The Boulder bathroom: storytelling through tracking continues, Danny's childhood, as Disney/Warner Bros/Peanuts image-glyphs suggest, is being left behind, moving past the left side of the screen, as the island in the opening shot does; this mimicry links both lake and bathroom reflective surfaces, defining and evolving our notion of mirroring and passages. Besides being a deft play on words (left-behind), the movement, sidedness, and multiple mirrors (either implied like the bilaterally symmetric blankets or actual) indicate Kubrick has a passing knowledge of neuroscience. His use of mirroring reflects the split-brain's right/left divide and the slippery, nearly invisible crossover between them. Danny's ritual passage into adulthood is coming rapidly on the right inside the mirror where his father is to be slain by him and the hotel. The left wall exhibits a sliding show of children's mythology and animal life recalling the preceding, offscreen Roadrunner animation. Mickey Mouse will later appear on Danny’s sweater, another mischievous hero; Kubrick identifies Danny with troublemaking seers from all canons of animation, a contrast to Wendy's novel/text world, Danny consumes and identifies with animated visual mythologies. Unlike his parents he has no books in his room: without reading skills, he has no dual, or lexemic (mutliple) or metonymic meanings in his brain's language centers, a freedom the adults do not enjoy nor do they even perceive this advantage.
By using Tony as a reflection of himself, Danny appears consciously dual; his double works as a tool, it-he prevents Danny from being swallowed into The Overlook's mirrors. And in contrast to the film's terminus bound storytelling (ending in 1921), Kubrick contrasts the lifeless B&W still (appearing in both the last shot and the last shot of the film) with Woodstock's rainbow in-motion. The spectral-light of Ullman's office (a Shining) dissolves from Jack's forehead to the bathroom's sunlight, he is dissolved to an approaching room with a central light source framed precisely like Ullman's office, a travelling reversal of our shot of Jack. The Boulder apartment's actual sunlight is subtly contrasted/transitioned with the Hotel's false window's pure white light, a light-value (white balance) in reverse of the previous. Doubling seen in background of previous Boulder shots and the nightmare doubling of the hotel beginning with Bill Watson extends metaphorically to these cartoon figures: doubling through anthropomorphism - spirits entering bodies. The textless myths affixed to Danny's wall will be used use to slay/fool his father. All three, Jack Danny and Wendy inhabit these archetypes variably. Second clearly visible mirror of film (the lake is the first), the bathroom's, is man-made and now vertical. Danny is speaking into it, he treats it like a two-way medium. The mirror is an element of a tween effect, an unseen animation from Danny's view of the TV's cartoon. This sequence separates the animated characters left (the past in numerous temporal paths). It's somewhat like storing them in your memory. Kubrick compounds methods of Danny's sight, from TV to mirror. He peers into the mirror and sees beyond the TV's metaphors, to the 'future' of the film. The medium he sees here is photorealistic, a movement from cathode-cartoon animation to reality. Danny uses the TV's animated, mythic archetypes as guides from nature that transform into physical archetypes. He is the eagle that followed his father during the credits. His overlook much more powerful than his father. Danny then goes a step further, passive reception of the hotel's transmission. Does Tony travel to these events, or does the hotel send its warning? Later Danny will contact Halloran through a TV, hitching his signal to the newscast. Danny's abilities are supernaturally conscious - 'now' time travelling, both the bleeding elevator (which is witnessed by Wendy at film's end) and the girls (he later witnesses them from his tricycle) are future events actively sent to him as physical realities; he predicts Wendy's coming call seconds later. Once isolated in the mirror, we see Danny stands in a pink-tiled, red bordered room that cuts directly to the elevator's red mask.
We pan right from the kitchen to the living room as Wendy completes the milk's reverse journey from glass to carton to refrigerator. In this shot we see Wendy with consumer telecommunication devices, TV & Phone. Media (books, TV and wall imagery) form an arrow-tree shape pointing upwards. This is the opposite view of the Boulder apartment establishing shot of the dining table, with Danny staring as the TV plays Roadrunner. The film is an escalating series of visions accessed through TVs and mirrors; now he is staring from the bathroom mirror 'into' Wendy's TV framing: he predicts the call. Look at the call's intercutting closely, she picks up a white phone, and in its same position in the next shot is a woman walking in all white who passes into a glint of sunlight reflection, framed to contrast the Boulder apartment TV with its live-action western, an implied animation into realism from the Roadrunner cartoon, a transition from children's entertainment to adult-themed conflict, from sound-only to image-only, both are wild west mythologies. Later Danny will watch an adult themed film below a TV surrounded by toys wearing a Mickey Mouse sweater. He'll then walk to a conversation with his father who acts like a cartoon villain. The TV's effects are diminished representationally in Boulder, it is surrounded by books, telling us the adults find their text information superior to the TV's. This TV reappears in Halloran's house with reversed surroundings. All hanging art is relevant, here they provide contradictions, Boulder apartment's Japanese print and TV screen are framed in precise verticals with Hotel lobby's columns, their intercutting becomes key. What they mean: the Boulder's print is of nature, sharpened, the nature seen outside the Lobby is ghosted: supernatural and they mirror one another. It coyly hints once you enter the Hotel, nature is no longer powerful, the supernatural is dominant, beyond our conception of nature (the print). The TV's cowboys, in their cathode blue hue, contrast the reddish column it cuts to, a spot with the highest shine, and directly mimics Bill Watson and Ullman's pose. The glyphic transaction between shots is obvious, that medium was TV, this is 'shining.' Our first clue the entire hotel's vision is merely conjured, yet in a medium far more complex than television. Shot reveals Jack at phone, a 45 degree mirror exhibits Ullman and Bill Watson in similar, mirrored conversational positions to Jack. A man in the lobby's far background regards the maze model in the opposite position to Jack's stance above it later. The TV used to watch Summer of '42 later in the film is shown in background, inert. The four hotel employees all overlap the columns painted a similar earthtone to Ullman's office. Jack joins their overlapping. The bellhop that stands at the near column is carefully patterned, his colors flow from the pattern he stands above, even his foot stance continues. Wendy and women-at-desk are similarly dressed, like settlers out of Little House on the Prarie: a hint at gender roles. Photographic contrast is high at home and low at hotel (it is shining).
The column behind Jack, and its inverse, the inset framing him in the office interview, are both the width size of Danny’s bathroom mirror as his zoom above begins, a compression that links TV and mirror via their visual connector between the shots: the column. The mirror's door is not closed, it is slightly opened on its left side. A doorway in editing. This ajar/folding space motif is employed continuously in the film; variations of this logic, spaces and rooms that have folds and doorways that are left open, are also continuous, a visual play on words. Vertical interview. Some cuts invert background and subject. Others are bookend transitions, like an image of Danny looking, appearing to see what lurks in the next shot (seeing what we see). Patterns made of folded walls in backgrounds, irregular wall designs, impossibly overlapping spaces, all begin to emerge slowly as animations across cuts. Kubrick may have adapted some of this frozen animation style from his own manner merged with ghost logic/graphic topiary scene in the novel: there each time Jack looks back at animals carved from shrubbery they've moved, in effect Kubrick makes the entire film this blink-and-the-scene-is-different, and he gets to avoid the topiary scene's pulpy narrative device, its visual effect's problematics. Importantly the topiary scene is a strictly a literary device - it's only perceivable by Jack, who turns to walk and loses sight of the hedges, Kubrick rigorously chooses to avoid King's devices and offer hallucinations that are continuously and communally viewable.
This interview exhibits two faces: Danny's and the elevator's.
Above, a series of four interrelated forms. Notice the centering of the elevator's left call button, forcing its embedded T-shape asymmetrically right, and the mirror is the poster's T, asymmetrically left.
East (ritual blood portals) meets West (elevators)
This image has been cropped to frame one of the elevator's 'faces' made out of both lit call buttons and the skin-toned urn's nose.
The film's poster, a medium that descends from stelae and other publicly placed displays, illustrates what shining actually is, in yellow, animating the Starchild's/Danny's face from a black and white realm, or the final view as the child is frozen into the black and white realm the film ends with, a horrifying conceptual sunset. The elevator is a progression from/to this poster's title-image, the T of The (the Mayan 'ik) is transformed to the Mesoamerican (Aztec/Mayan/Mixtec/Zapotec) lintel form, a staging location associated with rulership rituals that included bloodletting (warfare, rulership acension, and priesthood were sometimes linked through blood spilling) and human sacrifice. Like the poster's T 'ik window subconsciously transforming into the elevator's T-shaped lintel, Danny's/Starchild's eyes animate (in some respects they merge) into the elevator's dials. The poster's yellow (can be read as a literal version of k'an sunlight, see below) is diluted from the elevator's red and white, an implied color transition. Two black and white framed posters/photos of Indians on left and right walls act as mirrors. The chandelier is in full blast, an overexposed shining like the poster's overblown yellow light. [Proof for the 'ik existing in poster can be found in the first entry mstrmnd.com/log/802]
The demonic face of the hotel, the elevator, in a sunlight less corridor, ejects blood from its left side indicating the hotel is an intelligent entity conjuring corporeal hallucinations. Similar doorway/elevator masks are laced throughout the hotel. The blood pours earthward to mirror - mimic the water the film begins with, the furniture moves and floats not unlike the island's movement. Examine the liquids consciously: Red (blood) White (milk) and Blue (lake). Gravity enforces the division made by the liquid/sky - it moves from upper to lower, red falls in contrast to the blue titles that rise. Watch further examples of right-left entrances. Red is isolated in this shot, spilling into a nearly duotone hallway. As an extraction blood-rite, the elevator's bleeding visually summarizes the extreme ritual of sacrifice and bloodletting. As a destiny-destination that separates body from spirit, the Hotel combines the transference of human sacrifice through a visual metaphor: a body dies, its 'spirit' is trapped. Obviously this blood refers to Jack's draining at the climax once you connect Wendy's view with the maze's simultaneous trap. The color, life concentrated into a liquid, is drawn from the living who, if doubled and killed inside the hotel/maze, become black and white as a final state (which is why the landscape images outside Ullman’s office can keep their color, there are no humans exhibited). Brilliantly, by surrounding an elevator bank with blood-red Native patterns, designers of the Ahwanee Hotel in 1927 seem to consciously or unconsciously refer to these temple-portals that led (like elevator's strict functionality) to alternate upper and lower realms. Stairless portals of the machine age. Here it can be labeled a T-shaped Mesoamerican portal hybridized with North American Indian forms. The lintel is used in platform portals that descend into the underworld, like most portals atop Mayan/Aztec/Mixtec/Zapotec/'Olmec'/Toltec pyramids, they represent a mythological doorway connecting spirit, blood and lower worlds. No other primary color appears. Like Ullman's office, there is asymmetry within apparent symmetry. Flash cut, the girls appear as twins though they are not (we've been told they are different ages), an asymmetrical doubling meant to invite Danny, if unaware, to join and double himself (which has already begun to Jack). The Hotel is showing Danny a conjuring, a penetrating false-mirror, they are supernatural guides to the building's uses, like a loop in a videogame that warns us on several occasions what to avoid to survive while showing Danny a clue; a how-to guide to the hotel's hidden mirrors. We stare at them laterally (our eyes remain on a horizon) but we interpret their differences in conscious and unconscious manners sideways, there are right-left differences of bilateral symmetry and asymmetry (ie: differences in body weight, dress length). Their shot has blue as a primary and yellow as secondary (the title sequence returns as color leitmotif contrasted against elevator's pure red and white). Their background is littered with asymmetries and complex shadowing as well as a left hallway (like the blood they too arrived from the left). Notice the precision of Kubrick, below, both elevator and girl's corridor share exactly matching left wall corners. The hotel's animated power, hinted at by the T-form fronting the elevator, separates into further asymmetries, colors diffuse their purities into other patterns. Back to the elevator. Now red pours onto floor (and the red animates into the hotel: the kitchen's access way that Danny drives over, the walls of the Gold Ballroom’s bathroom, the fire alarm bells, the piping, the snocat...)
The elevator (and its framing) is related to the outer/inner symmetries split into asymmetries in Ullman's office, in this framing there is both asymmetry and a centerpoint. A brilliant animation in cutting: look closely at the second image above, at the frame's dead center is the elevator's left call button. This is a direct portal with the murderous logic of 2001, combining color (the red of HAL's eye) and the form (the lit call-button) equates HAL 9000's eye-display with this elevator bank. Why? Kubrick equates them. Both are masks of murderous entities, and they are intelligences that discovered murder in revolt to the paradoxes they were created/conquered by. There are complex differences as well. The hotel's manifest intelligence is asymmetric and analog in contrast to HAL's framed symmetric, heuristic, digital identity (supernatural/supercomputer). They are opposites on one level and yet both are murderers. If the view facing Ullman at his desk and his false window is an illusory, complex portal to a perceived skylit ghosting-form (the lighting fixtures and the window) through an opening in native wave-lightning patterns (the curtains), decrypted for the audience by a visual shift (which reveals the asymmetry hiding behind symmetry), then the elevator bank's asymmetry is a progression from both office framings (HAL is a cyclops, the elevator bank is cockeyed: the way Kubrick frames it for us), a metamorphosis that combines in one shot what is seen in Ullman's office in alternate shots: a central mask. HAL is born from perceptive and taught electrical logic (and collapses into computerized, murderous rage) and the Hotel (with elevator button like HAL's seeing interface) is born from holocaust murder-death purified into spectral logic.
Return to Boulder, red and blue (and white, her skin) are grouped back into Wendy’s outfit.
Third redhead, the doctor, examines Danny by shining light into his eyes (and our last image was of a very faint point of light in the center of frame), who lies upon a brown bear pillow with the elevator's half circle eye form (protected like a native in his sleep/dreams by a spirit-bear). See the mirror both bear and doctor create. She also is dressed in brown hues, a fellow bear of the forest. Her inner bodygarment is black suggesting a void, like the bear's mouth he could be swallowed up by and in motif similar to the animal illustration on the floor which duplicates every color in the room (and mimics monolith from 2001) and acts as a void. Appliques on left wall become three dimensional on right wall. Danny's eyes cross the center plane both horizontally and vertically (similar to the poster), as if he has seen beyond. The doctor mimics him in communication but does not succeed entirely ("is Tony one of your animals?"), she remains above horizon. When asked if Tony tells him to do things, he looks both left and right: he checks with both sides of himself - a sign of consciousness. He tells her he will not answer anymore questions. Danny disagrees with her request to remain in bed. A hero's defiance: he is suspicious of her motives. Wendy stares at bed from its foot, this exact stance 90 degree morphed is doubled at film’s end for a shock scene, the bear reappears at the film’s end reversed: as Wendy runs up the stairs, she spots a Bear giving head to a partygoer sitting on bed, her angle to the bed 90 degrees off this first bear. Danny sees the bleeding elevator before this bear, Wendy sees it after her bear. This tells us the hotel scares you with signs you are not aware of consciously: it reads your mind and later shows something you fear to you at right angles.
The movement from bedroom to living room is a series of right angles. "Shall we go into the living room." Kubrick repeatedly shows us the normality of this apartment and it will contrast with the monstrous impossibilities of the Hotel's design (to be explained in detail later).
Cigarette: Doctor sits under sunlight and disappears into color void, like Ullman her hair matches the curtains, she is ghosted. Forms of curtains here are animating from Ullman's curtains: now a Navajo sunset pattern is used. Doctor's hand gestures differ when cutting, suggesting the Doctor is part of this mirror world that Wendy is not, she remains to one side of her unlike Jack. She's contrasted in both outfit and skintone/haircolor. Wendy takes out a cigarette (a reference to Navajo/Crow peace pipe) and is interviewed. Her unconditional retelling of Danny’s accident means she does not rewrite history. The magic of the Navajo spirit in the smoke is honored (tobacco is a truth/peace drug). Although her past is not peaceful, she does not hide from it. This scene occurs in Altman’s 3 Women with very different palattes. Like Ullman, she refers to violence as "just one of those things." The ‘Navajo’ pattern from the Ullman interview is here composed of books, it is centered and is the highest point in the frame in almost same spot as the office, except here it is perfectly centered horizontally. Notice the shift of window left from Ullman office while the zig-zag pattern remains centered and closed. The desk is no longer a seat of power, it is a communal coffee table. These interviews achieve subtle alterations in their meanings.
Closing day is Halloween. Ullman explains earlier their season runs May 15 (very near film's release date) through October 30th.
The car drives on left slope of approach valley, a reverse of first approach.
Framing of family in car allows Danny to be the tallest (and he remains visible to Jack in Bug's interior rear view mirror). He's subtly haloed, and is hungry, behavior more akin to the coyote than the roadrunner. Last Danny standing shot was looking into the bathroom's mirror right, now he looks left into another mirror now offscreen, the car's rearview mirror, and speaks into it. Jack glances at him in it repeatedly, in effect Danny is chasing him (the Roadrunner/Coyote reversed). This scene is a mirror to the opening of the film, where Danny followed Jack from the sky, now he follows Jack inside the car. Notice audio, the car is almost silent, “Boy it sure feels different up here.” Danny mentions learning about cannibalism from "the TV." Jack mimics hims sarcastically using the medium's full name: "television." One of the few shots composing the family together. This is the only original piece of music composed for the film as the opening theme is the Dies Irae.
The following shot is a reverse of the interior angle.
Again hotel is shown as ghost ship, the dissolve maps the Beetle's arrival as a vision, see the Beetle appears on a road to itself curving, where it is parked. Different time of day/angle of sun/change in sky condition from opening.
Reverse angle from initial lobby establishing shot (Jack’s initial arrival). A mirror staged to re-enact his first interview, Jack is seated like he was in Ullman's office. Ullman is dressed in same colors as column. Like bellhop in previous scene in lobby, reversed. Once out of red white and blue uniform, he adopts the hotel’s appearance. The dissolve(s) showcase patterns, surfaces and perspectives in play. In the distance, BOTH interiors have matching staircases, like a lock's form, look at the dissolve: the man with the rolled rug is ascending. Many facements overlap perfectly (notice photographs). Crosses dissolve into elevator door.
Ullman and Jack depart left and arrive right. A red pool table links this room with Games room (the Games room has a Colorado flag). Tour of Hotel is replayed during film’s last scenes in reverse, kitchen, maze, quarters, gold ballroom. Sequences are even reversed ie: while describing maze, the party is actually walking away from the maze, surreal but not enough to awaken an audience into questioning storytelling. Establishing shot of Colorado lounge showcases the group’s exit from the right elevator doors, the first time we see the doors post-blood vision and the only use of the elevator for ascension ever shown. Later we will see this room has other elevator-masks. An American flag caps the room’s end, just below here, Jack will begin writing. On an opposing 45 degree plane from the elevator is the first visible Navajo rug, made of browns, animating the hotel’s décor into a symbol source (from Lobby's polished surface designs to the weaving the patterns are born inside). Wendy is dressed in rug’s same colors. Wendy is centered throughout tracking. Colorado lounge is a pronounced symbolic battlefield. Vast Tudor chandeliers lord over flattened Navajo patterns in rugs. Much of the Amerindian symmetry is walked upon or used out of context. A man now walks down stairs with a rug, towards us, in opposition to the previous lobby scene. Movement creates overlays in window-distance, mid-ground and foreground imagery. At opposite position to establishing elevator is a scale differential: an impossibly large fireplace (humans can fit inside it) opposite Sitting Bull's portrait. Sitting Bull was the victor over Custer at Little Big Horn. This is a cross-scene movement from colorful abstract wall art outside Ullman's office (the stylized, doubled chief) to this black and white photograph of a chief, placed opposite this massive fireplace. Transitions from color art to black and white photograph suggests death, like Jack's transition into his. Fireplace under staircase means the chimney also opens also at stair's top (it does, we see it as Wendy backs up later), converting the staircase into an internal, well-hidden temple structure with portals to both sky and lower realms. Sitting Bull is its honoree, in its underworld.
Games room is beginning of the Overlook's game, a game of death the hotel plays with any active user. Here Danny's first real time hallucination occurs, this doorway appearance of the Grady girls. Games room sequencing is beginning of the Hotel’s alteration of time made visible through editing: watch closely, the girls, their establishing vision and their outfits will expand into other sequences. "My son has discovered the games room." A hint at The Discovery, HAL's conscious vessel from 2001, the quote also lets the audience know that this is a game spirits play. A suggestion that foreknowledge is a weapon that emerges from knowledge. Kubrick shows mirrors within shots: Danny travels through the shot to return to an opposite stance, like Jack's initial hotel lobby sequence. Danny throws red darts (in contrast/parallel to his dad, who hurls a tennis ball later at the initial Navajo blanket beyond Ullman's office) to target and in whip-pan, girls in blue penetrate this dimension, they are no longer relegated to ‘visions’ of Danny’s, they appear present, corporeal, escalating the Hotel’s intention with Danny. The Hotel is animating (call it from now on shining) the dead as invitation to Danny: it looks as real as you are. A poster above this pair continues their symmetry deeper. In reverse to the Colorado Lounge with its United States flag at top, this is the games room with a Colorado state flag (made from Colorado tribe's visual forms). Both flag and dart board are target-shaped and are shown at right angles. The state flag is also obviously a sun object, as is the skiing poster left of the girls (a clever mirror). Kubrick condenses symbol, color and technology in one room; the phones (communication), the card tables, the skiing, the buffalo hunt, and the conversion of the Colorado Indian emblem to state flag are part of this game of conversion, a vast metaphoric glyph of a conquest game. Its mirror is Jack's ball toss, who parallels Danny by throwing his ball in the Colorado Lounge against an Indian form. They both agree to play a game, signing on after psychic discoveries; the Hotel's mirrors must be consciously navigated to survive now.
Like separation of blood-red pouring and girls’ establish shot, the red darts play counterpart to the girls’ blue isolation. They are responses to Danny's assertiveness, depsite the images he's been shown as a warning, he's prodding the hotel to communicate, he's pricking it to play a game with him. As the instigator, he will activate a portal to Room 237 by turning its knob (and seeing the future, again). Phone booth mimics vidphone in 2001. In effect we are at both films' stage of consciousness: remember Floyd communicates with his daughter, now there are two girls this age communicating, in reverse they are replying to him. Danny’s face stares at the departing girls, and cuts to arriving Torrances, in corridor with wall pattern behind where we first met girls in corridor vision in Bathroom mirror. The solid yellow baseboards and blue walls here extrude from that rear corridor, amazingly the girls' fabric pattern is now on these walls. A complex completion across time and edits, a Shining. These subtle shifts cannot all be explained here, this guide excerpt is roughly half of the notes, but like Ullman taking lobby column's colors, and these girls' fabric extending on foreground wall in a future within the film, the upcoming is littered with hundreds of planned transferences. These keys are subtle and manipulative in an unconscious way (it makes the film riveting without knowing why).
Look below and see the EXIT sign background right. This would imply a corridor is there and a staircase. Once we enter the bathroom of their apartment, and are shown the window in the bathoom (and then later we see Danny exit an entirely flat exterior wall) this corridor and implied exit are false in physical space. We have been fooled without seeing it exactly: unconsciously we can tell the entire Hotel's design is false. Deformities in spatial logic are continuous.
Grown twins, tall, fair haired women, walk towards the blue floral wall pattern and Jack stares at them, duplicating Danny’s last act of seeing other near twins. They are seeing twins at differing time scales. Oval image above bed duplicates at final bed in 2001: A Space Odyssey and is a portal to the opening shot a few minutes ago (lake with island). Kubrick probes the rooms until the bathroom to ensure we are aware of this layout logic.
Bathroom is white and black and is terminus of this sequence as well as at film's climax, again a colorfield movement towards the photographs' black and white state.
Both are followed by maze sequences.
Introduction to Overlook's hedge-maze is begun with party walking away from it, the maze is capped by pyramids. They encounter red snocat, first blood red object featured centrally after elevator expulsion. The snocat's form is dissolved towards a right angled (to it) love seat at entrance to Gold Ballroom, which it turns out has much blood red furniture. Entrance to maze is capped by the continually reappearing half-circle. The eye-form of the poster and elevator dial.
The k'an symbol. Paradoxical that the day is celebrated in a room missing sunlight. The day, signified by k'an, is walked upon, the yellow sun's symbol broadcasts up from an underworld. Time, daylight and false sunlight are in constant interplay inside The Overlook. At its separations, INTERVIEW, CLOSING DAY, TUESDAY, 4pm, The Shining itself contracts in time spans, ending in the fraction of a second on a date that acts as the counterpoint to earlier looser framings; at film's beginning we view an infinity of time (the landscape's Interview). Mayan time expands from a centerpoint of creation, as the future expands so does the past. Western time leapfrogs over pivots: creation to birth to death. Non-linear or Continuum vs. Linear: the horror here is becoming trapped into a millisecond, into a flash at the end of the film before the film has begun, a nightmarish western time freeze. Gold Ballroom: there is a crucial play on words here, the yellow tennis ball will be the only ball we see consistently. Once properly decoded visually, this set is an inverted ballcourt (the ceiling) with a repeating sun image on the floor (the sky now below). This ritual-game was the central practice in Mesoamerican societies, combining warfare, sun worship and sacrifice in an effort to assure the sun's movement and reappearance. The conquest of the Americas included the discovery and industrialization of rubber, witnessed first by Cortes through this spiritual game of human-sun interaction (and then harvested madly through the 18th, 19th and part of the 20th century - see the diaries of Roger Casement). The yellow tennis ball is, in effect, proof of colonization, a supreme compaction of sun-worshipping/ballgame played in Mesoamerican societies until the 1600's. The ball that Jack throws remains a sun-object that has been conquered and absorbed into English game codes and now returns to the hotel as an ingenious prompt. It is a tease the spirits use, the Games Room expanded into every room.
“I found him outside looking for you” Danny seeks. Susie, a redhead, like the Doctor, also intervenes with Danny. “Did you get tired of bombing the universe?” Another reference to Danny’s origin as 2001’s Starchild - final act unseen in 2001's script was the simultaneous destruction of the Earth's orbiting nuclear weapons. His jacket reads Flyers as a hint to his conscious mirror Tony and the "eagle-spirit journey" that opens the film. Halloran is met in Gold Ballroom. Original goals of American conquest: passage to orient and gold. Halloran's outfit is highly contrasted. Staff met in Ballroom are near parodies of colonial battlefield, Halloran is an apparent Uncle Tom (it is his performance mask) and Grady is stodgy butler persona: they are cartoon characters (Scatman Crothers has voiced Disney characters, an audible mirror to the cartoon characters on Danny's door).
Watch Kubrick employ, as in Ullman's office and his singles of Ullman and Jack, two framings of the ballroom, left and right oriented. The ballroom is introduced through lateral tracking, a penetration into left-right mirror worlds. The eye-forms (poster/elevator etc) appear as half-domes above insets on the golden stage far in the back. Ceiling and rear wall gold forms mimic Ullman's office window, light fixtures and shelves. Consistently, we see both sides of the mirror, an interview, illustrated above, indicated by the ladder's toggling between Halloran's shoulders. Danny crosses this mirror from a right framing and joins them on left. The parallax lines the ceiling creates recalls the 'Beyond the Infinite' sequence of 2001. The ceiling also mimics Aztec/Mayan temple interior/exteriors hung with Tudor crown chandeliers: the Sun God is not only worshipped, its glittering spectacle is rendered day and night. The tables are clearly moon-shapes (to achieve their color temperature in a predominantly yellow hued room is difficult), and showcase the moon descendant, unworshipped, support for alcohol and tobacco usage. And to go with his moon table is a repeating pattern of sun logos. On the floor carpet, one of three wall-to-wall patterns in the film, is the Mayan logoglyph k'an composed in Mesoamerican colors of pink, gold and brown: the pouring blood red separated. K'an (which means yellow), is simultaneously a logoglyph and a cosmogram of the sun. "An abstraction of the four directions, this equal-armed cross may be the most widely shared symbol in the ancient Americas. As an implicit cosmogram, the cross was commonly associated with the sun..." [Reading Maya Art, Stone & Zender 2011]. While this is a coded symbol in Mesoamerican cultures, the symbol has been found across globe and time in many prehistoric cultures as early scrawled notation (it also is considered an entopic image; other early entoptic symbols include bar, dot and tri-dot [see Brian Hayden for further details]), k'an is the first communicable representation of the sun in the Americas, here Kubrick links the Gold Ballroom to the Mayan symbol for yellow through its carpeting and serves up a critical flow of ideas. This is a mirror of the sky. Completing cosmologies, the film now has North and Central (Meso) information coding systems: the Navajo (and Apache, Crow, Blackfoot) are societies without written representation, yet their signs and symbols still encoded narratives, and now the Aztec and Maya are illustrated, societies who encoded information into syllabaries of logograms, logoglyphs and ideograms, a leap of written language that bypasses the west and its Indo-European alphabetic systems entirely. Dick Halloran enters and keeps an optically clear ladder (teepee form) on his shoulder with a man standing on it, first indication Halloran may possess unusual gifts.
Tour of kitchen is like their separate learning of the maze later on. It shows Wendy how to use the hotel, she uses its portalling abilities consciously or unconsciously. Jack never enters the kitchen except unconsciously, dragged by Wendy. He also never leaves the Hotel until film's end. Kubrick elevates continuity tricks here into a form of phenomenology. The film is littered with perhaps hundreds of changed orientations of props, directions, entrances. Look closely when watching, Halloran opens a door to the freezer on one side of this hallway and they exit another freezer opposite. Notice the shift in door orientation entrance to exit. Kubrick is proving the hotel is a shifting corporeal engine, at times the doorways have no obvious logic, they are portals. The kitchen itself has illogical openings across the entire hotel. During the film's climax, Kubrick probes other accessways: Wendy will leave the lobby area, enter a red-mask of the hotel (the doorway to the kitchen, not an elevator) behind the Ullman office and will reappear a few seconds later across it in a darkened, cobwebbed version of the lobby. The final, key shift occurs during this lobby-split: the mirror entrance to the maze, which was first shown in daylight 90 degrees away, aimed away from the hotel, at film's end it now faces the hotel (Kubrick shows you a right pan to it). Danny has properly perceived the maze's final opening, by studying both outer mirror and inner, his disoriented father is lured here, to an entrance to the maze only Danny seems to be aware of. Wendy's moments later discovery of the lobby moonlit and cobwebbed is, like the alternate maze entrance, the Hotel's mirror alternate state. This is the 'other side' of the Hotel's 'language,' for lack of a better word. The language Danny understands, Jack does not, and Wendy patently avoids until the ending.
Frozen meat suggests this is another roomful of red, yet frost covers it with white. Containment of death that Jack will die in outside. Monochromatic like the B&W images.
They enter the dry storage room, an impossible space that overlaps the freezer they've just departed. In storage room, zoom reveals Halloran mirrored with Calumet baking powder. It appears both on his left and ours at right angles. Yellows, oranges and greens counterpoint frozen monochrome hell of frozen storage. Music begins cue that shining is occurring and it seems to be the result of the visual mirorring between Halloran and the only modernized Indian 'cartoon,' an unanimated archetype color image of a Native American just behind him. Calumet was the Iroquois's peace/war pipe that became a contract between French and tribe later dismantled by U.S. Government’s evolving policies (despite the contract's acceptance into treaties). Jack will be imprisoned here, a step-away from the frozen mirror he ends inside, mirrored in time, the kitchen's maze is mirrored against the one outside. Danny’s favorite food is french fries and ketchup, yellow and red. Dry goods storage is asymmetrical, the mausoleum-like cold storage for frozen meat is symmetric.
Brilliant sequence. The group's departure leaving Danny and Halloran behind suggests Halloran can still hear them as they depart out of earshot: they never leave his head's 'aura' in dissolve. Both parties are reversed from one another, ending with a dissolve of the group farther away into Halloran's head who begins with "do you know how I knew your name?" as Kubrick has just slyly explained visually how he does. Subtle, distant voices are heard throughout this scene.
Arrow forms are now aimed downwards, the knives on the background's column pointing towards the underworld. Favorite flavor is chocolate. Inadvertant result of America’s conquest is west's discovery of cocoa (Aztec/Cortes). Halloran is revealed as protector, first testing validity of Tony’s advice, then discoursing about the Overlook, discouraging his curiosity. Danny has eaten from a silver cup-chalice that he surrounds with his arms. Both use hands posed in signalling manner of discussion, initial one indicates collective prayer, they mutate per shot, defying continuity. Danny is a seer, like Halloran. Objects and head shine here. Shine in Danny’s chalice and Halloran’s head and their shapes intentionally similar.
The k'an symbol. Paradoxical that the day is celebrated in a room missing sunlight. The day, signified by k'an, is walked upon, the yellow sun's symbol broadcasts up from an underworld. Time, daylight and false sunlight are in constant interplay inside The Overlook. At its separations, INTERVIEW, CLOSING DAY, TUESDAY, 4pm, The Shining itself contracts in time spans, ending in the fraction of a second on a date that acts as the counterpoint to earlier looser framings; at film's beginning we view an infinity of time (the landscape's Interview). Mayan time expands from a centerpoint of creation, as the future expands so does the past. Western time leapfrogs over pivots: creation to birth to death. Non-linear or Continuum vs. Linear: the horror here is becoming trapped into a millisecond, into a flash at the end of the film before the film has begun, a nightmarish western time freeze.
Gold Ballroom: there is a crucial play on words here, the yellow tennis ball will be the only ball we see consistently. Once properly decoded visually, this set is an inverted ballcourt (the ceiling) with a repeating sun image on the floor (the sky now below). This ritual-game was the central practice in Mesoamerican societies, combining warfare, sun worship and sacrifice in an effort to assure the sun's movement and reappearance. The conquest of the Americas included the discovery and industrialization of rubber, witnessed first by Cortes through this spiritual game of human-sun interaction (and then harvested madly through the 18th, 19th and part of the 20th century - see the diaries of Roger Casement). The yellow tennis ball is, in effect, proof of colonization, a supreme compaction of sun-worshipping/ballgame played in Mesoamerican societies until the 1600's. The ball that Jack throws remains a sun-object that has been conquered and absorbed into English game codes and now returns to the hotel as an ingenious prompt. It is a tease the spirits use, the Games Room expanded into every room.
Stare at it for a long, long time.
"The United States is the only developed nation without a visual literacy curriculum in its public education program."
paraphrased from Douglas Rushkoff's Coercion
The editors of the Wall Street Journal find an opportunistic Nero, William Happer, an atomic physicist from Princeton, who fiddles an op-ed questioning the logic of climate change by using the misnomer 'global warming.' Be wary of anyone using this phrase in the news, 'global warming' is a simpleton's view of anthropogenic (human made) CO2, the result of 1 billion cars and ample technological growth. The only proper name for the event is 'global climate change,' which has already altered seasons, farming dates, and contributes to ever stranger weather patterns. He faults computer models predicting vast changes (like the 12,000 year old Larsen B shelf's melting in 2002, below) by aiming his sights only at one aspect of the data: the average temperature. It's a little like saying the body is healthy because the average of it's body parts' temperatures are stable. But if one leg is in increasingly colder areas and the head is in increasingly hotter areas, the body has a harder time regulating its temperature. The WSJ should be warned it risks future generations' livelihoods with such pointed, commercial defiance of climatological research. Tell them: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wasson explored a critical link between human and mushroom through language. A tour de force. No longer in print.
Unlike its commonly known spawn, Huxley's orwellian synthetic superdrug, Soma is a word that originates in the Rg Veda, one of the first verse collections in Indo-European languages. It describes a god-like substance found on mountains that 'filters' the sun into visionary realms. Soma is the Noah's ark of the Rg Veda, a mystical concoction lost in time and translation, spoken of in hard to miss descriptives. Many scholars treaded before Wasson, assigning Soma's label to bhang (cannabis) or rhubarb (the verses describe it sometimes as leafless, almost always red) among many other possible botanical candidates, none have ever passed muster, except Wasson's take on it. Wasson deplores earlier discovery work and carefully constructs an argument that surmises the origin language of ours was begun in a religious practice led by priests that regularly imbibed mushrooms to achieve ecstatic states. The book cross references both the Vedas and other linguistic treatments of key words across the planet to give resonance to his arguments, plotting even the geographical movement of his adored supermyth mycodrug.
By the end of Wasson's narrative, we're only 3/4 way through the book. What follows is a large appendix chapter of source notes, each entry a few paragraphs to a page long. To propel his argument, Wasson devotes considerable energy to proving his hunches. The appendix is its own mini novel: riveting documentary evidence in quick spurts; is copiously noted. His argument that the pivotal mushroom became a legendary flay-agaric (a killer of flies and bedbugs) as a twist of linguistic 'evolution' is brilliant. When he shows rational proofs of the fly-agarics lack of effect on flies, followed by western visitors' uses of the Soma mushrooms in eastern regions the 1700s, his patterns connect. Even the pathway from Soma to the Old Testament's Apple is analyzed. The birch tree, given the moniker tree of life among northern ancient languages, is both the source of Soma's red button-tongue mushroom and the primitive form of aspirin. Wasson tracks the religion's/language's spread from forest to forest of birch through an ur-literate time passing into literate.
"The careful scholarship of the dedicated amateur mycophile R. Gordon Wasson reads like an exciting scientific detective story. Moreover, his willingness to pursue the quest through the wide range of linguistics, archeology, folklore, philology, ethnobotany, plant ecology, human physiology, and prehistory constitutes an object lesson to all holistic professional students of man."
Weston La Barre, American Anthropologist
Lisa Miller uses Xanax and describes in New York Magazine a culture of fear endlessly popping chemical shields to a key mammalian growth mechanism: anxiety. A must-read for anthropologists, sociologists, and public health thinkers, a quote:
"Xanax and its siblings—Valium, Ativan, Klonopin, and other members of the family of drugs called benzodiazepines—suppress the output of neurotransmitters that interpret fear. They differ from one another in potency and duration; those that enter your brain most quickly (Valium and Xanax) can make you the most high. But all quell the racing heart, spinning thoughts, prickly scalp, and hyperventilation associated with fear’s neurotic cousin, anxiety, and all do it more or less instantly. Prescriptions for benzodiazepines have risen 17 percent since 2006 to nearly 94 million a year; generic Xanax, called alprazolam, has increased 23 percent over the same period, making it the most prescribed psycho-pharmaceutical drug and the eleventh- most prescribed overall, with 46 million prescriptions written in 2010. In their generic forms, Xanax is prescribed more than the sleeping pill Ambien, more than the antidepressant Zoloft. Only drugs for chronic conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol do better.
“Benzos,” says Stephen Stahl, chairman of the Neuroscience Education Institute in Carlsbad, California, and a psychiatrist who consults to drug companies, “are the greatest things since Post Toasties. They work well. They’re very cheap. Their effectiveness on anxiety is profound.”
Speed up to the 2nd speaker, afterwards or before, read William D. Norhaus's Why the Global Warming Skeptics Are Wrong, a chilling, short essay about slow earth heating.
Malick's dunderheaded dinosaur moment of Tree of Life had everyone guessing, but the big mystery is how did everyone miss the obvious?
Answer: humans are not trained in visual literacy; analogous visual metaphors are invisble to the general public. Reptillian 'mercy' vs. mammalian/proto-human 'cruelty.' Malick tries to outmanouvere Kubrick's ownership of consciousness by predating it, but his later gestures in ToL do not advance like Kubrick's, they fall flat. His visual slang is just that. The sun adorns vistas in human time and in geologic. In human time, the Christian mythology tries to outwit nature's but the joke is it shows up in the reptillian age. Ponderous thud or rank creationism, either way Malick comes off as a heavy handed rainmaker. He's out there whispering about the terror of urban sprawl, but he's also building Saturday Night Live sets on the verge of a desert. And to keep the mayhem paced, he's got midas-touch cutter Hank Corwin, trained first in music video. Every transition has been matched. Soothing, choral muzak slices ham when necessary (often). Even the actors try their hands at the instruments. When Pitt has to look moved by the Tocatta Bach he's peddling, he juts his jaw out, as if he knows how forced the idea is. And despite all that whispered voice over underlining the action, the gestures start fizzling. They move internally. Into spokenness. And they fall literally (elevators, elevators...). Kubrick moves externally in Space Odyssey, at an escalating speed, into unspokeness. Malick wants to be Kubrick but he's really more a National Geographic-apologist pushing Freud's agenda: Hoses, feet, candles, and that upstairs nightmare, the attic that extrudes a house-form. Does it get anymore obvious?