Come Together – Round 2




  • On the first beat of the second round (while backward Jack is obscured by a passing pillar) we get probably one of my favourite winks in the film, but it’s also terribly apt for this instant: beside Wendy’s face you can see the two postcards and the collage of black and white faces, right? Remind you of anything?
  • Like this, for instance?
  • That’s right, Kubrick was referencing the overlay that happens at the very beginning and very end of the movie, where we earlier heard Come Together, and where we’ll later hear The End. So what’s amazing is how at the end of Round 2, the song called The End, will play up to this same scene, and then that song will play over the face-mountains at the very end of Redrum Road at the end of Round 3.
  • And I should probably just point out the way there’s an envelope pinned to the board, just below the EYE SCREAM notice. I think this is a reference to the note in photo Jack’s hand at the end of the film (see below). We’re not meant to know what’s in them. We’re meant to be drawn into the eye scream. We’re meant to receive Stanley’s shine. (Wendy’s only line of dialogue here is an exasperated “I knew it”, which is something I’ve said to myself more than a few times in the eye scream, though perhaps a little more enthusiastically…)
  • One last paranoid thought: of all the phone books behind Wendy here, only one (that I can make out) isn’t for an American location. It’s for Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina. This happens to be the place that Hitler was thought to have escaped to following the collapse of his war plans. And if you accept the notion that the photo Jack crossfade (seen below) creates a Hitler moustache on the larger face, then the black and white collage here could also be a Hitler reference. And just for fun I’ll point out that Hitler is theorized to have escaped Germany by U-boat, and, yeah, there’s a giant U in the upper right corner here (where a “cigarette burn” would appear). This is certainly a conspiracy theory, as recent science has shown. But perhaps there’s some kind of truth buried in it. Like, perhaps Kubrick felt that there was too much suspicion surrounding the theory for it to be whole cloth (and we know that some nazis vanished into the mists of time). In his interview with Michael Ciment, Kubrick confesses to believing that psychic abilities will one day be proven true, and if this wasn’t more smoke-screening, then we can infer that the genius director had a powerful imagination, and didn’t use science as a stick to beat all the creativity out of the world. But if we’ve got Hitler’s teeth, then we’ve got his teeth, you know? It’s just that we didn’t have them in 1979.
  • Oh! The producer on this film, Martin Richards, made The Boys from Brazil in 1978, the movie about Dr. Mengele escaping to Argentina and making Hitler clones. The film features James Mason (Lolita) in a major role, and Robert Mulligan (Summer of ’42) was apparently attached to direct at one point. So I guess we have another chicken and the egg thing on our hands. Could Kubrick have wanted everything in this shot but the Argentinian phone book, and Richards snuck that in as a reference to his last work? Seems unlikely given the Hitler Jack face at the end, which the postcards evidently refer to. Hmm. Curiouser and curiouser.
  • “Here come ol’ Flattop, he come” – If the mountains in the bottom postcard are from the Montanan region seen in the intro, one of them could be a direct reference to East Flattop Mountain.
  • “Juju eyeball” – Tony’s giving Wendy a little of the ol’ ultra-juju. But also, there’s a poster of Dr. Julius Erving behind Wendy in this shot. I’ve theorized that this poster was used in part to bring out the Julius Caesar subtext. So this is truly a moment of Ju(lius)-Ju(lius).
  • Although it happens closer to the end of the song, it’s interesting that all three iterations of Come Together involve someone going into Ullman’s office. Ullman=Lennon.
  • Also, if the four seasons photos outside Ullman’s = the Let It Be cover, it’s sad that they’re always seen during Come Together, since that album is basically symbolic of the band’s being dissolved.
  • “He want holy roller” – Wendy is passing the spot where we saw some kind of roller going by earlier. Also, given the presence of The Dream of Jacob throughout the film, maybe this ladder is a holy ladder of sorts.
  • “He shoot Coca-Cola” – Heard when you can see some 7up in the Forest Service office. 7up wasn’t owned by Pepsi yet, but it was owned by Philip Morris, who make both brands of cigarette that Jack and Wendy smoke: Marlboros and Virginia Slims.
  • “I know you, you know me” – Wendy is talking to two people she doesn’t really know. Tony and Ranger 1.
  • “He bad production” – Kind of a weak link, but the last time we heard this line, Danny Lloyd’s name was scrolling over the screen, and here we have Shelley grabbing his head, like “Act, damn you!” I’m actually quite impressed with little Danny Lloyd; I’ve been watching and rewatching this film for this project for eight months now, and his work has never grown stale.
  • Also, the paper on the corkboard in front of the ranger’s face just went from green to pink. Is that because the “production” was so “bad”?
  • “He got Ono sidebar” – While Wendy is talking to the rangers now, Hallorann (Yoko Ono) will be calling them in not very long.
  • (Ignore this one for now; it’s incomplete) “He got feet down below his knee” – The last of these lyrics seemed to relate to Ullman’s being Satan, and Satan being down below Hitler. On this lyric, Wendy is hearing REDRUM for the first time, and reacting. Also, she’s running past the Scientific American with The Tower of Babel on the cover. Smashing that up was god’s work, but that at least gives us a strong religious connotation to this moment. Incidentally, the last “He got hair down to his knee” in round 2’s Come Together, appeared while Wendy is walking past the mystery TV show in the lobby (2nd image below). If we identify that show/movie, we might get an insight into this.
  • “Hold you in his armchair, you can feel his disease” – Shot of a couple armchairs in the Torrance apartment at the end of this line, one with Wendy’s indigenous-style sweater slumped over an arm.
  • Also, Ullman’s chair is visible, and this song was apparently Lennon mocking himself.
  • “Come together! Right now!” – On “now” backward Wendy is telling herself that she’ll call the forest service…in case she and Danny don’t make down the mountain. And what’s forward Wendy doing?
  • Also, I wonder if the fact that The Tower of Babel is overlaying with the spot where Ullman’s Red Book was earlier (which is also where Wendy’s propping up a foot) is a kind of God-Devil mash-up.
  • Lennon shouts out “Right!” right as we cut to Danny going on his last forwards trike ride. So it does sound a bit like “Ride!” Also, mirror Wendy’s talking about taking the snowcat down the mountain. And she still could’ve at this point. Lennon knew what was up.
  • Lennon says four soft “…come…” phrases as we see Danny riding toward the twins, and then stopping at them. They’re about to say “Come play with us, Danny.”
  • “He roller-” – Small thing, but on the last “roller” (“holy roller”) we were hearing a religious connotation, and here Wendy is standing next to The Tower of Babel again. The second half of “rollercoaster” cuts to the next shot.
  • “He rollercoaster” – Mirror Grady appears on “coast”. The syllable “coast”, however, sounds a bit like “ghost” the way Lennon says it. The last time we heard this, we had just cut to the first shot of the Overlook from the air. And here we get the first mirrorform shot of the Grady family ghosts all together now. (Of course, none of the ghosts are who they seem to be: this ghost is Delbert Grady, while Jack heard about a Charles Grady, and the twins are twins instead of “about 8 and 10” as Ullman described them. So these are not actual ghosts, they’re projections of the hotel.)
  • “He got early warning” – A funny phrase when we’re seeing Jack and Danny see Grady and the ghost twins. Danny has already had 2-3 visions of the twins, and Jack has heard the Grady story from Ullman, and he claims to have read about Grady in the newspaper. In fact, Jack is reacting here to Grady’s suggestion that Jack “correct” his family, which leads Jack to kill the radio. So, Jack could almost be thinking “Am I about to become that thing I said I would never become?”
  • “He one mojo filter” – There’s multiple interpretations of this line, and I could see them all applying in the context of the song, but for the film, the one that seems most apt is the idea of a hoodoo charm bag, which was made of flannel, and contained magic items with which to increase your good fortune, etc. Jack and Danny both appear to be wearing flannel, but one is better at filtering than the other, the juju eyeballs coming their way. Also, another name for mojo is toby, and only one of these guys has anything in his flannel bag that sounds like “toby”.
  • “1 and 1 and 1 is 3” – Three Gradys.
  • “Got to be good lookin’ cuz he’s so hard to see” – On “look” and “see” we get the two shots of the murdered, bloody girls (virtually indistinguishable, below). Grady also appears to have blood coming out of his eyes in this moment. Cuz he looks good.
  • One other thing: the painting beside the girls, splashed in blood is one of my favourite buried clues.
  • On the following “come together” the girls seem to spring back into formation, alive and well. Then on the music we see them dead again, and on “right now” they spring back into life. Then right on the final beat of this riff they’re dead again. And then on “over me” we see Grady and Jack, both in close-up, with the girls ‘over’ them. Now Jack has the bloody eyeballs.
  • The long outro of “Come together” and “Yeah!” played in round 1 over Jack’s meeting Ullman, his ultimate undoer. Here, Danny is having his last conversation with his ultimate protector, Tony. In round 3 it plays over Hallorann having his last conversation with anyone on earth, his friend Larry Durkin (who he’ll presumably talk to when he picks up the snowcat, but you get the point).
  • As round 1 Come Together faded out, we were zooming in on the Boulder apartment, and then hearing the roadrunner music come in, and seeing Danny and Wendy watching their show. Here, they’re watching a much different kind of show, and certainly not one Danny’s gonna wanna stick around for.
  • Also, if we read Come Together as, in some abstract way, another of the songs Lennon and McCartney wrote to each other, trying to talk themselves into remaining a band, it’s interesting to note that McCartney was born in June of 1942. The movie on screen here is Summer of ’42.

Click here to continue on to Redrum Road: Something – Round 2