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Comments for “The Shining” Analysis – Table of Contents

Juli Kearns Cinema, Kubrick 13 Comments

I removed the analyses from the blog as there were too many images and I was concerned the server wouldn’t tolerate the traffic. Have converted them to static html pages and they are up here.

Below are some fun posts I’ve kept on the blog rather than converting to html:

In Which Kubrick Tricks Us Into Not Noticing the Door Which Has Opened
A post on the door that opened in the hall beyond Danny when he tried the door to Room 237 and found it locked.

How the Kubrick Carpet Trick Works
A post on how the Kubrick carpet trick works, when the pattern reverses under Danny. So simple!

Maps of the Overlook Hotel

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.

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’s Lake, Serpentine Bends, Crossing the Field, 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 location of the Boulder apartment.

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

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.

Comments 13

  1. max

    I want to say thank you so much. I first saw the movie with my friend , when I was looking on Netflix for a good movie to watch when I saw room 237. This page has all the answers to my questions to the film. I never knew a film could have so much meaning.

  2. scrappy

    nice insights… have you seen Halloran flip Wendy off when they’re first introduced? I also discovered the page in Catcher In The Rye that Wendy is reading in Boulder Colo.scene. Would also like to know the name of Charles Dickens book that’s on the top of a stack of books between Wendy and the doctor.

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  4. Ryan Billingsley

    I’m in the process of recreating the overlook hotel in minecraft pocket edition. It’s quite staggering, and has taken the better part of a year. Your maps were helpful.

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  5. Laura

    Hi Juli!
    Thank you so much for this analysis. It has been an IMMENSE help for a project I’m working on. I’m a themed entertainment design master’s student and I’m working on a project to design a themed queue line for an attraction and I chose to do a Shining-based attraction. So these analytical plans are AMAZING and very helpful. I hope you don’t mind if I use your basic layout in my process to creating a waiting queue line? Absolute credit will be given to you and linked to your website! Thank you again, its always a treasure to find this kind of dedicated analytical work anywhere!

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  6. SheSays

    Hello Juli – wow, what a detailed analysis on The Shining! I’m on board that the mechanical device seen at the bottom of the bloody elevator was devised more to get the blood to splash the walls the way Kubrick wanted them to. Another thing that most people miss – & I think I’m among the first to notice this – is the actual carved images on the elevator frame itself, where the elevator buttons are.

    For those who support the idea that Kubrick was addressing the barbarities of human /American history in The Shining, such as child abuse, the elevator actually provides some more proof of that theory. In his last film Eyes Wide Shut, Kubrick addressed ritual child abuse through the symbolic use of teddy bears & tiger/cat plushies placed near victims being abused by society. He used this symbology earlier with teddy bears representing Danny in the Shining.

    If you zoom in & look closely at the carved columns with the elevator buttons, the image above the buttons looks like an enraged bear & the image below looks like a sad tiger/cat getting its head split open. There’s also the carved grimace image above the elevator.

    You know as well as I do that since Kubrick had those images carved on purpose it would not just be extraneous decoration, especially for such an important prop in the movie. All these years, right there, carved right into that elevator is Kubrick’s condemnation of the split-personality trauma that can result from severe child abuse, which explains Danny’s split personality (“Tony”) in The Shining.

    Hope you get a chance to check it out for yourself in a hi-rez image! Thanks for listening.

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  8. Stellar Jay

    Ms Kearns:
    Please allow me the privilege to express my awe of and appreciation for your tremendous insights into Kubrick’s work. I have found no other source of analyses of the work of Our Man in Childwickbury that begins to compare with the exhaustive comprehensiveness of yours. I have read all the books and all the sources on the internet, ever seeking the spring which I finally found in your keen observations. Have read, now, yours on 2001 and The Shining, and have begun the one on Eyes Wide Shut. Simply cannot wait (yet am taking them slowly so as to better absorb and savour) to read them all, as well as those on Antonioni. How I hope that there are ones forthcoming from you on Paths of Glory, Dr. Strangelove, Full Metal Jacket and Barry Lyndon, for I would so love to be further enlightened by you on these masterpieces, too. There is so little to be had on the latter, with only Pramaggiore’s ‘Making Time,’ and Pilard’s essay being fully devoted to the film, and I can only imagine what gems of insight would be mined by you. Speaking of mining, just watched ‘Carson City’ for the first time, today, and I’d like to respectfully offer a slight correction to what you cite in your analysis, for you indicated that in the scene on the telly in Boulder, Randolph Scott’s character is talking to a conspirator, yet it is actually the scene where Jeff has been surveying one bore (the transit tool is visible in the scene) and is now talking to the banker who hired Jeff and is bankrolling the railroad project and is there to complain about the negative press the project has been garnering. But I digress. Again, thank you ever so much for taking me so far beyond the already high esteem I held these films at. Am hoping I can reciprocate in some small way by sharing with you some elements that I have noticed in The Shining, that I have not seen mention of anywhere else: (1) When Jack enters The Overlook, stepping into the lobby proper from the foyer, note that there is a mirror (the first seen in the hotel) in the foyer, so it is as if Jack has arrived (/returning) from the looking glass since we never actually see him coming in from outdoors (the first of the many associations of him with reflective surfaces; (2) The young woman and young man just behind him as he enters seem to exchange a kind of conspiratorial acknowledgment of his arrival, for, in my imagination, she seems to lean towards the man as if to let him know that Jack has arrived (e.g. whispering, “He’s here!”), and the man seems to nod in acknowledgment, and then she does that odd twisting round to look towards Reception to observe the anticipated reception/ return/ intake of The Caretaker. Furthermore, the two elder gals (the first of many pairs of females) seem to be observing Jack with interest also, and the strange (dare I say, ‘ghostly’) couple behind the glass doors also seem to be (the man anyway) weirdly observant of Jack’s reception (they are also unusual in that the woman, garbed like a guest and somewhat formally, just stares up at the man who is uniformed like an employee, and at one point he looks secretively or guiltily away towards the direction of the Gold Room as if they are spectral, cross-class lovers of the hotel’s past; (3) Note the sign by Jack as he checks-in at Reception…”Key Return” (vis-a-vis the eternal recurring of which you’ve noted)….i.e. that the Torrance of 1921 has returned, a key return of a forever bound servant to the elite just as the 1970 Grady was a return of the Delbert one; (4) Note (this is a biggie) – When Jack passes the ‘sha’ spot where he will murder Dick, and that mirroring guy turns the corner from where Injured Guest later haunts at Wendy, the mirroring guy in this scene also has some red marking on his pate (!), foreshadowing the split skull of Injured Guest. This would have been subliminal, I believe, in an original, non-hd viewing, but with hd, and zoomed in on, there can be no mistaking some sort of make-up on the extra that denotes a blob of blood red in the centre of his cranium. Astonishing, eh? Well there are some other things that I’d like to share, further, but that’s more than enough for one comment. Hope it isn’t already egregiously long. Sorry if so. Thanks again!!! – Jay. P.S. If you’ve never seen Kubrick’s other two shorts – Flying Padre and The Seafarers – I have copies of them from TCM, and could provide copies of them to you if you so desired. J.

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