by Alex Colville
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ART OF THE BLOWJOB WELL
JOHNSON HOUSE, HANOVER ⎔ MOON AND COW ⎔ MUSKOX ⎔ MYSTERIES ⎔ OXBOROUGH ⎔ VESUVIUS
(Check how beautifully Colville’s true tone bleeds into the walls, while the painting itself in the shot looks much darker. What a show-off!)
Seen once, in the blowjob well from 129:32-129:42.
I’ve discussed Alex Colville in more general terms elsewhere.
I can’t find any commentary on this one, except for one site calling its style Magic Realism. I wondered about that. Is it because the moon, or the landscape, is so bright? Or because the cow is so untroubled? Or because the style is slightly cartoonish? Nothing else in the image seems that supernatural. If I’m missing something, maybe Kubrick understood the magic realism angle and was using it to underscore what Wendy was about to experience: her first ghosts. I do wonder if the cow bit is meant as a jab at Wendy’s naiveté.
In any case, cows play a major role in the Pillars of Hercules myth, so check out that link for more.
Someone suggested (I forget who, sorry) that the image could be a foreshadow of the moment Jack sits down to die. I like that in a way. As if Wendy was getting this cue that Jack was about to be defeated, and to use that insight to power through the next four four horsemen trials. There’s also a part earlier when the radio voice (KHOW’s Hal and Charlie–it’s Charlie who says this) says “Get the cows in the barn!” in reference to the ongoing storm. If Jack is the cow (can Geryon be his own cow?), then he was not gotten in the barn, boy howdy.
THE 237 CONNECTION
Update: During my final edit of the mirrorform analysis, I had started to believe that 237 was to Danny what Jacob’s ladder was to the mythical Jacob. In other words, just as Jacob’s ladder is thought to represent a sequence of years (where each rung on the ladder represents a year), I think 237 represents the (sometimes) number of miles to the moon (the average is 238 thousand miles, but that’s pretty close, and it might’ve been thought to be 237 in the ’70s, I’m not sure), and so, as Danny approaches 237 with his Apollo 11 sweater, he’s literally re-enacting the moon mission, symbolically. This could also explain the secret 732s and 273s and 327s I discovered in my Fibonacci analysis, many of which correlate to something Jack’s doing. I assumed these were just warped references to the sinister room. But now I wonder if they’re about how Jack’s not good enough to get to the moon, doesn’t even understand why you’d want to go there, has to be told by Wendy which room it is that damaged his son. He’s just like Colville’s cow. He has a relationship to the moon, and he’s aware of it, but he doesn’t get it. He doesn’t get that life is about striving for the next level of human civilization. Like “vini vidi vici” he thinks striving is about personal glory (the way some Americans literally think the moon belongs to them, thanks to Apollo 11). He thinks it’s about being so clever and awesome that everyone will remember your cleverness til the end of time (even though it leads to your friends stabbing you to death). And so he and the moon remain separate, even in death.
But there’s a cherry for the top of this moon-pie. I just discovered that Moon and Cow appears on the 23rd step of Wendy’s flight up the BJ well.
And while the camera cuts off easy viewing there, Wendy makes 21 motions with her legs from step 18 to the top, but the camera cuts off our view after step 23. So if each leg motion was a step, 17 + 21 = 38. But she does one more turn around the last two flights, and I think this accounts for two steps. So 17 + 20 = 37. If it somehow accounts for three steps (it’s very hard to tell), that would mean, out of 36 steps, the Moon and Cow painting still appears above step 23. So I’m gonna say it’s more likely 37 steps total. Which gives us a 23 and a 37. 237.
What’s more, 23 makes a golden ratio out of 37.
Oh, and here’s something profoundly esoteric (or maybe not), Margaret Hamilton played the wicked witch in the 1939 Wizard of Oz movie. Her third last movie was Brewster McCloud, which starred Shelley Duvall, and which was about an Icarus inventor boy. A Margaret Hamilton who was three years old when Wizard of Oz came out, was a major figure in the Apollo 11 mission. Jack quotes (intentionally or otherwise) Glenda the good witch while stalking through Suite 3 with an axe, “Come out, come out, wherever you are.” And Brewster McCloud made direct references to Wizard of Oz. Is this finally the explanation for why Shelley Duvall was cast, to give one of the greatest performances of all time? Because of her connection to moon missions and (wo)men behind great curtains?
It appears during the first majority of Danny’s first bloodfall vision, appearing almost at the moment the Grady twins blot out the bloodfall for an instant.
Next art reference: The Johnson House, Hanover
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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