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REDRUM ROAD – ROUND THREE – 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 ONE START ⎔ ROUND TWO START ⎔ SPECIAL: STORY ROOM
- During the intro of this song, in all three forward rounds, someone is pantomiming something. In round 1 it’s Wendy pretending to not notice the discrepancy between Jack abusing Danny three years ago and how Jack “hasn’t had any alcohol in five months”; in round 2 it’s Jack pantomiming his reaction to seeing Lloyd for the first time, “Hi Lloyd. Little slow tonight. Ha ha ha ha ha!”; in round 3 it’s Jack again, this time playing to Wendy’s sympathies, acting like he’s hurt enough to need a doctor.
- Just wanted to point out the way, as Hallorann is saying “Do you know how I knew your name was Doc?” here, in round 2 Jack just knows that Lloyd’s name is Lloyd. So, at the risk of sounding like a self-parody (perhaps I’ve crossed that rubicon already), I just want to point out a funny little thing I noticed. The song that plays on the soundtrack proper during Jack’s nightmare is Penderecki’s The Dream of Jacob (AKA The Awakening of Jacob). It’s about Jacob’s ladder, and its name implies that it is both about the dream and the awakening. Well, what Jacob says upon awakening is “Surely, the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not.” When Jack awakens, he’s mortified beyond reckoning. The idea of murdering his family sickens him, and while he’s heard a story about a man who did the same thing here, he doesn’t want to identify with that man. So, after Wendy’s spurning, he goes to the Gold Room in search of someone to identify with, and he finds Lloyd. For, surely the Lloyd was in this place, and he knew it not. But actually…he did know it. At least, he knew the name of Lloyd, when he first looked in the mirror. But this name, honestly, could’ve been any name. Lloyd would’ve accepted any moniker Jack bestowed, it wouldn’t have made any difference to Lloyd. And that’s the difference between shiners and non-shiners. A shiner knows something real about the other, and a non-shiner sees only what they want to see.
- When backward Wendy is saying “Kinda like a ghost ship, huh?” round 2 Lloyd is saying “No, sir, not busy at all.” The round 1 family is about to discuss the Donner Party, but they’re about 20-30 seconds off from there.
- “I want you/I want you so bad, babe” – As a general note, it’s interesting that during this line, and the coming lines, both here and in round 2, Jack is looking at himself. Here he’s looking at himself in the form of backward Jack, and in round 2 he’s looking at Lloyd, who first appears to Jack by way of Jack seeing his own reflection. Round 1 is Jack about to talk cannibalism while backward Jack pretends to be the big bad wolf. Which is a horse of a slightly different colour.
- “I want you/I want you so bad” – This is one of my new favourite multi-mirror moments. In the ten seconds leading up to this moment, round 1 Jack is saying “They were a party of settlers in covered wagon times. They got snowbound one winter in the mountains. They had to resort to cannibalism in order to stay alive.” (while backward Jack says, “Come out, come out, wherever you are…” while backward Wendy is stuck in the window) Round 2 Jack is saying “Best damn bartender from Timbuktu to Portland, Maine. Or Portland, Oregon, for that matter.” (while backward Danny is shining about the corpse ghost at Dick) And here, Jack is telling Wendy to go check out the radio and the snowcat to see what he means about her “not going anywhere.” (while backward Hallorann is confirming Danny’s love of ice cream). So, in combination with this lyric about wanting someone so bad it’s driving the wanter insane, we’ve got a man describing cannibalism in a stuck winter setting (the Donner Party went from Missouri to California–travelling west through the American south), the same man making an oblique reference to American expansionism (Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon–travelling west through the American north), and the same man revealing to his wife that he’s recreated Donner Party-style conditions for the family. It’s appropriate that Dick would ask Danny if he likes ice cream (eye scream) here, because a big part of eye scream seems to be about learning about the past, in which deeply unpleasant things occurred.
- There’s also the connection to food throughout these moments. The Donner Party convo came out of Danny saying “Mom? I’m hungry.” Again, round 1 backward Jack is playing at eating his family when he does the “little pigs” business. Lloyd’s offering Jack booze and Hallorann’s offering Danny cream and sugar. And murder Jack is locked in with all the food, which, even if he hadn’t escaped, still contained all the food. So if Wendy was still snowbound, and Jack was still imprisoned, would she and Danny have survived on nothing but meat the rest of the winter, understanding that Jack would have to make do with his hundred square feet to go insane in?
- Oh, and I just noticed that Jack says the word “wagon” twice in the film, and they’re both in this song. “Covered wagon times” and “Five miserable months on the wagon”.
- One last thing: going back a few seconds before this, in round 2, is when Jack makes the White Man’s Burden reference. So it’s funny that that line echoes along this chain of connections. I probably don’t need to expound on that at this point.
- “It’s driving me mad/It’s driving me mad” – All along this line pantry Jack is slamming the wall like a wild animal, screaming “Go! Check it out!” finally laughing hysterically and twiddling his fingers, and wagging his tongue on the door.
- “She’s so” – As discussed in part one, the cornflakes behind backward Danny’s head here are a probable reference to John Lennon’s favourite snack, which was cornflakes served with cream. At this moment in round 2 Jack is taking his first drink.
- Right before we hear Lennon scream about how heavy Yoko is, Wendy is struggling hard against the snowed-in 2nd entrance door.
- And the whole time we’re hearing about how “Heavy!!!” she is, Hallorann is saying “How’d you like some ice cream, doc?” Round 2 Jack just had some eye scream of his own, drinking the suicide drink, while backward Jack recovers from the shock of his aged make-out partner transforming into a much younger make-out partner. Round 1 backward Wendy is lifting Danny out the window.
- After the screams of “Heavy!” the music transitions into a smoother, more placid vibe, and the pan shot that tracks backward Wendy and Hallorann here is exactly like the one that happens in round 1, panning the other direction across the lobby. That sequence is overlaid with the shot of backward Wendy seeing MURDER in the mirror, and this scene is overlaid with Wendy finding the murdered snowcat. Note how the part Jack cut out of the machine floats in or very near Hallorann’s form throughout his whole speech, here.
- This sequence also involves three very different Hallorann passages. In round 1, it’s all about Ullman and Watson approaching Jack in the lobby, which, as discussed in my Come Out, Come Out theory, bears a strong symbolic connection to Hallorann’s murder. In round 2, backward Jack is making out with the 237 ghost, which is a sequence that Hallorann might be experiencing through Danny’s shine powers. In round 3 it’s the backward Hallorann pantry tour. So one symbolic, one metaphysical, and one flesh and bone. Because, and I can’t stress this enough, the hotel wants Hallorann. So bad.
- “She’s so” – There’s a cool overlay of actual mirrors in the multi-mirrorform, here. So, in round 3 backward Hallorann and Wendy are coming out of a deepfreeze on the left (C3) despite the fact that they entered the deepfreeze on the right (C4) (meanwhile there’s a mirror hanging across the hall, right next to where they headed into C4). In round 2, Jack is talking to his reflection (Lloyd) and backward Jack is seeing the nude ghost for the first time (recall that he walks forward through 237 into the bathroom, and walks backward the whole way out; also that the bathroom is covered in mirrors). In round 1, backward Danny is just finishing writing REDRUM, the mirror word.
- “I want you, etc” – Again, while Lennon further convinces us of his wanting for Yoko, Jack has the box of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies that fell on him down at his feet here, waking to Grady’s knocks.
- Also, this is the moment a groggy Jack is registering that it’s Delbert Grady at the storeroom door. In round 2 Jack is saying to Lloyd “I did hurt him once, okay?” And in round 1 Ullman is about to say “All the best people” in reference to who’s stayed at the Overlook over the years. I like how all that speaks to the note of delusion in Ullman’s pride.
- There’s a strong suggestion of ancient history in these moments, too. Besides the Dec. 13/77 date on the Café Vienna box, backward Hallorann is assuring Wendy they could eat up here a whole year and never have the same menu twice. Round 2 Jack is finally opening up about the abuse that happened “three goddamn years ago!” (to say nothing of his antiquated drinking buddy) while his backward twin is edging away from a woman who just de-aged about half a century. Round 1 Ullman is describing the Overlook’s “illustrious past”which includes name dropping the “jet set” and the fact that four presidents stayed there. Even if that was just the last four (two of which would not be worth bragging about), it would still go back 16 years.
- “I want you!” – At this moment in round 2 Jack is saying, “And it was three goddamn years ago!” Remember what I was saying the last time we saw this shot, about how the rungs on Jacob’s ladder equal years in the eyes of some scholars? And how the ladder just over Hallorann’s shoulder here has nine years’ worth of rungs, and how that’s the same number of years that would lead back to the Grady murders? Well, round 1 Danny is in the games room throwing darts. How many? Three. Coincidence? Maybe. I’m not sure what darts have to do with years. But perhaps this was another way Kubrick found to express the relativity of time, not with a ladder, but with a game. In the deleted scene at the end, Danny is playing a game with ladders. Snakes and Ladders.
- Right here is the “drowning in Yoko’s love” scream, and I probably don’t need to remind you of any of the flood connections that exist between the three rounds. But for this one, we’ve got backward Hallorann asking Wendy if she’s a “Winnie or a Freddie?” Wendy is otherwise connected to Winnie-the-Pooh in the film, and as we all know Winnie had a very blustery day, and a day when the rain, rain, rain came down, down, down causing Pooh to hoard ten jars of honey up on a tree branch, till the floodwaters passed. Which brings to mind the plethora of sweet things huddled around angry Jack here. It’s almost like he’s in a storm shelter.
- I’m not sure if the forward action suggests much about a flood beyond this visual of being overprepared for some kind of famine scenario. I do have a theory that what this shot of Jack might do better than any other is point out the greatest number of secret themes in the film. So the Tang recalls Danny’s Apollo 11 shirt (Tang was on board the Apollo space missions, which also brings 1969 to mind), and the Calumet brings to mind the various indigenous motifs, and the Golden Rey brings to mind all the notions surrounding times of day, and the various sun motifs. On closer inspection it seems like everything in this shot has some subtle tie-in to a major theme. But for the ones tying directly to floods or the bloodfall, the Ketchup tin seems apt, as does the Tree Top apple juice, which makes me think of the garden of eden, which is quite close to the great flood in Genesis.
- This is an interesting moment of arrivals and departures across the rounds. Round 1 is the Grady twins leaving Danny in the games room. Round 2 is Wendy just grabbing Jack’s shoulder in the Gold Room to inform him about the “crazy woman” in 237, while backward Jack walks back away from the undisturbed 237 bathroom. And here it’s backward Danny’s backwards walk away from the “breaking of the band”, to be followed by Hallorann in a minute, and Jack’s only been standing at the door with Grady a few seconds here.
- At the exact moment Ullman hails Dick’s arrival, breaking up the band, there are two other similar instances in the other rounds. In round 1 the backwards action is Tony/Danny doing the REDRUM walk, which is interrupted on this very second by the sequence of Hallorann driving the snowcat through the snowy mountains (this also happens to be the moment forward Wendy steps into the spot backwards Danny was stepping back to). And in round 2 this is the exact introduction of the middle scene in the movie, which goes from Jack asking “Which room was it?” to backward Dick’s shine-receiver face overlaying an off TV screen, about to blast into life. In both these instances, Dick is cutting off a scene showing Jack, Wendy and Danny on screen at the same time. I’ll include the exact moments below so you can see.
- Incredibly, if we look at these three moments the opposite way, as correlating to forward Ullman’s greeting Hallorann in round 1, as opposed to backward Ullman in round 3, the same holds true. It’s simply 1:52 later in the song, still in the flood finale. So, yeah. Maybe the hotel wants Hallorann a little bit. At least as much as John wanted Yoko. No more, no less.
- And I would be remiss not to re-point-out the fact that, during the “flood finale” Jack and Wendy pass the spot where we later see the Vesuvius painting and Wendy even seems to notice it (or look where it will later hang), during the tour (second image below).
- Just wanted to observe that this is the moment in the middle of the third and first round where the same moment of the same song is onscreen at the same time, passing each other in opposite directions. It happens just as the backward action in round 1 is going from Hallorann’s snowcat to Grady releasing Jack. Ullman’s dialogue here is “I believe they actually had to repel a few Indian attacks as they were building it.” The mirror moment for this in round 2 is the exact middle of the movie, as you’d expect, where Hallorann’s watching the news. The newscaster’s dialogue there is, “The National Guard might be called out to clear streets and roads.” This made me wonder if this was a subtle jab at the Indian Removal Act, signed by president Andrew Jackson in 1830. Bearing in mind, again, that this is the “flood” portion of this track, and noting that the blue, jaggedy sky above Hallorann’s snowcat will reappear, it’s possible that this is an obscure reference to the Trail of Tears, although that technically ended well before the hotel’s building dates of 1907-1909, as stated by Ullman here. Perhaps if we knew this obscure forest snow path Hallorann is driving, that might tell us something.
- The very last thing we hear in round 1 of this track is Jack asking Danny if he got “tired of bombing the universe?” and here in round 3, Danny picks up the knife off the table with the book Bomber Pilot on it. And backward Ullman wears a bomber jacket all throughout the tour.
- It’s worth noting that the silence after the track is still happening when we see Danny in the games room, which is where the flood poster is. The poster appears three seconds into the next track.
Click here to continue to Redrum Road: Here Comes the Sun – Round 3
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