by Lawren Harris (aka Evening, Algoma)
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ART OF THE LOBBY BACK HALL
BEAVER SWAMP ⎔ BOG OAK ⎔ DECEMBER AFTERNOON ⎔ MAKAH RETURNING IN THEIR WAR CANOES ⎔ MALIGNE LAKE, JASPER PARK ⎔ MIST FANTASY, SAND RIVER, ALGOMA ⎔ MYSTERIES (CARMICHAEL, MONAHAN) ⎔ OXBOROUGH ⎔ PLOVERS ⎔ RED MAPLE
Seen first behind Jack as he stalks toward killing Hallorann (126:57-127:00), then past Wendy as she discovers dead Hallorann (132:28-132:31), then behind Wendy as she reacts to GREAT PARTY ghost (132:53-132:54; 132:58-133:02), and finally, beside Wendy when she discovers the bloodfall (134:43-134:46).
It’s thought to have been done around Mongoose Lake, Algoma, where so much Go7 art was made you can now take a train tour of their inspiration spots.
As for Harris, after the disbanding of the Go7 in 1933, he would, along with all the surviving members of the Go7, found the Canadian Group of Painters, a much larger, more inclusive society of Canadian artists with the main objective being to build a stronger community between Canadian artists. This community would, sometime between 1942-1954, induct one Jack Nichols, whose work is (tragically?) missing from the film, it seems. That’s a no-brainer, Kubrick! (And in case you’re thinking, “Kubrick’s not that on-the-nose. Not that tacky.” There’s a wash towel (I thought it was a magazine for a while) with the words GOLF LIKE THE GREATS hanging in the Boulder kitchen. It features a large reference to Jack Nicklaus, AKA The Golden Bear. So…not that tacky, huh?)
It’s interesting that this piece would appear only toward the end, since Thompson’s Northern River (described by the artist as his “swamp picture”) appears as almost the first painting in the movie. So we (almost) intro and outro on a swamp. The other Harris painting that appears in the film, appears right near the middle, and heavily resembles the opening shot of the movie. This piece doesn’t really resemble anything except the shots of Hallorann driving the snowcat up Mt. Hood, but that’s more of a stretch.
The last appearance overlays with Ullman asking if “the people in Denver” gave Jack “any idea what the job entails”. The time code is 134:43, and 143 is one of the most significant numbers in the film’s number scheme. It’s the number of people in the final photo with Jack at the end, for a start. So the job is at least partly about going to hell.
Wendy fleeing ghost Grady overlays with Ullman saying “during the winter of 1970?” in the line, “Did the people in Denver tell you anything about the tragedy we had up here during the winter of 1970?” Jack is able to say, “I don’t believe they did.” And Watson is able to give Jack a little side-eye before the shot ends. The other little overlay in this moment goes with Ullman saying “this job hired a man” from the line “My predecessor in this job hired a man by the name of Charles Grady”. You’ll notice by scrolling back to the top that all the time codes for these shots involve the numbers 231, which one of my theories holds is the room that Jack’s soul gets absorbed into.
As Wendy creeps up to Hallorann’s corpse, the time code (132:28-132:31) is basically just jumbles of the two rooms Jack and Hallorann get absorbed into, 231 and 238. The overlay is Ullman saying “He ran amok, and uh…” which doesn’t seem like much. I guess we could note how “amok” sounds like “a muck” in english, and a swamp is where you would find a muck.
It’s also interesting that the rest of the line goes, “…killed his family with an axe.” If Beaver Swamp represents the hotel’s special desire for Jack to kill Hallorann and to himself freeze out in the hedges, perhaps it not being onscreen for the rest of the line reflects the fact that the hotel didn’t care if Jack got Wendy and Danny.
It’s first appearance accompanies the doctor and Wendy as they transition away from Danny, which means Beaver Swamp overlays with the boy and girl knitting that resembles the Grady twins, and Horse and Train, which resembles Hallorann’s imminent death sequence. I often think of the twins as representing Jack’s doom and the hotel’s desire to absorb him, so I’d say these would both be quite apt. And would possibly make a good chip in the pile of explanations for why Jack doesn’t go up through the red doors overlaying Wendy here, grab Danny out of his hidey hole and kill him (as some ghost would appear and direct him to do, if it really wanted Danny that badly). If Beaver Swamp not only stands for the hotel wanting Dick and Jack, but also not caring about Wendy and Danny, it acting as a kind of psychic block between Jack and Danny here, and Wendy and the bloodfall later, that would make a kind of strange sense.
Also, the last second of this moment is 127:00, which is a 217 jumble.
For the record, I recently realized that there’s an incredible pattern that has to do with how the two Harris paintings appear in the film, starting with the realization that if you reverse Harris’s name to get Harris Lawren, this sounds exactly like Hallorann with a “ris” thrown in: Ha(rris) Lawren. Head to the other painting for more on that.
MAIN PAGE ⎔ SECTION PAGE ⎔ SITE MAP ⎔ GLOSSARY
OTHER MAIN PAGES FOR SHINING ANALYSIS
THE MIRRORFORM ⎔ THE BEATLES ⎔ THE RUM AND THE RED
BACKGROUND ART ⎔ OVERLOOK PHOTOGRAPHS ⎔ GOLDEN SPIRALS
PHI GRIDS ⎔ PATTERNS ⎔ VIOLENCE AND INDIGENA ⎔ ABSURDITIES
THE STORY ROOM ⎔ ANIMAL SYMBOLS ⎔ THE ANNOTATED SHINING