The Shining – A Comparison of the Green Hall Behind the Office and the Red Hall

The Overlook Hotel is a maze and our ability to map the hotel beyond a few seemingly geographically/locationally concrete portions is pretty well impossible, but we still have sympathetic relationships that can be used to link some areas.

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Updated maps of The Shining

Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining”–The Maps

I’ve attempted to get the proportions as best as possible, discovering that I was able to do so via the graphics on the carpet as I was able to count them off.

Hi there. This post gets a fair number of visitors and for some reason the idea of everything not fitting together makes some people upset when it really shouldn’t. The initial response of many is to think in terms of continuity and design problems on a major production and that the maps are a matter of nit-picking at small details.

One has to realize that Kubrick practiced the same mismatch technique in certain places in 2001 and with the apartment of Bill and Alice in Eyes Wide Shut. For instance, he radically shifts internal orientation of space as opposed to what we see on the exterior of one of the ships carrying Floyd to Clavius, so that the pilots have views of both the earth and moon which could only have been had by Floyd. He moves the bedroom of Bill and Alice. Also, in Eyes Wide Shut (never mind the maze of streets down which we are taken numerous times under different guises) he discreetly dropped in elements directly connecting the Nathanson apartment with the Ziegler mansion. So, the Overlook is not exceptional in Kubrick’s films for its disequilibrium.

The interior of the Overlook simply doesn’t fit with either the exterior on the studio set or real life; the different parts of it don’t connect together in the way Kubrick visually leads one to believe. His manner of editing establishes assumptions, but those assumptions are wrong. I cover possible reasons for the “why” in my analyses of the different films, but can’t give you a flat-out “why”. What one can discuss, which I’ve done in the analyses, is the psychological and cinematic effect these mismatches and the false flow may have on the viewer. What the maps below do is supply a pretty basic and simple first approach to seeing how we do have these mismatches.

In respect of The Shining, one can also look at the way Kubrick gives the impression of our viewing a family “together” at the Overlook, when we almost never see Jack, Wendy or Danny in the same shot. We have them together in the car, we have them briefly together when Danny meets Dick in the Gold Room and when he is left with Dick as his parents go off to the boiler room with Stuart. After that, after everyone else has left the hotel, the only other time we see Jack, Wendy and Danny together is in the post-choking scene in the Colorado Lounge. We never even see the three in the same shot in the apartment. At the end, by the time Jack has hacked his way into the suite, Wendy and Danny are in the bathroom and Wendy has quickly sent Danny out the window so he’s not even in the suite. The lobby is particularly interesting as one really “feels” we should have seen all three of them there together, and yet it never happens. As with the architecture, Kubrick gives a certain feeling for what is happening and has happened, and quite often it is different from what we’ve seen on the screen.

Continue reading Updated maps of The Shining