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instinct
  • 31378.0635

    mstrmnd's fifth graphic project, now in inking

  • 31376.1233
  • 31372.0949

  • 31369.0734

  • 31365.0542

    [A curtain-raiser: 'Film' (and soon 'Videogame') is a next-generation, structural, motion-based 'language' that may,  rudimentarily at this stage, access the human brain unlike any spoken or written alphabetical-text-language (think about the amount of tears shed collectively in the dark for Gone With The Wind, as an emotional experience compressing days of reading into mere hours). Storytelling with images not words. Obviously using eyes and ears in a manner unlike how text is accessed, film forces the brain to develop alternate memory structures since its data is received in flowing, ideally uninterrupted motion. Film also has an advantage in how it is shared collectively: the medium entrances audiences to remain rapt as it directly employs, accesses and mutates visual forms guided by voice and gesture, augmented by music.  Archetypes, symbols, metaphors, all in their characteristic visual forms, advancing cross-culturally in a manner that purely oral or textual (media and memory encrypted onto pages or into voice by alphabets) cannot. Film's advantages over text-based storytelling are perhaps elemental, affecting memories no alphabetical encryption can achieve; soon we may discover corollaries of brain structures and biogenetic structural guidance may be inherently coded to archetypes and their relations in symbols and visual metaphors (some pretty basic examples: lightning to neuron firing, the glint of gold referring to the abstract concept of knowledge).  Few directors are aware of this potential consciously, yet the film-narrative as an art form unmistakably, knowingly employs these metaphors and symbols and then arrays them somewhat unconsciously, somewhat collectively. The 20th century's convergence of the hero's shared epic-narrative from printed/oral-text to motion-visual is a revolution only a century old and is the beginning of a global narrative language structure that has only begun to take effect.' - summarized from the introduction of Supermyth: Hidden Secrets of Blockbuster Films]


    The Shining might be the most complex film ever made. In reverse (a contradiction nearly invisible to the audience) the most visually unifying motion-art ever conceived, beyond the scale of any built, ideal, or imagined form existing inside fantasy, philosophy or reality.  Forwards however, the film is a horror that slowly, unceasingly absorbs a human being into a series of left-right or upper-lower mirrors, encasing him in the frozen confines of a black and white still, a procedure the film's poster does more than hint at: it condenses the entire film's process into its near end-state, a corporeal human-child is on the verge of being trapped behind a wall.  Within what seems to be a streamlined, dulled version of Stephen King's masterpiece pulp horror novel, Kubrick built a massive and alive mysterium. A ghost story without vaporous, glowing undead or sliding chairs. Far ahead of his time, he carefully buried an unusually intricate series of continuity and orientation brain-teasers in plain sight as evidence of the supernatural. They go by so quickly the audience rarely ever notices even one of them.  Collapsing historically dizzying human moralities and cosmologies developed over thousands of years through visual forms (like border control through mapping, order control through mazes) Kubrick scatters them, then contrasts and flows them with well planned, abnormal spatiodynamics. He is trying to teach the audience without any of us becoming aware of the lesson and its methods. Special effects by shifting props or hiding doors. Critically, framings, colors and patterns merge and blend as animations within viewers' unconscious. The simulacrum has even two sides bridged by several mirror forms (of which only some are the reflective kind we easily recognize from our Western culture). Once neurophenomenologically understood, The Shining can be seen as a preamble to a form of new, post-Western visual guidance: one day these 'simple' pre-tools (imagine disorientation a form of tool) may be magnified inside blockbuster films and videogames that access the brain much more directly. More specifically: it may even be a primer for an entirely next-stage visual language available within the decade (on one level the film is a careful satire, and in darker ways a refutation of how we share and store knowledge through Indo-European text: the English-speaking in the film is loaded with unusually nuanced paradoxes that escalate scene by scene). It's in the dialogue: The horror of The Shining is spoken in confabulation, nursery simplification, deception, broadcast in a variety of technologies and qualities (like sarcasm and pure rage) - critical components to the dread laced in the flickering visuals that drive the film to its end. As an alternate to spoken plot, Kubrick uses visual forms from more than a few indigenous American cultures acutely arrayed (almost all employed complex spoken languages without written form/alphabets, like the Navajo), from a nearly decimated past, it effectively augments even bypasses western systems of description by very subtly alerting us to their visuals, motifs and even parts of their narratives and rituals.  Perhaps an evolutionary tweak that doesn't or won't go away, The Shining, somewhat cooly and mildly reviewed upon release ("when I first saw The Shining I didn't love it but it has since become one of my favorites..." - Steven Spielberg) has evolved into a kind of cult film to adherents, could be the initialization of a movement to shift our tools en masse. Can we employ or deploy it? How? Do we need key narratives with the simplest of plots (the 'face') hiding paradoxically specific, scientific complexity underneath? Why/how do these latent, advanced systems of ordering and classification bypass the west's enlightenment-based taxonomic value-system? Do we as a species undervalue entertainment while it is unwittingly evolutionary: obviously film and videogame represent a giant leap into the next stage of our languages, why do they remain ghettoized, explored merely as aspects of psychology or sociology by academia when they are revolutionarily beyond the systems of study now in place? Why is visual culture only a fraction of studies offered children who must attain a strong connection to motion-based experiences on their own, in mostly commercial atmospheres? Crucially The Shining is about a boy's journey, its most powerful thematic message is that adults cannot 'read' the hotel, they cannot comprehend its danger and are at its mercy while Danny fluidly navigates it, guided by its visuals, flirting with death until he traps his father in its mirrors. 

    What follows is an excerpt of a highly detailed guide to The Shining that includes many unseen, nearly hidden abnormalities. These are things most people are entirely unaware of as they watch, and once made visible, are glaring reminders of how entrancing media is as a new language, the first language of images in motion (film, movies, motion-picture, however you label it, is a little over a hundred years old, its syntax still messy and approximate but in the hands of a masterthinker like Kubrick, perhaps it is evolving into a high caliber tool). Some discrepancies are not-so-subtle glitches that have entered pop-cultural awareness, like the Grady shell/ghost who is labeled with differing first names Charles and Delbert (is the Hotel thinking in alphabetical order?), by leaving this glaringly unexplained, Kubrick initiates the audience's search, unconscious or not. One might consider many of these 'glitches' unintentional errors, or happy accidents, but the repeating errors are convincing, they are clearly pattern-forming. Coded into the plot not unlike the weaving of a rug - discrepancies between upper and lower (or outer and inner) surfaces offer the mind challenges to logic it was never searching for. Your disbelief, a common reaction even with viewers that can't keep track of how many times they've seen the film, will lead you to think: how have I missed that?  If this piece is riveting in someway, viewing the film just before or just after reading is essential since the writing is a test of memory and the artifacts that memories become once stored and 'forgotten.'  This written probe [probed as a gamer would explore a complex videogame to call out game-cheats: this writing probes how much you have been aware of - we have a patterned visual probe for printing later] is evidence of a conscious attempt by Kubrick to create motion-glyphs, interplays of shadow and light that connect and disconnect, overlap, blend, and contrast symbols and signs into what might be perceived as new-fangled sentences made of celluloid and light: concentrated summaries of paradox projected onscreen composed of seemingly mundane (it is hung on walls or worn) and unrelated forms of two warring continent's mythological systems. At least a tri-level warfare of forms broken by injections of spoken language, using dialogue that seems to anchor it orally in our western idea of storytelling. How is this accomplished? I will leave the bulk of his method for the forthcoming book, but one of the basic progressions is a slow, careful movement from natural color to black and white. The Shining is also a memory-game with an answer everyone can see but few can perceive, a test; each shot is related to the previous through a variety of values in continuous flow. The audience's memory and powers of observation are consistently being tested, not unlike a test we would administer to an ape or human to see relevance, awareness and consciousness. As shots cut values and forms travel. Like the eagle that moves from Ullman's office window to Jack's T-shirt to his typewriter, Kubrick has mutated the concept of animation to keep ideas in a form of unconscious motion, just beyond our awareness while continuously, subtly referencing the animation styles of Disney and Warner Bros. These are unseen animations that contrast-follow in each shot and are portalled with other scenes and sequences. This unseen animation method is what steadily and ultimately converts Jack into a flattened black & white photograph. The Shining eschews all formal conditions of horror, all the while skirting its basic conventions, crafting a still invisible new genre. By advancing storytelling methods, the film's plot is no longer the obvious, conventional, stable ghost story we ususally recognize, it treats the supernatural simultaneously as plainly visible and deeply hidden, requiring the audience to utilize perception to know precisely what is happening and why. Kubrick advances filmmaking from the flatness of psychology into the richness of neurophenomenology, perhaps the first filmmaker besides Lucas to make this leap consciously.  No movie (except Eyes Wide Shut) or videogame since has used any of its potential resources in any effective manner since it appears at first deceptively simple, even archaic with a slow arriving finale underlined by a freakishy dense visual tale. It is a test to see if we are conscious.  Our consciousness as a species that utilizes the visual cortex to connect motor and sense to deduce, to communicate through languages with tools like metaphor and myth, very much unlike animals, suggests that to evolve beyond any liminal trappings we must continue to evolve forms of media, languages and communication as we have done for nearly 2 million years. The Shining, though primitive in a sense (it is linear after-all), and merely by example, represents a potential revolution awaiting the brain, dormant in many ways and not surprisingly, it remains and even grows more relevant as it ages. Though our brains are catching up to Kubrick's, this chapter is not a suggestion he's built a practical set of tools, his is still only elemental experimentation using analog (in the now digital contrast) materials (film and lenses), poking in the dark, testing possibilities: what is visible versus what is invisible. Its potential tools (which are initiations essentially as evolutionary tests) will remain dormant until experimented with and hidden from a vast majority of viewers, awaiting discovery (or better, they await these tools appearing more practically, developed in depth in other, more accessible media forms). Part two is here and is also linked at the end below. Part three is here. Part four is here. Part five. And lastly, part six. For those wanting to see a parallel mind at work inventing similarly advanced storytelling systems, PhysCosmo:Star Wars

    Please note: these notes represent 50% of the total data for discussion. Many levels are mentioned, but mostly in example, wall hangings, framings, forms, corners, hallways, patterns, colors are not followed scene to scene but are highlighted when necessary here. The Introduction below, which is 12 pages normally, is truncated to six paragraphs, obviously its provocations are disconnected and incomplete here. Most provocations that follow are liminal, the evidence is on screen or is inferred in dialogue. There are some that teeter on an edge: did Kubrick hire Jack Nicholson or Danny Lloyd because their names are the same as their characters, of course not, does it add to the film's mirror-duplication structure? Yes.

    "There's something inherently wrong with the human personality," he says. "There's an evil side to it. One of the things that horror stories can do is to show us the archetypes of the unconscious: we can see the dark side without having to confront it directly. Also, ghost stories appeal to our craving for immortality. If you can be afraid of a ghost, then you have to believe that a ghost may exist. And if a ghost exists, then oblivion might not be the end."
    Stanley Kubrick,  Newsweek 1980

    "You can start with a game plan but depending on where the ball bounces and where the other side happens to be, opportunities and problems arise which can only be effectively dealt with at that very moment." Stanley Kubrick 1987

    A sub-plot of transforming tools from text to visual. Name a movie that improves its source.  Jaws, The Godfather, Rebecca, The Exorcist, The Birds, Gone With the Wind, all descend from pulp novels that are more plot sheen than literary presence. Their films create alternate fusions of ideas and themes somewhat more profound than their sources, their directors and adaptors condense plot into gestures, creating unmistakable auras based on the source novel's signs, symbols and metaphors that may have remained dormant in text.  In their wake are a thousand sub-par filmed attempts at besting a novel's "What if this was a movie?"  Think about what the adaptation really is. Why do humans adapt things already masterful or successful? It can't just be laziness (good source material) or monetary guarantees (adaptations are no more successful than original screenplays). Is the adaptation an attempt to mutate a myth into its next stage, to pull a form hiding inside it into another field of cognizance with its own genre constraints (or in the case of The Shining and the above, to evolve the genre itself)? This rembodiment might be the ripest place to find hidden tools of commonality inside the written word, especially from within the bestseller, the story everyone seems to invoke, repeatedly. What visual codes remain dormant in other forms here? Are directors of masterpiece adaptations transformers?  And about The Shining's adaptation, what if the movie spawned is an evolutionary tool that lures us way past our stiffening genre expecations, a subliminal guide to visual forms that humans create almost accidentally as a language beyond our eventual alphabet that we are mostly unaware of, and it comments on the source too: the endless growing mass of nouns redefined in each generation's maze of words that create both order and chaos in human idea-sharing?  It originates purely in typed text. What if it is a prototype for a new way to use our brain, eyes, hands and voice to create a subtler way to communicate across borders instead of our basic written-spoken language? Misunderstood until recently, Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is one of the more revolutionary films around. Inscrutable subversion. It is a form of linear art that will be dissected and studied long after we are here, and it may hold a secret tool for unlocking all of our deepest failures in war, race and enslavement through forms.

    ..As a blank tool, Kubrick employs symmetry in all his films as the doorway to signed, symbolic layers.  Using practically every surface each film's setting allows, he hides deeper unconscious meanings as each film accrues imagery and behavior into unmistakable patterns. Once encoded into each film, symbols, signs, light qualities, eye-lines, all elements become a shared total, a glyphic evolution. Occuring with each cut, or reveal, or dissolve, these glyphs combine and intertwine in a variety of overlapping manners, assembling a narrative unlike the one being driven by gesture and dialogue.  The Shining is the height of this revolutionary skill, it's Kubrick's pinnacle masterwork (the only film he advertised as a "Masterpiece" and he labeled it before the reviews were in). It continuously exhibits the subtlest shifts in meaning, symmetry, asymmetry, direction, facement, effectively reducing the film to a series of finite locations viewed eventually from every direction. Compounded in the brain, the audience assembles meaning from each scene, each shot unconsciously; a linear accumulation of data that is directly related in non-linear ways. Neurophenomenologists would label this portalling. This is portalling distended into component parts not unlike how videogames operate.

    ..What is this hotel? It is a paradox mirror. Expecting nature’s paradise, we face a mostly monotonous hell composed of blood spewing underworld portals and illusory spatial logic, changelings and ghosts that appear as real as you or I, as well a game of death made out of our history once attended recreationally by the leaders of culture. The blood portal is an invention of Kubrick's, not King's and it signifies his insistence this Hotel contains sacrifices of human souls spiritually disconnected through specifically Mesoamerican rites-of-passage.  An outpost attempting to control a gateway to a cosmological heaven, inverted by its misuses upon indigenous spiritual aesthetics, it now operates as an essence vortex for those unlucky enough to have been seduced by its Western-faced promise: eternity.  A reliquary for a group condemned to a fate worse than death (an inversion of ‘heaven’), it beckons those possessing an insecure relationship with their self, torqueing one's identity until spiritually absorbed. A trap for the many who want their souls converted to historically western, photographic memory.  The Overlook needs souls since it is cosmologically cursed and will consume every murder within its walls into the horror of banal infinity.

    ..Beyond the basic visual cues: Do you sense the foundational derangement Kubrick offers us? Do its strange not-so-subtle intricacies give you any pause, the almost utterly illogical sound qualities at times (the quiet inside the car, the deafening tricycle), the zoom-ins that rebuke standard shock cutting in horror films, opening titles that rise, and the intertitles that seem almost subnormal? What about constantly lit rooms and corridors, the clearly distinguished qualities of light, the absurd, mannered performances: dullness on the verge of madness. Meticulous to the point of obsession, Kubrick attended to every detail of every film he made, commandeering roles commonly shared with other technical thinkers at the top of the filmmaking chain ("He chose every color and fabric, I was merely a go-between for the costumes." - Milena Canonera, Costume Designer, "No detail missed his eye, he spotted every aspect of every frame from beginning point to end point." - Garrett Brown, Steadicam Operator), if you suspect some of these notes go too far, try to think again, the opposite is occuring, there are details and their connections that have been omitted for space reasons.  To decode Kubrick all vantages must be brought to the table; details that are travelling along various visual arcs must be followed. Continuity itself is a language Kubrick follows and deforms, radically altering our expectations of what this language achieves subliminally. Even the concept of animation is toyed with, very logically a viewer can spot progressions of form emanating from the cartoon references that dot the film and then enter the adult realms (the adults either wittingly or unwittingly emerge as playful or threatening archetypes). And the accidents, Kubrick may have arrived at certain innovations through trial-and-error as the shot from below Jack in the dry storage room seems to have been, innovation on a set like his was continual, but the corollaries of doors and the underworld where Jack is sent (he keeps falling to the ground) indicate the shot's use isn't just a lark: the REDRUM door (shown later) is its perfect mirror. The set has been designed with intentional terminuses  to play with, like periods at the ends of sentences, but with much differing effects. And what of the real plot, what are the actors not cognizant of in the currents under the surface?   The film has been uniquely framed and covered with visual guidance with activities of characters that are built around actions to suggest a bleak almost-cognizance. Like us the audience, they are aware of something they can't quite put their fingers on. Some thing is not quite right about where they are staying, but they largely keep it to themselves, and as actors planted into a totally constructed set of the hotel and its environs, they are engineered by Kubrick as users that can sense discordance by even how they use it and act with it physically.  Is Kubrick ploying with a portrayal of unconscious self-deception?  With The Shining, Kubrick closes the 70’s with a vicious assessment of the occident’s presence on the North American continent (death by axe). Kubrick's film asserts a bold awareness of the American experience with an undercurrent nightmare built from the collapse of a family unit of three driven apart by inferiority and emasculation in the face of reliquary power as mundane western magic: the staple of American expansion, The Hotel.

    ..If you are in the Americas, you are in a land once unnamed by a proper noun, occupied by a multitude of humans that practiced complex mythic and spiritual systems, using agents, definitions of deities, math, astronomy unknown to the west. The conquest of these lands by Christian Europeans (and Russians) is one of the central dramas in the Americas’ history and includes a 400 year conflict that slowly transformed into bureaucratic holocaust-style genocide (forced marches, concentration camps, intentional starvation, and imprisonment without due course) dressed in the particular political reality of each decade’s mode, pursued by all governments of North, Central and South America, majority and minority parties alike. Native American humans are survivors of a vast colonial genocide shrouded by history and the grand westward expansion: manifest destiny.  By the 1970’s, America witnessed a nearly destroyed, divided indigenous population on the verge of physical and economic extinction and absorption. The reservation is generally a terminus for the tribe it contained, ususally on land that no one desired. Like a minimal last stand, the American Indian Movement’s revolt against the Federal U.S. and Leonard Peltier’s subsequent prosecution symbolized the last insurgency with the United States government. By the mid 70’s, tribal idealism and revolt were over, like other movements of liberation of the 60’s, the era that spawned King's haunted house bestseller-masterwork. The Shining's lineage dates back to Poe (The Fall of the House of Usher), Lovecraft and Shirley Jackson (The Haunting of Hill House) an evolvement of Gothicism blended with the me generation's 60's backlash: haunted spiritualism of the love generation's egomania implosion.

    ..At film's beginning we are told by its manager that the Overlook Hotel has been built upon an ancient Indian burial ground (we are flown to this sacred communion area between humans and the upper world as a prelude to this comment). This sacred place has been deformed by the inclusion of a Hotel by encroaching Christian-occidental settlers (magic stealers).  Like the scientific practice of saving the brains of dead native/amerindian chiefs, the building of a vast rooming house, a capitalism palace, on this site is the ultimate unaware degradation. Red-earth policy (federal forced movements of Native Americans, a system of containment-apartheid that remains today) has the Overlook as ultimate, fictional cap to dynamic control over the entire Navajo and Apache cosmology. In essence and in physical this vast mirrored hallucination masterwork is a contained battle reliquary. The hotel is a psychic doorway of darkest conflict. Each of its rooms facets to a whole narrative of the destiny that defines the United States of America’s regime of westward expansion.

    ..The Shining is within a game/journey of symmetry that its hero, Danny, practices and masters.  It is a game of consciousness and awareness.  He discovers how to use each path (right or left) and decipher where it will lead, he learns this by exploring emergent patterns. The Shining begins with earthly, mirrored symmetry and ends with a devolved human staring at us from the inside dimension of a photo, frozen in a photographer's flash, a ghostly world of dead souls. The Shining is both sequel and prequel to 2001, a suggestion that time is both linear and continuum. The films are linked through 2001’s end and Shining’s beginning. Thus Spake Zarathustra to the Dies Irae.  Dave Bowman/Starchild’s final shot, staring at us in the audience (Earth) cuts to his view upon the lake. It is the height of consciousness for both films.  Consciousness rises in 2001 but descends as The Shining progresses.   Cleverly he tells us they are one in the same, conceptual mirrors, by showing us the underlit boy-image inside different posters. The boy in The Shining is stuck behind a yellow wall, behind light, the unusually large first letter is a T-shaped portal and is meaningful (the T shape is a component to mazes as well as an IK window, a mesoamerican form used extensively in logoglyphs and a day name of the Mayan calendar, representing wind, breath and spirit, the illustrations paired with the posters show Eastern views in Palenque's Temple of the Sun, an equinox/solstice first-light chamber - light passes through these T's as a daily initiation), it's also a right-angle, a component in the storytelling manner of the film, like a + or - sign in math. The Shining poster is also a very subtle mirror to the red-bleeding elevator mask-glyph (discussed in detail later): notice the elevator's half circled floor indicators carefully match Danny's eyes half circles. Kubrick even ends his trailer (composed entirely of the elevator bleeding) with this poster to ensure the connection is made: in color theory, red is simply a concentrated form of yellow.  The poster has more anomalies: only two letters are lower-case on the entire page, the 'i's whose dots make "eyes" of the logo (a semiotician would lose it here but semiosis is a weakening cult; text is its final encryption, its patterning is made random by loose grammar, it relies alternately on orthography, phonology or text, and the semiotician gets to choose what words have codes, it's far from a science, it's merely opinions searching for a whole). The text logo is staring at you. The Starchild is now in an opposite state in The Shining poster, he appears to be reacting negatively to his view, of Earth, and is being rendered incorporeal. On the verge of ghosting, the procedure the hotel enacts with Jack.



    The Shining is a film meant to be watched both forwards and backwards.  The human mind may find ways of playing it backwards subconsciously. Tricks are used to play with your memory.

    There are several reasons why backwards is a viable viewing order.   'End credits' begin the film, blue-turquoise filled helveticas rise as if the film is coming to an end (and Kubrick does not utilize rising end credits, ever). It also recalls how paper is scrolled in a typewriter upwards. Like many other subtle combinations of camera movement and storytelling/activities, seen backwards, the first shot of the film can become the end of the film:  the final image the horizontal/horizon, mountain and reflection, a state of hybrid native American nirvana.  Another example: Wendy reads Jack’s typed book ‘backwards’ in the film’s forward, ie: she reads the page in the typewriter then the top page and continues down. The film itself is a series of reflections, each scene possesses a mirror scene of the other (ie: Danny and Wendy’s campfire/roadrunner meal is doubled beginning and end.) Kubrick stages certain interactions with characters that walk confrontationally, ie backing up. Seen reversed, a baseball bat wielding Wendy appears to be coaxing Jack ‘back’ into himself, similarly Danny backs up to fool his father in the snowy maze. Shock cuts: the film is actually scarier backwards since Kubrick has reversed the order of conventional horror-film storytelling.  Viewers have always commented on the film’s inability to shock, with the scariest imagery appearing at the tail of each ‘scary’ scene, diffusing any effect. Backwards these effects increase their shock value. Most importantly, the film is a series of zooms, tracking movements some to and from awakenings. Many of these tracking sequences exhibit characters from far away, enough so that movement is primary to the scenery rather than plot.  And the end is set in the past, not the present or the future, in the flash of a photographic bulb. Shown backwards it is a heroic film about human experience: A man trapped in the logic of ghosts, trapped in a grayscale 2-D flat world, a photograph inside history, frozen in spectral finity: is unfrozen, and is lured outside of a maze where both his wife and son proceed to ‘undouble’ him and assist him in his war with his self and is finally able to drive away from the Overlook, from the lunarscape of this unreal summit and into a perfect mirror, earthmade.

    Press play.

    A landscape of mountains is mirrored into a nearly still lake. What appears for a split second as still is actually in motion, we are travelling at high speed, flying. An island first shown centered passes to camera left. Island proves what plane of existence we inhabit and viewed in reverse, we see this plane we are leaving behind to enter perfection, symmetry. An image focuses right as the camera looks towards the sedimentary mountain, it forms an arrowhead flint in the mirroring lake. In a film littered with both Native American and European derived visual forms (rugs, wall hangings, furniture) Kubrick immediately hints at a geologic/natural source for native cosmological shape-forms and their colors that appear throughout (these colors and forms duplicate in the Lobby's floor then the Colorado Lounge walls and onward). He is suggesting if a religion/myth/spirituality engages forms and colors from the land (the arrows that are seen here become the patterns of Navajo art) then it may be suffused with powers beyond our view (does this form-transform have an endpoint?).



    Chosen not for its proximity to Colorado where the film is set, this opening image showcases two essential cosmological structures seen from right angles to one another.  St. Mary Lake is where spirits of the Blackfoot underworld are said to sleep and is bordered in the opening shot by 'Gunsight' Mountain seen directly ahead arrayed with four mythic mountains left of center frame.  The island that passes to our left, mirrored, appears floating and behaves visually like the spaceships of 2001, it appears to be moving and enacting a passage between upper and lower worlds.  In effect you are watching the first motion-image of Blackfoot cosmology, a stunning evolvement of the landscape traveling in 2001 grafted into a mythical viewpoint. The lower half is where Jack will be trapped eventually. Presently he inhabits both upper and lower. Tracking right (and as a movement it is meant to be instructive, teaching the audience the film is made of right-angled cuts: it is making a right angled pan, one of a few that litter the film at specific points). The right-pan is revealing as well, it exhibits an arrowhead shape in the mirror pointing left aimed directly under the upward aimed Gunsight Mountain. Cut and we are  now looking down, upon a road. This parallel path to the lake is a real road:  ‘Going-to-the-Sun’ Road, another central cosmological structure in Blackfoot tribal mythology. Located directly at the continental divide in Glacier National Park, the road’s construction/destruction was begun in 1921, the year the film ends, so in a subtle manipulation, the road begins in 1921 as well as the photograph that ends the film in a flash: a nod to continuum.



    Looking down: The view is an overlook. The single arrowhead form we just panned to is now multiplied and made of trees pointing upwards. A Yellow VW Beetle journeys through this forest, followed by camera/spirit. Beetle is symmetric, from afar it looks as if it could be travelling forward or backwards, following a double yellow line. Color and form hide the unusually apt name: Beetle. Metaphorically, at this height, we are inhumanly scaled in awareness, the Beetle is bug-sized in our optics as if we are giants, mimicking a scale we think is offered to Jack as he gazes at his family within the maze later, or the scale at which Danny plays with his cars, Kubrick is offering us the most ambitious POV of the film here, Tony’s (who we will meet in two scenes): Danny’s shining spirit, who is Dave Bowman (the reborn Starchild's source in 2001).

    Mountain is the destination of this road: a physical dead end.



    Upon leaving vegetation into unreal (lunar) landscape, titles begin to rise. Reverse of standardized end credits – an assertion the film is being shown backwards. We swoop over driving VW Beetle to conform to the prey's horizon. The Beetle is framed right and passes camera precisely like the island passing left earlier. This sweeping shot combines optically the film's frame of scales, we equalize to its horizon for a split second, something the film remains at on the floor's plane inside the hotel for most of the film. The hue of the blue titles is not the same as the sky's tone, a reference to a turquoise-sky relation in Native American mythology. Incredibly, Kubrick merges film convention (rising titles to mimic a film's end) and cosmology (the turquoise being sent skyward) a simplification of monumental phenomena blending (it is a visual incantation).  As a geological form, the turquoise's color is part of this earth/lake-merging-sky glyph, a transmutational exchange similar to the initial sky/lake mirror but evolving transitionally, into motion. Blues of the underworld meeting the upperworld repeated and evolving first in reflection then as symbols coded in English.  Titles create first color oppositions: Blue-yellow. Sky-Car, Divider Line-Credits.  Another right-angle, the Beetle seems to overlaid with sunflares visually embodying the name of the road and the name of the film, an optical conjuring. These sunflares are yellow hues and will descend and transition into the underworld portals of The Overlook until they are purified into blood-red. Kubrick uses flares and reflections intentionally, they are not random.  The flares and the road's lines share similar angles:



    Beetle arrives at The Overlook: The hotel is in the mountain’s shadow, it is mountain that overlooks hotel. The roof of the hotel does not reach the sky, consumed by the mountain's own reach heavenward.  The earth claims the hotel, it is camouflaged from our overlook. The hotel makes little distinction in landscape - in effect it is ghosting. Disappearing, the first ‘ghost’ of The Shining is the hotel itself. (And the last in reverse.) The Bug's yellow hue continues in the film (visibly doubled in the lot: as if the yellowness is absorbed into the hotel like an organism swallowing a pill) with the tennis ball that visibly rolls to Danny and off screen to Jack. A final deleted scene was Ullman handing a tennis ball to Danny, closing this experimental loop even tighter. Yellow lines paints the two-lane road and these doubles will appear again in the hotel during a key scene. Yellow’s painted value is symbolic and it extends to gold, the fusion of sun worship and mythical valuation, a confusion that leads humans to mistakenly worship this rare radiant metal and not its property's origin in myth, knowledge, the center of the hotel is its Gold Ballroom.



    THE INTERVIEW, seen in reverse, the title refers to none of the dialogue pairings that follow, but to the film itself, literally: “a view between” two worlds: the mirror shot of the lake’s reflection etc. Placement of titles on black is essential, it denotes a break in time within the film, convincing us each sequence between them is in real, continual time. They are as colorless as the photos on the walls. The use of this key phrase (it could be mistaken as a subtitle of what shining accomplishes, it shows you where the other side is, the interview) has the same double meaning Kubrick withdraws from his use of INTERMISSION in 2001, besides giving the audience a chance to use the bathroom, it also functions as a break in the Jupiter Mission. English separates these motion images. The titles appear centered and raised above a centerline as the island of the lake was.  Unusually, Jack's eye placement whether far or close tends to be on this title-card's placement. Camera follows Jack left to right. The interview here is developing a structure: Jack crosses through English origin design (the windows, the chandelier), upon Native America patterns, to an English transaction counter, paper notes behind the counter are angled right. The implied horizon (wood versus painted wall) splits these two realms. In the far distance, through the far doorway, is the final location of the film, the wall and its 1921 photograph. Framed Gold Ballroom details (sign, curtains that frame his final appearance photo) Jack crosses in front of are counterpoints and extensions of the sun's earlier flaring, this human synthesis of color forms brings the sun indoors. Kubrick carefully begins the framing of angled forms that reach off frame begun by the road's lines, notice the ceiling edge and table counter. These are forms that suggest continuum. Very few scenes in The Shining lack this quality. It recalls the horizon-infinity animations of 2001's stargate sequence. Here we have a reversal of the stargate, these angles are extrusions, solid, subliminal animated forms that lead us to the past. Other Kubrick films employ these framing conventions, here they acquire ulterior significance in mirror to 2001. As a film about qualities of knowledge and description and perception, the entrance shot has Jack (a writer) pass in front of two written notices, in front and behind of a group of seated readers, and to a counter where messages are written and stored, copiously labeled. Something to remember for later: the inverse of this view is the night Jack enters the party. The Gold Ballroom sign then is left instead of right.



    First words of film are "I have a meeting with Mr. Ullman. My name's Jack Torrance."  First word of film is "I." Our first double is the pairing of the actor and the character he plays.  Jack Nicholson Jack Torrance.  Names matter; Jack will later be defined by who calls him by which part of his name. From now on he is either Dad, Jack or Mr. Torrance. The receptionist is the first ghost we meet, she is dressed to subtly imply she and the hotel are one entity, redheads suffuse these early scenes to continue the ghosting.

    Once told his office is the first door on the left, he crosses the camera's location and we now see Jack's other side, he passes across the first above horizon-focused indigenous pattern, the blanket affixed to the wall in the distance, a double-diamond pattern (mirrors of mirrors from the landscape) at the opposite position to his final resting place photo, in essence his figure is walking past an eternity passage (Navajo blankets are deeply coded with both meaning and story). Two men are framed inside it waiting for an elevator facing left.  These terminuses abound in the film at corridor endings. They actually reanimate in differing formats throughout the film, distending elements across other scenes. Jack stares at a woman who descends a staircase. He will later stare at two women.  Though there is an animal-desire component to this gesture, it is also the hotel's carefully placed time-warping that is in play.  This is the least (apparently) hallucinatory ghost movie with the most trance-like reality. The arrow-form made of the lake's reflection of the mountain is now on the lobby's floors and Jack uses its left arrow point, and of course, Kubrick glosses the floor to show you the arrow is now part of a reflective surface, blending lake and floor. The effect of shining, of reflection of light off of glossy surfaces (the lake), continues here. The shine is on the left arrow. Notice the lake's mirror is now the floor's (we see the lights reflecting), yet its mirroring is degraded, nearly invisible. Although the outside light is artificially generated, Kubrick carefully contrasts this cool slightly blue-white with the slightly yellowed incandescence, a movement from the blue of the sky to the inner yellows and reds of the house, its inner power source, color-wise a reflection of the flares of the unseen sun.

    Then into an ante-room where on walls that are separated by a doorway appear modern art (left) and a snowcapped view of the hotel and mountain (right) a telegraph to the future inside the film. The left image is an abstraction of an Indian and has no straight lines. The green forms seem to animate from plants that sit to its left. Jack is associated with the right side of the screen, the outdoors where he came from and the future where it will snow. The left side is the interior of the hotel, the spirit of an angry chief arrayed in map-like forms in opposition to the outdoors, the two hotel workers are left-side oriented.  Jack has entered an endless series of mirrors that absorb him inwardly. Each redhead appears as a human on the edge of an absorption mirror.



    The interview with Ullman sequence also introduces the first use of artificial light as a character in the film.  Characteristic of a total mechanism (the Hotel), a conscious entity, not unlike HAL 9000, but unlike HAL, it has no orthographic interface, instead the Hotel communicates through latent optics and optic distortion that appear totally real. A constant symphony of natural light, incandescent lamps, and cool fluorescent luminance plays throughout the film, here however is a divergence with the cool-blue to yellow we witnessed in the Lobby. Here the light of the window is equalized with the two flouresent fixtures. A hint at both sources possible falsenesses and Kubrick makes an effort to show us the office's light is neither blue or yellow hued by the completed shot's color temperature travelling.   Window placement helps to indicate role each room plays.  Since you will discover that certain windows are false, each room's relationship with light is critical.  Some placements are symmetric and near symmetric (most of the hotel with some exceptions: Kitchen, Games Room and the Torrance’s Apartment, and the Boulder exterior and Interior). The outdoors are clearly endlessly parallax.  The indoors are endless but hidden in a mask that is finite.

    Jack moves sunlight/incandescent/fluorescent/'sunlight.'

    The general manager’s office, and his secretary Susie’s ante room offer the best evidence of modernity in the hotel. If we didn’t first see this room, would we know what year it is?  The abstract art depicting an American Indian chief (let's assume this is Chief Cornstalk whose curse is time referenced at the film's end) and color photographs of mountains and a snowpatched Overlook (outside General Manager’s office) also establishes the importance of wall hangings. They are crucial elements in the storytelling that follows. This pairing showcases modern human use of color technology: Photograph and Abstract art. This is our stable conscious world fighting with its unconscious.  Susie’s ante-room contrasts with Stuart Ullman’s office beyond, a ghostly, bright room littered with the past (emblems, awards, certificates and black and white pictures, a county map left: the animation of the outer room's Chief's image into this inner room's border control) bathed in soft orange colors that refer to mesoamerican palates - an interzone between earthtones and blood, and that likewise drain photographic dimension from light skins.  This is a fluorescent tomb. Notice the extrusion angles of the plant holding shelves and the light boxes on the ceiling that reach skyward. Inset shelving mimics the storage of urns in burial chambers, the room suggests a reliquary. The wall hanging left proves the domains he's reached as manager, his gilded awards hang opposite right, symbols of his materialism and success.

    Clothing and hair tone colors are used to subtly imply role. Susie and Ullman are introduced as backlit redheads with Susie in a ‘disappearing’ outfit, she fades into background of the room, is forced to move around Ullman to fetch their coffee.  Ullman is red white and blue dressed for maximum contrast despite his hair color exactly matching curtains, both are ghosts attempting to appear defined, living. His outfit begs for/demands dimensionality. This shot is subtley symmetric with the window frame, asymmetric with the desk.


    Navajo zig zag/diamond patterns (lightning references), begun on the wall hanging further back with the elevator-awaiting men in Jack's first walking shot, emerges here as the pattern on the curtains opened to light suggesting the power of rendering humans as ghosts is an indigenous, natural force. This is a subtle animation. The ceiling light fixtures exactly meet the curtain's edges not the window's. Kubrick frames them inside it. This tomb is also a portal.

    A long dissolve establishes the Torrance’s Boulder apartment complex.  The complex is in the near background cut-off right, a forested mountain left, a parking lot centered duplicating The Overlook's locale structure. Obvious asymmetry, except for the two cars at the right, they are almost symmetrical pairs.  The opposite of the hotel’s obsessive order and camouflage. The mirror of its establishing shot, earthbound. Transportation access foreground. A basketball hoop stands far left and will animate into the gold basket on the ironing board in the next shot. The shelf-like balconies become shelves in the next shot. As a film ordered backwards, we are aware on some level that this parking lot is the origin of Jack's Beetle, an arrival we have just finished watching earlier.



    Inside the apartment is similar asymmetry with pairings assigned to the background. Art & design. Books make zig zag patterns (left, the opposite of the paper messages behind the counter in the hotel) the Navajo and Apache patterns complete more complexly. This is not bought art for control as in the hotel, the spirit is integrated. Some things are not hung, like the child's painting in a later scene. And yes, the plastic basket behind them is a central, symbolic object (it's yellow, the same shade as the Gold Ballroom's entrance curtains.) The baseball near it is the first sphere in the film, and the tennis ball that arrives later is a combination of sphere and yellow.

    Introduction of Wendy and Danny is a sly introduction to American settler life through minimal set decoration. Danny stares into a TV set, where a Warner Bros. cartoon is cathode-ray projecting. With Roadrunner-Coyote as audio dimension (early westward settlers were likewise entertained by constant cycle of this cross-kingdom conflict while crossing Death Valley expanses), Wendy reads near-mirrored cover of Catcher in the Rye, Wendy sees inside text, Danny sees inside motion-visuals. Presumably Danny has not yet learned how to read. The books-text world is also where Jack sees ("I'm a writer."), and is what is arrayed behind her on shelves. The angled, right-turned western version of the dimensions behind-through Ullman's curtain's form. Jack will become trapped in this text world (inside a repeating sentence) and then be absorbed into a photograph inscribed with text.  The book she reads is about a teenager with self-hatred issues set in the 1950's written by an American: Jack is a candidate for the Holden Caulfield act-alike contest, his rants later seem like teen angst fueled insecurity.  She is crowned by the first real symmetry (the salt and pepper shakers in the distance) that appear on a shelf with the angled forms. Cotton balls are an animation from the clouds in the sky in previous shot.  As a campfire burns (uninhaled cigarette) that Danny must stare through to see the Television, around a picnic gingham, her outfit is composed of a union suit and hop-dress, both articles elements of a perversely mundane early-settler outfit (circa 1850's), Danny is emblazoned with USA iconography, and Bugs Bunny's ears both mirror the Warner Bros' cartoons TV presence and mimic his finger's mirror. A baseball, a cord-wire ball wrapped in leather, halos him. Prior to discovery of rubber, English ball-court games used leather wrapped balls similar to baseballs.  This table-setting is duplicated later in family quarters of Overlook as climax approaches. This relationship to ‘outfit’ is crucial since Danny morphs emblematically as well as follows a color path, each seem to acquire costume colors in a pathway of tonal narrative. The light catches in his milk and the diamond patterns of both blankets and curtains appear as the decorations of the glass, changes in distances but not scale.



    Her reverse angle in the conversation shows doubling within background: two saucepans, two milk cartons (a logic shown in reverse: where the milk in his glass is from), two dishsoap bottles.  While not as disturbing as Jack’s pending doubling, it preludes horror with normalcy. In reverse it moves doubling from mirror to  foreground to background (dissipation). This doubling is crucially not perfect, uneven, like Danny’s finger, this asymmetry a natural component to humanity.  Danny reveals his mastery of his interior/self, he makes his case as hero known.  I command this.

    A person in the measure of one’s thumb
    Stands in the midst of one’s self
    Lord of what has been
    And what is to be
    One does not shrink away from him.


    Upanishad (Hume translation 1911)

    Symmetry is disengaged from film for single (a shot that includes only one person, usually framed waist and above) on Danny as he raises his finger and exhibits a human version of the doubling we are introduced to in background. His shirt is an animation extending from Ullman's desktop flag. Notice baseball is now on left side of Danny's head in framing and that we are at another orientation to the text inside the books.


    Bill Watson joins Jack’s interview, his role is simply to begin the absorption of Jack, a double, to ensure audience is both conscious and unconscious of hotel’s power. The doubling means two parallel timeframes are being drawn together in differing planes. Bill Watson wears a brown outfit with diamond patterned tie: "This ought to be quite a change for you."  Subtle outer asymmetry of desk's symmetric inner form.  This is a portalling glyph flooded with meaning: the office is hiding its asymmetry by appearing symmetric, crucially the initial establishing shot of the office has shifted to this shot: from outer window centered to inner desk centered. Ullman shifts his right left orientation from within the sequence, he appears framed right in the wide shot including tables and chairs and then framed left when the camera moves tighter, as if there are two Ullmans, disassociated, demonic. Look closer and you can see what Kubrick is accomplishing with these shifts. This discordance between eeirly similar shots is both a nuance of the horror to come and a primer for the audience to apply to the logic of the hotel.  


    Notice the room's design is not typical, behind Jack (and his mirror Bill) are corners that defy simplicity, they are columned shapes that create a shaded background that implies depth reversal. Notice the inset that shrinks the shelf's depth (we will save certain discoveries for printing since pages can be devoted to this and other omitted tricks) . Coupled with the hidden aspects of asymmetry, Kubrick has begun using both left and right cortexes to blend and hide information, mostly as innocuous values. These are things that are weighted laterally that maintain a stable horizon (whether present or not) but unstable values in subtle shifts, like this room's asymmetry, like the girls that are not twins later. If a shot lacks a stable plane (a horizon reminder like the desk), then it probably has a vertical plane like the one that bisects Jack's head (below). However primitive the result is, this is Kubrick's most experimental pursuit in The Shining, he is using neuroscience, paleoneurology and the cortex to both scare you and develop a new language of storytelling. Jack sits down into a reflection of himself in the glass on Ullman's desk.  Frame on Jack and Bill shows memorials of Hotel, its past rendered in framed pictures and there begins a portalling animation made from the inset wall behind him. He also begins to center various left or right eyes, depending on the shot sequence. It ends with Jack's and Ullman's right eyes centered. The Elevator's initial mask is also seen like this, except its left eye centered.

    Ullman mentions Winter of 1970. Film playing mid-point is named Summer of 42. His outfit also mirrors the miniature US flag on his desk. The lines of his shirt duplicate the flag's bars. His hands form extensions, and are folded in repeated patterns of similar asymmetry. His tie is resolutely blood-red and is a precursor to the blood that flows from the elevator's left door one scene from now.  Kubrick's begins mirror-logic here. In Ullman's single, we see a different side of the mirror, where the other Ullman is. Kubrick begins here subtly warping what we normally label continuity to reveal another world, a mirror world without a visible mirror. The eagle (that we flew spirit-wise coming here) behind Ullman has shifted on this side of the mirror, a suggestion we are in the mirror-world behind/beside this splitting portal, a SHiNiNG. Special effects in this film are primitive in design but advanced in terms of meaning. They suggest vast possibilities in terms of alternate physics, game gestures, newer languages. Below right is an enlargement to showcase the eagle that established the room, and he does reveal the eagle from behind Ullman's left-oriented head eventually but the shift is evident. He even flips the order of Ullman's hand overlaps when he cuts, another 'mirror' though this one is based in time, not image.  Kubrick intends that these are two distinctly different realms. What side we are on is determined by what we are aware of consciously. The film tightens each shot until we single Jack. In a sense the audience is Jack, since both remain unaware of The Overlook's mirrored realms (while Danny does not and Wendy avoids). Although we follow Danny on his path to trap his father, Kubrick refrains from showing us what Danny is aware of, leaving us to fear what he does not. Kubrick shows us Ullman's hand patterns as eagle-forms that animate into his cuffs, wings that flap and he even overlaps only his thumbs to show the full bird-form as a bridging gesture to the tale of Grady's axe-murder/suicide. Although the mysterious outer/inner facets of these symmetries is key, we will save explanations for this visual technique (and the other subtle techniques that follow) for later formats.



    Eye contact with audience: Jack makes the first of his glances audience-ward throughout this scene (predicting his pending frozen stare at us from inside the photograph-is hell a never returned glance? this suggests the images in the photographs are trapped souls), when asked how his wife and kids are going to react to the hotel, he glances at us in the audience before declaring “they’ll love it.” Once the description of cabin fever (early American discordance) and previous caretaker's slaughter-suicide are finished, the conversation drifts to his family. Jack's second scene in hotel interview includes a photograph in his shot's background wall that also appears in film's final shot, next to the image of the 1921 party, an aggressive yet subliminal link between corporeal Jack and incorporeal Mr. Torrance. The shadowed inset wall behind him possesses two vertical edges that become the frame of the photo he ends the film inside. Jack is miniaturized and blended into this form, framed in this exact distance from that left photograph at film's end. He is animated into a shadowed wall. Notice in previous shot Jack's head straddles the shadow wall left (above), and in final eye-contact one below he is now inside it, to the right of previous orientation. Notice the shine on the doorway's frame.

     

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    this slim report localizes the known support for the Mumbai attacks with "they belonged to North India." Localizing a suspect offers a defocused lens of geographical ideo-grouping. This highly asymmetric dialogue continues across many types of borders (but only one physical, between India and Pakistan),  utilizing many forms of gestures, some text based, some warfare, all are unfortunately relevant until real dialogue is achieved. It is a war of mythologies, unideity vs multideity, both with apocalypse fantasies articulate enough to have parallels in present-day fictional media, but not enough so that the population has emotional releases for change, the physical war seems to want to be manifested. Instead it is played out in lunacy with the delay of the broadcast media incorporated.  Is Kashmir the mythical doorway both are willing to exchange nuclear weapons over? Who can show them the error of this potential paradox? Not only can the news not, it lives and breathes to exhibit conflict.

     

    Mumbai police admit local support for Mumbai attack

    12 Feb 2009, 2141 hrs IST, PTI

     
    MUMBAI: Admitting for the first time that there was local support for the Mumbai terror attack, police commissioner Hasan Gafoor on Thursday night said some Indian nationals were among the 16 men that also included Pakistanis who were wanted for their role in the carnage.

    Gafoor also said that two Indians have already been arrested.

    "Fourteen to sixteen men, which include Indians and Pakistanis, are wanted in the attacks," Gafoor told reporters here.

    "We have included names of these men in the dossier which has been sent to Pakistan," Gafoor said.

    Those wanted in the attacks had conducted 'recce', given financial and logistical support and "they belonged to north India", Gafoor said.

    "Two Indians have already been arrested, while some are absconding about whom we have informed Pakistan. So there are Indians as well as Pakistanis."

    Asked why names of Indians have been mentioned in the dossier, Gafoor said they likely escaped from India, and "we suspect that they might be hiding in Pakistan".
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    WW2 starring Antonella Barba of American Idol Year 4 and Kilroy tag

    Houston Police with the designer

    Australia

    Singapore

    War Memorial at Former Presidential Palace, Saigon