diamond wall hanging onto a driftwood centerpiece and disappeared to the right, which is when he stopped playing with the ball and retired to look at the model of the maze, watching from above Danny and Wendy in miniature as they reached its center. Though not nearly as extreme a removal, here we also have Danny being viewed from above, which I think is significant.
One may also recollect that Jack had briefly physically interacted with the maze, the tip of his finger entering its entrance.
Is this the same yellow ball that had disappeared when Jack threw it against the rug in the lobby? At least I think we are supposed to make that connection. And one wonders at its reappearance now, who rolled the ball and why is this particular ball being utilized to attract Danny's attention down the hall? And then we also have Kubrick connecting this incident with the A Month Later disappearance of the ball by virtue of the overhead views associated with Jack's overview of the maze. The carpet upon which Danny is sitting of course doesn't resemble the maze in the lobby or outside, but is thus presented as connected with the maze.
Danny looks up. Below I show a screengrab of this with the colors inverted, because I want to discuss what is happening with Danny flipping the yellow bulldozer and the blue vehicle pulling it.
A little thing to note. Danny tends to be dressed in combos of reds, blues, and browns, whereas here we have only the blue and yellow in his sweater dominating, and he has also the yellow bulldozer and the blue van with which he's been playing. He flipped the yellow and blue vehicles around just before the yellow ball came rolling down the track. Kubrick has chosen colors here that when we invert them complements what is happening physically. Yellow inverts to blue. Blue inverts to yellow. They are opposite one another on the color wheel. I was thinking about this when I realized the opening credits inverted to the orange and red shades of the carpet. As this scene is all about reversals, with the carpet appearing to reverse, this seems something that isn't accidental.
What is also of interest is that those credits, which when inverted become the shades of the carpet, appear as the supposed "bird" overtakes the yellow VW on the road and passes it at right about what amounts to a vanishing point, at which time the "bird" continues soaring straight out over the lake while the road disappears as it cuts right, and the VW with it. This is very interesting when we compare that with what's happening here, the yellow ball coming straight down the carpet but the suggestion is that it has come from instead the right.
We might compare the yellow VW with the yellow tennis ball.
One may at least see why I might see in the yellow tennis ball a relationship to the yellow VW, also as the yellow VW has been viewed from above in so many aerials, and as the ball enters this scene we are viewing it from above. One may then take a step back from Jack's giant view of the maze and see how in aerials of the VW we could transpose the VW into being within the world maze as it travels to the Overlook.
257 MS Danny looks down the hall.
Cut to the camera behind Danny looking down the empty hall and we see the carpet has reversed from what it was in the previous shot. The graphics are now in the same relationship to the hall as they were on Tuesday, and they were actually in the same relationship to the hall in the overhead shot of Danny as well, but in this shot Danny has advanced diagonally one hexagon up to the left. Before, he was not centered in the hall though he appeared to be so. For the overhead shot to have been accomplished as it was the first easy chair across from the elevator would have had to been removed. I write on this, and have supporting pictures, in the post How the Kubrick Carpet Trick Works.
Just for the hell of it, since we have at least the appearance of the reversal, what happens if we superimpose this image from shot 257 with one from shot 256? One of the carpet reversed and one not?
Danny could be seen as rolling the ball toward himself.
That's just a bit of fun, but it's with a point.
Considering what Kubrick showed us concerning the mazes in the A Month Later section, the reversal should not be as shocking as all that, nor considering what Kubrick showed us in the Saturday section with, first, the optical illusion in the poster that presented two opposing perspectives, and, second, having the twin girls switch dominant positions following the optical illusion in which the individual on the poster can be seen both from the front and the back, perspective dependent on which leg is seen by the viewer as most dominant.
The carpet has a design that can appear to reverse, as just shown, just as with the optical illusion, but the design is one that contains its own reversal throughout. Positive and negative. The "heads" of the figure can be seen both as facing the viewer and facing away from them, one alongside the other in an interlocking motif of reversals.
Kubrick has been showing us reversing orientations of the same thing. Positive and negative.
So, how does that reverse carpet trick work when Danny is in the hall on Wednesday and the ball rolls toward him?
In shot 256, the camera is over Danny and facing him as the ball rolls to him on a "reversed" field of carpet, then in shot 257 the carpet is returned to its normal state.
Kubrick has moved Danny. In shot 256 Kubrick leaves a bit of the edge of the white wall to the rear of the elevators showing which provides us with an orientation point.
As you can see, based on that orientation point, in shot 257, Danny has made one diagonal move up. If this was a chess game it would be down the order of moving from D2 to C3. Not exactly, I'm just drawing a comparison to illustrate the manner of the move.
What's interesting to me is that Kubrick has left in shot 256 that orientation point of the bit of white wall so we can see what has happened. He wants us to be able to tell how this was done. Had he not, he would have cut out the wall.
And now, viewing from the front again, in shot 258, we can look at that orientation point of the bit of white wall and see again how Danny has simply been moved.
Comparing the above with shot 256 now that we know to look at the orientation point of that white corner.
If there is any doubt this was done intentionally, such as that the very edge of the wall wasn't intended to be viewed, please refer to my analysis of 2001, the Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite section. Kubrick does the same thing here with the illuminated floor, as you can see in shots 584 and 585. I've described this in the analysis (also in shot 590) and how I believe, in 2001, what he did fits in with the chess game between HAL and Frank Poole. To understand a little more about the chess game you'll need to read section three of that analysis beginning at shot 264. I had long thought that Kubrick's moving Danny on the carpet seemed a very chess thing to do, but it wasn't until doing my analysis of 2001 that I realized Kubrick had essentially the same set-up there and that Kubrick had established the chess board 8X8 square in shot 584.
Below is shot 584 from 2001.
This is the chess board, a return to the game HAL was playing with Frank Poole. 8x8 squares. The table with its two wheels sits in the same place that Frank's rook was before he moved it. The F1 position. Rook means chariot. We can see a "chariot" of sorts in the table with its wheels.
Below is shot 585 from 2001. Compare how the orientation point of the wall appears in the upper screen right corner of that shot, just as it does with Danny.
Kubrick does the same thing with the table here as he does with Danny on the "chess board" of the carpet in The Shining. In The Shining Kubrick shows just enough of the wall to the right to reveal that Danny is not in a reversed position on the carpet, as we think him to be, instead he has moved one position to our left. Kubrick does the exact same thing with Bowman. He shows just enough to reveal that in this shot Bowman is not at F1 but the E1 position. And yet we know from HAL's game with Frank, and Danny's appearance of being on a reserved carpet, that we have both here, the reversal (the moment at which HAL adopts Frank's opposing POV) as well as the initial, personal POV, which is to have both of these point of views present and wedded in one. We are then to understand Dave as being at the F1 position as pertains to "black", as well as the F1 position as pertains to "white".
Now to look at Kubrick's use of the color green before we continue.
Compare shot 257 of Danny looking down the hall with Danny beginning the circuit of the floor that leads him past room 237 on Tuesday. The exit door to one of the kitchen's service halls was previously open and is now closed. This stands out to viewers and so is suggestive of having a direct relationship to the action. If nothing else, the door now has "eyes" and looks pretty ominous. Later, when we see Wendy running to Jack's aid, she passes a staircase imbued with the same green light and, knowing the hall through which she is running is under this one, the assumption will be made that the closed door we see at the top of that staircase is this one. But such is not the case. The staircase she passes begins and ends much earlier than this one. As best as I can make out the staircase observed here must be directly behind the Staff Only double doors in the hall below. The staircase past which Wendy will run seems to take one up to a point that would be somewhere in the vicinity of room 237.
Vivian Kubrick's documentary opens with an exterior shot of the studio, camera panning from left to right, showing the entrance for stage 4, stage 3, and rooms above. What do we see at the end of the pan? This same green light. After this we cut to the interior of Jack's dressing room, which has a pitcher and vase in one of the windows, which means we are thus able to identify this in the establishing shot as the same dressing room, seeing the same two forms in one of the windows.
The green fluorescent light, the same as the stairwell here, we will soon realize is the same as the green paint in the room 237 bathroom.
The two windows to the left in the above shot belong to Jack's dressing room, and the two narrow lit windows belong to his bathroom. Then there's the fluorescent lit area on the right. A door opens onto it from Jack's dressing room, and there are barbells shown so it is perhaps some kind if exercise area and is not itself a stairwell. In Jack's dressing room is a dropped ceiling and green fluorescent light from above it spills down a bit at the edges so that when the camera goes into the hall outside we see through the windows above the doors the same green fluorescent light above each one due the fluorescents above the dropped ceiling. They are filming scenes to do with the last section of the film as Jack has the theatrical blood smear on his hand from being cut by Wendy. Perhaps a scene to do with the killing of Dick was being filmed. It's 8 p.m. and they are preparing to go back down to the stage. When we enter Jack's dressing room bathroom to watch him brush his teeth, what should be the narrow window on the left is covered by a sink and mirror that are set out from the wall, so it would appear that perhaps the bathroom or that portion of the bathroom was not installed when this footage of the exterior was shot.
Interior shots certainly help establish, however, this being Jack's dressing room on set 3, for on the inside we see the vase and pitcher on the window sill that we see the shadows of in the above shot.
It is the presence of the vase and the pitcher in both shots that help us make the identification despite the confusion concerning the bathroom.
Now, I'm not saying any of this casual footage is scripted to go along with the movie, but out of the numerous hours of footage Vivian shot it would be an easy thing to select the pan to the green window for an establishing shot that serves a dual purpose, importing also into the documentary that green light which so famously has to do with room 237 and the green stairwell, and as we never see room 237 or the green hall in the documentary this would be the only reference.
The yellow (more chartreuse) tennis ball, and the brilliant green of the stairwell very much stood out when I viewed this film on the big screen in 1980. I don't have a clue why the colors were shifted in the Blu-Ray so taht the green is subdued and the tennis ball is turned pink.
258 MS Danny. (57:34)
Cut to the camera viewing Danny from the front again, and we see that, in accordance with Danny having been moved, the lane leading into the hexagonal is now absent. Also the yellow car that had been on the brown outline of the hexagon to our left of Danny is now jammed between the two blue vehicles on the left.
Danny stands and calls out.
We note that the clothes hamper which had been on the right during his circuit of the hall on Tuesday has been moved, revealing an object of an undetermined nature that mimics the box shape of the folded mattress at the other end of the hall. I do think it is a folded bed, for it looks exactly like the folded bed at the other end of the hall as seen on Tuesday.
Mixed in with the sound track are subdued occasional background noises, barely discerned, of the type from earlier in the film, but which give the track an extra dimension, listening to the life of the hotel.
We can see that the standing Danny, with his clenched fists, echoes the basic design elements of the rug upon which he stands, his head being one of the hexagonal forms, then the neck branching down into arms that end in fists. He also can be seen as bringing those forms to life in his posture, just as in the previous Monday section I believe he had at one point taken on the upper body stance of Mickey Mouse pictured in the sweater he was wearing, his torso and arms slightly falling back just as depicted with Mickey Mouse kicking a ball into the air.
259 LS hall from behind Danny. (57:44)
We revert again to looking at the hall from behind Danny. There has been a minor change. There is a slight shining of light on the wall to the right of the waste-can on the right. On Tuesday there had been in one extended shot a very distinct shining of light to the left of the same can that looked distinctly like a ghost doorknob in the wall. This was followed, on Saturday, with twin knobs appearing to almost float above the two girls in Danny's shining of them in the hall with the flowered wallpaper. The shining on the wall today simply looks like a reflection off the waste-can.
For the hell of it, here's what happens when you layer over Danny's shining the girls in the staff hall on Saturday with Danny looking down the hall toward room 237 on Wednesday. I chose the two shots of the camera's POV being behind Danny in each. And it's fascinating to me that the twins end up standing directly before the room 237 doors, and that the wheel shadows of the lights in the staff hall layer beautifully right over the globes in this hall.
260 MS Danny from the front. (57:47)
As he steps forward slightly we see on the left wall, looking on, a print of a painting of what appears to be a young American Indian girl in braids, the same hairstyle his mother had worn when they were wandering the maze. These prints are placed at various locations throughout the hotel.
Danny moves forward.
261 MS Room 237 door. (58:01) He approaches room 237 on his right...
There's an interesting picture on the wall directly across from room 237. Neither my HD or DVD allow me a good look at it. But it appears to be a rather mysterious image unlike the different classes of art we see around the hotel.
On the right is my camera capture of the image off the Blu-Ray. And on the left is the screen capture off my DVD on my computer. I've photoshopped each slightly to try to bring out what's there.
Danny approaching room 237, shot 261 begins with Danny having reached room 236, which is on our screen left, and is the door which was secretly open on Tuesday. Across from this is room 239, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but that's the numbering system here, and seems to have more to do with putting together 6 and the flipped 9. It's now that Danny's able to see for certain that a door to room 237 is open, a key in its lock, doors beyond an entrance foyer within also slightly open as well, the inner mirrored doors to the sitting/bedroom area beyond observed and reflecting in those mirrors the illuminated lamps of the entrance foyer.
On Tuesday when Danny had tried the door and found it locked we were looking on from the opposite direction down the hall and the door had been on his left. Now the door is on his right and is unlocked.
We see that the key reads "Room No. 237." Personally, I don't recollect No. being on old keys for hotels or motels. Usually it is just the name of the hotel and the room number, perhaps with a #. The "No." reminds me that Dick had told Danny there was "nothing" in room 237 and for him not to go in it.
After the Monday section in which the camera had focused tightly in on Danny's turning the door knob to their suite when he went in to see his father, we now have room 237's door open. The door is open after Danny's persistence in asking his mom if he could get the fire engine from their suite, and his mom finally conceding, yes, if he was quiet. His persistence and his mother granting permission has perhaps been a factor in the unlocking of room 237. As far as the build of the story in the movie there is a relationship. Danny tries the door to room 237 and it doesn't open. He later is shown opening the door to the suite. Now the door to room 237 is open.
That red key plaque, hanging from the lock, we will see again in a moment in the basement as the red trapezoid in the ch O king poster. It is this key become the monolith trapezoid with the obscured point of convergence, the vanishing point.
DANNY (entering room 237): Mom, are you in there?
As Danny enters, we view the mirrored doors from his perspective. Because we don't see beyond these mirrored doors, we have no assurance, really, that what Danny will see in room 237 is what will be viewed by Jack.
Kubrick sets it up for people to consider the possibility that Danny had himself gotten the key for the room, and had already opened the door, but we are also led to believe that he didn't. We've really no reason to consider that possibility as one that explains away the peculiarity of what is now transpiring, for the appearance of the yellow ball, which had been rolled down the hall to Danny, would still remain an open question.
Take a look again at the blue carpet in the entry area of room 237. This at first appears to be a blank blue, which leads us to overlook that impressed in the pile of the blank blue there is a curious chaos of nebulous, almost designs. Nothing definite except that they aren't the scratchings of feet. Their restless ambiguity reminds of the perpetual questioning as to what is intentional and what is not. The choice of the stand-out graphics for the carpets makes one feel that there must be designs in the blue carpet as well.
We see Danny wears a sweater decorated with yellow stars and a rocket (Apollo USA) design, which references both the Apollo 11 mission to the moon as well as Apollo the sun god, an oracular god, a healer, a "Doc", whose arrow/bow symbol is suggested by the rocket. Via this symbol, there is linkage with David Bowman in 2001, room 237 being for The Shining in some respects what the rush beyond Jupiter into infinity was to Bowman. The very carpet of the hall, in the way it is filmed, gives the impression of a pattern of interlocked designs reeling off into infinity, the unknown that is obscured by the double door at the end of the hall. The bedroom and bath of room 237 remind very much of the surreal rooms at the edge of infinity into which Bowman is dropped in 2001.
Though room 237 is to the right, psychologically we are primed to look first at the double doors at the far end of the hall, to connect them with the ball as it had rolled in an absolutely straight line to Danny, and also because the camera and the lights conspire to guide our focus straight down the hall to those doors. Because we are pressured to look straight down the hall at these double doors, but are also maneuvered to wonder if the ball was rolled from room 237 to the right, we have another of the 90 degree turns or superimpositions which we've already observed Kubrick performing elsewhere in the film. We know by the ball's direction in its roll that it couldn't have come from room 237, that it could only have come from straight ahead.
The positioning of the rocket and USA on Danny's sweater brings to mind the Forest Rangers with the emblem of the tree on the either side of which were the letters U and S, the tree appearing much like a rocket now that we see Danny in his Apollo USA sweater. One could say that the triangular tree design, the dart shadow on the ceiling above the two girls etc., these things have transformed into the rocket on Danny's sweater.
One of the wonderful things about Danny's Apollo 11 sweater is that it is the same blue as his Big Wheel, which may provide some more commentary on his Big Wheel, his vehicle of conveyance, as being his Apollo 11. I had wondered, "Where is Danny's Big Wheel? Why doesn't he use it any longer after the Saturday confrontation with the twins?" And then I realized it is still here, but it is Danny and Danny is it, just as Jack is the Minotaur. We have not just a kind of hybridism but things appearing in multiple forms, as in polymorphism, and a musical piece that will be later be used is named Polymorphia.
Polymorphism occurs throughout the film--but what is transforming into what? It's part of the maze of unraveling identity and meaning in the film and complex in the extreme. Polymorphism is also an apt description for how Kubrick carries ideas from film to film cloaking them in different situations and ideas.
In the next section I talk a little bit about the monolith of 2001. One of the significances of Danny's sweater, it would seem to me, would be that the monolith in 2001 didn't communicate again until humankind reached the moon and dug it up, at which point they were directed to Jupiter and beyond. Danny's sweater seems to suggest we should look for a moon parallel here. I don't mean that one is to make a point by point comparison in cross-analysis between films, that we should suggest xerox duplication from one film to the other. But there is a parallel to be considered.
I wrote some in the Tuesday section, when Danny first confronts the door to room 237 and finds it locked, on Paroketh, which stands Kabbalistically between the upper and lower realms, and is said to be a barrier between the upper soul and the lower ego where all is an illusion.
Before I go further, I'm going to refer to Thus Spake Zarathustra, referenced by Kubrick in 2001.
Three metamorphoses of the spirit do I designate to you: how the spirit becometh a camel, the camel a lion, and the lion at last a child.
Many heavy things are there for the spirit, the strong load-bearing spirit in which reverence dwelleth: for the heavy and the heaviest longeth its strength.
What is heavy? so asketh the load-bearing spirit; then kneeleth it down like the camel, and wanteth to be well laden.
All these heaviest things the load-bearing spirit taketh upon itself: and like the camel, which, when laden, hasteneth into the wilderness, so hasteneth the spirit into its wilderness.
But in the loneliest wilderness happeneth the second metamorphosis: here the spirit becometh a lion; freedom will it capture, and lordship in its own wilderness.
Its last Lord it here seeketh: hostile will it be to him, and to its last God; for victory will it struggle with the great dragon.
What is the great dragon which the spirit is no longer inclined to call Lord and God? "Thou-shalt," is the great dragon called. But the spirit of the lion saith, "I will."
Why hath the preying lion still to become a child?
Innocence is the child, and forgetfulness, a new beginning, a game, a self-rolling wheel, a first movement, a holy Yea.
Aye, for the game of creating, my brethren, there is needed a holy Yea unto life: its own will, willeth now the spirit; his own world winneth the world's outcast.
Three metamorphoses of the spirit have I designated to you: how the spirit became a camel, the camel a lion, and the lion at last a child.
Thus spake Zarathustra. And at that time he abode in the town which is called The Pied Cow.
The journey in 2001 was one of soul and revelation upon revelation, evolution upon evolution, not only for Bowman but humankind. Eventually we had the divine cosmic child produced of Bowman and his quest for and experience of the monolith, but the monolith also invited being sought in order to manifest change. It was once humans graduated from earth to the moon that it appeared to them a second time, pointing them toward Jupiter and the beyond.
This same journey is expressed in The Shining, if possessing a different appearance.
There are many ideas that accompany the rainbow, QShTh, and the arrow that pierces it in the form of the Path of Samekh, or the Arrow of Sagittarius, "soaring upward to cleave open the Veil unto the Sun in Tiphareth, symbolized by mountain peaks..." A description given in The Magical Writings of Ithell Colquhoun goes on to say, "...three Paths form an arch or a bow...which stretches above the Earth...Beyond it lies the knowledge of the colours of forces of the super-physical universe, which is sometimes called 'The Book of the Path of the Chameleon'. The straight and narrow path of Samekh, or the Rainbow symbolize that path by which the Philosophus should advance to the knowledge of the Adept, turning neither unto the right hand nor until the left, whereon are the evil and threatening symbols of Death (Path Nun) and Devil (Path Ayin)..." But there are many writings on this and different ideas of it.
Here we have Danny in his Apollo 11 arrow of a sweater, Danny who has been partnered from the beginning with the bow, and it's difficult to ignore this.
Returning to Thus Spake Zarathustra and its camel crossing the wilderness, one spies also perhaps a thing talked of as crossing the abyss, which has certain definite (not absolute) correspondences, though its meaning and nature is argued, and those correspondences can be found reflected in other areas of the Tree of Life, not necessarily belonging only to what is called sometimes Daath, or Knowledge, the 11th Sephirah.
Briefly, the 13th path, that of Gimel, the camel, to which is assigned the letter 3, follows that of Beth, at least alphabetically. As described in The Garden of Pomegranates, "it will be found that this path joins the first to the sixth Sephiroth, crossing the Abyss which, in Qabalistic symbology, is conceived to be a barren desert of sand wherein die the thoughts and emperical egos of men, 'birth-strangled babes,' as the expression goes."
262 Crossfade from Room 237's entrance foyer to the basement. (58:31 begin crossfade, ending at 58:34.)
Danny has called out, asking if his mom is in room 237. In answer, crossfade to Wendy viewed from the back, briefly appearing to be in the position of the right mirrored door to room 237, the crossfade continuing to show her checking the gauges of the double (nearly twin) boilers in the basement, a ladder observed beyond and between.
In the crossfade, the camera focuses on Alex Colville's painting, "Dog, Boy, and St. John River", which hangs above the lamp, the boy and his rifle and the dog all obscured by the lamp. It is difficult to even make out that the figure is looking out over a lake. It could be sand. Snow and mountains beyond.
It also looks different from Colville's painting, because it is reversed as we are looking at it in a mirror.
To turn a moment to the silhouette figure in the painting, a bust leaning to the left, just as the bust painting directly outside room 237 has the same lean. With the crossfade we have a migration of the shadow figure in the painting in room 237's entry onto the boiler.
Just as we'd seen the optical illusion of the reversing figure in the poster, and the two girls had switched dominance, and the carpet had reversed, Kubrick has now the silhouette/switch on the boiler mimic each other's form and appear to reverse orientation.
The way this is done in this scene, the reversal seeming to be commented on by the migration/morphing of the silhouette, is very much like how Kubrick handled flip reversals in 2001. For instance, the first time the monolith appears he flip reverses the landscape, which is going to not be noticed by the viewer, then reorients it in the next shot. I write about this in Examining Kubrick's Single Horizontal Flip of a Front Screen Projection Landscape in the Dawn of Man Section in "2001" and the Meaning of that Flip in Relation to the Final View of the Monolith in the Film. How it relates to The Shining is that the concept of the Overlook and its maze, situated on the Continental Divide, becomes a place where opposites/mirrorings join at a "between" that in 2001 is symbolized by the monolith, while in The Shining it is symbolized by the maze's heart, which is felt everywhere in the film. There is no saying, "Now they have reached that 'between'" because it is always there. Which is actually no different from 2001. That 'between' where the opposites join is ever-present and everywhere.
As the silhouette from the painting fully merges into the hardware on the boiler, and the crossfade ends, Wendy leans to the right so that the lean of her posture mimics the silhouette/hardware. We will see this kind of side-leaning mimicry again when Jack knocks a number of objects to the ground on his way to the Gold Room, before he comes upon all the balloons in the lobby. In that scene, the side-lean will be observed also in a poster beyond Jack.
What exactly is the function of this entry room to room 237? Doesn't it seem a bit peculiar that it would have its own entry room? What about the mirrors? How the entry room may function concerns not only an expression of mirroring and opposites, but the 90 degree turns we've been experiencing and the blind spots associated with them. This entry room, if you will, is a concrete physical expression of them. It is why we don't experience Danny or Jack in this room. To enter the mysterious and alarming room 237 means having first to traverse the 90 degree turn demanded by this entry foyer. It is built into and is part of the experience of room 237, to make this turn and confront first these opposing mirrors. Illustrating and commenting on that 90 degree turn.
What about the tennis ball that was rolled to Danny? When Jack was throwing it earlier, it bounced off the wall, happened to hit the driftwood centerpiece, and instead of coming back at us (in opposition), it instead made a 90 degree shift and disappeared down the hall. The driftwood centerpiece in that hall could be seen as another expression of the 90 degree shifts, which one could interpret as being caused by a crossroad having been lit upon, that crossroad being, in a sense, the CH O KING point of the poster we're about to examine, the vanishing point of the crossroad convergence. The ball bounced off and took a 90 degree turn. The same ball that ended up rolling down the hall toward Danny during the experience of a reversal/opposition. For, just because information disappears doesn't mean that it doesn't reappear, as exemplified by the chair and table before the heating vents in the Colorado Lounge. Jack's disappearing ball reappeared during the reversal on the carpet in the hall.
Some other examples of the mysterious 90 degree turns and oppositions we've experienced thus far:
1. When Jack enters the hotel we see the waiter going to the group of people by the door. He is walking opposite Jack. Jack makes a 90 degree turn and the waiter disappears.
2. As Stuart introduces Jack and Wendy to the maze, Stuart, Jack, Wendy, and Bill pass the maze in an opposing direction from which they should be coming. They perpendicularly approach the drive between the hotel and maze, then, with no break in Stuart's dialogue, are instead walking parallel the hotel and many yards away. Again, this is missing information in combination with a 90 degree turn. The turn that Stuart, Jack, Wendy an Bill made is hidden from view, eclipsed, it disappears. The angle of convergence has been eliminated/obscured. The two-tone car they reappear before is the same as or similar to the two-tone car the VW had passed, on the way to the Overlook, parked to the side just after the VW had gone through the west tunnel.
3. Dick opens the door to the C4 locker then is shown instead entering the opposing C3 locker. Dick, Wendy and Danny exit that opposing room, we see the C2 door, then we turn a 90 degree corner and enter the C1 door. The C2 door that is now out of sight led to a room that is not there and is instead occupied by the C1 locker. The C2 door is not observed inside the C1 locker. In effect, the C2 room has disappeared. That doesn't mean it isn't there, however, as we shall later find.
4. Jack looks down at the maze and the heart of it makes a 90 degree turn so that it is now running horizontal to him rather than vertical, a corresponding shift occurring in the world and outdoor mazes so that in the end the shadows come from the northeast/east showing that the heart of the maze that Wendy and Danny are physically exploring is situated now perpendicular the hotel. This is why the entrance to the maze is shown, at the end, facing the hotel rather than facing screen left.
I will skip a number of others and now give the film's penultimate example of opposition/reversal in combination with a 90 degree turn.
5. At the end of the film, of course. Danny, in the heart of the maze, backtracks in his own footsteps then makes a 90 degree turn-leap where he hides from Jack. This fits in with the 90 degree turns, the disappearing information coincident with the invisible angle of convergence. And thus he is able to hide from Jack. Jack overlooks him.
Now to examine the boiler room, in which we will see Danny being choked.
The sense of shadowy designs observed in the blue carpet of the entry to Room 237, I think, to some degree are an anticipation of the crossfade to the boiler room, for with the cross fade the boiler room impresses shadows on the pile of the blue carpet in the mirrors of the entry.
Against the left wall is an old refrigerator, though not so old as the one in the Torrance's suite, an old framed photo atop it, then a desk with pin-up photos of nudes and other posters above.
Beside the desk, on the left, is I guess a generator (?) that reads DANGER HIGH VOLTAGE. Don't quote me on its being a generator. I know nothing about machinery.
One sees above the desk a framed poster that reads CH O KING, the O very large. It is a safety poster on choking but the "king" portion reminds of Wendy having asked, in the Closing Day section, if royalty stayed there, which was answered visually by the MONARCH skiing poster.
The large O of the poster stands at the top of a red triangular or pyramid shape, which brings to mind that the letter O comes from the Semitic Ayin, meaning the eye and was represented as an eye in Egyptian hieroglyphs. What one visually has with a pyramid or triangular shape is a plane or two lines merging at a vanishing point, that vanishing point represented as the letter O or the all-seeing eye that is often expressed with radiating lines. A vanishing point requires at least two lines of convergence, and in the Tarot card for the letter Cheth (which means fence or gate, formed of two Zayins connected at the top) there is viewed a chariot and charioteer, that chariot pulled by a white sphinx and a dark sphinx, opposing forces that are tamed and united by the charioteer.
Whether or not any of this is suggested by the poster, we do have in the film the myths of the labyrinth and the Minotaur (the hedge maze), the sphinx (the riddler guardian and strangler) and Oedipus (who consulted the oracle of Apollo, thus beginning his journey in which he was fated to kill his father and wed his mother), and Jacob's ladder.
The unique CH O KING poster has the 0 slightly truncating the red form of the pyramid or plane below, which reminds of Wendy's action of operating the can opener over a crossfade of the mountain in the Tuesday section which results in a sort of truncation of the mountain so it is concealed from view for the remainder of the movie.
Having the Blu-Ray copy now, I have done my best to capture an image of the CH O KING poster by camera off my television screen, accompanying it below also with a capture off my DVD on my computer.
No two ways about it, we've no ordinary safety poster giving instruction on what to do in the case of choking. The lettering is hand done and has the feel of 1950s/1960s horror film movie poster lettering. We see above the truncated pyramid, in the O, what appears to be a human face, a child's face, mouth open in a large dark circle. A depiction of a choking individual? The Blu-Ray's colors are more intense and one wonders what is that red field down below the mouth? It doesn't appear red in the DVD, and there are some scenes in the Blu-Ray where the colors are so completely wrong it's a travesty. Can we take this as an image of Danny being choked? We also can glean here the image of Danny screaming in horror of Dick's being killed.
The poster, with its red truncated pyramid leading up to the O, reminds of the red car in the window of the bathroom in the Thursday section when Jack was cuddling Danny.
As stated previously, the red car and the red trapezoid in the CH O KING poster are the same thing. They are the red key plaque to Room 237 as the "monolith" that when viewed from an angle forms a trapezoidal pyramid with vanishing points, obscured angles of convergence.
It is through this that Danny will eventually escape out the bathroom window. As with the hero of any story, Danny would not have his escape routes, the knowledge of how to hide in the maze, without his encounter with the unknown and unknowable in room 237.
There are three banks of boxes on the generator (?) with a green button beside a red button. Wendy is checking one of these, pressing a green button, when she hears a deep masculine yell.
Danny is right about now being choked in room 237 (or that's what the flow of the movie indicates) but instead we hear Jack.
Before we continue, in Eyes Wide Shut the "how" of the disappearance of the mask and it later being found on the bed I think is expressed visually in the film, which I discuss in a post on The Film's Internal Logic for the Discovery of the Mask on the Pillow. When Bill puts the mask in the credenza in the office, Kubrick crossfades to the bed and we can see that Bill is also, via the crossfade, placing the mask on his pillow. There's a little more involved but that's the crux of it. I think we have much the same happening with Jack and Danny. The Shining has its own internal logic cinematically that explains the claw marks on Danny's neck, but that explanation doesn't fit any realistic logic. I don't believe Danny was abused by Wendy at The Overlook. I don't believe Danny was abused by Jack at The Overlook. I don't think Jack made the marks. We see in the bedroom scene the red trapezoid shape in the window beside Jack holding Danny with his hand on his neck, and then here we see in the boiler room, while Danny is in Room 237, the Ch-O-King poster with its red trapezoid, during which Jack is having his nightmare and after which Danny will wander in with the strangulation marks on his neck. There was no choking incident as viewers would look for in a realistic sense. Instead, I think that Jack's cuddling Danny, his hand on his neck, in the film's symbolic logic, and by virtue of the peculiar influence of the Overlook, manifests as the claw marks on Danny's neck. There is no point looking for when and how "who" might have choked Danny. No point in trying to rationalize whether or not it is Wendy, Jack, the missing woman, Danny himself, or whatever.
Wendy exits the boiler room, taking a right into the laundry room where there is a bank of 4 green washers on the left wall and 3 yellow driers against the far wall. Above the green washers we see several safety posters including another CH O KING poster.
Stacked against the right wall are old chairs, barrels, lampshades etc.
As Wendy enters this area, exiting the boiler room, she hears two other sounds. If one listens, the first sound, on the DVD, sounds more like a dog barking rather than a man screaming though we don't notice this as we expect to hear Jack. On the Blu-Ray the sound is clearer and sounds more like Jack crying out, though it retains some of the bark.
263 MS Jack in the Colorado Lounge. (59:13)
Cut to Jack asleep at his desk, left arm dangling. He yelps, grunts, screams.
Over the course of this scene we will be given ample opportunity to see how the presence of typing paper boxes on the table is inconsistent.
264 MS tracks Wendy from the service hall into the lounge. (59:30)
Wendy races through the service hallway behind the Colorado Lounge yelling, "Jack!" In doing so, she passes the stairway that would take one up to the proximity of room 237. In fact, the cut to this hall begins with her running past the staircase. That she is silhouetted, running out of darkness, accentuates her ambiguous nature at this point. One has the feeling that she is running out of unconscious territory into conscious.
WENDY (yelling): Jack! Jack! Jack! Jack!
The path she takes is completely illogical.
We already know the layout of the service hall from Danny's tour of the floor. Kubrick very plainly showed it to us.
When we saw her running out of the darkness into the light, she was passing by doors, at screen right, that could have taken her directly into the Colorado Lounge. I have shown in the map the area out of which she runs, which I call the "basement door". At that point she had available two immediate paths to take to Jack in the Colorado Lounge. Instead, Kubrick has her run all the way down the hallway, past the green staircase, and turn right and then turn right again and run all the way back through the Colorado Lounge to Jack. That path is shown by the blue arrows above. It is senseless. Illogical. The yellow arrow shows the most direct path she could have taken but she passes it as if it's not there.
On Tuesday, when Jack was ranting at Wendy in the Colorado Lounge, during the shots showing the disappearing and reappearing table and chair, the camera was trained on not only the pillar to screen right behind Jack but the red door through which Wendy could have run in this scene, which was the sensible route to take from the service hall. As I've stated repeatedly, you can not watch this film with the logic of true life realism. Don't even try. Everyday rational logic just isn't there, though Kubrick's film magic makes it seem as though it is. Probably a safe way of looking at this, why the characters perform so illogically, is that they are doing what is logical to them, as in it may be that door, which would have taken Wendy directly to Jack, isn't there for her. She doesn't see it. It's hidden in one of the film's blind spots, just as at times the audience has blind spots, information disappearing.
Kubrick does much the same in Eyes with Shut with Alice at one point. In shot 68, he shows Alice passing behind the dining room table heading to the kitchen, but at the kitchen she instead turns and rounds the dining table and enters the living room. She has taken a similar nonsensical, circuitous route to the living room when she could have walked straight into it from the dining room without going the long way around the table. This is just previous Alice and Bill getting high and having their fight.
Wendy reaching Jack, he falls from his chair to the floor.
265 low MS Jack and Wendy. (59:46)
While the The Awakening of Jacob music plays, Jack, on his hands and knees, tries to orient himself.
WENDY: What happened? Honey, what's wrong? Jack?
JACK: I had the most terrible nightmare I ever had. The most horrible dream I ever had.
Wendy assures him it's okay now, just as she did her best to assure Danny it was going to be okay to go live at the Overlook.
Of course, things are not okay.
WENDY: It's okay, it's okay now. Really.
266 low MS Jack and Wendy from opposite angle. (1:00:12)
JACK: I dreamed that I killed you and Danny.
267 low MS Jack and Wendy from behind Wendy. (1:00:21)
JACK: But I didn't just kill ya. I chopped you into little pieces.
268 low MS Jack and Wendy from behind Jack. (1:00:31)
JACK (genuinely distressed): Oh, God, I must be losing my mind.
WENDY: Everything's going to be all right.
We are reminded of the doctor who'd examined Danny at the beginning, who had told Wendy children can scare you half to death but everything was all right.
WENDY: Come on. Let's get up off the floor, huh?
269 shot Colorado lounge from behind Danny. (1:00:47)
As Wendy helps Jack off the floor, we've a shot from behind Danny of him entering from the hall behind the great stairway in the opposite direction from which his mother had come.
Danny having been in room 237, which is on the other side of the Colorado Lounge, one wonders why he enters from this direction, the same direction from which his mother enters in the Tuesday scene after he first tries room 237 and finds it locked.
As said, rational, everyday logic is not here because this is not a "realistic" film. The audience knows (or they believe they know) that room 237 is on the other side of the lounge on the upper floor. Kubrick has showed this to us when he didn't have to. He showed the audience room 237's position relative the open balcony above and behind Jack. Kubrick will even now show the balcony again, reminding his audience of room 237's position relative to the Colorado Lounge. And it will not matter to most of us. Most of us will reason that because Danny comes from this side then it is logical to the film in an art imitating real life way.
WENDY (helping Jack into his chair): Okay, there, let's sit down. It's okay. Honey? It's okay.
Getting Jack seated, seeing Danny, Wendy calls to him.
WENDY: Danny, everything's okay, just go play in your room for a while, your dad's just got a headache. (He keeps approaching.) Danny, mind what I say! Go play in your room!
As she points in the direction she wants him to take to go to his room, she appears to be indicating an upper floor but, as ever, we have no clarification of the possible relationship of the Colorado Lounge to suite 3. Her gesture appears specific and indicative of an area beyond the Colorado Lounge area, but it also could be read as pointing in the vicinity of room 237. Indeed, she is pointing right in the area of room 237, which, as we've seen, is the only possible room on the second floor above the Colorado Lounge. All the other rooms are glosses.
Wendy tells Jack she's just going to go get Danny out of there and she'll be right back.
WENDY: Honey, let me just go get him out of here, okay? I'll be right back.
She rushes toward Danny to redirect him away, frustrated he won't behave.
WENDY: Danny, why won't you mind me?
It's the first time we've seen her upset with him. As Wendy reaches him, we see he's sucking his thumb, as if reverting to the infantile in shock. The left of his neck is covered with finger mark bruises and his sweater is shredded at the neck.
WENDY (kneeling, grasping Danny): Danny, oh my god, what happened to your neck?
He only blankly stares and doesn't answer. She yanks his thumb out of his mouth.
WENDY: Danny! What happened to your neck? Huh?
Kubrick also shows us the balcony again to reveal that the halls off of it upstairs are now dark when they were illuminated when Danny approached room 237.
270 LS Danny and Wendy from behind Jack. (1:01:53)
Wendy embraces him and looks back at Jack.
271 MCU of Jack. (1:02:01)
Jack looks on uncomprehending.
272 LS Wendy and Danny from behind Jack. (1:02:05)
Wendy stands and picks up Danny, staring at Jack.
273 MCU Wendy holding Danny. (1:02:10)
Wendy abandons her concern for Jack, accusing him.
WENDY: You did this to him, didn't you?
274 MCU Jack. (1:02:18)
As she continues accusing, calling Jack a son of a bitch, saying, "You did this to him, didn't you!" he looks on confused, lost, seemingly having no idea how Danny was hurt, shaking his head no.
WENDY: You son of a bitch! You did this to him, didn't you!
He has no idea. He really doesn't.
275 MCU Wendy holding Danny. (1:02:26)
WENDY: How could you? How could you?
Wendy retreats in the direction from which Danny came.
276 MCU Jack. (1:02:34)
Cut back to Jack, Wendy's footsteps fading across the floor. His hand drops, he mutters something indiscernible.
In these close ups of Jack, the table and chair against the column behind him are once again gone, just as they disappeared during the Tuesday scene when Wendy had told him about the impending snow storm and he had replied,"What do you want me to do about it?"
It was on Tuesday, the day Danny first tried the door of room 237 but found it locked, that Jack gave Wendy the new rule that she wasn't to enter the Colorado Lounge.
On Closing Day, it was when Wendy was taken down by Stuart to see the basement (where the boiler room is located) that Danny asked Dick about room 237, the first mention of it in the film. Dick had told him to stay out of it, that he had no business going in there. Now, on the day that Danny enters room 237, Wendy also enters the Colorado Lounge though she'd been told it was off limits. Though Wendy's entrance is due Jack being under duress, the parallel bears remarking.
It bears remarking that Danny's sweater has been torn so its knit is unravelled at the neck and that now Jack goes to the Colorado Lounge before which is the sign The Unwinding Hours.
In the Torrance Boulder apartment, during the Interview section, we see Coville's "Woman with Terrier", above and behind the television. The painting depicts a woman holding a dog before a fence at an airport.
The Killing ends with a very similar scene as one in the Colville painting, and is one that isn't in the book upon which the movie is based. In the film, after the heist, Johnny heads to the airport with his girlfriend to make their escape. A woman is at the airport gate with her dog. This dog leaps from her arms and runs onto the tarmac. The service vehicle carrying Johnny's bag (which holds his loot from the heist) swerves to miss the barking dog, the bag tumbles down, and money spills out all over the tarmac. That's it for Johnny. He doesn't even try to get away, and it might seem to have to do with the loss of money but I think the paralysis that comes over him has more to do with a sudden overwhelming guilt he feels over the deaths of his accomplices, which is neither here nor there for the purpose of this post. In the book, Johnny never makes it to the plane's gate. He is instead killed at the airport by one of his accomplices who has also been shot and is near death. There is no dog scene. No bag falling off the service vehicle, no money spilling out all over the tarmac. No Johnny giving up and not trying to flee.
For more on this and The Killing, read the post 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.
Why does this painting appear in The Shining? If we take a look at Wendy holding Danny in the Colorado Room, we may be reminded of it. And I believe this is the only time in the film that she holds him like this, though at the end she does lift Danny into the Snowcat. It may be there is a connection with The Killing, the woman and her beloved dog that sees something no one else does, runs onto the tarmac, and blows Johnny's heist, after which Johnny is utterly immobilized, and, I think, overwhelmed with guilt. Johnny's expression is even much the same as Jack's here. Johnny's girlfriend prompts him to try and escape, but Johnny instead pretty much walks right into the hands of the police, utterly defeated. Jack instead now throws himself into drink, though there's no alcohol at the hotel. The bartender who appears was also in The Killing. To him, Jack tells his tale of the time Danny spread his papers around, which is when he injured him, which certainly reminds of the dog in The Killing foiling Johnny's get-away by causing the suitcase to tumble on the tarmac, all the cash inside spilling out and blown away. No sooner does he tell his story, Wendy will interrupt with Danny's story of the mad woman in room 237.
277 Crossfade from the shot of Jack at the table to him entering the Gold Room hall. (1:02:42 begin crossfade, ending at 1:02:45.)
Next, Jack is furiously advancing down the remodeled hall to The Gold Room which we've not seen since Closing Day. He is gesturing wildly, angrily. We see the tripod-mounted placard outside the room that reads "The Unwinding Hours" and under it two photos of featured musicians and the weekday and weekend hours. At the height of the poster is a decorative graphic of one line wrapped around itself in a complicated network of knots. I've suggested unwinding refers to the thread unwound in the labyrinth by Theseus in his quest to defeat the Minotaur, but of course in context of a bar it would also mean unwinding from stress.
Jack enters the ballroom and flips on the lights.
278 MS. (1:03:30) We switch perspectives now to the rear of the Gold Room to watch as Jack crosses to the bar. From the rear, we see him in its mirror.
279 MS. (1:03:51) Seating himself at the bar, Jack says he would give anything for a drink, even his god damned soul--and I think of the Playgirl magazine he had been reading on his first day at the hotel, one of the cover stories being the selling of David Soul. With Jack's seeming offer to make a classic deal with the devil, we return to Faust (written of in the section on the opening in connection with Kubrick's use of "Dies Irae") and his bargain with Mephistopheles. If Mephistopheles acted as Faust's magical servant for 24 years, at the end of that period Faust's soul would belong to the devil.
JACK: I would give anything for a drink, even my god-damned soul. Even a glass of beer.
280 MCU Jack. (1:04:12)
His hands over his face, he licks his lips, removes his hands and and begins seemingly dialoguing with himself in the mirror.
JACK: Hello, Lloyd, it's a little slow tonight.
He laughs hysterically.
Mephistopheles has apparently agreed to the deal. A drink for Jack's soul. Spirit for spirit.
Whereas when Danny covered his eyes with his hands and thus banished the vision of the girls in the hall, when Jack covers his eyes and removes his hands he is conjuring a vision.
Note here that Danny has just previously been linked with Apollo, wearing the shirt of Apollo, the god of the sun and reason, whereas Dionysus, the god of wine, represents chaos. The two shared the Delphic oracle, Apollo ruling it in summer and Dionysus in the winter, a period of time during which Apollo was absent.
281 MS Lloyd. (1:04:36) We are shown the bar which is now fully stocked with liquor. An expressionless bartender stands behind it.
The actor is Joseph Turkel who also appeared in Kubrick's The Killing. When we first see him in that film, he is seated at a bar.
LLOYD: Yes, it is, Mr. Torrance. What will it be?
282 MCU Jack. (1:04:45)
JACK: I'm awfully glad you asked me that, Lloyd, because I just happen to have two twenties and two tens right here in my wallet. I was afraid they were going to be there until next April, so here's what. You slip me a bottle of bourbon, a little glass, and some ice. You can do that, can't you, Lloyd?
More doubling with the 2 20's and 2 10's. 40 and 20.
283 MCU Lloyd. (1:05:09)
JACK (off-screen): You're not too busy are ya?
LLOYD: No sir, not busy at all.
He pours him a glass of Jack Daniel's.
JACK: Good man!
284 MCU Jack. (1:05:20)
JACK: You set 'em up and I'll knock 'em back, Lloyd, one by one.
What's in a name? Curiously, perhaps coincidentally, the actor Jack Nicholson plays a person named Jack. Danny Lloyd plays a character named Danny. The bartender, Lloyd, serves Jack Daniel's whiskey when he's been asked for bourbon. The Jack Daniel's hints at a link between the father and son that goes beyond the genetic into the realm of dual archetypes such as Apollo and Dionysus.
Jack Nicholson happened to play a Henry Lloyd Moon in the 1978 Goin' South.
Lloyd was a name supplied by Stephen King for the bartender, and appears to have come from Llwyd, meaning "gray". Brenin Llwyd, the Gray King, was thought of as residing in the summits of mountains, robed in the mist and clouds he sent to imperil travelers. He was also believed to seize children.
JACK: White man's burden, Lloyd, my man, white man's burden.
The book makes it clear that "white man's burden" refers to the alcohol, but exactly what Jack is referring to is less concrete in the film.
As white man's burden is best understood, it refers to Manifest Destiny and the supposed weight supported by the so-called civilized white man in lifting the remainder of the world out of the dark and into the light.
The text of Rudyard Kipling's poem...
Take up the White Man's burden--
Send forth the best ye breed--
Go bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives' need;
To wait in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild--
Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half-devil and half-child.
Take up the White Man's burden--
In patience to abide,
To veil the threat of terror
And check the show of pride;
By open speech and simple,
An hundred times made plain
To seek another's profit,
And work another's gain.
Take up the White Man's burden--
The savage wars of peace--
Fill full the mouth of Famine
And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest
The end for others sought,
Watch sloth and heathen Folly
Bring all your hopes to nought.
Take up the White Man's burden--
No tawdry rule of kings,
But toil of serf and sweeper--
The tale of common things.
The ports ye shall not enter,
The roads ye shall not tread,
Go mark them with your living,
And mark them with your dead.
Take up the White Man's burden,
And reap his old reward--
The blame of those ye better
The hate of those ye guard--
The cry of hosts ye humour
(Ah, slowly!) toward the light:--
"Why brought ye us from bondage,
Our loved Egyptian night?"
Take up the White Man's burden--
Ye dare not stoop to less--
Nor call too loud on Freedom
To cloke your weariness;
By all ye cry or whisper,
By all ye leave or do,
The silent, sullen peoples
Shall weigh your gods and you.
Take up the White Man's burden--
Have done with childish days--
The lightly proferred laurel,
The easy, ungrudged praise.
Comes now, to search your manhood
Through all the thankless years
Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom,
The judgment of your peers!
"Why brought ye us from bondage, Our loved Egyptian night?" references the Passover and the emergence of the Hebrews out of bondage in Egypt. The idea of the Passover will return again later. In the poem, those who are being brought out of bondage, by Moses, are resistant.
Linked with the burden is the firm belief in one's righteousness, and that whatever the methods one uses, in bringing the remainder of the world into the light, are essential and necessary. Recollect that the lodge itself is given as having been erected on an American Indian burial ground, established on land forcibly and deceitfully occupied ostensibly for the cause of right American ideals.
This is not a facetious poem. Kipling was serious. It was written for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, and rewritten to encourage American colonization of the Philippines during the Spanish-American War.
Via the filmThe Bandwagon, Kubrick referenced Kipling's poem, "The Vampire", in Killer's Kiss. That poem seems to be about how women take a man's years of work and tears and throw him to the side. Again, it seems not to be factitious.
Jack pulls out his wallet but there's nothing in it. Where'd those two twenties and two tens go?
JACK: Say, Lloyd. It seems I'm temporarily light. How's my credit in this joint anyway?
Jack's money seems to have disappeared, much like the table and chair and other occasional things. Or has it? We can never be certain, for when Jack later returns to the bar he has money on him but it is refused. It is one of the two times that the characters themselves note when something is missing or not there. The other time is when Jack denies having seen anything in room 237.
285 CU Lloyd. (1:05:41)
LLOYD: Your credit's fine, Mr. Torrance.
286 MCU Jack. (1:05:44)
JACK: That's swell. I like you, Lloyd. I've always liked you. You were always the best of 'em, the best god-damned bartender from Timbuktu to Portland, Maine, or Portland, Oregon, for that matter...
287 CU Lloyd. (1:06:01)
LLOYD: Thank you for saying so.
288 MCU Jack. (1:06:03)
Jack makes a toast with the drink Lloyd has poured for him.
JACK: Here's to five miserable months on the wagon and all the irreparable harm that it's caused me.
Downing the alcohol, Jack's face briefly alters bizarrely in a manner that could be described as overwhelmed beyond sensibility.
We hear the wind howling outside.
Wendy, on the day of the interview, had given Jack as having not touched a drop in five months. At least a month and a week have passed since that time, and more probably about two to two and a half months, so Jack would be about seven months sober, but he remains perpetually five months on the wagon.
289 MS Jack and Lloyd from the side. (1:06:30)
LLOYD: How are things going, Mr. Torrance?
JACK: Things could be better, Lloyd. Things could be going a whole lot better.
LLOYD: I hope it's nothing serious.
JACK: No, nothing serious.
Lloyd pours him another drink.
290 MCU Jack. (1:06:53)
JACK: Just a little problem with the old sperm bank upstairs, but nothing I can't handle.
291 MCU Lloyd. (1:07:04)
LLOYD: Women. Can't live with them, can't live without them.
292 MCU Jack from behind Lloyd. (1:07:09)
JACK: Words of wisdom, Lloyd, words of wisdom. (Jack continues, his thoughts moving from Wendy to Danny.) I never laid a hand on him, god damn it. I didn't. I wouldn't touch one hair on his god-damned little head. I love the little son of a bitch! (Jack laughs.) I'd do anything for him, any fucking thing for him.
As Jack talks we realize he wears the same burgundy color jacket as the bartender. A shot of Jack as observed from just behind the bartender's elbow, gives the feeling that he is talking to a double of himself.
With the bottle of Jack Daniel's between Jack and Lloyd, Danny (played by Danny Lloyd) is brought into the picture. Jack-Danny-Lloyd.
The shots of Jack viewed from beside the left elbow of the bartender remind of the shots in the Colorado Lounge in which he was viewed from the right of Wendy's elbow, only a little of her sleeve visible, in the scene where she had told him of the coming snow, and he had ordered her never to enter the Colorado Room again if she heard him in there.
I'm also reminded of the illusion of a mirror sleeve of Wendy's union suit when she was eating lunch with Danny in the apartment at Boulder.
293 MCU Lloyd. (1:07:54) Cut to Lloyd as Jack continues.
JACK (off-screen): That bitch!
294 MCU Jack. (1:07:58) Cut back to Jack.
JACK: As long as I live she'll never let me forget what happened. I did hurt him once. Okay? It was an accident! Completely unintentional. It could happen to anybody. And it was three god-damn years ago! The little fucker had thrown all my papers all over the floor and all I tried to do was pull him up! (He makes the motion of yanking Danny up.) A momentary loss of muscular coordination. Few extra per pounds of energy per second. Per second.
Snap. He snaps his fingers.
A scream now.
I've noted in the Interview section how Wendy, the manner in which she describes Danny's injured arm to the house-call doctor, gives the impression the event happened five months before, as Jack had been drunk when he'd hurt Danny, had promised her he'd not drink again and if he did she could leave him, and he'd not had a drink in five months. We have two versions of the story, for it's in this second telling of it by Jack that we learn the breaking of the arm was three years prior. There's no reconciling the different versions. In the book, it had been three years since Danny had been hurt, but Jack had not completely stopped drinking until after another incident unrelated to Danny. So it seems we are supposed to realize now that Wendy had lied to Danny's doctor on the day of the interview, covering up for Jack, that he had only recently stopped drinking.
The film opened with the music Dies Irae concerning the Judgment Day, and Jack views Wendy as his eternal accuser, never letting him forget what he had done to their son, as though the judgment for him already is that he must live with forever with the resulting mistrust.
The name Danny comes from Daniel which is Judge of God in Hebrew.
If Jack must live forever with his having broken Danny's arm, he is suddenly now afforded an out from being blamed for Danny's strangulation.
295 LS Wendy running down Gold Room hall. (1:08:58)
Wendy in her brown jumper and thick knit stockings, green shirt over beige turtleneck (it is cold in that hotel), is running down the Gold Room hall with a baseball bat in hand, looking for Jack. She enters the Gold Room and runs to the bar.
WENDY: Oh, Jack! Thank god you're here!
296 MS Wendy grasping Jack's shoulder. (1:09:11)
Wendy grasps Jack's shoulder, rousing him, he appearing to have been dozing off and unaware of her presence. Indeed, when she touches him, his head drops forward in the manner of someone who has been asleep being abruptly roused.
WENDY: Jack, Jack, there's someone else in the hotel with us. There's a crazy woman in one of the rooms. She tried to strangle Danny.
We see Wendy's wristwatch. For her it would read about 6:30 or 6:35, but from our viewpoint it reads 12:00 or 12:05.
297 CU Jack. (1:09:21)
JACK: Are you out of your fucking mind?
Jack can ask this even though he was just talking with an invisible bartender and drinking invisible Jack Daniel's.
No truth being clear, all things being suspect and muddled, a suspicion that is likely to enter the minds of some viewers, with Wendy warning of the crazy woman, and Jack immediately referring to Wendy as out of her mind, is that Wendy choked Danny.
298 MCU Wendy from behind Jack. (1:09:26)
WENDY: No! This is the truth, really! I swear it! Danny told me. He went up into one of the bedrooms. The door was open and he saw this crazy woman in the bathtub. She tried to strangle him.
Who is the crazy woman in the bathtub? The viewer might wonder if it is Susan Robertson who had been reported as missing while on a hunting trip with her husband.
However Wendy would have learned of the crazy woman from Danny, it seems it would have to have been through Tony. Last we saw of Danny, he was mute, and he remains mute for a while, Tony speaking for him, professing Danny to be "gone".
The film has just called into question Wendy's character with our learning now that Danny had been injured three years prior, not five. That Wendy would here say,"It's the truth", suggests she may feel she must protest something as the truth, perhaps because she had make it a practice to lie in covering up for Jack and her own guilt in staying with him. Or she is protesting here "It's the truth" for benefit of the audience who are pondering how Wendy had seemingly not told the truth to the doctor.
Perhaps Kubrick is here suggesting that Danny has been put in the position of lying as well.
299 CU Jack. (1:09:42)
JACK: Which room was it?
Jack shining wildly and reasons for the audience to be confounded over who hurt Danny. Who is the crazy woman?
The "reversed" carpet and the yellow ball.
Not much of anything. Kubrick's throwing everything right at us.
Jack's hatred for Wendy.
The ch O king poster.
Danny shows up with choke marks.