Room 237 (2012) Movie Script

- The poster
that came out in Europe,
at least in England,
I believe,
before the movie was released
in Europe said,
"The wave of terror
that swept across America."
And Kubrick controlled
the posters very carefully.
it made you do a double take.
I remember seeing it in Europe.
I was the Rome Bureau Chief
at the time for ABC News.
And I remember looking at it.
It said, "The wave of terror
that swept across America."
What's he talking about?
And you'd sort of think
that he was talking about
the impact
of the book The Shining.
The impact of the movie
that had just opened over there?
It didn't quite fit.
The wave of terror
that swept across America
from Portland, Maine,
to Portland, Oregon,
was the genocidal armies
and the white men with their ax
clearing it all and bringing in
extractive industries,
among many other good things
as well.
But that was the wave of terror
that swept across America,
terrifying, of course,
the American Indians.
- I went in to see this movie in
Leicester Square Movie Theater,
right near
Leicester Square in London.
And I remember it
quite clearly from...
I can even remember the seats
we were sitting in.
If I went back to that theater,
I could point them to you,
sort of near the back
and over to the left.
From the moment of the opening
astonishing helicopter shot,
I was terrified.
I had no idea what was coming.
I remember sort of sitting
on the front edge
of my theater seat there
to keep from falling off.
And I remember gripping my
belt buckle with my left hand,
I think it was...
yes, my left hand,
sort of to keep from falling off
the edge of the seat
and to try to control my terror
as I watched this movie.
I had no idea what was coming.
I hadn't read the book.
I had barely seen
any of the posters.
And I remember that I was
stunned when the movie was over.
We left the theater, went in...
down into
our underground car park
to get into the car to leave.
And as we were driving up
out of the car park,
I was sitting
in the back left seat.
I was thinking, "What was that?
What was that?
"What was it?
What was it?
What was it?"
And I think
my visual imagination
looked at that
Calumet baking powder can,
the one right behind
Hallorann's head
when he was talking to Danny.
I knew what "calumet" meant.
It meant "peace pipe."
And I thought to myself,
"peace pipe, Indians.
"Oh, my goodness,
they're all over the place
in that movie."
- The loser
has to keep America clean.
- And I suddenly
said to my friends,
"That movie
was about the genocide
of the American Indians."
And they said,
"What are you talking about?"
And I started explaining it,
because I'd noticed
the Calumet baking soda can.
In the first... the first time
we seen one,
it's a single
baking powder can straight on.
And you can see the whole word,
so there's no duplicity,
like the little girls
represent later.
This is an honest truth,
an honest peace pipe
between them.
The other time we see
the Calumet baking powder cans
is when they're
very carefully placed
behind Jack Nicholson's head
when he's talking to Grady.
- No need to rub it in,
Mr. Grady.
I'll deal with that situation
as soon as I get out of here.
- There's about six
or seven of them stacked up,
and they're
all turned different ways,
and you can't read
any one of them completely.
It's... I've always interpreted
those as being broken,
dishonest peace pipe treaties.
They're not... these two guys,
Grady and Jack,
are not being honest
with each other.
Grady is trying to get Jack
to go kill his family
and commit genocide,
in the larger sense
of the movie.
You know, I mean,
Kubrick often,
in many of his movies,
he will end them
with a puzzle
so that he forces you to go out
of the theater saying,
"What was that about?"
And he would put things
in the scenes
that he knows will be,
among other things,
like confirmers when people
start to try to figure out
what the movie is about.
And we know he took
this kind of care.
There's a photograph
in one of the books
that actually shows Kubrick
carefully arranging
objects on the shelves
in that dry goods room.
I thought afterwards,
"How come I saw this and
a lot of other people didn't?"
And I've thought about it.
It's a combination of factors.
First, I grew up in Chicago
and, therefore,
just north
of the Calumet Harbor
and spent summers up
in the sand dunes of Michigan,
around on the other side
of Lake Michigan.
My father
took me and my sister out
to collect little bits
of Indian pottery.
I'd already...
I'd already covered,
at that point in 1980,
five years
of the Lebanese civil war.
I was, at that point,
covering John Paul ll.
I was the Rome Bureau Chief.
And listening
to what he was saying about...
because he had experienced
the Holocaust at its epicenter
and also other horrors.
And so all of those factors
were very much alive in my mind
when we went
to see The Shining,
which I just thought was going
to be some kind of horror movie
by this great moviemaker.
And all of those coming together
along with the little key,
the Calumet baking soda can,
is why I just happened
to tune to it
as we were driving up out of
that underground parking garage
just off Leicester Square.
- I first saw the movie in 1980
when it first came out
and saw it probably two times.
I can say that I remembered
the skier poster.
That is one thing
that really stuck with me.
And the window.
The window in the office,
that's another thing
that really stuck with me.
I remember, you know,
in the newspapers afterwards,
people being disappointed.
And I remember people
that I knew,
yes, in dialogue afterwards,
being disappointed that it was
not more a horror film.
Well, no Kubrick film's
really just a regular movie.
I understood that from,
well, when I was 10 years old
and I first saw 2001.
I walked away.
I thought, "This is a film
that's supposed
to make me think."
- I had my first
religious experience
seeing the film
2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968.
I was a smart kid
and liked art,
but I really
did not like movies
and thought that they
were really a substandard art.
And, you know, films like
My Fair Lady
and Doctor Dolittle were out.
And it was a rather pathetic
time in the '60s for films.
And my girlfriend,
she pulled up
and told me that she'd
seen a movie the night before
and she wanted to see it again.
So she took me to the theater,
the Cinerama Dome,
and I watched it.
And I had never in my life
envisioned that a movie
could do what this movie
was doing.
And it was showing me things
that I had never seen,
and it was
intellectually challenging.
And it was an artistic
masterpiece in every way,
from the soundtrack to
the visuals to the story line.
And when the movie ended,
I couldn't get out of my seat.
I was frozen in the seat,
completely paralyzed
by what I'd just witnessed.
And the usher actually
had to come and get me out.
And I was the last person,
me and her.
And I staggered
out of the theater
completely changed
as a human being
and decided at that moment
that the only thing
that I wanted to do
for the rest of my life
was to make films
in one fashion or another.
And so I have done that.
So I owe Stanley Kubrick and
his film 2001: A Space Odyssey
everything for everything that
I have become in my life, so...
- I saw a number
of Kubrick films
before I had
an academic interest in him.
And then I went to see
The Shining in 1980.
And frankly,
I didn't think that much of it.
I thought the other
Kubrick films that I'd seen
were far superior.
But as I thought
about the film afterwards...
and even when
I wasn't thinking about it...
there were things
that bothered me about it.
It seemed
as if I had missed something.
And so I went back
to see it again.
And I began to see
patterns and details
that I hadn't noticed before.
And so I kept watching the film
again and again and again.
And since
I'm trained as an historian
and my special expertise
is in the history of Germany
and Nazi Germany in particular,
I became
more and more convinced
that there is,
in this film,
a deeply laid subtext
that takes on The Holocaust.
I think
it probably was the typewriter,
which was a German brand,
which might seem arbitrary,
but by that time,
I knew enough about Kubrick
that most anything in his films
can't be regarded as arbitrary,
that anything...
especially objects and colors
and music and anything else,
probably have some intentional
as well as
unintentional meaning to them.
And so that struck me.
Why a German typewriter?
And in connection with that,
I began to see the number 42
appear in the film.
And for a German historian,
if you put the number 42
and a German typewriter
you get the Holocaust,
because it was in 1942
that the Nazis made the decision
to go ahead and exterminate
all the Jews they could.
And they did so in
a highly mechanical, industrial,
and bureaucratic way.
And so the juxtaposition
of the number 42
and the typewriter was really
where it started for me
in terms of the historical
content of the film.
Of course "adler"
in German means "eagle."
And eagle, of course,
is a symbol of Nazi Germany.
It's also a symbol
of the United States.
And Kubrick
generally has recourse to eagles
to symbolize state power.
Kubrick read Raul Hilberg's
The Destruction
of the European Jews.
And Hilberg's
major theme in there
is that he focuses
on the apparatus of killing.
And he emphasizes
how bureaucratic it was
and how it was a matter
of lists and typewriters.
Spielberg picked that up in
Schindler's List, of course.
I mean, the film begins
with typewriters and lists
and ends with a list,
of course.
And so that informs...
and I had a chance
to talk to Raul Hilberg.
He visited Albion College.
And he said that he and Kubrick
corresponded about this.
And the fact that he read it
then, in the 1970s,
when there was a big wave
of interest in Hitler
and the Holocaust and the Nazis,
I think...
I think just tells us
that that typewriter,
that German typewriter...
which by the way, changes color
in the course of the film,
which typewriters
don't generally do...
is terribly,
terribly important
as a referent to that
particular historical event.
- I worked in a film archive
for a decade,
kind of like
through World War II
ten times a day.
But, you know, like,
when you see things
over and over and again,
their meanings change for you.
Like, when you see these... see,
like, World War ll newsreels,
like, after a while,
you come to realize
that it's all faked on film.
You are not seeing troops
storming Normandy.
You're seeing troops
storming a beach in Hollywood.
You know, like, you're not
seeing a plane flying to Japan.
You're seeing a plane flying
over, you know, New Mexico.
What you're really being shown
is, like, staged heroism.
You know, like, you're seeing
men moving with machines,
but you're not seeing what
they're talking about.
And I think that that's
something that Kubrick plays on.
Like, he plays on your
acceptance of visual infor...
and also your ignorance
of visual information.
Like he'll often, like,
put little special clues
that you see,
like, in the corner.
Every scene,
there's an impossibility,
like the TV doesn't have a cord
or even something as simple as,
like, them...
they, like...
they bring too much luggage up.
They, like... Jack, you know,
glances over at a pile
of their luggage
that they brought,
and ifs about the size
of a car.
You know, a lot of it is jokes.
Like, they're taking the tour.
They're crossing the street
from the maze
to go check out the garage.
Like, a car
is just about to hit them.
And then it cuts right before.
- I had anticipated the film
and had read
the Stephen King novel
before the film came out and
found it a very appealing story.
And I had spent
a lot of time
at the Stanley Hotel
in Estes Park, Colorado,
which is where he was inspired
to write the book The Shining.
And so I, you know... I knew
a little bit of the background.
And when
Kubrick's film came out,
I was first in line to see it,
of course.
And I was just
really disappointed
and walked out of the theater
wondering what the hell
I had just witnessed.
And, I... actually,
my reverence for Stanley Kubrick
diminished after that.
I was disappointed, but I still
watched it every few years.
I couldn't understand why I was
so attracted to watching a film
that I actually didn't like.
And now
in all these years later,
I know why it is a great film.
It is a masterpiece,
but not for the reasons
that most people think.
We are dealing with a guy
who has a 200 IQ.
I believe
that when Stanley Kubrick
finished with Barry Lyndon,
he was bored.
He had conquered
the filmmaking landscape.
He had succeeded in making
masterpiece after masterpiece,
and he was bored.
Barry Lyndon
is a boring movie.
It is wonderfully shot.
It is beautifully costumed.
But it is a film
made by a guy who is bored.
And I could see that.
And so I think Stanley
retreated after Barry Lyndon.
And he began working on
a new kind of film,
a film that
had never been made before,
a film that was made
by a bored genius
who had thoroughly
emptied the jug of everything
that could be done
in filmmaking.
And he was looking
for the next thing.
And what he did was he began
reading Subliminal Seduction
and a number of other books
which were about how advertisers
were injecting...
injecting images,
subliminal images,
into advertising
to sell products more.
- Suggestible trends.
- You know, there'll be
an ad for Gilbey's Gin,
and inside, the ice cubes
will be various sex organs
and things to add
a subliminal appeal to the ad.
Kubrick went
to these advertisers,
and he asked them
what their methods were.
And then he took those methods
and he applied them
to The Shining.
Inside The Shining are
hundreds of subliminal images
and shot line-ups.
And what
these images are telling
is an extremely disturbing
story about sexuality.
And the subtext of the story,
besides the other subtexts
of the story,
is a story of haunted
phantoms and demons
who are sexually attracted
to humans
and are feeding off of them.
You'd have to be able to be
a complete fanatic like I am
in order to find all this,
but, you know,
I'll give you my favorite.
I'm only gonna give you one,
but I'll give you my favorite.
When Jack meets
Stewart Ullman in the office
at the very beginning
of the movie
and he reaches over to shake
Jack Nicholson's hand...
and so step through
that scene frame by frame.
And the minute,
the moment,
the frame that he
and Jack Nicholson touch hands
and right after the line
that Barry Nelson says,
which is, "Nice to see you,"
you can see
that there's a paper...
a paper tray on the desk.
And as soon as they touch hands,
the paper tray
turns into a very large
straight-on hard-on
coming out of Barry nelson.
Yeah, it's hilarious.
It's a joke... a very serious
joke... but a joke by Stanley.
And there's
many of these in the film.
And very disturbing,
some of them.
And this will all be in my film,
Kubrick the Magician.
I'll give you one more.
This one's harder to find, okay?
And you have to know what
Stanley Kubrick looked like
during the making of
The Shining to know this one.
But if you go
to the opening credits
and you pan the frame...
you... you go through the frames,
right after it says
"Directed by Stanley Kubrick,"
as soon as his name
passes off the frame,
stop and you will see that the
clouds have Stanley Kubrick
airbrushed into them,
his face...
with the beard and the wild hair
and the whole thing.
I know this one's
a little harder to find.
And I will have to...
I will have to Photoshop
this one to show people it,
but there is definitely the
photograph of Stanley Kubrick
in one frame
airbrushed into the clouds.
- In most films,
a dissolve is used
to indicate a long passage
of time between two scenes.
But in The Shining,
the dissolves go on for so long
that they create
a superimposition,
where different scenes seem to
be interacting with each other.
For example,
you have the exterior image...
a tracking shot of the lobby
of the camera
moving along the western wall
south towards the entrance.
And you see
a janitor mopping the floor,
but it looks like he's...
it looks like
a he's a giant, mopping,
like, clearing the forest
because he's mopping, like,
a vacant area in the forest.
And then the...
then the ladder lines up...
lines up with the pyramid form
of the exterior of the hotel,
which, in the exterior set,
Like, we don't see...
we only see that
in the Timberline exteriors.
But the England movie set
exteriors of the hotel,
like, the pyramid is missing,
and it seems as if the hotel
then takes both sides
of the Timberline Hotel
and then kind of, like,
makes a composite of it.
So it's... you know,
it's a perceptual shift
of making people
look like giants,
also making the hotel look
larger or smaller than it is.
I mean, these things
kind of litter the movie.
But then the shot goes on.
We see a...
we see a janitor pushing
a folded-up bed on wheels.
And then he's followed
by another...
he's followed by another guy,
who's carrying, like, one...
like, one coffee table?
And then another... like, another
guy is carrying one chair.
Like, where are these guys going
with, like, these light loads,
you know?
Then we see Jack sitting
on a chair, eating lunch.
And the manager
and his assistant crosses paths
with two women who...
and just as he's
in the corner of the screen...
you just see it for a second.
You see one of the women
is wearing, like, a 13,
a number 13 jersey?
Can you hear that?
My boy, yelling?
Hold on one second.
I'm gonna see if I can...
I can see
if I can calm him down.
You know,
so, like, he's like,
leaning back
and eating a sandwich.
And he's got, you know,
a magazine in his lap.
And as he stands up
to greet them,
he, like, throws it down.
And if you look at"
look at...
look at it, you know,
close up,
it's an actual
Playgirl magazine.
Yeah, a Playgirl magazine
in the lobby of a hotel
right in front of his boss,
like on his first day at work.
Like, the cover is like, people
getting ready for New Year's.
There's an article about incest.
At the beginning of the film,
Danny's been physically abused.
But there's a suggestion
that he's been
sexually abused as well.
You know, so like,
just in that one...
one shot, there's all these,
like, you know, complex things
going on in the background,
like things
that are choreographed
to match up exactly.
Like, we see a guy...
we see a guy, carrying a...
entering the room,
carrying a rug.
And by the time
the scene is just ending,
we see him
walking up the stairs.
Like, he's crossed
the entire place,
you know, timed exactly.
I don't even...
- When Ullman
is leading the Torrances
out of the elevator
and into the Colorado Lounge
for the first time,
there's a pile of suitcases.
And in the dissolve
into that scene,
the scene before,
a group of tourists
are standing in the lobby.
And those tourists
dissolve into the suitcases.
Now, as an historian
of the Holocaust,
I find that
very, very striking
and certainly not accidental
'cause he's using those
sort of cross-dissolves.
Now, that could be,
along with the ladder,
where he's trying to make
substantive connections
as well as formal ones.
- Oh, the window
in Ullman's office,
it is absolutely beautiful.
The casual viewer
isn't going to see
so many things
in Kubrick's films,
although I think they may
register unconsciously.
You know, but they're not
going to, you know,
perhaps these things
because as I've said,
he presents them
as being real.
You know, it's realism.
And it's not
your typical horror...
you don't have a horror film
except for this one section
at the end,
right where Wendy walks in
and the lobby is blue
and you've got the cobwebs
all around.
And it's almost like
a Saturday morning
kind of horror film
suddenly there for a second.
And you kind of go.
"Ooh, what is this with
the skeletons and the cobwebs?"
And it's kind of cheesy.
But then, after that,
following that,
you've got her going down
the red hallway,
on the big screen,
that's petrifying.
So I think the kind of
cheesiness before it
helps set up
that red hallway.
So anyway, what was I saying?
Right, the windows.
So you got... Jack has entered.
And you can see...
you are...
Kubrick shows you.
But he shows you this lobby,
and you get to see...
as Jack moves across the lobby,
you see the elevator beyond.
And you see beyond that,
a hallway.
You don't see yet how far back
it goes, you know,
the other things back there,
but you have an impression
that this place is towards
the middle of the hotel.
You just have that
impression that it's towards
the middle of the hotel.
And you go from the lobby into
the general manager's office
and then into Ullman's office,
and there's this window.
And the window's
a powerful window.
I mean, the light coming
through there is glaring.
It's like a character in itself.
It takes over.
And you've got these tendril-y,
sinister kind of trees
that are outside the window.
And you've got...
it's just such
a forceful presence,
this light
that comes over everything.
And, you know...
And there's
something wrong with it.
There's something wrong with it,
and I think it registers
as something wrong.
This is an impossible window.
It's not... it is impossible.
It is physically impossible.
It cannot be there.
It should not be there.
There's no place in the hotel
for this window to exist.
It's only toward...
towards the end of the film,
that you have the realization
that there are several hallways
in succession behind the office.
You see it when Wendy,
when she's later down there and
she sees Dick Hallorann's body
after he's been killed.
You have her behind... in that
hallway behind the office.
So really, now, what
can I tell you about the maps?
No, I did not sit down
with graph paper.
I did not even begin to attempt
to do them to scale.
Let me see.
I can't say which room
I started off with.
I don't remember.
I just went through
and decided I was going to do...
try to do as much as I could,
feeling that...
I felt, eventually,
that there were places
that I could plot out, such
as where the girls were killed.
I was not absolutely sure
at that point,
when I started out
doing the maps,
where the girls were killed.
But I felt that it was
somewhere back around
the area where they lived.
Suite number, what?
They lived at
suite number 3.
- When Jack is sitting,
typing at his typewriter,
and Wendy comes in
and interrupts him
while he's working...
and in one shot of Jack...
- You get a lot written today?
- Sitting at the typewriter,
a one shot,
you look back behind him.
And of course,
you can see very clearly
'cause Kubrick was the master
of depth of field.
He kept everything in focus
so he would have lots of space
in which to puts things
that he wanted you to notice.
And in the first shot, behind
Jack sitting at his typewriter,
back against a wall, behind him
probably 10 or 12 or 15 feet
is a chair.
And then there's a switch
to a one-shot of Wendy
saying something.
- Hey, the weather forecast
said it's gonna snow tonight.
- And then the camera
switches back to Jack,
and the chair is gone.
- What do you want me
to do about it?
- And my students and I
always have fun with that,
"Well, continuity error?"
Could be.
Or it's not,
and the answer, if it's not...
or if it was originally
and then Kubrick saw it
and decided to keep it,
is that he's
parodying honor films
in order to remind you that
this isn't just a horror film.
And there's another one
in The Shining that's, I think,
less well-noticed.
And I think it's even more
clearly substantive.
When Danny has his first vision
of the elevator gushing blood
and the camera
is tracking toward him,
past the open door
of his bedroom
and toward the hall
and the bathroom,
the open bathroom door
across the hall...
and his bedroom door, as you
would expect a kid's door,
has lots
of cartoon characters on it
And, the one
who is most apparent,
because it's right
at the edge of the door
and it's the largest one
that you can see
and it's the last one you can
see as the camera moves past it,
is one of the Seven Dwarves.
And it happens to be Dopey,
after Danny has passed out,
Wendy and the pediatrician
leave Danny's room.
And as they do, they,
of course, go out his door.
And you again see the door,
the open door with all
the cartoon characters on it,
and Dopey isn't there.
Now, again continuity error?
I don't think so.
I think what Kubrick
is saying is that before,
Danny had no idea about
the world, and now he knows.
He is no longer a dope
about things.
He has been enlightened.
- Anything you say, Lloyd.
Anything you say.
- The the advocaat is spilled.
There's the accident.
Kubrick is setting it up
as where they come around
in a circle,
'cause I feel like
that's what the camera does.
I feel like the camera
brings us around in a circle
so that we're coming back.
The bathroom seems to be
overlaying the Gold Room and...
so that
the advocaat situation
in the bathroom
is occurring about
in the same area
that it did in the Gold Room.
- They use the camera
to create an emotional
architecture in your mind
but at the same time,
showing you that it's false.
The set is complete...
so completely plastic
that its contradictions pile up
in your subconscious.
Hallorann is showing...
showing Wendy, you know,
the place where she will,
you know, basically,
entrap Jack...
entrap him both physically,
but also, like, that will be
the last straw for him,
last straw for
the management of the hotel.
It's in the store room
that he finally is like,
Now I'm gonna do it."
And, you know,
the opening of that door
is the famous, like,
only thing that's supernatural
happens in the movie that can't
be explained any other way.
But except that it can be
explained another way,
in that Danny lets him out.
I do have this idea that Danny
is a lot more consciously
murdering his father
than the narrative lets on.
I don't know.
It's weird.
Like, you notice how, like,
Wendy's walking backwards
when she's having
that confrontation with Jack
in the lounge, you know.
And she's being drawn up
to the hexagonal hallway room.
And you see Danny shining
at the beginning of that.
He's in his room,
and there's, like,
lights flickering in his eyes.
Like, is Danny drawing...
you know,
drawing his mother up the stairs
so that she can, you know,
sacrifice Jack on top of that,
you know, weird pyramid?
- When I had a chance...
when I was doing a story
out in Denver,
we went up to Estes Park.
It was in the off-season.
Went into the Stanley Hotel,
and I asked to see the manager.
And he came out, and we were
just having lunch with him.
And I said, "Can we talk to you?
I write about The Shining."
He said, "Really?"
This fellow told me
that he got a phone call
from Stanley Kubrick, who said,
"I think I want to make
a movie about The Shining."
And then he would keep
this fellow on the phone
for a long time.
He said, "We had many
long, long conversations
in which he picked my brain
about everything."
And at that point, he said,
"Kubrick was talking about
maybe coming here
to make the movie here,"
which I expect, at that point,
that fellow liked the idea of,
so it would
make his hotel famous.
And Kubrick said, "I'd like
to send out a research team."
And so he then sent out...
the man said it was something
like two or three people
who came out here
and stayed here
for two or three months,
taking photographs everywhere.
And they spent a lot of time
also down in Denver
in the Colorado state archives,
finding out,
as I would now expect,
the full history of Colorado,
which... the flag of which
plays a part.
And the gold rush,
the Colorado Gold Rush
was also a very big event.
And there's all...
there's still a lot
of American Indian/white people
tension in Colorado
with Navajos and Arapahos
just to the south.
This research team found out
absolutely everything
about Colorado,
about Estes Park,
about the Stanley Hotel,
about its entire history,
took photographs
all over the place.
Three months was
the impression that I have
of what he said about
how this research team
gathered absolutely everything.
Kubrick unearthed an enormous
amount about the real history
of Colorado,
where this takes place,
because what he has done
is found a way to dig
into all of the patterns
of our civilization,
our times
and our cultures,
and the things that
we don't want to look at.
And this movie is very much
also about denial
of the genocides
that we committed...
we white folk from Europe...
committed here and not that...
not that white folks are the
only people who do genocide.
All humans do, as Kubrick
makes clear in this movie.
He would research everything
and the full history and nature
of everything you're gonna see
in the movie on the screen
and then
boil it down and boil it down
until he got the universal
human and global patterns
that make it so real.
- White man's burden,
Lloyd, my man.
White man's burden.
I like you, Lloyd.
I always liked you.
You were always the best of 'em.
The best goddamned bartender
from Timbuktu
to Portland, Maine,
or Portland, Oregon,
for that matter.
- Thank you for saying so.
- What does it mean?
Jack saying, "You always
were the best of 'em."
Starting in Timbuktu?
Jack the schoolteacher
was never in Timbuktu,
but Jack
the universal weak male
hired by armies
to go commit atrocities
has always been there.
Now, of course,
the word "Portland"
is neat because
it means where we landed
or where the British
or the Europeans landed.
And Portland, Maine... Oregon is
where they may have taken off
from to go further west.
Kubrick is thinking about
the implications
of everything that exists.
You know, the power of the genie
is in its confinement,
as the great American poet
Richard Wilbur said.
Boiling it down, you know,
10,000 years in a little lamp,
you got to get
your act together.
But that's the essence
of great art.
It's like a dream.
It's boiled everything down
to an emblematic symbol
that's got all of life in it.
Now, if you'll allow me to make
a little bit of a link here.
As I've thinking of this more
in recent years,
what we now understand to be
the nature of what dreams are,
I mean, it seems to be,
the general theory is,
that it's a way
for the brain to boil down
all of the
previous experiences
and then add in
that day's experiences
as well to see what kind
of overall universal patterns
there are to be found,
so that you can be aware of what
the patterns are out there,
so that your subconscious
will be all the more ready
to react suddenly when you see
something dangerous happen
or something important
happen that may lead you
to a mate or to some food
or away from danger.
And therefore, the way Kubrick
made movies was not unlike
the way, according
to these current theories,
our brains create memories
and, for that matter, dreams.
That's the ultimate shining
that Kubrick does.
He is like a mega brain
for the planet
who is boiling down with
all of this extensive research,
all of these
patterns of our world
and then giving them back to us
in a dream of a movie...
because movies
are like a dream...
and that's related
to why I think
there's a lot of evidence
that what Kubrick
also gave us in The Shining
is a movie about the past.
Not just any past.
The past.
I mean past-ness.
It's a movie
about how the past impinges.
That's what ghosts are.
That's what those skitter-y
voices in the opening shot
that are following are about.
There's two phrases from T.S.
Eliot that I often think of
when I'm thinking about
The Shining.
One of them is "The night"...
I think they're both
from T.S. Eliot...
"The nightmare of history...
how can we awake from
the nightmare of history?"
- And the other is his phrase...
T.S. Eliot's phrase...
"History has
many cunning passages."
And I think both of those
phrases are directly apt
for The Shining,
in which we see
many cunning passages in the
maze and in the hotel itself
and in which the past
becomes a nightmare,
and in which Kubrick
shows us how you escape
from the nightmare of the past
by retracing your steps,
as Danny does
in that last line,
which means
acknowledging what happened
and learning about the past
and then getting out,
only if you are
going to be able to shine
and see what the patterns are
so you know
to get away from them
and avoid them
and go for the good things.
I mean, The Shining is his movie
about how families break down,
whether they are
an individual family
or the larger societal family
that tries to break up
individual families.
And his hat movie,
Eyes Wide Shut is the opposite.
It's about
a family sorely tried,
Bill Hartford
and his wife and child,
that survives
all the horrible temptations
that are in our DNA.
- This is our famous hedge maze.
It's a lot of fun.
But I wouldn't
want to go in there
unless I had an hour to spare
to find my way out.
- I did not look at it again
for a number of years
until it came out in rental.
And then I picked it up
a couple of times.
And, what, you had three days
in order to watch a rental?
And so, I can remember watching
it over and over again
during those three days
and really taking
a good look at it then.
And I was able to think "Oh,
yes, this is what I remember.
This is what I thought I saw,"
and then catching more things.
But it wasn't, of course,
until DVD came out
that I was really able
to sit down
and take a good look at it as
far as just running through it
over and over and over again.
Kubrick presents these things
where it's, you know, real...
you know, it's realistic.
You're not supposed to see
what's actually going on.
You've got Danny.
He's in the game room.
He turns around.
We're supposed to be focused
on the two girls there.
And than you... I saw...
over on the left,
I see this skiing poster.
And the thing is that
you already have Jack.
He's already asked about skiing.
But why isn't... you know,
"What about skiing?
Isn't the skiing good here
in the hotel?"
And he's already given the story
of why it isn't good,
why they can't do that.
But you got the skiing poster.
And my eye is drawn to it.
And I realize
that's not a skier.
That's a... that's a minotaur.
It just leaped out at me.
And so that was something
that I was able
to look at later on VHS
and say, "Yes, I had actually
seen a minotaur there,"
where the upper body, you've got
this really, you know,
overblown physique,
very physical physique.
And then you've got
the suggestion...
you have a suggestion
of a skiing pole there,
but it's not really there.
It's just
a suggestion of one.
And the lower body
is positioned,
the way the legs are,
it's like a minotaur,
the build is.
And you've actually got
the tail there.
And so it is a minotaur.
And this is in...
on the opposite side of the door
you have a cowboy
on a bucking bronco, so...
and so you got
a kind of echo there,
where you got the
minotaur on one side,
the bull man,
and on the other side,
you got the cowboy,
the man on the bucking bronco.
And this is just following
the scene where they...
Ullman has been
taking Jack and Wendy
through the Colorado Lounge,
showing off the Colorado Lounge.
And they go
into the hall
behind the Colorado Lounge.
And what's there,
but on the wall,
there is a painting
of an American Indian
with a buffalo headdress on.
And at that point,
Ullman is discussing with Wendy
who has stayed there
at the hotel.
Royalty, the best people,
stars have stayed there.
- Royalty?
- All the best people.
- You have "monarch" on
the bottom, which, you know,
keys in with royalty.
And you also have this
whole idea of the stars.
And the minotaur's name is,
what, Asterius?
His name is Asterius,
which means "starry."
So you know, you got
several things there
to do with mythology
that fit in.
It's very exciting to me.
That was the... you know,
that's the kind of
leap-up-end-down moment
where you go,
"Oh, wow, look at what
Kubrick has there."
Yeah, I mean the minotaur lives
at the heart of the labyrinth.
He's a part of the labyrinth.
The labyrinth,
at least in the myth...
you know,
in this particular myth...
was built for the minotaur.
The hotel is... you know,
it is the labyrinth.
And Jack is the minotaur.
You have scenes with him
where he...
such as in...
what is it?
The Thursday scene.
The snowfall has started.
You have Wendy and Danny
outside playing.
And Jack
is inside the Colorado Lounge,
and he's looking out at them.
His head is tilted down,
and his eyes are somewhat...
his eyes are elevated.
They're pointing up.
And his eyebrows are drawn up.
But he has this
expression on his face
that he gets progressively
throughout the film
that is very bull-like.
It has a very
minotaur-like expression.
It's the same kind
of expression that Kubrick
pulls out in other films,
such as it was on
Private Pyle's face
in the berserker scene
in the bathroom
in Full Metal Jacket.
So it's, you know,
not specific to this film.
There's more minotaur imagery
and labyrinth imagery.
There's the Gold Room.
In front of the Gold Room,
you have
the "Unwinding Hours" sign.
And that plays in
with the labyrinth,
where you have...
enters into the labyrinth,
and he has
the thread with him
that he ties
at the beginning that,
you know, assists him
in going through the labyrinth,
where he can
find his way back out.
And so I see
the "Unwinding Hours" sign
as having to do
with that thread.
For a while there,
I was into baseball.
And I get very excited with
baseball when I'm into baseball.
You know, I can be by myself,
and I will be
leaping up and down.
And Kubrick
is like that for me,
where all I have to do is see
the minotaur poster there,
and I go, "Oh, my goodness.
Look at this!"
Because you're not
supposed to see the minotaur.
- Danny is shown
riding his big wheel
through the hotel three times.
The first ride, I think,
is about realism.
That's Danny is a...
Danny is doing a loop
around the lounge set.
You know, he goes through
the service hallway
and then he goes
through the lounge
and then he goes back
into the service hallway.
And, you know,
when you first see the movie,
you're like,
"He's just wandering around.
It's crazy, it's just"...
But it... no, it's very...
it's just a very simple loop.
He does it once.
But that gives you
an idea of where...
of what that place is.
I mean, you know,
all right, you understand
that that set is real.
You know, like,
it's a continuous shot.
There are no tricks.
In the second ride,
in the hexagonal hallway,
there are a lot of...
there are more tricks.
Like, he doesn't do a loop.
He does kind of like
a key-shaped...
you know, or a p-shaped loop
around this hallway.
And you see the realism of the
connection to the lounge set.
And... but you also see the fakery
of the fake elevators.
And you see...
for just one second,
you see the big stained glass
windows out of the corner,
in the corner of the frame
right before he takes a turn
around the elevator.
Like, that's incredible because,
like, that connects
that whole hallway
to the giant
Colorado Lounge set.
I mean,
that's just for one second.
They didn't have to do that,
you know?
But it's also... you know,
it's a metaphor
because he's also elevated.
He's one level up
from where he was before.
Like, he starts in the same
place, just one floor up,
you know, in the northeast
corner of the set.
So now he's in the northeast
corner and one level up.
And if you take it
as a metaphor of, like,
going from a mundane reality
to up into your head
to more
of a fantastical reality...
The third one is even stranger,
'cause he starts off
in the service unit.
He starts off in the same,
you know, northeast corner
of the lobby hall,
of the lobby service hallway.
And then he takes a turn,
and suddenly he's upstairs
in the area
outside their apartment
So, like,
it's a kind of a combination
of the first two,
where like he's down low
and then he's up high.
And then he takes a turn,
and he's suddenly...
he's in that that yellow,
yellow and blue wallpaper.
Let's say that's
in the service hallway area.
He's, you know, right outside
his parents' bedroom,
so there's this
connection between him
going on these big wheel rides
and dreaming.
Like, he's near his bedroom.
He's near... like, you see his
parents are working downstairs,
but he's upstairs.
You know, like, you see his mom
on the telephone,
and then he's flying.
He goes above her
to the bedroom,
which is above
where she's working,
just as
the hexagonal hallway
is above
where his dad is working.
So these big wheel rides
become like a visionary way
of Danny to explore
his parents' headspace.
You know, like,
room 237 is his, like...
that's his father's
fantasy chamber
where, like, he gets it on
with the witches.
And the twins are like
his mother's fantasy...
fantasy headspace where, like,
they're these double blue women
who want to play with Danny
forever and ever.
- We're all gonna have
a real good time.
- My interpretation
of The Shining
is that there's many levels
to this film.
This is like
three-dimensional chess.
And he's trying
to tell us several stories
that appear to be separate
but actually are not.
And he's doing this both through
the overt script that he wrote.
He's telling it through tricks
of the trade,
the subliminal imagery
and these constant retakes,
giving him odd angles
and things.
And he's also telling you
through the changes that he made
to the Stephen King novel.
So if you watch
those three things,
you begin to understand
this deeper story.
And this deeper story
has its birth, I guess,
in the idea
that Stanley Kubrick
was involved with faking
the Apollo moon landings.
In fact, I contend that
2001: A Space Odyssey,
in part, was a research
and development project
for the Apollo footage
that was shot.
I'm not saying
we didn't go to the moon.
I'm just saying
that what we saw was faked
and that it was faked
by Stanley Kubrick.
And I've had Hollywood
special effects people
from the '60s and '70s who were
front-screen projection experts
tell me that I absolutely
have nailed the Apollo footage
as being the result of
front-screen projection.
Just go to any Apollo site
and look,
and you'll see that they have to
hide the bottom of the screen.
And you can always see
the set/screen separation line
in every Apollo footage,
every Apollo image,
and the video footage
that has a background.
And Richard Hoagland,
the researcher,
has looked
into the Apollo imagery.
And he has found
all sorts of problems with it
because in the sky
around the astronauts,
he's found reflecting lights
and refracting things and...
kind of a junk
and geometry of things
that are in the sky.
And he concluded, wrongly,
that there are gigantic
alien cities made out of glass.
What he's really seeing
is the reflections of light
of the tiny beads
on the scotch light screen
which is being used in the
front-screen projection process.
And so, once I nailed the
front-screen projection process
inside the Apollo footage,
then I became interested in
seeing if Kubrick left any clues
in the rest of his career
to his possible involvement
in faking
the Apollo moon footage.
And I was overjoyed
about two years ago
when I received my
Blu-Ray copy of The Shining.
And I put it
in my Blu-Ray machine
and sat down one night
to watch it.
And I realized that all of the
things that one could imagine
that Stanley Kubrick
would have had to go through
to fake
the Apollo moon footage...
and there in the movie,
every time that Stanley deviated
from the Stephen King novel,
he deviated
into those exact questions.
You know, what was it like
to make a deal
with the U.S. Government?
What was it like to accidentally
tell someone what you were doing
and to watch them possibly
have to suffer the consequences
of your lack of integrity?
What was it like
to lie to your wife
and tell her
that you were doing one thing
when you were doing another?
What was it like
when your wife found out
what you were really doing?
These are the questions
that I had long before
I had seen The Shining again
after a maybe an eight...
or nine-year absence.
And I didn't... wasn't sure
I was right for the first hour.
I wasn't sure
that I had actually...
you know, I wasn't sure
if I was blurring the line
between what I wanted to see
and what I was seeing.
And then at about
58 minutes in the film
is the famous scene where
Danny's playing with his trucks,
and he stands up
and he's wearing
the Apollo 11 sweater
with the rocket taking off.
Then I knew I'd nabbed it.
And then I started watching
the film with an intensity
that I don't think I'd
ever watched a movie before,
and every line
began ringing true.
You know, "Wendy, that is
just so typical of you.
"Don't you... don't you know
"I have obligations
to my employers?
"Do you have any idea
what a contract is?
Do you know
what an agreement is?"
jack Nicholson's whole tirade
against his wife...
that's Stanley.
That's Stanley telling his wife
that after she discovered
what he was doing,
which was the Apollo footage.
No, that's actually not true.
If you call
the Mount Hood Resort
and you ask for room 217
you will find
there is no such room.
So that's just not true.
That statement's not true.
And so what...
Stanley was lying.
Its not the reason
that he changed the room number
from 217 to 237.
The reason that
he changed it from 217 to 237
was because the room,
room 237 in the film is...
represents the moon landing
stage where he worked.
And the moon, the standard
science textbook said...
and they still say...
but now with lasers, we've
gotten a little better reading.
But... is that
the mean distance of the moon
from the earth
is exactly 237,000 miles.
So he changed that
so that you would understand
that this was the moon room.
So Danny stands up.
He's got
the Apollo 11 sweater on.
He begins
walking down the hallway
towards room 237.
And there's a key in the lock.
And on the key are...
is the words "room"
and then the word "n-o,"
which is an old acronym
for "number."
So "room number 237,"
except that the only
capital letters on the key
are r-o-o-m and then the "n"
from the acronym n-o.
And if there's only two words
that you can come up with
that have those letters in 'em.
And that's "moon" and "room."
And so on the key, the tag,
it says "moon room."
And that is the moon room.
This is where
everything happens,
and none of it's real.
And it all has to be lied about.
And he can't let anyone know
what's really going on
in room 237.
And there's many, many other
deviations from the book
to the movie.
- It isn't real.
- The deviations drove
Stephen King out of his mind.
He just ranted
and ranted for years
how much he hated The Shining.
And he hated it
because he'd given Kubrick
all this great source material
and Kubrick threw it out.
And the whole idea of this
is best exemplified
by the scene
where Dick Hallorann
is driving up the highway,
trying to get to the Overlook
during a winter storm
and he passes a wreck.
And in the wreck,
a semi has crashed
and crushed a red Volkswagen.
And this is a direct message
from Kubrick to King,
because in the novel,
Jack Torrance's car
is a red Volkswagen.
But in the movie,
it's a yellow Volkswagen.
And what Kubrick
is saying in that scene
is a big "F you"
to Stephen King.
He's saying,
'This is my vehicle.
"I have wrecked your vehicle.
And everybody in the world
can see it.'
And this drove King crazy.
And it should have.
But what was really going on
and what is just much more
deliciously fascinating
about all of this
is that, in fact,
Kubrick was faking the making
of the Stephen King novel
in order to reveal the idea
of what he went through
to do the Apollo moon footage.
- My argument,
as far as Kubrick goes,
is that he was a
preternaturally observant child.
He read omnivorously.
He went to movies all the time.
And I think if you're going to
movies and reading in the 1930s
and the 1940s, a lot of what
you're seeing and reading
is Hitler and the Nazis
and the war.
So as a sensitive kid, he must
have been alive to these things.
And I don't think he ever forgot
anything, and this is...
which is why his films
are so rich.
- Little pigs, little pigs,
let me come in.
Not by the hair
on your chinny-chin-chin?
Then I'll huff and I'll puff...
- And I'll blow your house in!
- Well,
The Three Little Pigs,
I mean, I don't remember...
That might have been one of
the things
that Jack Nicholson
might've ad-libbed initially.
Kubrick was a great believer
in that.
But even if it was,
I think the selection
of that particular little rhyme
certainly fits in
with the time periodization
I've just been talking about,
because Kubrick
would've run across that
when he saw
The Three Little Pigs
as an Academy Award winning
cartoon in 1933.
And so it comes
out of that period.
And so the whole idea of a wolf,
which, during the 1930s,
gradually transformed itself
in popular mythology
and popular culture
from being a symbol
of want and of hunger
in the Great Depression
into a symbol of enemies;
Enemy nations,
enemy peoples,
military aggression.
And of course, this reflects
the rise of fascism
and Nazis in Europe.
But initially,
the wolf at the door
was an anti-Semitic
stereotype and caricature
that... initially the wolf
wears a disguise.
And the background music
is clearly Eastern European
sort of klezmer
or Yiddish music.
And it's a classic example
of early 1930s
Walt Disney anti-Semitism.
So I think there
are layers of meaning
in The Three Little Pigs. "
And since Kubrick
was a Freudian
and we know
that he used Freudian work
in doing the screenplay
for The Shining...
Bruno Bettelheim's
The Uses of Enchantment...
and it's a Freudian analysis
of the meaning of fairy tales.
And in The Shining,
we can see the fruits of that
when they're constantly making
references to Hansel and Gretel.
- I feel like I'll have
to leave a trail of bread crumbs
every time we come in here.
- The witch in the oven
and children being burned
and so forth,
which of course,
is also perhaps, suggestive
when it comes to the Holocaust.
- The blood
is one of the main ghosts
and perhaps
the overarching ghost,
in a certain sense,
in this movie.
We first see it when Danny,
at the beginning of the movie,
is at the sink
in the little apartment
down in Denver or Boulder
or wherever it is.
And he's talking to Danny,
"Why don't
you want to go there?"
And then suddenly
Danny shows him blood.
And as we learn
a little bit later,
the Overlook was built
on the Indian burial ground
between 1907 and 1909.
- Construction started in 1907.
It was finished in 1909.
The site
is supposed to be located
on an Indian burial ground,
and I believe they actually had
to repel a few Indian attacks
as they were building it.
- So presumably,
we can imagine the elevator
shaft sinks down into
the very bodies of the Indians,
so to speak.
And that's where
the blood is coming from;
Literal blood of the Indians.
And this movie is a movie about,
among other things,
the blood on which
nations are built;
Certainly the United States,
with the genocide
of the American Indians.
But it's not only that.
This is a complete metaphor
for what Kubrick is on about,
because the elevator's doors
remain closed.
In other words,
it's as if it's like a symbol
of the repression.
We don't want to admit to it.
But in spite of our attempting
to stay repressed about it,
blood will out,
murder will out,
as Chaucer says
in one of his tales.
And so the blood comes
squeezing out from the side
and overwhelms us.
And it keeps recurring
over and over through the movie.
And it's...
And finally Wendy, when,
at the very end of the movie,
she starts seeing ghosts.
She sees the blood.
It's the symbol
of what we all have in common.
And there's
lots of symbols in here
of what all humans
have in common.
- 42 shows up in other places.
Wendy and Danny
watch The Summer of '42
on a hotel television.
And there are
a number of other
little references
to that number.
And it's within a larger context
that Kubrick uses involving
numbers in The Shining.
And they're all
multiples of seven.
The hotel was built in 1907.
The party in which Jack
is pictured at the end of film
occurred in 1921 in July,
the seventh month of the year.
These multiples of seven,
I think,
also reflect the fact
that Kubrick was aware
of the importance
of Thomas Mann's novel of 1924,
The Magic Mountain,
which similarly concerns
a sanitarium...
though not a hotel...
high up in the mountains.
And Mann uses the number 7
there as a matter,
a symbol of
the sort of dangerous fate
that seems to have been
stalking Europe lately.
And in the novel Lolita,
Nabokov uses the number 42
as a symbol of fate
and Humbert's paranoia,
the idea that
he is constantly being tracked
and that his life is doomed.
And even though Kubrick,
in his film of Lolita,
only uses the number once,
interestingly enough
on a hotel room door,
I think at some level
of consciousness,
Kubrick was always
also drawing from Nabokov's use
of that particular number
as a symbol of danger
and malevolence and disaster.
- The opening sound
is from the great funeral mass,
Dies Irae,
which is the day of judgment,
which announces,
"This is going to be a funeral.
"This is going to be about
a judgment on the human race."
It's about the past.
But I think I remembered
that my impression
from the opening scene
in which that astonishing
helicopter shot
gives you
a totally creepy feeling.
You're looking at great,
beautiful nature,
but you know
you're following something.
You're, like, flying along
on top of this little,
tiny, insignificant car.
It's the ultimate
point of view shot
without telling you
who the point of view is.
If you want
to stop and think about it,
you think,
'This is a helicopter shot"
But for the general audience,
all you know is that
you are like a ghost.
You are like an angel.
You are like something
that flies
with supernatural abilities
across the landscape
of the planet.
And the soundtrack had
that skittering...
I can't imitate it...
but that skittering music
that sounded to me...
and I was conscious of this
the first time I saw the movie...
like the thousands
of voices from the past.
"The cloud of witness,"
as the phrase is in...
Dorothy Sayers uses it
as the title for some story.
The cloud of witness,
all the ghosts from the past;
And I didn't know.
Were these the voices
of the many crowds
of aliens or of ghosts or...
I didn't know what.
But already that
skittering, high music
with that follow shot
across the lake
and then across the car itself,
it was the ultimate in spooky
because you had the feeling
this car is being followed
and it doesn't know it,
and we're following it.
I mean, I could go on
for a long time
about the symbolism of that
with regard to what The Shining
really is.
And The Shining,
as we come to understand it,
is seeing through
all the layers of history
and the horrors of history,
even autobiographically
in that scene
where Grady and Jack talk
in the blood-red men's room
and Grady says, "Your son
has a very great talent.
"I don't think
you realize how great it is.
He's a very willful boy."
And Jack says, "Yes, he is..."
- A very willful boy.
- Did you know, Mr. Torrance,
that your son is attempting
to bring an outside party
into this situation?
- That's Kubrick.
What he's trying to do
is bring the audience
and humanity
into this situation.
In this movie, he is trying
to get through to us all...
the human race in the movie
theaters watching this...
that we are doing these things
but don't see it,
that we are committing
these horrendous things
over and over again
and then forgetting them...
which is... of course,
he represents
many, many times in the movie...
by having characters
seem to know something
and then not know it
and forget it.
- You, uh, chopped your wife and
daughter up into little bits.
- I don't have any recollection
of that at all.
- That's like the human race.
We commit atrocities
and then forget it.
- Bill, I'd like you
to meet Jack Torrance.
- How do you do?
- Bill, how do you do?
- It's nice to meet you.
- It's a pleasure to meet you.
- Some people think that,
like, not all
of the interview is real.
Some of it is Jack's
imagination or fantasy
of what the interview
would be like.
Like, also, Bill Watson's
clothes change.
his pants change patterns.
And what's also weird is,
he plays Pontius Pilate
in Jesus Christ Superstar.
- Crucify him
Crucify him
Crucify, crucify, crucify
- Really playing against type
and just being
this sort of cipher.
I mean, in a way he's,
he's kind of Jack's double
kind of in the same way that
Bill Hartford has a double
in Eyes Wide Shut.
You know, he goes
to that blonde woman's house
whose father just died
and her fianc looks
exactly like Tom Cruise,
has the same haircut.
- I've always thought that Bill
Watson, the little assistant...
and by little, I mean that he's
sort of a shrunken figure...
to Ullman, who's brought in
and sits there
looking sort of dour
and resentful and quiet
and whose skin color
is sort of a half...
it's not white.
It's sort of toward brown.
I've always thought that he
sort of represents a subdued...
somebody from a subdued race.
He seems a little bit diffident
when Ullman says,
"Will you go
collect their luggage?"
He says, "Fine."
- Fine.
- And as they're given the tour
around all the hotel,
Bill Watson
is always trailing behind,
like somebody who's going
to be a little factotum
to go get things.
I've always thought
he sort of maybe represented,
you know, the condition in
the dominant arrogant culture
that the Indians
had at that time.
- He is the silent guardian
for the government.
Stewart Ullman represents
the face of the U.S. government.
And that's why Kubrick
gave him the toupee
that makes him look like
John F. Kennedy.
And I think that he is the guy
who's silently watching
everything and, you know...
CIA, I guess.
Kind of NSA guy.
And he probably represents
the real managers of the house,
of the Overlook,
and Barry Nelson is the...
just the person
that's out in front.
- He doesn't say a thing.
He's the summer caretaker.
And he seems to me
to have certain
correspondences with Wendy.
Jack really doesn't
work around the hotel.
Wendy gets in there,
and she does all the work.
- You do get the feeling
that he's going...
that Jack's going
to be doing his work,
because he seems a little,
like, leery of Jack.
Like, I've been
in job interviews,
and I've always found
that that second person
they call in is,
like, the person
you're actually
interviewing for.
He's making the decision,
like, that silent person,
that, like...
kind of, like, glare...
like, squints at you.
Yeah, and he sighs when he's
asked to move Jack's luggage.
- Bill, would you have
the Torrances' things
brought to their apartment?
- Fine.
- There's a dissolve
which fades from a wide shot
of the, you know,
final black-and-white photo
to a close-up of Jack's face.
And just for a second there,
his hairline fades in
to form a Hitler moustache.
- I think a lot of things
happened right here
in this particular hotel
over the years
and not all of 'em was good.
- He once said,
"How do you get all of that"...
meaning the Holocaust...
"into a two-hour movie?"
I think he found the Holocaust
of such evil magnitude
that he just couldn't
bring himself
to treat it directly,
which is why he used
the form of a horror film
to treat it indirectly.
- I believe Kubrick,
possibly consciously,
has solved a kind of problem
that history has,
which is that
it's very hard for many people
to connect emotionally
to a gigantic big killing
we hear about in the past.
People who don't have
direct family experience
of it themselves
may hear the statistic.
You know, Hitler,
among other things,
killed 6 million Jews
in his Holocaust.
6 million's a number too big.
I mean Stalin is reputed
to have said, you know,
"You kill one person,
it's a murder and a tragedy.
"You kill a million people,
it's a statistic."
He was talking about
a psychological fact.
And, you know, Stalin himself
was... what is it...
starved about 3 million people
in the western Ukraine
in the '30s on purpose.
My point is
it may be that Kubrick
was conscious of having
offered a kind of way to bridge
that inability to feel for those
gigantic statistics in that,
if you go and see The Shining
innocent the first time
and are terrified...
you're just terrified
and you'll always remember
being terrified...
and then go back
aware of what the symbolism
and the general larger pattern
meanings of the movie are,
then you can begin to make
something of a connection,
saying, "Oh, my God."
I remember being terrified
for the individual
little Danny and Wendy here.
And that feeling is actually
is for people who are symbols
of victims
of all kinds
of horrendous genocides.
And of course, his wife
has subsequently talked about,
you know, how close he came
to making his Holocaust movie,
The Aryan Papers,
but that he got mom and mom
and more depressed
and was relieved
when he had an excuse
not to do it.
He used Schindler's List
as saying,
"Ah, it's already been done."
I mean,
that struck a bell with me.
And I've done a lot
of stories as a journalist
about people who study...
either talked to people
who are victims of horrors
or study it.
And there's... Freud talked
about it as the contagion.
The depression seeps into you.
It's... you know what...
Kubrick had a wonderful comment
about this
when somebody asked him.
"Isn't it true that
your movies are showing us
"just the horrendous side
of humanity.
You know, that's awful bleak."
And Kubrick said,
"Ah, but there's something
very positive about it as well.
"And that is,
it shows at the very least
that we can get our minds
around what that horror is."
And Danny,
from the beginning,
has his mind
all over the problem.
He's looking at it.
In a way, Danny's
big wheeling back and forth,
up and down the hallways...
Danny is learning that hotel.
He's learning all the horrors.
He's seeing them.
But they're just in the past,
and Hallorann
gave him the secret.
He said, "Remember, Danny."
Remember what Tony tells him.
what Mr. Hallorann said:
"They're just like
pictures in a book.
They're not real."
Now, that's
a really important lesson.
People who shine,
who see through history,
understand that the past
simply does not exist
except in one place.
And that's the present tense
instant of the mind,
That is, exactly... that is
a place you can go to somehow
and yet it doesn't exist.
And so Hallorann tells Danny,
"You're gonna see
some horrible things."
Apparently, he told him.
"You're gonna see
some horrible things,
"but remember,
they're not real.
"They're like
pictures in a book.
They no longer exist."
That's a key to not
getting depressed about it.
And that's...
You see, this is a movie
about what the past...
how the past impinges,
any past,
and about
how to get over that
and how not to be
a victim of history.
You know, if you doubt
what I've written about it,
just go see the movie.
I've figured all this out
from just seeing the movie.
It's there.
It's obvious, and most people
who went and saw the movie said,
"Oh, my goodness.
It is there."
- Okay.
Yeah, I was, I mean, obsessed
with The Shining
and reading all
the online analyses of it
and was particularly
a big fan
of the MSTRMND's lengthy
analysis of it.
And he had one phrase
that kind of stuck in my mind,
that The Shining was a film
meant to be seen
forwards and backwards.
And, I mean,
he didn't mean at the same time.
He meant that in,
with the mirror form metaphor
that's central to the film
that things, you know...
that things
forwards and backwards
happen throughout the film.
That... people walk backwards
in the film, you know,
people talk backwards.
- Redrum.
- You know,
if you reverse the film,
it has a format similar to 2001.
All these kind of things happen.
At the end of The Shining,
he's reduced to a screaming ape,
just like in the beginning
of 2001,
there are screaming apes.
But I was talking to my pals
at the Spectacle Theater,
riffing about experimental ways
of showing films.
And they were like,
"Well, do you think
"you could
come up with something,
you know, to show here?"
I was like, "Sure, what we
should do is we should show
The Shining forwards
and backwards at the same time.
"You know not...
let's not be creative.
"Let's just actually
reverse the film
and show it exactly mirrored,
The first image
is of the reflective lake.
And the last image
is of the inscription
on the photograph,
in which Jack is frozen
for all time...
The "Overlook Hotel,
July 4th Ball, 1921."
So those superimposed make it...
kind of make it seem like
a postcard, like an invitation.
"Come to the July 4th Ball
here in Crater Lake."
There's a really cool part
where, like, you know,
the helicopters
are following his car
and his name scrolls up
in the credits
and, like, meets the car,
right in the same position
where the grid of photographs,
right in that photograph
that he's trapped in.
So his car,
his name and his photograph
all line up for one second.
Pretty cool.
The interview has a, like...
it's great.
While they're talking about...
you know, very dryly about
all the murders that happened,
like, you know,
in the superimposition,
Jack's running around with an
axe going bananas, you know.
There's a lot of just great,
great, great superimpositions
of people's faces lining up,
like Jack's...
Jack's, like,
got the death look,
and he's staring
through Danny's face
as Danny's eating a sandwich.
Then there's a lot of things...
there's a lot of, like...
there's a... you know,
there's some fun jokes,
but then there's
serious stuff where,
like, you...
where the hallucination...
the visions that Danny has,
where you'll see them,
like, overlaid
on top of other situations.
Like the twin girls
are overlaid on top of Wendy,
which, if you study the film,
you see that the twins
are associated with Wendy.
They're like her,
like, visionary counterpart.
All the symbols
in the movie start...
in the superimposition,
The murdered twins
are overlaid across Jack's face,
and he looks like a clown.
It makes like a clown mask,
and there's blood everywhere
and, like, blood on his lips.
And blood
coming out of his eyes.
And, like, you know,
Danny takes it...
you know, like, Danny
has his hands over his face,
and it's... Jack is looking out
from his head,
and then he open... he, like,
peeks out and he sees Grady.
And then Grady and Jack
continue their conversation
into the next scene,
which is where
he's watching television.
And it's like they have this...
their lips
are, like, in the TV.
Jack and Grady's lips
are in the TV.
And these masks
are formed by the windows.
And ifs like
Danny's envisioning this.
Danny's envisioning...
you know, envisioning the pact
between Grady and jack.
Like, he goes into...
he sneaks into the bedroom,
like, right through
Jack's head,
right in between them.
And just like that scene is...
that's the scene
where Danny is testing
his father, like,
"Do you really, you know!"...
"Do you like this place?
You're not gonna hurt us,
are you?"
Like, Danny kind of knows
that his dad has lost it.
The last shot is 1921,
and the first shot
is of the road.
Ullman mentions
that it was finished in 1921.
So it's, again, it's a way
of returning the narrative
back to the beginning.
- Mr. Hallorann,
what is in room 237?
- Nothing.
There ain't nothing in room 237.
But you ain't got no business
going in there anyway,
so stay out.
- In the sex room, 237,
where we see this beautiful,
sexual temptress,
who then becomes
a rotting body...
realistically depicted
as a rotting body...
the design on the rug shows
basically the most...
in geometric form
with round curves...
the act of intercourse itself,
one after another
after another after another,
sort of like a picture
of down through the generations
of what produces life.
You go back out in the hallway,
in the larger society,
and the round curves
of that very same design
have become hexagons,
not so nice and round,
and a little bit more
like the beehive hexagon
but down the whole corridors
of history.
I think he's got
an image of it there,
so he's talking about
the family of man,
both in
an individual nuclear family
and in the whole course
of our genetic history.
- Once Denny enters room 237,
like, that's...
that kind of is, like,
the activation
of the rest of the movie.
Like, that's what causes Jack
to go insane finally.
That's what brings Hallorann
to the hotel.
Like, the room 237 is, like,
is sort of this...
I mean, I compare it
to the mysterious hotel room
at the end of 2001,
where there's...
It's this strange,
strange place
that somehow, like, transforms
the rest of the narrative.
The Shining takes place
on the top of a mountain
in kind of like a, you know,
magical shape-shifting
And, like, travel is...
traveling out of it is...
You know, instead of 2001, where
you're traveling to something,
the point of The Shining
is to escape, is to travel out.
And room 237 is, like...
it's kind of like
the escape pod of...
of the hotel.
- If you multiply the numbers 2,
3 and 7, you get 42.
Now, I admit, perhaps
I'm grasping at straws there,
but it is consistent
with the pattern of reference
in the film.
- Another thing which
my film Kubrick's Odyssey
really reveals
is the carpeting on the floor
during the famous Danny scene,
where he stands up
with his Apollo 11 shirt.
The patterns in the carpeting
exactly match launch pad 39-A.
You know, even the driveway
and everything.
And if you notice in that shot,
the pattern on the rug changes
when Danny stands up.
- The carpet's reversed,
and there's
no pathway there anymore.
The pathway that the ball took
rolling down towards Danny
is gone now.
It's no longer there
'cause it's reversed.
And you get
a sense of a closure.
Now the hexagon is closed.
It's almost like
he's been closed in.
- Seven years after
The Shining had come out,
to my surprise,
nobody had written,
as far as I could tell,
about what the major themes
of the movie were,
beyond the delightfully scary
immediate story
of the family
and the hotel itself.
And I was actually doing a story
somewhere over in Europe,
and I was told over the phone
that the posters were out
for Full Metal Jacket.
I asked about the description,
and I was told it had a peace
sign right next to the words
"Born to kill."
And I said,
"Oh, my goodness.
His next movie's gonna be
about some of the same themes."
I thought, "My goodness."
I had presumed that
it would have become obvious,
so I thought,
"What the heck?
"I'll just see if I can write
an article about it
to give people more fun
when they see Full Metal Jacket,
to know what
his last movie was about,
in larger senses.
- I've gotten a lot of flak
from people who work for NASA.
And, you know, I want to tell
them, that I, you know,
I'm not saying
that we didn't go to the moon.
And I'm not saying
that their technology
that they helped build
isn't great and awesome
and everything.
I'm just saying
that what we saw was faked.
And I know I have it proved
with the front-screen
projection process.
As far as what
the government has done,
I fully expect my taxes
to be audited next year,
to be honest with you.
And, you know,
I've had visitations, you know.
And they're definitely
watching me for sure,
and they're not too happy
with what's going on here.
And I think
they're probably very worried
about the next film.
And that one will be
the really explosive film.
- We were walking
along the beach on vacation
with some people
in Costa Rica.
I had
this delightful experience.
We were walking along
with a young couple
who were from San Francisco.
And it was a long walk.
We'd gone through
this big, beautiful jungle.
And were coming
back on the beach
to walk back
to where the tent camp was.
And the guy started...
we started chatting
about Kubrick.
I said, "Oh, Kubrick's great,"
And the guy said, "You know,
The Shining, it's actually
about the American Indians. "
I said, "Really?"
And he went on talking,
and I said, "Really?"
And I just couldn't resist
just playing dumb for while
while he told me
the whole thing.
I was delighted!
Dies irae, dies illa
- Kubrick just sets up
synchronous space.
His movies are...
they create synchronous
situations in themselves.
There's this man who says,
you know,
"Quite a party, isn't it?"
Why did Kubrick put him there,
with the split down his head?
Why did he put him there?
And I was contemplating that.
And in comes my son.
And he was nine years old
at the time.
And he didn't know
what I was working on.
And he came in,
and he began to tell me a story.
And he said,
"I've just thought this up."
And his characters head was
split open with a chaos bolt.
And the character says, "Talk
about a splitting headache."
And out of the contents
of his head
leaps a small person
who is his real self.
And it goes running off,
saying in a high, squeaky voice,
"Forget this.
I'm going home."
And, yeah, I thought that was
really stunning synchronicity,
I mean, 'cause you've got
all the elements there.
You've got the ax.
You've got the whole idea
of the lightning bolt,
the chaos bolt,
striking the person's head,
the splitting headache.
You've got Tony...
Tony's squeaky voice, yeah.
I thought that was
quite a synchronicity.
- One can always argue
that Kubrick
had only some or even none
of these in mind.
But we all know
from postmodern film criticism
that author intent
is only part of the story
of any work of art.
And those meanings
are there regardless
of whether the creator
of the work
was conscious of them.
- I think... if you want
to know what I think,
I think the hotel
is so whacked out
that I don't have any clue
what's going on
from the beginning.
When you really sit
and think about it, I mean...
because the whole thing
is so whacked out,
and it's so not put together...
it's so... everything
is so wildly out of place
that when you...
the more... the closer you get
into looking at things,
the more you look at them.
It's kind of like, you know,
the scene in Eyes Wide Shut
where Bill goes... you know,
he returns.
He retraces his footsteps,
and he goes back
to the mansion where he was.
And he's told, you know,
to stop your inquiries.
They will serve you no purpose.
It's almost like it gets to that
with The Shining.
The more you magnify things,
the more you look at them,
the less purpose it serves
'cause it's so out of whack.
None of it makes sense
from the beginning.
- There must be
a lot of stuff in there
that nobody has yet seen,
so people
ought to keep watching it.
- But why would he make
the movie so complicated?
- Yeah, I mean, but why did
Joyce write Finnegan's Wake?
It's a way of, like,
opening doors
from, like, a hermetically
sealed reality
into possibilities.
And it's also a way of trapping
someone like me.
Like, who goes looking for clues
and, like, keeps finding them.
And next thing you know,
you're like, "Man, I've been...
"I've been trapped
in this hotel forever.
I'm dreaming about this place."
You know, I'm like Jack.
I'm, like,
all work and no play.
Or the other way around.
It doesn't really matter,
You're, like, in this loop.
But, you know, there are
escape routes, like the...
like, I think
he puts escape routes
into it, into this maze,
into this trap.
I mean,
there are ways out of it.
And Danny finds a way out of it,
you know,
by retracing his steps,
by going backwards and forwards.
And once you start, you know,
studying, you know,
synchronicity and symbolism,
then, like, suddenly, like,
you're noticing
in your own life,
like, things start popping out.
Things that you hadn't noticed
before, you know, like your...
point of view is being altered
by your study.
And, you know, it's the...
It's quantum physics,
you know, like,
the act of observing,
like, affects
you know,
the thing observed.
- Hi, Lloyd.
- Yeah.
Yeah, I mean, it gets weird
because, like, I'd... you know,
as I've been obsessing over this
thing, you know, I've been home,
like, I'd been out of work
for a while, like...
I have a small son.
You know, we're thinking
of moving out to, like,
somewhere isolated.
I mean, things get strange,
you know?
Like, you're...
like, wow,
my life has actually become
The Shining, you know?
Dies irae
Dies illa
Solvet saeclum in favilla
Teste David cum sibylla
Dies irae
Dies illa
Solvet saeclum in favilla
Teste David cum sibylla
Dies irae
Dies illa
Solvet saeclum in favilla
Teste David cum sibylla