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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
- The intro plays over much of backward Danny’s first bloodfall vision, just as, in round 1, it played over backward Danny’s final bloodfall vision, bathing a sleeping Jack in blood. The round 2 version plays over Jack strolling into the ghost ball. It’s stuff like that that makes me think that, despite Danny’s association to Apollo (and thereby, the sun) the Sun King is not also Danny.
- Also, going back to the “One sweet dream/came true/today” bit: all of the three images from Danny’s first vision sequence have connections in the BJ well. First below you have the two Trapper’s Camp paintings appearing together thanks to the bloodfall. Next below, you have Danny’s scream face, the other of which happened 42 seconds ago. And finally you have the twins, who appear in a hall with an Oxborough painting, just like the ones behind Wendy here. But more than that, the round 1 version of this features Jack having his “one sweet dream”, which is to say, the only night of good sleep he seems to have in the whole film. What was he dreaming of? Picking up the bags and getting in the limousine?
- There’s a really cool connection formed by the second last sweet trill of the song’s intro. In round 1 it’s the brief moment where REDRUM last flashes on screen for backward Danny, in round 2 it’s the moment of transition between Danny heading into 237 and Wendy in the boiler room, and in round 3 it’s Wendy being stared back at by her blowjobbing bear mirror self. So, first you’ve got the bit where round 1 Wendy appears in a mirror with herself, and where round 2 features Danny going into 237 thinking Wendy’s in there, wanting to play, as real Wendy is doing the job of caretaker (a kind of mirror play), and where Wendy is seeing her sexual predator self in the BJ bear. But the other cool thing is that many of these areas certainly have a picture of Mount Vesuvius in them. In round 1, it’s roughly behind where the mirror sits (click here to see), in round 2 it’s hidden inside 237 (click here), and in round 3 it’s highly obscured by the shadows in the well (click here). There’s also a painting in the boiler room of what I’ve sometimes thought was a variation on Jacob’s Ladder, but now I’m wondering if it’s some old Vesuvius portrait. Now, Hercules was not a king of the sun, but there is that sweet irony about what it did to the town with his other name, and how that speaks to the tone and lyrics of this song.
- It’s also pretty neat that Danny is asking for a vision, getting an unasked-for vision, and going into 237 for a vision of a different colour all at the same moment.
- The mellow riffs here pair perfectly with the start of the BJ bear and the zoom on its face. Recall how, in the boiler room of round 2, backward Wendy was surrounded by nude photos, and here she’s witnessing another sex act. In round 1 she’s bringing Jack breakfast in her pyjamas, in their only moment alone together where things feel calm and loving.
- Just as the “Aaaaaahhhh” pairs perfectly with Wendy’s reaction. In round 1 it was with shine face backward Danny’s reaction to the bloodfall and his parents fighting (while Wendy brought Jack breakfast). In round 2 it was Lloyd appearing in the ghost ball (while backward Danny approached an open 237). So there’s a strong connotation to shine faces and bedrooms.
- “Here come the sun king” – On “Here” backward Jack appears for the first time in 6:39 (during Because). Ullman and Watson for the first time in 8:22 (during Here Comes the Sun).
- Obviously, forward Jack is stalking to the 2nd entrance. Note how in round 2, Jack’s dialogue to Lloyd is, “Hi Lloyd! Been away, but now I’m back.” Oh! In fact, when Jack appears in round 1, he’s been offscreen for 6:15, from vanishing with the Abbey Road Tour to sleeping in the Overlook. So, in the first third of the film, Jack is offscreen for 12:54 across these two jogs. Along with the 3-minute intro, the Boulder breakfast scene, the games room, the 3-minute kitchen tour, the maze walks and Danny’s triking, there might be as much as half the first third with no Jack in it. That’s interesting. That works to diffuse his presence, and helps with my Julius Caesar theory, with regard to the point that that play was invoked in part to give us the impression that there is no main character.
- Same lyrics. If I’m right about Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are, which I believe I am, this shot could contain all the film’s conspirators in one shot. So, good lyrics for that.
- On “king” we get this one shot of what might be a Christian cross in a landscape, stuck to the Torrance fridge. Christ, if I’m not mistaken, is often called the “king of kings”. In round 2 “king” gives a hard cut to backward Danny in his Apollo shirt (Apollo = god of the sun). Also in round 2, Lloyd serves Jack a glass of Jack Daniels, which is a combination of the father (Jack), the son (Danny), and I guess the holy ghost (Lloyd) is pouring the drink (and in just a moment, Jack will go off with Grady to make his Christ pose). Round 1 features no such obvious cut or reveal. The one thing is that Jack is saying “Plenty of ideas. No good ones.”
- “Everybody’s laughing/Everybody’s happy” – Occurs as we zoom past Dopey on Danny’s door.
- This line also speaks well to the fact that forward Danny is receiving his final key through the mirrorform. He’s now got everything he needs to defeat Jack. And then maybe everyone can finally laugh and be happy. Round 2 Danny is heading into 237 to get his first key. And actually, during this whole line in round 2, the Oxborough painting of the pigtails girl is behind Danny’s head. If that is an intentional reference to the Sand Creek massacre, where the severed body parts of indigenous peoples were put on display at the Apollo theatre in Denver, that would be quite the disturbing mashup, reminding us that the people who didn’t complain at that theatre were probably “laughing” and “happy”.
- Going back to the lessons/escapes, just as Danny’s final key vanishes from the screen the nonsense Romance begins, and that passage of the song is a mash-up of Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian according to online sources. So, since Danny is about to rapidly decode all the lessons and keys and process them into a sequence of escapes that will work in the few seconds it takes to run into the labyrinth, this labyrinth of languages (touted as nonsense verse by many, including the band) will strike the carefree listener as a bit of fluff. I haven’t even begun to try to find/look for any buried meaning in Sun King, or most of the album, frankly (although, how crazy is it that this song was the one chosen to be played backwards on this 2006 album?). But hopefully I’ve related to you that there are structural and thematic tendencies within the album that bear review. As Danny runs to the labyrinth, he’s doing a kind of mental translation that would be like the work done by someone who spoke the three languages hearing the nonsense Romance. Apparently, some of the words might even be other words from another language. So, the notion of levels is at play here.
- Also, round 1 Jack here talks about “déjà vu” and if my lessons/keys theory is correct, this moment is a bit like Danny’s déjà vu. Especially since earlier Wendy chases him into the maze saying “I’m gonna getcha! You better run fast! Dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun!” Mundo déjà vu.
- Also, throughout this passage, everybody’s laughing and everybody’s happy. Backward Jack and Ullman laugh awkwardly about the Grady story, and when the transition to Mean Mr. Mustard happens, the solemn Grady story kicks back into gear.
- Oh, also, backward Jack is saying how Wendy’s a “confirmed ghost story and horror film addict”. Well, in round 1, Jack’s making the “Ooo-OOO-ooo!” sound. The round 2 moment is flushed with ghostliness, from the pink tennis ball, to Lloyd telling Jack “Orders from the house” at the ghostball. Orders from the house, indeed!
Click here to continue on to Redrum Road: Mean Mr. Mustard – Round 3
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