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REDRUM ROAD – ROUND ONE – SKIP TO A PAGE
COME TOGETHER ⎔ SOMETHING ⎔ MAXWELL’S SILVER HAMMER ⎔ OH! DARLING ⎔ OCTOPUS’S GARDEN ⎔ I WANT YOU ⎔ HERE COMES THE SUN ⎔ BECAUSE ⎔ YOU NEVER GIVE ME YOUR MONEY ⎔ SUN KING ⎔ MEAN MR. MUSTARD ⎔ POLYTHENE PAM ⎔ SHE CAME IN THROUGH THE BATHROOM WINDOW ⎔ GOLDEN SLUMBERS ⎔ CARRY THAT WEIGHT ⎔ THE END
ROUND TWO START ⎔ ROUND THREE START ⎔ SPECIAL: STORY ROOM
- This track is by Harrison, and Watson (who is Harrison) is standing centre screen. He’ll vanish for the rest of the track, and appear again during the last few notes. Incidentally, this effect will reverse in the Round 3 version of this track, where Watson will be missing at the beginning and end, but centre screen through the bulk of the middle portion.
- “Here comes the sun” – It would probably seem cuter if this line started just as Danny entered the gold room, but what it does play over is his intro into the kitchen. Backward Jack is saying “No need to rub it in, Mr. Grady” in response to Grady saying that Jack could “hardly have taken care” of murdering Danny and Wendy.
- Obviously, I like to read this song as “Here comes the son” in many instances, but here we also get Jack standing next to Golden Rey brand pimiento pieces. Pimientos are cherry peppers, which could be another reference to the Denver flood (which came from Cherry River), but here I like to read it as a reference to sun, giving off golden rays of light. This room also contains Silver Rey brand items.
- Also, if Tang is an intentional reference to the Apollo 11 mission, which context clues would suggest it is, this idea of the approaching sun could be read as Kubrick’s longing to see space travel become more of a thing. Here comes the sun, because we’re going to the moon, etc.
- “An’ I say, it’s all right” – Hallorann is starting to reassure Wendy about the vastness of the kitchen. Grady is doing the opposite, chastising Jack for his failures as an axe-murderer.
- “It’s been a long cold lonely winter” – Mirror Jack starts to move back to his sleeping place, like a drowsy bear returning to hibernation. Hallorann is just about to assure Wendy they could go a whole year without having the same menu twice. This invokes the lonely winter passage they’re about to go through, but assuages any fears that that passage will be long, cold, or lonely…when they have so much variety!
- The other funny thing to point out here is the way this is not even halfway through December. As someone who struggles with the Canadian winter’s miserable effects (Ottawa should change its name to the Stress Test Capital of the World–it’s usually within the top four coldest capital cities in the world, and the number one iciest…think about that…we beat Iceland), the idea of going full-Grady by December 13th is pretty contemptible. Literally ten days ago Danny and Wendy were running around in the maze in light jackets. Come on, man. Get it together.
- “It feels like years since it’s been here” – The ladder jutting up from Danny’s head and overlaying (at moments perfectly) with Jack’s back is most likely a Jacob’s Ladder reference (there’s a song that appears three times on the soundtrack proper about Jacob’s Ladder, called The Dream of Jacob). The rungs in the Jacob’s Ladder story are interpreted as years by prominent Torah scholars, so the fact that this ladder has nine rungs and a top platform (it’s confusing, because the shadows obscure things), could relate to the fact that the Grady murders were in 1970, nine years ago. Grady’s “long, cold, lonely winter” lead to his familicide, and it “feels like [nine] years since it’s been here”. (This business with the ladder is another point the Beatles helped me realize, for the record. Until now I thought it might simply be a Jacob’s Ladder reference, not realizing the 9 tied to Grady.)
- It’s also interesting that Wendy references Hansel and Gretel here (“…feel like I’ll have to leave a trail of breadcrumbs…”). There’s a disputed theory that the fairy tale might have roots in the Great Famine of 1315-1320, but it’s also thought that hunger in the Baltic region had been an issue on both sides of that event for hundreds of years. Nonetheless, if the nature of Hansel and Gretel had appeal before and after the Great Famine, it certainly would’ve resonated during it. Part of the moral is rejecting something that looks too good, part of it is rejecting an overabundance of empty calories, and part of it is the cannibalism of baking the witch, which would’ve been a sweet thought, perhaps, to anyone going through any kind of famine-style nightmare. Like the Donner Party, for instance. But yeah, the winters of the Great Famine must’ve been the worst times, and they probably did feel like years.
- Fun fact: there’s a complicated system of categorizing folktales called the Aarne-Thompson classification system, made up of at least hundreds of tropes by which folktales are assigned classification numbers. Hansel and Gretel’s is 327 (known as The Children and the Ogre). Sorta like 237, which falls under the general classification of animal stories (1-299), but which specifically, hilariously, corresponds to the folklore type known as The Parrot That Talked Too Much. Nobody talks inside 237, and Danny’s adventures there render him mute for over half the movie.
- “The smile’s returning to their faces” – Hallorann just finished the “same menu twice” line, which he delivered more seriously, then, on “smiles” he grins again to point out the walk-in freezer. For the record, the next iteration of this moment in this song is one of my favourite moments of crossover (Jack is seeing the naked ghost, and this line crosses the length of his slowly emerging, devilish grin). But the round 3 “smile’s” line happens during the (backward) first Colorado lounge walk, and, while Ullman is indeed grinning as he says, “It was one of the stopping places for the jet set”, you can’t see anyone start to smile.
- Also, just note how there’s one box of Golden Rey in every tower left of waking mirror Jack here.
- “It seems like years since it’s been here” – The box atop the stack next to Jack’s head here says, Dec 13/77. This is one of three plainly visible dates in the film, along with the final photo (July 4th, 1921), and the Denver flood poster, on which we can make out 1912. Dec. 13, 1977 is two years exactly before Jack dies in the film (we can tell by studying the placards against the newspapers), which seems to imply that Kubrick was imagining that to be Jack’s death day in the novel, since the book came out in ’77. So, “it feels like [two] years”? Also, some records of the Great Famine (of Northern Europe) have it as 1315-1317 (or, two years; others have it as five years or seven years).
- The date on the box by Jack actually reads Dec. 13/77, which felt like a 14th century (1377) reference to me some months ago, but I couldn’t find anything from that year that felt pointedly significant. It’s the 40th year of the Hundred Years War? I don’t know.
- Oh, I should also mention how in every performance of this track, there’s a scene or moment where a bright, powerful sun-like light source hangs directly over the characters. That’ll be even more pronounced in round 2 (the 237 bathroom), but this is the scene for this round.
- Fun Fact: George Harrison’s favourite snack was chips, which, despite being a devout vegetarian, he would go to a little fish n’ chips near his home to get. When Hallorann asks Danny if he likes lamb, Danny replies “No.” And when Hallorann asks what his favourite food is, Danny replies “French fries and ketchup.” Also, Danny is never seen eating meat (though he does drink milk), while Jack is only seen eating meat, eggs, carbs and protein (as evidenced by the spam and peanut butter jar open beside him here).
- “It’s all right” – Hallorann has just called Danny “Doc” for the first time, alerting Wendy to some unusual connection between these men. Wendy in the books gets a real pang of concern about leaving Danny alone with Hallorann, but film Wendy realizes after a short intrigue that there’s probably nothing to worry about. It’s all right.
- This also kicks off the middle portion of the film, which takes on a much different sound from the two surrounding passages. So this bridge of music perfectly encapsulates Wendy’s suspicion of Hallorann. A man who is about to “shine” at her son, before mother or child have a word for shining. It’s as if the sun, sun, sun is coming.
- “Sun, sun, sun, here he comes/here we come” – A lot of this refrain happens on the slow zoom into mirror Jack’s sleeping face in the pantry, and Jack seems to be the “sun king” of three tracks from now; also, in the mirror world we’ve gone from the evening of Jack making his deal with Grady to Wendy in the snowcat room, holding its severed heart. In that room there’s a bright window showing that the sun has come out. Also, you know, the movie’s one of two big “shines” is seconds away.
- “I feel that ice is slowly melting” – Wendy’s out in the freezing cold of the snowcat room, holding the heart of the snowcat, which is dusted with snow that she’s probably feeling melt slowly in her hand.
- Also, there’s a sweet transition in the tone of the music (back from the bridge) just as they enter the pantry. Wendy and Hallorann are walking into the room that we were just inside with backward Jack. And when they leave this room, backward Jack will spring back. At which point the song will end, and the “moon” song will begin.
- “It seems like years since it’s been clear” – This is an echo of the earlier line, and just as it ends, Hallorann walks past the same box that was next to Jack earlier, with Dec. 13/77 on it. It’s right to the right of his face, here, turned sideways, atop a sideways Sysco box. Between all the…Maxwell House Coffee. Look to the above image to see some…Silver Rey soybean oil. I’d like to tell you there’s a hammer somewhere to complete the phrase, but I can’t see one here. Unless…
- …I can’t really make out what it is, that gleaming silver thing under Wendy’s hand on the wall shelf there has a certain meat-tenderizer shape to it, don’t you think?
- Going back for a little bit of Beatles trivia: John Lennon’s favourite snack was cornflakes served with cream (which apparently is where the phrase “Sitting on a cornflake, waiting for the man to come” comes from in I Am the Walrus off Magical Mystery Tour, the album that is visible in A Clockwork Orange…but I’m getting ahead of myself). In Hallorann’s long list of items to be found here, he mentions “…cornflakes…” right at this moment, which happens to show Danny standing in a shaft of light from the mirror world, staring off in the direction of the camera crew, for some reason, ignoring his mom’s look as she follows Hallorann. But more significantly, there’s a box of Cornflakes now visible just to the left of Danny’s head, which was obscured by the opening framing of this scene. So it’s only on screen for a second, and only when Hallorann says the name.
- And I don’t know if this was a common design on Kellogg’s shipping boxes back then, but you can even see here that there’s a prominent black crescent shape on the box, like a moon, or some kind of eclipse. The word in the song at this moment is “clear” in the line “It feels like years since it’s been clear”. What’s more…
- …when Hallorann and Wendy arrive at the other side, we now have a boatload of Frosted Flakes. Which are like cornflakes dipped in cream.
- This could all be a matter of convenience, but the Frosted Flakes mascot is Tony the Tiger, and, as we’ll see, these boxes will appear a few more times (or not appear, as in the case of Jack’s storeroom imprisonment), and generally seem linked to Danny’s protectors acting in Danny’s best interest. The idea of Tony being the mascot of John Lennon’s ultimate snack food, and the name of Danny’s internal protector, could be a link to Danny not simply being an auxiliary character, but actually Sean Lennon. Of course, Sean was only one or two when the book was written and published, and while he and Danny share extremely similar hairstyles in the film, King obviously felt the book was more autobiographical than it was a transliteration of all Lennon’s/the Beatle’s life facts.
- One thing about the crescent moon shape that could explain the symbol would be how Lennon composed the next song on the album, Because, by asking Yoko to play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata backwards. “Here comes the moon”, as it were.
- “Here comes the sun, and I say, it’s alright” – So we’ve got two Texsun fruit boxes, two Golden Rey boxes (both contain pineapple), and, again, the Corn Flakes box (with the crescent moon shape now mirroring over some bright sunny windows). The other boxes have sunny inferences–the sun shines on “Tree Tops”, the Ritz logo is a giant red orb, Libby’s sliced peaches are peaches (themselves orangey orbs), clams can produce pearls that are like little silver suns–but that’s less direct.
- Oh, and, clearly these lyrics are happening over a slow zoom on the Torrance son.
- “Here comes the sun, do do do do/Here comes the sun” – More like here comes the shine.
- Just wanted to point out how we can still see the clams, Golden Rey and Corn Flakes boxes. But also, as Wendy comes out of the hotel, here, there seems to be an umbrella stand here, with at least five black umbrellas in it, for convenience. The next time we would see this scene, going backward in the mirror world, would be when Dick re-enters this portal. The black umbrellas have always struck me as a funereal thing, giving a small subliminal bump that someone’s not long for this world. These are seen right before the dead snowcat, and those are seen right before Hallorann gets axed. The last time we see them is when Jack goes to kill Danny, and of course this comes right before we see the Grady ghost, but also Jack’s meat popsicle face. So the fact that the lyric that just happened was “It’s all right” might hint at the fact that Danny shouldn’t feel too guilty that Hallorann died for him. Yes, he could’ve shone to warn Hallorann about Jack’s hiding place, but a) he is just a kid, and b) that could have upset everything that followed, and maybe then Jack choses left instead of right in the labyrinth and maybe Danny gets caught. The universe is an insanely complex place, and we’re not responsible for stopping every bad thing that happens there. Even the ones that directly involve us. And, of course, Hallorann could’ve warned Danny a little more about what to expect during his stay.
- As promised, here’s that shot of Watson coming up the hall, just at the end of the track. Actually, backwards Wendy running backwards here, almost looks like she’s part of the Abbey Road Tour, just as she’s about to be in the forward action. Oh, and she just ran backwards past Flock of Loons, which contains a certain “sun” shape.
- Also, before we move on from the “Sun” song, note that the golden bowl (from my larger golden bowl theory) is in the shot, here (a different actual bowl as from the one in the lounge, but still a golden bowl. Note that that steel table next to the Abbey Road Tour walkers is in the spot where backward Wendy is going to drag Jack through in a second. That’s because the golden bowl, and its table, have disappeared.
- Jack appears in the last second of the song trailing off, but he also appears before Hallorann can fully shut the door.
Click here to continue on to Redrum Road: Because – Round 1
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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