∆ A 3 x 7 grid of 21 framed photographs. The final date revealed as 1921. If we increase the date by 3 multiples of 7 we get 1942, date of the movie Danny watches on TV, The Summer of ‘42. If we continue increasing the date by multiples of 7, we get 1977, the year in which the action of the film takes place — verified by the copy of Playgirl Jack reads in the Lobby. Continue on by 7 and we get 2012, mythical Mayan end of time. Reduce the date by multiples of 7 and we get 1907, the year construction on the Overlook began.
∆ The center photograph, surrounded by 7 dinner parties, with a campaign train in the North-East corner. Think of the 7-day week, a cultural construction independent of nature, and the days-of-the-week inter-titles throughout the film. Think of the consistant placement of escape portals in the North-East throughout the film.
∆ The center photograph. A posed picture of a black-tie party in a ballroom different than the Gold Room. A giant palm and other flora point towards the North-East.
∆ While Jack is front and center in the photograph, if we ignore perspective, he is on the bottom. If this party is the upper-crust of society, Jack carries them on his back. Note the man on Jack’s right and the woman on his left are both pushing down on him. More revelers are flowing in from the doors in the North-West, adding to the crushing feeling. The party forms a rough hexagon shape.
∆ What is Jack’s role in this photograph? Grady told Jack he has “always been the caretaker,” but does this look like the position of a janitor? After meeting with Grady, Jack assumed the role of the axe-murdering caretaker and was killed for it. This is his afterlife, and as in one of Kubrick’s favorite films, Eraserhead, “In heaven, everything is fine.” The Jack in the final photograph is his idealized self, what he was meant to be.
Jack’s right hand is up as if he is saying “hi” and his body is crooked, as if he is rising up from a crouch to sneak into the photograph. Like a Jack-In-The-Box popping up, Jack is the court jester here. The bottom of the top. If this photograph is Jack’s fate and his living desire was to be an artist, then his destiny was to be an entertainer.
∆ A dissolve emphasizes Jack’s rising movement as his mouth fades in from his forehead for a close-up. Think of Jack’s frustration of putting words on paper, but his wit and word-play when conversing in the bar. Jack is naturally a social man with the gift of gab, not a solitary hermit. Jack’s jokey barroom manner perfectly befits a nightclub MC and bandleader — a Bob Hope type.
∆ What is that in Jack’s hand? Some consider it “the secret” or Jack’s contract with The Devil. I forward the idea that the small slip of paper is a request. Jack is the bandleader and runs the show, but he does not run The Hotel or society. He still takes orders and his band is told what to play.
Think of Nick Nightingale in Eyes Wide Shut, who could have been a doctor, but chose to be an pianist, fated to be a disposable toy of the ruling class. Think of Scatman Crothers, who plays Hallorann, the famous hoofer and nightclub entertainer of the Depression era, a man of great eloquence, grace and charisma, who would make the perfect frontman, relegated to the background at The Hotel as the Head Chef. As soon as he steps into the foreground of The Hotel, he is axed to death.
∆ Another dissolve and Jack’s smile emanates from his forehead, his hairline becoming a Hitler moustache for a second. As Christiane Kubrick had to say about her Nazi-affiliated uncle,
“Film people, actors, are puppets. We are silly. We are silly folk.”
∆ A final portrait of Jack’s face, with all the classic Nicholson elements in place that define him as an individual: the defiant, high hairline, the arched eyebrows, the devilish grin. Kubrick said of Nicholson: “One of the truly great actors that Hollywood has produced.”
∆ The camera pans down, and Jack’s face rises up just like the beginning credits, like a spirit rising to heaven. Moving image gone, all that is left are the still words. No personal names, no signatures, just the facts: place and date.
The same date the road opened up to the Overlook, so once again, we have come full circle.
A chronological survey of references to flight, verticality, and transportation, orienting the compass directions in the Hotel and noting use of teleportation in travel between sets. Space here refers to both to the outer-space of 2001: A Space Odyssey and the space between things in the expanding scale of the Overlook Hotel.
∆ The film begins in flight. The sky above is reflected in the waters below.
∆ After a series of aerial shots tracking the Beetle’s movements up the mountain road, we cut to an aerial shot of The Timberline Lodge, located beneath the peak of Mt. Hood, Oregon. Note the pyramid-like structure of the hotel. Note also the “famous Hedge Maze” is nowhere to be seen. In fact, there is almost no correlation at all between the Hotel’s exterior and interior.
∆ After a continuous shot of Jack walking through the Hotel Lobby to the General Manager’s office for his “INTERVIEW,” the scene dissolves to an establishing shot of the Torrences’ apartment complex in Boulder, Colorado. Note how the building resembles the spaceship Discovery from 2001: A Space Odyssey (however moving in the opposite direction):
∆ In 2001, the Discovery transports the story from The Moon to Jupiter, where a Pod is used to travel onward to a hotel, where the protagonist dies and is reborn. In The Shining, the Boulder apartment is a transitory home for the Torrences as they move westward from Vermont to the Overlook Hotel, travelling there via the Pod-like Beetle. At the Overlook, Jack dies and is reborn as a photograph on the hotel walls.
∆ Several images of flight on Danny’s bedroom door: Woodstock and rainbow balloon, bird stickers.
∆ Here we see Danny in the Boulder apartment bathroom, talking to his imaginary friend Tony in the mirror. Note the band of stars on Danny’s arm, capped with the number 42. Tony is represented by a finger pointing up. For the significance of 42, finger-pointing and the planet Jupiter, reference the ‘synchromystic’ work of Jake Kotze.
∆ Danny’s vision of The Elevator resembles a rocket taking off with its explosions of blood. Elevators go up.
∆ The rubber duckie has moved from the bathroom to the windowsill. Another rainbow balloon hangs near the windowshade.
∆ ”Boy, we must really be high up.”
∆ In this dissolve, the Hotel seems to fade into being just to meet the Torrence family Beetle, which seems to be on its way into the blue sky at the North-East of the screen. In reality, the dissolve teleports us from Montana to Oregon.
∆ After a brief establishing shot of the Timberline Lodge, another dissolve teleports us from Oregon to a sound stage in England. For an instant, the fading pyramid-like roof of the Timberline lines up with a ladder, another method for going up. The chandeliers resemble UFOs hovering in the sky above the mountaintop. The humans are packing up and getting ready to go. The manager and assistant discuss when “the plane leaves” while stepping onto a UFO-shaped pattern on the floor. Later, the manager will describe the Hotel as a “stopping place for the jet set.”
∆ Danny lets darts fly in The Games Room.
∆ After touring through the impressive Lounge and the somewhat disappointing Quarters, a stop in the bathroom heralds another dissolve, teleporting the group to some distance away from a facsimile of the exterior of the Timberline, next to the “Famous Hedge Maze” missing from the previous shots of the real Timberline. Note the pyramid-like topiaries crowning the Maze and mushroom-like topiaries lining the entrance to the Maze. Questions about the origins of the Hotel herald another teleportation as the group jumps forward across the parking lot and shift orientation 90º to the right. [We will see another 90º orientation shift later in the film when the entrance to the maze rotates to face the Hotel.]
∆ As the group nears the Snowcat vehicle, another dissolve teleports the group again and they seem to exit the fading vehicle inside the hallway outside The Gold Room. Note the general shape and color of the snowcat is echoed in in the red couch, shifted 90º to the left, the motion implied by the vehicle becoming static as the group approaches The Gold Room. The “Unwinding Hours” sign outside suggests the stopping of time, clockwork coming to rest.
∆ Inside the pyramid. Another ladder. Are the UFO halos coming in for a landing or taking off? The red chairs recall the space station in 2001, which is also a hotel.
∆ Inside the Hilton Space Station 5, high-level intelligence agendas are at work over drinks.
∆ ”Dan, you get tired of bombing the universe?”
∆ Craters on the moon. Crater Lake near the Timberline and Mt. Hood. Did the Universe get tired of bombing itself?
∆ After taking a Big Dipper-shaped tour of The Kitchen, Hallorann opens the freezer door to where the North Star would be. The significance of the Big Dipper in the story is multi-layered: consider that American slaves escaping captivity used the Big Dipper as a guide, “following the Drinking Gourd” to freedom in the North. Big Dipper is also called the Great Bear … consider all the bear imagery tied to Danny. Hallorann, by tracing the path of the Big Dipper for Wendy and showing her, as we shall illustrate below, the magical properties of his store rooms, is teaching her how to defeat Jack and liberate herself and Danny from the slavery of The Hotel.
∆ Hallorann puts his left hand on the handle of freezer door C4, marked with the yellow star in the map above. As Hallorann opens the door, the film cuts to a POV from inside freezer C3, marked with the blue star in the map above. Hallorann’s right hand is now on the door to C3, located across the hall from the door C4, a sudden 180º teleport.
∆ The scene inside the freezer foreshadows Jack’s death in The Maze, a place, as we have already seen, also teleports in and out of the film reality.
∆ Danny’s jacket reads “FLYERS.”
∆ As the tour continues, a dissolve teleports the group from The Kitchen “FIRE EXIT” 180º around to walking down the service hallway behind the offices in The Lobby. Though it is suggested The Kitchen is somewhere behind a golden curtain between the bar and the stage in The Gold Room, we never actually see any physical connection between The Kitchen and other locations in The Hotel. “Like a ghost ship,” observes Wendy.
∆ Danny’s Big Wheel is another pyramid shape.
∆ His loop around the Colorado Lounge set recalls the rotating gravity wheel of the Discovery in 2001. Note the ghost-like hibernation chambers.
∆ The Hilton Space Station is also a “Big Wheel.” Note the Station is under construction, a facade like The Overlook Hotel exterior.
∆ The eagle and the butterfly.
∆ ”When I came up here for my interview, it was as though I’d been here before.” Did mankind originate from the stars? The eagle on Jack’s shirt fades to the eagle on Jack’s typewriter.
∆ Jack aims his yellow ball between the blue and red stripes of a Hopi wall design. Note large piece of driftwood pointing North-East in this scene. This indicator wand will disappear in later scenes.
∆ Jack moves his ball sport to The Lobby. As he tosses the yellow ball towards a smaller version of the driftwood wand, the ball disappears down the hallway to red doors behind which is not only the false illumination of the Manager’s Office, but further, the cupboard where Danny hides from Jack just before the Maze annihilation. Note Danny’s Big Wheel points North-East.
∆ “Whew, we made it! Isn’t beautiful?” A view from above. Light comes from the North-East.
∆ As light begins to fall on the Overlook, Wendy fades in with night blue arms and pyramid apron, recalling sky goddess Nuit, hunched over Earth with heaven above. She cranks a cocktail can in motion, providing artificial traction for the yellow Beetle parked outside. ‘Libby Libby Libby’ is incanted silently, invoking liberty, libraries, and libation. Heavy syrup for supper.
∆ Note the “24 Hour Blend” in the background.
∆ In the upper left of the frame, we see for a split second the stained glass windows of the Colorado Lounge, locating Danny’s second Big Wheel cruise on the upper level of the Overlook …
∆ … with Room 237’s tell tale double doors located directly opposite Hopi Indian design Jack uses for target practice in previous scene. This upper level of the Hotel seems more modern than the rest with contemporary late 70s rug design. As Danny moves up, he moves towards the future: he is flying.
∆ As Jack works in the Colorado Room, the dark UFO halos seem to take off from atop the Devil’s Tower pyramid of the Eastern staircase.
∆ Looking up.
∆ The dark UFO halos now seen approaching Jack’s Western desk. The real-life Colorado Lounge set would catch fire and be destroyed before clearing the way for the set of the Well of Souls in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
∆ In the Raiders film, The Ark of the Covenant would set fire to the Nazi army. Later, the final resting place of The Ark would be revealed as famed UFO storage facility, Area 51.
∆ An ark can be a boat, a box or a cupboard, like the one Danny hides in later. The Ark held the convenant between God and man. It is in the Colorado Lounge that Jack holds on to his “contract” with his superiors. The Overlook Hotel set is basically a series of boxes within boxes, everything at 90º, in defiance of the hexagonal “real” Hotel exterior. Like Noah’s Ark, The Overlook also holds two of everything. Count ‘em all.
∆ Danny’s third and final Big Wheel ride. Danny is initially seen pedaling down the service hallway behind Reception in The Lobby. He passes in front of the red and black double doors of the Lobby restrooms and into another green service hallway, taking a quick right into what is revealed in the “Making Of” documentary as the backstage area.
∆ With an edit, Danny is suddenly upstairs in the Staff Wing hallway loop outside the family quarters. In the previous Big Wheel scene, Danny was above where his dad worked, now he is above where his mom works: Wendy was just seen operating communications in the Lobby office areas directly below the Staff Wing. Just like in the service hallway, Danny’s path is lined with candy vending and beverage trays, only on his left instead of right this time (mirrored).
∆ Facing North: A quick left and Danny is face to face with the Twins again. The double door wardrobe to Danny’s right recalls both the doors to Room 237 and the Red and Black Double Doors that are to the left of Jack’s desk in the Colorado, which when facing East, has a similar perspective pyramid shape, with Twins atop the tower where Wendy will take a bat to Jack.
∆ When we saw the Twins previously in the Games Room on Closing Day, they were close to the exit sign, with vending and beverages nearby. This scene mirrors the set up of service hallway, but with cigarette machine flipped with water cooler and telephones.
∆ After Danny’s vision of the axe-murdered Twins, we cut to another scene near an exit. A woman on TV offers a boy some coffee and donuts, while Wendy sits with a Coke and cigarette. Vending, cigarettes, beverages, communications devices.
∆ A dissolve teleports in a chain extending up from the television and a door knob sitting on Danny’s blanket. The chain resembles the Discovery and the door knob HAL from 2001. It appears as if the calculating, murderous computer has taken Danny’s place, as will be the case when Tony takes over in later scenes. Like the Discovery, television will be the method by which human sacrifice is brought to the Hotel at the End of the Universe.
∆ Danny enters and becomes Dave Bowman travelling from the Discovery through the Monolith via the knob-like Pod. Danny is about to go BEYOND THE INFINITE.
∆ Stargate patterns flow from Danny’s butterfly collar as he climbs up. Blue Mickey kicks the pigskin toward the upper right.
∆ The final three shots of the 2001 Stargate sequence before arrival at the Beyond Infinite Hotel show a valley, mesas, and climbing up a misty mountain top, recalling the opening sequence of The Shining.
∆ If Danny entering and confronting his father in the bedroom is akin to a Stargate, there are two exit paths he can take. One, the bathroom window. Note red vehicle on the windowsill.
∆ A second exit would be the lime green double doors behind his father, which according to the shown layout of the Staff Wing set, lead to nowhere. Mickey’s foot is pointing in the right direction.
∆ We time-travel ahead two days to WEDNESDAY and Danny is playing in the hallway above the Colorado Lounge. The Big Wheel is gone, and now Danny moves smaller toy vehicles. He is growing …
∆ The yellow ball last seen disappearing after striking the driftwood wand in the Lobby, rolls towards Danny.
∆ Danny’s orientation flips 180º and he is now facing the hallway to Room 237. Note Danny is in the exact position he was at the start of his previous Big Wheel loop around these hallways. Note the green stairwell down to the service hallway below … a green box will be seen at Hallorann’s death spot on the other side of the screen.
∆ Apollo 11 launches as Danny’s stands. Before, Danny rode a vehicle. Now Danny wears the vehicle.
∆ A note on the folded U-shaped beds beside the doors on either end of this hallway: their hairpin 180º turns recall those of the Eastern hallways of the Lobby set and the Bloody Elevator hallways of Wendy’s final vision. The beds are dream resonators.
∆ As Danny enters Room 237 calling for Mom, we fade to Wendy in the boiler room below.
∆ As Wendy works, Jack is sleeping in the Lounge above.
∆ Wendy presses a button on a machine labeled DANGER HIGH VOLTAGE and Jack screams.
∆ Wendy runs to Jack’s attention. We see the stairwell up to the hallway outside Room 237 on her left, which would place Room 237 two floors above the boiler room. In Danny’s second Big Wheel ride, he circled above where his father worked. In the third Big Wheel ride, Danny circled above where his mother worked. When Danny enters Room 237, he is above both his father and his mother.
Another curious thing about Wendy’s rush to Jack: despite the fact she would get to him faster by heading West towards either the red and black service door or the exit under the West balcony, Wendy instead runs East down the entire length of of the service hallway, ignoring another red and black service door, making a hairpin turn before running back the entire length of the Lounge. She will later repeat this kind of service hallway hairpin turn during her “shining” visions in both the Eastern end of the Lobby and the final bloody Elevator hallway.
∆ After Wendy wakes Jack from his nightmare, Danny enters the Lounge, making this the first time the whole family is seen together since outside the Kitchen Store Room on Closing Day. The stairway extends out from Danny’s head, atop which Wendy will wound Jack and drag him to the Store Room.
∆ In the Kitchen, the adults tower over Danny. Now in the Lounge, Danny is taller than his mother. Danny seems to be growing at such a rate, he is bursting out of his clothes. We never see the whole family in the same room again. (Even in the axe-attack scenes, a door always separates Jack from Wendy and Danny.)
∆ Wendy lifts up Danny , who is seemingly taller than before (a replacement doll was used in production), and carries him out towards a hallway to her right. Where does this hallway lead?
∆ Back on Closing Day, we saw a couple entering from that hallway, which would evidently lead to the vast artificial light array illuminating the Lounge set. We have seen Wendy entering the Lounge from this mystery hallway after being seen in The Kitchen, but there is no visual connection between sets.
∆ Jack walks into the Gold Room. The seven diamond knot pattern on the Gold Room sign recalls the following scene from the Stargate Sequence:
∆ ”Seems I’m temporarily light.”
“Just a little problem with the old sperm bank upstairs.”
∆ ”A few extra foot pounds of energy per second.”
∆ In Florida, Hallorann watches Newswatch on Channel 10. From TV darkness, we see a flying cube containing various travel images: an aerial of a city, airplanes, windsurfers, a yacht, police vehicles, a school bus. Full visual rundown of Newswatch leader here.
∆ This is the center image of The Shining, equidistant from the first and last images of the film. Compare with the final image we see in 2001: A Space Odyssey of Dave Bowman before his transformation into the Star Child.
∆ The pattern of Hallorann’s pajamas flow towards the upper right of the screen, as point his green pillows, approximating mountain forms, wind and ice.
∆ With a high-pitched tone, Halloran is receiving Danny’s ‘shining’ message through the television. Compare with the final image we see in the Beyond the Infinite hotel of Dave Bowman as the Star Child:
∆ The Star Child returns to Earth just as Hallorann will return to the Overlook after receiving Danny’s ‘shining’ message of Room 237.
∆ Danny shines Room 237 just as Dave Bowman shines the Beyond the Infinite Hotel. Please refer to the KDK12 photo-essay comparing every shot from the mystical hotel room scenes from The Shining and 2001: Room 237 At Beyond The Infinite Hotel
The two hotel room scenes have the same basic structure and rhythm and tell similar stories of a series of perceptual shifts heralding a radical aging process and in the end, an exit and return.
∆ As Jack flees Room 237, Hallorann and his red telephone fade into the scene. The perspective pyramid is in effect, as Jack will begin to be sacrificed atop its mesa, just as Halloran too begins his sacrifice to the Hotel by making this emergency call.
∆ Jack explains he saw “nothing, nothing at all” inside Room 237. Compare to the emptiness of space, or the blackness of The Monolith, or the constant complaint that Modern Art means “nothing.”
∆ Jack let’s ‘em fly.
∆ Jack’s anger seems to have turned the lights on. The UFO halos are shining…
∆ Jack’s head caught in the center of a grid of seven diamonds. This is the point of no return.
∆ The UFO halos light the path to the Gold Room.
∆ Inside the Gold Room pyramid, the UFO halos are dark. Parked? Jellyfish-like balloon arrangements line the ceiling and plant life line the walls. A mist of smoke hangs in the air, giving the scene an underwater feel.
∆ ”I’ve been away, but now I’m back.”
∆ Lloyd and Grady both have long rabbit ears of light extending out of their heads. Given that we are in a pyramid, their headdresses recall those of the pharaohs of Egypt. Are we in Atlantis?
∆ Though the Gold Room recalls the past with 1920s decor, its bathroom is decidedly more modern, even more futuristic than Room 237, in that it doesn’t have a dated “70s” feel.
∆ ”Danny’s gone away Mrs. Torrence.” After launching into the space of Room 237, Danny does not return until Jack’s axe attack forces him to exit The Hotel out the bathroom window.
∆ Jack disconnects the radio in similar fashion to Dave Bowman disconnecting HAL in 2001. Note the colors of HAL’s “brain” room is red like the Men’s Room.
∆ Hallorann travels by air. We see the plane from the North East.
∆ The sacrificial pyramid stairs of the Colorado Lounge fade into Hallorann’s mind as he travels.
∆ In turn, Hallorann’s plane teleports into the Colorado Lounge for a landing. First stop: Devil’s Tower.
∆ Durkin’s Garage teleports in, turning the runway into a highway, shifting Halloran’s orientation 180º. Note the Garage is in the same place in the frame as the Hopi Mural, behind which in Room 237. The landing lights fade away, revealing the Snow Cat. Hermetic self-sufficiency implied by the sign AUTO SUPPLY. For full visual rundown of the contents of the Durkin’s Garage click here.
∆ Hallorann’s car radio informs that “planes are still landing” while he passes a semi-truck “landed” on a VW Beetle.
∆ Wendy tells Danny to watch his cartoons: The Roadrunner, a landed bird that does not fly.
∆ Wendy teleports into the Lounge where she discovers Jack’s “work.” After Jack appears and menaces Wendy, she walks backwards circuitously through the Lounge in a path that mirrors her and Hallorann’s initial path through the Kitchen.
∆ In both the Lounge and the Kitchen, Wendy took a path similar in shape to the Big Dipper. In the Kitchen the “North Star” was the freezer/store room section, with its teleportation and impossible rooms of magical properties. In the Lounge, the “North Star” is what’s atop the sacrificial stairway …
∆ On the stairway, Wendy and Jack meet in the same frame after being isolated in cross-cutting during their path across The Lounge.
∆ Jack describes Wendy as “The Light.”
∆ As she elevates up the stairway, Wendy becomes crowned by the glowing UFO halo of the chandelier.
∆ His face illuminated red by Wendy’s light, Jack’s ascent up the stairs only crowns him with a succession of unlit chandeliers.
∆ Jack falls, hands up just as he fell in Room 237.
∆ The un-played piano.
∆ Wendy teleports Jack to the Kitchen, flipping him 180º
∆ After clocking Jack in the “North Star” of the Lounge, she locks him in the “North Star” of the Kitchen, completing the “Big Dipper” connection between the two.
∆ In with lots on TANG, drink of astronauts, which tower over the pyramid of GOLDEN REY. The TANG is green like Wendy’s shirt, Room 237, the service hallways and The Maze. A Powdered Orange mix which escapes sacrifice on the solar pyramid, unlike Hallorann as the Calumet Indian one level below, in line with Jack to face the boxed collection of “sliced pieces.”
∆ Hallorann’s snowcat, seen through perspective pyramid effect, seems to be descending the mountain.
∆ As Danny escapes out the bathroom hatch, his liberation is lit from the North-East.
∆ Jack’s attempt to touch the “monolith” of the bathroom doorknob is met with steak knife violence, recalling the high pitches of the Psycho theme and Monolith feedback whine.
∆ Hallorann views the Overlook launching up over the horizon, the missing hexagonal pyramid of the “real” Timberline looming into view like a spaceship taking off.
∆ Again, the Snowcat seems to be descending to reach the mountaintop Hotel. Is Hallorann, like the Star Child, returning to Earth from other dimensions in space?
∆ Though we last saw him sliding down the side of the Hotel exterior, we now see Danny running down the service hallway behind The Lobby, as if he is running away from the Big Wheel ride he took to see The Twins in the hallway outside his bedroom.
∆ Danny hides in the cupboard in the North-East corner of the Lobby set. By entering an ark, Danny equates himself with both The Commandments and the survivors of The Flood. He will both escape this apocalypse and direct the rest of his narrative.
∆ Though he hears the Snowcat’s approach outside the bathroom, he is suddenly seen walking through the Kitchen. Wendy seems to travel to either the Kitchen or the Apartment from the SE corner of the Lounge, maybe the two sets are interchangeable through teleportation.
∆ Jack now exits a door in the SE corner of the Lobby set. But earlier in the film, Wendy exits the Kitchen from the opposite end of the Lobby, near the Gold Room hallway. The Kitchen seems to be a free-floating location, much like the Hedge Maze.
∆ As Jack creeps westward, we see the black and red service entrance down the hallway for the first time. The driftwood wand is pointing towards where Danny is hiding, in the cupboard behind the door. The hallway recalls that in the bloody elevator vision, but this isn’t that location.
∆ Jack climbs the absurdly-designed staircase.
∆ To catch his view from above. Jack is both Daedalus and the Minotaur. But unlike Icarus, Danny will fly away at the end.
∆ Hallorann approaches. What is behind him? A hallway that wasn’t there before? Or a mirror reflecting the hallway in front of him?
∆ Hallorann passes through the curtains onto the stage.
∆ Lights, camera …
∆ Jack attacks as soon as Hallorann crosses the UFO-shaped pattern on the floor, over which Ullman had previously asked about planes taking off.
∆ Sacrificed in front of the check-out cashier and key return.
∆ Danny screams out, attracting his father. Danny takes a right turn down the service hallway that leads to the South-East corner of the Lobby set. Note the upside-down U-shape formed by the cube-like outline of green service hallway. The dream suggested by the beds outside Room 237 has filled the hallway and turned it on its head.
∆ We cut to Wendy who ascends the stairwell outside the family apartment to two floors above. The walls and her robe are night blue. This is her upper dimension. She is far out.
∆ Wendy reaches the top of the Overlook pyramid. Light comes from below.
∆ Here there is no shame. The door is left open.
∆ Man and beast united.
∆ Wendy does not retreat back down the stairs, but runs down the hallway to the left. Where is she going? Compare to Jack’s retreat from Room 237.
∆ Though we see Jack chase after Danny towards the North-East of the Lobby, now we see him turning the corner towards the Side Entrance, which has been established by Wendy and Hallorann as near the Kitchen or to the South-West of the Lobby. Danny must have led him in a circle around the Lobby, or we have another teleport.
∆ The Hedge Maze has become a mirror of itself, with the entrance now facing the Hotel head-on.
∆ Snowed over, The Maze resembles the surface of the Moon. The lights recall those in the Monolith excavation on The Moon in 2001. Danny’s helmet of hair comes perfectly into play here.
∆ Wendy returns from wherever she went on the fourth floor and is seen walking down the Eastern service hallway on the Lobby set. We presume the family apartment is up the fight of steps to the right, Jack having charged down here after his post-237 argument with Wendy. Wendy is coming from the direction of the North-East corner of the service hallway where Danny was hiding.
∆ Around the corner up the hallway facing the service entrance to the North-East corner of the Lobby set. Dark, dark, light, dark.
∆ Dark, dark, light, dark.
∆ Wendy uses her knife to avoid being entrapped in the green diamond hex.
∆ Forget about the ghost, what is that in the glass case to the right?
∆ Everyone living or dead here gets a crown.
∆ Wendy enters the North-East door, but we only see a crack of the green light of the service hallway behind. She has gone full-circle.
∆ As Wendy enters the North-East, Danny has entered the center of The Maze.
∆ Last seen entering the North-East corner of the Lobby set, Wendy now runs from the South-West corner of the Lobby set, a 180º teleport.
∆ Blue light emanates from the South-East of the Lobby set, location of the Maze model indoors, and outdoors, the path out of The Hotel.
∆ Skeleton parties are seen in the North-West, South-West and South-East quadrants of the Lobby set. All clear in the North-East.
∆ The Moonwalk.
∆ Assuming Danny approached the center of The Maze from the North-West, the the camera here faces West, making Danny’s hiding spot once again in the North-East.
∆ Wendy runs down a red hallway unseen before. The presence of circular green tables suggests this could be a service hallway for The Gold Room.
∆ Wendy enters the Elevator hallway from paned-glass doors similar to those in the South-East corner of the Lobby set.
∆ Highly suggestive of the Eastern hallway in the Lobby set — the red painting on the the left hand wall would be in the approximate direction were Wendy observed Hallorann’s body.
∆ Given that Danny hid from Jack behind the red and black doors to the North-East of the Lobby, and that Wendy’s visual trauma is being reflected in the architecture of this Elevator hallway, then the bloody elevator represents the worst trauma possible: that when Wendy entered the North-East door, she discovered that Jack had caught Danny and murdered him right there in the cupboard behind the door.
∆ If Danny escapes via the Ark, then this is The Flood.
∆ We see Danny from the South, ear to the trees.
∆ We see Jack from the North, both wolf and woodsman.
∆ The Eastern route.
∆ End of the road.
∆ Danny in the North-East again as eye in the pyramid, blue world Moses passing frozen bush on way down from Zion.
∆ If you are going to go so Oedipal as to kill your father, you might as well finish the other half of the job.
∆ Ride the lion onward to Zion.
∆ Lamposts in the North-East as Snowcat takes a 180º turn.
∆ The Showcat travels up to the North-East corner of the screen, seemingly going up the mountain instead of down.
∆ First star to the right and straight on ‘til morning.
∆ You can fly, you can fly.
∆ Wendy and Danny disappear into the clouds.
∆ Jack at the bottom of a hexagon.
∆ Jack is frozen, and no longer moving … but still looking up.
∆ Danny starts his first Big Wheel ride. He passes the white “STAFF ONLY” doors on his right. Room 237 is located directly above these doors on the next floor.
∆ Danny passes the stairs that lead up over the “STAFF ONLY” doors and exit just around the hall from Room 237.
∆ Danny heads toward a grid of photographs like the one in which his father will end up at the film’s finale.
∆ Danny takes a left turn, avoiding the photo grid.
∆ Danny narrowly avoids the chairs, which some Shining analysts have noted have a habit of moving around between shots.
∆ On Danny’s right, a pool table. We see pool tables in A Clockwork Orange and Eyes Wide Shut in scenes in which the protagonist is put in his place. The Writer’s conspirator knocks a few balls around while Alex is being tortured, and Ziegler does the same while putting the screws to Bill Harford.
To Danny’s left is a sign advertising a “CAMERA WALK” or in other words, “MOTION PICTURE.” Danny turns towards this sign.
∆ Accelerating on the straight-away. In the center of the room is a large driftwood formation, parallel to the “STAFF ONLY” doors hidden between the double red “EXIT” doors. The driftwood is also a “STAFF” and points towards the North-East of the room. The is another driftwood staff beneath the green diamond grid Navaho hanging in the “T” section of the Lobby hallway, also pointing North-East.
∆ The moveable trees of the Hotel often indicate paths out. Here one points towards the stairs atop which Wendy will initialize the family’s defeat of Jack.
∆ Danny notices the tree and immediately another mobile potted tree appears ahead.
∆ These trees flank a fireplace identical to the one atop the sacrificial stairway, also resembling the Snowcat Garage, with pyramids of logs reflected in similar piles of pipes. Either way: a way out.
∆ Here, in the North-East corner, the potted flora fan out like open palm, pointing towards double birds of flight, blue and red, animating Danny’s path from his mother (blue) to his father (red, or redrum). Danny’s overalls are blue, but his undershirt is red.
∆ Back in the Service Hallway, Danny flies by a metal cupboard, resembling the cupboard in Service Hallway behind the Lobby in which he will hide from his father. Both cupboards are located in the North-East corners of their respective sets.
∆ A counter-clockwise return to North. “STAFF ONLY”
∆ In the next shot, Wendy exits a room we presume to hold an elevator into the hallway outside their apartment. In the shot previous to Danny’s Big Wheel turn, Wendy pushes her cart through the Lobby toward the red double elevators in the North-East corner of the set. We never see the elevator ride, but it is implied by Danny’s revolution around the Lounge. By providing us with a 360º orbital POV we can now understand the Lounge set not as maze but as a map. Our conscious perception and understanding has rotated 90º up a dimension.
∆ While Danny surveys the realities of their surroundings downstairs, his father dreams upstairs.
∆ Danny starts his second Big Wheel ride in the same position and direction, but one level up. On his right is the stairwell down to the green Lounge service hallway. On his left is a red double door elevator, which oddly does not go to the floor below. In its place is a pair of coffee carts, which could be considered a different kind of “elevator” or “upper.” Double red doors are inverted as the red and black service entrances located one level down and 180º around in the Lounge. The coffee cart’s cylinders are echoed in the ashtrays, which form a line toward Room 237, the double doors on the right.
∆ At this point I would like to relate a dream I had during my research into The Shining. I dreamt I was Danny pedaling the Big Wheel down these hallways. I dreamt I made the right turn through the double doors into Room 237. I had been flipped around by Kubrick’s 180º tricks. I thought the doors to Room 237 would lead out through the Hopi mural design and into the high ceiling area above the Colorado Lounge. I dreamt the Big Wheel and I were flying. But I was tricked by Kubrick: there was no easy escape. I had to face Room 237 on hard ground. By the same token, Danny cannot be the visionary golden child without facing his uncomprehending, destructive father. The arena for this Oedipal drama is Room 237, place where the dreams and nightmares of the entire family and hotel merge.
∆ The moveable trees point toward the path Jack will take exiting from Room 237.
∆ The trees flank the elevator which does have a station on the floor below.
∆ In the left hand corner of the frame, we glimpse the stained-glass windows of the Colorado Lounge, visually and physically connecting the upstairs hallways to the vast set below.
∆ Another potted tree pointing up to a strange, diaphanous curtain.
∆ Danny takes two hard rights into the hallway behind the elevator. Is there enough room for an elevator? Certainly not enough room for an elevator and any guest rooms behind the doors on the right. More structural impossibilities on this level.
∆ A potted tree pointing towards a red fire alarm — a warning? Another right and Danny is headed back down the hallway towards Room 237.
∆ Danny is back near where he started, however turned around 180º. Now Room 237 is on his left.
∆ We cut to Jack busy typing at his desk in the nighttime Lounge. Danny’s first Big Wheel ride occurred here while Jack slept upstairs. Now Jack works nights … wouldn’t Danny be asleep by now? In the following scene, Jack rages after Wendy interrupts him. Wouldn’t Danny’s Big Wheel ride annoy him as he rode over the balcony directly above his desk? Is Danny’s second Big Wheel ride a dream?
∆ For Danny’s third Big Wheel ride, he starts near a white double door similar to the “STAFF ONLY” door behind the Lounge, only this one is in the service hallway behind the Lobby. Wendy has just finished making a radio call in the Office directly behind the wall to the left of the white doors.
∆ The camera is slow and lets Danny zoom on ahead, past the red restroom double doors to the right of the flesh-colored Lobby.
∆ Danny takes a right.
∆ Suddenly Danny is elevated one floor up to the Staff Wing in the hallway near the family apartment. Unlike the 70s mod style of the area above his father’s workplace in the Lounge, this area is old-fashioned and more feminine. Note the “elevating” double coffee tray to the left.
∆ A left turn past a dumb-waiter, another elevator.
∆ Danny faces The Twins at the end of the hallway. The family apartment is parallel to them to the left, with The Twins opposite Danny’s bedroom and the double-door wardrobe opposite his parents’ bedroom. The elevator room stands in between The Twins and Danny’s bedroom. The Twins are in the North-East corner of the Staff Wing set, if we accept the bathroom escape window to be facing South.
∆ Danny’s three Big Wheel rides have elevated him from exploring reality, to the space between reality and dream, and now to hallucinatory and revelatory vision. His spirit guide Tony advises, “It’s just like pictures in a book. It isn’t real.” Danny maintains the distinction between different levels of consciousness even as he explores the areas in which they blur. Danny’s father does not have such ability, he assumes his visions of ghostly bartenders and servants and party guests to be real and “plays” with them, eventually “for ever and ever and ever.” The difference between the visionary and the madman is that the visionary understands metaphor and analogy and the various levels of consciousness, while the madman just gets lost in the whirlpool of meaning. Danny has absorbed his vision’s lesson and we do not see The Twins again, nor the Big Wheel.
∆ The next time we see Danny in the liminal, half-dream reality of the area outside Room 237, he has his flying space vehicle woven to his chest. Danny has incorporated dream-flight into his consciousness, knows the boundaries of reality and vision and is brave enough to face his fears. Entering into Room 237, Danny sets a bigger wheel in motion, projecting his vision, his shining into the psyches of Jack, Halloran, and eventually Wendy, initializing the violent confrontation between all and his escape from The Hotel.
∆ The Moon sequence of 2001: A Space Odyssey, in which Floyd travels from the Space Station to the Clavius Moon Base to the Monolith excavation.
∆ Silent except for the waltz of Richard Strauss ‘The Blue Danube’ this sequence captures the pomp and self-importance of advertising. Here we see an absurdly uniformed stewardess bearing food through a sublimely-designed, yet almost completely empty cabin, as if it was a showroom model of a property for sale.
∆ Floyd is the only passenger on this space craft. Imagine his carbon footprint. While a rare ‘early adopter’ of space travel, Floyd is already so bored by his galactic surroundings he sleeps through the flight.
∆ Aware of the redundant decadence of their positions, the stewardesses indulge in gossip and violent television sport rather than space views.
∆ Liquid fish: green with red spots and one eye — mirrors both corporate logo in SW corner and, turned 90º with colors inversed, the pyramidal underground landing structure to which they are heading …
∆ A view the crew are missing: Sliver of peas in a pod mirroring moon, orb, sun flyby.
∆ The silent servant emerges from the designer eye.
∆ Whirlpool: manufacturers of dishwashers, touted through contemporary advertising films as a “liberation” of a wife’s household toils.
∆ Kubrick amps up the technical virtuosity with a masterful, smooth, vibration-free 180º centrifugal set rotation.
∆ With the VIP passenger tended to, the crew can now be fed, a hierarchy maintained on film sets.
∆ The pilots appreciate a meal.
∆ Plus they get the best view.
∆ Floyd is facing downward and misses out on any lunar spectacle.
∆ Not that he cares … sucker.
∆ The captain removes his hat.
∆ Curve of ZERO GRAVITY TOILET mirrored in moon surface, making by analogy the approaching craft a piece of shit.
∆ It even seems brown.
∆ Alone on the throne.
∆ Moving things in motion.
∆ Now., as they land, the crew can’t see anything and rely on computers to guide them.
∆ The Moon is camera-land.
∆ A camera shutter opening.
∆ The Cross.
∆ The Snow Globe.
∆ It must be Christmas: illuminated pyramid with seven composites.
∆ Now our travelling Scrooge lays down the bad news. A bland and formal business meeting. Though acknowledging the “negative views” the Clavius Base team have towards the cover story that they are being quarantined due to an epidemic, Floyd warms of the “cultural shock and social disorientation” the Earth public will experience without “adequate conditioning” on the nature of the discovery on The Moon and informs them the cover story will be maintains “as long as deemed necessary by the Council.” — meaning, for all intents and purposes they are considered dead to the rest of the world. Security oaths will be required of everyone. No one asks any questions.
∆ As Floyd travels to the dark side of the Moon, the tenor changes. Gone is the joyous Classical waltz. Now we hear the eerie Modernism of Ligeti.
∆ Unlike the pure technology-on-technology of the Blue Danube sequences, the trip to TMA-1 features the natural landscape of the lunar surface.
∆ The lunar surface craft resembles a capless pyramid.
∆ The interior of the lunar craft resembles the military bomber plane of Dr. Strangelove. No stewardesses here; this is an all-male affair.
∆ Lunch is served. A octagonal coffin. What do we got? You name it. All tastes the same anyways. “Looks pretty good” says Floyd before taking a bite.
∆ ”Excellent speech you gave us,” they suck up, “Sure it beefed up morale a helluva lot.” These scientists are only “too happy to oblige.” The sandwiches are absurdly square.
∆ Squares continue as a grid lays over the curve of The Moon.
∆ The Monolith defies the square grid, emitting curves.
∆ Four million years old? “You guys have certainly come up with something.”
∆ The buddy-boy yucks of lunch done, we are back to the Monolith approach and Ligeti voices.
∆ A man in black observes the landing in Noir lighting.
∆ The TMA-1 excavation site is lit like a football field.
∆ Helmets on, the team strikes a heroic pose.
∆ As they approach the Monolith, the “camera-ness” of the scene increases with a shift to hand-held POV. The site is a movie set with lights, cameras and tripods.
∆ The Modernist music increases in pitch. The team is approaching Art.
∆ Continuity is jettisoned in favor of aesthetics.
∆ Suddenly, in the presence of sublime greatness, the team pauses to take a group picture.
∆ Everybody get closer now.
∆ Say “cheese.”
∆ For their lack of aesthetic sense, the team are punished with high-end feedback.
∆ Who is the master now?
The Kubricks moved their belongings from New York in ninety numbered dark-green summer camp trunks. “The only sensible way of moving,” Kubrick remarked.
- Stanley Kubrick, Vincent LoBrutto