A CRUISE AROUND NEW YORK CITY
∆ Above we see double 10’s from the broadcast tower of the television news program Halloran is watching right before receiving Danny’s ‘shining’ message. We will see double 10’s again in Kubrick’s work as the address numbers of the Rainbow Rentals costume shop in Eyes Wide Shut. After close inspection, the Rainbow scenes reveal another example of Kubrick using mistakes-on-purpose to create the subliminal feeling of locations with magical powers to move around and re-arrange themselves.
∆ The exterior of Rainbow Rentals with two 10’s to the left and right of the rainbow. But the number 10 on the door was missing the night before…
∆ Number 10 invisible on the door even though 10 to the left of the Rainbow sign visible. Note: top-hatted mannequin wearing red shirt wears black shirt in daytime shot.
∆ Let’s pull back and examine the establishing shots. Cruise’s cab approaches the Rainbow from T intersection with Sewing Thread sign above. Note walk-up Caffé Da Emilio across the street.
∆ The Rainbow is one address in from the corner, next to building with strange arched windows.
∆ Cruise pays for cab. Note Rainbow side of street is empty of open businesses except for the corner store, and Liquor store on the corner opposite.
∆ The 10 address still not visible as Cruise approaches.
∆ We see the Sonata Café neon saxophone sign and the neon Gillespie’s Diner reflected in the door window. If the Sonata is across the street from the Rainbow, why did Cruise take a cab there? Note: Milich’s apartment is in the Masonic style building next door with the three windows in a pyramid formation, meaning the lit window on top is his.
∆ In the above shot, the Diner sign is seen above Cruise’s right shoulder, but in the previous reflection seen, it appears as if the Diner would be to his left across the street.
∆ Now inside the Rainbow, there appears to be a LOCKSMITH sign across the street, instead of the Sonata. Also the mannequins have changed from what we saw from the outside in previous shots. The top hat and the white jacket appear to have switched places.
∆ As Cruise and Milich walk back towards the rear of the shop, they pass a rack of tuxedo shirts.
∆ Milich takes his place behind a counter parallel to the back of the shop.
∆ Behind the counter is the entrance to the back room.
∆ After entering, Cruise and Milich walk to the right, down a long hall, which would place them well outside of the shop’s dimensions as seen from the outside. This room would protrude into Milich’s apartment next door or even beyond. This is a parallel to the Café Sonata, which also featured a long interior to the right of its entrance. Public and private entrances to the same rainbow-shaped interior.
∆ We cut to the 180º opposite view, revealing the back room’s back room. Note that from the window we can see a tall building in the distance and we appear to be a several stories up, contrary to the Rainbow’s position on the 2nd floor in the middle of the block. We recall The Shining also featured rooms too big to fit their perceived exteriors, also with windows with impossible views.
∆ After another cut, Milich enters the back room’s back room. Notice the red curtains and christmas lights reflected over Milich in the glass window would appear to be in reality on the right of the screen, even though the previous shots have established the red curtains to be on the left of the glass window. All windows attached to the Rainbow act as magic mirrors, not only reflecting, but also reversing. In this scene, Milich acts the reverse as he does in daylight hours: in this glass box, he defends his daughter’s honor with outrage and fury. In the store front the next day, he calmly pimps out his daughter with casual ease.
∆ The next day, Cruise’s cab passes through the T intersection with the Sewing Thread sign above again, but an Auto Repair sign has appeared that was not there in last night’s cab ride.
∆ Holding Rainbow bag in hand, Cruise does not notice that the Rainbow Rentals location is right behind him.
∆ Instead, Cruise crosses the street to the Café Sonata.
∆ Cruise turns around, but still does not notice the Rainbow Rentals location across the street. In fact, the place has been emptied of mannequins and signage. Note the building with the strange arched windows is still there. The only rental place on this block is the James Tobias Lomas real estate office.
∆ Cruise enters the Gillespie Diner and we see the tri-windowed Masonic building next to the former Rainbow location and get a better look at the vacant lot next door, which does not match the view from the Rainbow’s back room window.
∆ Again, Cruise takes a taxi to a location across the street, but now the missing Rainbow has magically reappeared.
∆ As Cruise reenters the Rainbow, the rack of shirts there the previous night is replaced with a rack of shoes. The counter parallel to the back wall of the store is now parallel to the side wall.
∆ What happened?
∆ Let’s rewind to the night before. Cruise is walking down the street having just been roughed up by a gang of frat boys and is about to be approached by Domino the hooker. We see the corner Liquor store that we will also see across the street from the Rainbow later that night. But where is the Sonata now? It is replaced with a XXX Video store. Gillespie’s is replaced with a Pizza joint. James Tobias Lomas real estate is replaced with a Mexican Restaurant. But Mancini’s and the corner Caffé are still there.
∆ In fact, this is the street we first see Cruise walking down on his night out. Pizza place, Mexican Café, but Mancini’s is replaced with a dry cleaner and the corner Caffé is covered in white christmas lights. Cruise notices a couple across the street, making out in front of what should be the Rainbow, but is revealed instead as the Nipped In The Bud flower shop:
∆ Seeing the couple embrace triggers a vision of Cruise’s wife’s naval officer fantasy. The Rainbow will appear in this place to enable Cruise to act out his own fantasies. Cruise will seem to circle back to this street again and again.
∆ After his jealous vision, we cut to the only shot in Eyes Wide Shut of Cruise walking the REAL streets of New York — punching his fists in anger, walking down 4th Street between 6th Ave and Jones Street, the Pink Pussy Cat on his right and Karavas Place back to his left — on his way to the Slaughtered Lamb. Ironically, the Flying Dutchman bar he passes is now called The Four-Faced Liar. A cut, and then we’re back on the movie set, the fantasy world. [Note: research indicates Cruise is not exactly walking in NYC, but on a treadmill in front of a projection screen]
∆ Back to Domino: as Cruise and her cross the street, we see the Rainbow Rentals location, devoid of signage and the mysterious Masonic building next door.
∆ After crossing, Cruise walks past a Hotel and a Knishery towards Domino’s apartment.
∆ Behind the double red doors … shades of The Shining's Elevator doors.
∆ She lives in Apt #3, just like the Torrences. A rolled-up rug on the stairs …. “maids’ day off.”
∆ Domino’s railroad apartment leads to the left of the entrance door, placing her bedroom window on the first floor in the middle of the block, making the view out her window of a high rise building impossible. Just like the view outside the Rainbow’s back room (and the Torrence’s apartment in The Shining.)
∆ After his encounter with Domino, we cut to Cruise walking down the same street he met her on, effectively walking toward her place again. Here he passes the elevated Caffé Da Emillio on the corner and Mancini’s store.
∆ Then James Tobias Lomas real estate, which is no longer the Mexican Café. (How many cafés are there in this neighborhood?)
∆ Now past Gillespie’s Is that Domino working there?
∆ And finally the Sonata.
∆ Cruise enters the Sonata and we see the Auto Repair sign at the T intersection.
∆ The Auto Repair sign will be missing when Cruise takes a cab to the Rainbow after his meeting at the Sonata. We have come full circle and what have we learned? Signs, awnings and façades flicker on and off on this block, with Cruise cycling back to the same places over and over, unaware of their dual nature. The Sonata/Rainbow block has an echo in the block in which Cruise encounters the frat boys and later, the stalker. Both scenes occupy the same area, but again with appearing and disappearing signs, awnings and façades … could every street scene in Eyes Wide Shut take place on the same double T intersection set? We are being subliminally led to believe that … just as every interior seems to echo each other.
∆ So what is the Rainbow? And how does it relate to The Shining? For one the Rainbow’s proprietor Milich resembles Jack Nicholson, with a similar hairline and expressive acting style. He’s even wearing a bathrobe and plaid flannel shirt. Perhaps Milich is an analog to Jack after 20 years or so as entertainment director of the Overlook Hotel. Like the Overlook, the Rainbow teleports in and out of reality, seems to grow in size once entered, and offers impossible vistas. The Rainbow is also a site of sexual depravity, with Milich’s daughter being the pedophiles’ target much like Danny. The Rainbow, like a hotel, is also a rental business. For a price, one can temporarily access realities greater than afforded one’s basic financial situation. For Cruise, the Rainbow’s costume rental allows him, if only for a moment, into the secret lair of the elite, just like Jack’s five-month tenure at the Overlook allows him to act like king of the mountain in a grand, fantastical palace. At the end of the night, Milich absolves Cruise of his debt by tearing up his receipt, but what has been seen cannot be unseen, as his missing mask will surely remind him when uncovered.
∆ Like Danny ‘shining’ the vision of Room 237 into Halloran’s head to lure him to the sacrificial altar of the Overlook Hotel, the Rainbow ‘shines’ into Cruise’s head to lead him to his ritualized death at Somerton. After waking from his dream, surrounded by bears and tigers, Cruise is told ‘the rules’ of survival. This is the story of New York City.