The Grady Paintings Connection



  • There’s a good chance I’m wrong about who the second painting is by, but there’s also a good chance these were intended to be impossible to ID; the first, and more certain, artist (Alois Arnegger) is known to have painted hundreds of similar works, which are circulating through the central European art market. If either of these are part of private collections, we may never live to confirm their origins.
  • The more important assertion is that there’s two blue-and-white paintings in the film which bear a strong stylistic correlation to the Grady twins. Not the Grady daughters (who were 8 and 10), but the twins that the hotel and Tony show to Danny.
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  • (Behind reception) As Wendy passes between radio rooms (at 47:40).
  • (In Suite 3) As Wendy plots escape
  • (In Suite 3) As Tony chants REDRUM, and Jack arrives for MURDER
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  • The Kaiser Mountains are named so because the way light hits their peaks is supposed to remind viewers of a crown. And the word “kaiser” descends from the word “caesar“, a figure often associated to his own murder.
  • I haven’t found a single other artist who paints the Kaiser Mountains in this fashion.
  • One of the examples in my piece above was named Winterlandschaft (“Winter landscape”). If the film version were the same, there’s a Krieghoff almost directly across the lobby called Paysage d’hiver, as we’ll see in a bit, which is French for “Winter Landscape”.
  • The Kaiser Mountains are a short hour’s drive from Innsbruck, the capital of the Austrian state of Tyrol, where the 1976 Olympics were held after the people of Denver, Colorado democratically opted not to host the Olympics.
  • In the games room we see a poster for the cancelled Denver Olympics, by Gene Hoffman. And in the mirrorform moment below, here, there’s an incredible split second where these two pieces overlay. It’s extra incredible because the Arnegger piece is only in the mirror before Tony-Danny. The same mirror Wendy’s about to see REDRUM in. The Olympics were supposedly founded by Hercules, the man who murdered his wife and children.
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  • Innsbruck means “Hotel Bridge” after the city’s many hotels and bridges, and here we have a different sort of “hotel bridge”.
  • The summer Olympics that year were (somewhat awkwardly) in Montréal, Canada. The lobby connects to Montréal twice, as we’ve seen. Were those light references to Hercules through the Olympics connection? Paysage d’hiver might be from a riverside near or even in Montréal. So perhaps the two “winter landscapes” are up the road from the 1976 Olympics.
  • The artist’s name, Arnegger, bears a sonic similarity to the n-word, which was invoked by our two REDRUM buddies in their first scene together. While Jack and Grady trade racial slurs for 20 seconds, Danny starts to ask if he can leave the room to get his fire engine on the opposite side. As Jack says the word, Danny is saying “fire engine”.
  • Remember, the Arnegger piece would be directly behind where the camera is positioned here, pointing the opposite way, as if protecting Danny from the bad-sounding name. And that’s Paysage d’hiver to Jack’s left there (above Wendy).
  • Also, there’s a book on the Suite 3 bookshelf (right below the Arnegger) that I’m guessing could be To Kill A Mockingbird, a book somewhat famous for its use of the slur.
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  • When Danny arrives for his fire engine, zombie Jack insists he come over to the spot where the Arnegger piece will be seen during every Suite 3 scene following the Grady chat. We won’t see it in that scene, but we will see it in the scene that immediately follows the Grady chat (on the opposite side of the film), as Wendy plots to get down the mountain. The mirror action is Danny seeing the twins for the last time.
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  • A moment later, while Wendy’s trying to break through the Tony barrier, backward Wendy is returning to the radio room, and when the Arnegger becomes best visible, it occupies this space in Tony-Danny’s skull for a few seconds. (Note the poster of Julius Winfield Erving here too.)
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  • The scene that follows features Jack on his way to kill the radio (which means passing the room backward Wendy is in), while the Arnegger remains obscured behind the directory. So, if the snowy painting pictures are meant to symbolize the Grady twins, and Jack’s murder of the radio and the snowcat are meant to reflect Grady’s murder of his daughters, this shot uses a radio to blot out the one “daughter”, while Jack goes to kill another radio.
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  • Here, the Suite 3 version appears atop a Steamboat tourism poster, to the left of the twins, which also features a snowy cabin (technically a barn).
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  • And what’s on Danny’s chest when he might be sitting in front of the Arnegger? Steamboat Willie.
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  • Since Kaiser, the German word for “emperor”, derives from the title of Caesar…as this piece floats in Tony-Danny’s mind, does that make him a “Caesar”? Or does it just mean he’s dreading his father’s foreseen betrayal? As Wendy paces around it, and Danny trikes to the twins, is Triking Danny a Caesar for triking like a badass? Or is seeing the twins the realization of what being a badass gets you? When it floats about REDRUMing Tony-Danny while backward Danny’s in the Olympics-spattered games room, is that…well, I think we know what that one is.
  • I also like how, once Jack’s transformed into the Big Bad Wolf, it floats off his shoulder like he was never good enough for that crown, and also how backward Jack’s left eye (throughout much of the drive, in fact) is locked in that frame, as if he can’t even tell why he’s disturbed by his urge to conquest. Also, the “crown” of the mountains in the sequence lines up with his brow quite a bit.
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As for the literal mountains:

  • There doesn’t seem to be much war or whatever going on there, though the province of Tyrol, where the Mountains reside, has long been a travel route for many ancient Roman to modern day European travellers (perhaps that’s why they’re known for their hotels), and it seems like the area’s been invaded a few times over the last 100 years.
  • Hitler painted, in his pre-genocidal-maniac painter days, a number of Austrian mountains. And while I haven’t seen any evidence that a Hitler painting is in the film, it occurred to me that a mountain he painted might be in another painting. I haven’t found any evidence that he painted the Kaiser mountains, but the ones he did paint were only a couple hour’s drive away, and equally distant from his home in Vienna as are the Kaiser mountains, so perhaps he was drawing from postcards, or some such. In which case, it’s not beyond possibility that Jack’s Big Bad Wolf painting here bears some close relation to a lost or forgotten Adolf Hitler trashterpiece. Arnegger attended the same academy that rejected a young, aspiring Adolf Hitler in 1907 and 1908 (the same years the Overlook was being built), thus possibly assuring the holocaust would happen.
  • After the 1920s Arnegger moved on to painting idyllic scenes of Naples (as did his son, Gottfried), some of which resemble the Naples paintings in this film.
  • “Alois” bears a certain resemblance to the names of the two real life girls who played the twins, Lisa and Louise Burns. Maybe Alois was for Louise? And Orestes(?)…was for Lisa…? Probably just a coincidence, but it is neat.

As of right now the artist whose work most resembles the film piece is Orestes Nicholas de Grandmaison, whose father’s work definitely appears in the film. Straight through the wall, in fact, due east, from where this piece hangs when it’s in Suite 3. Having a father-son painter team represented through the one Grady Twin painting (ones with almost identical names, in fact) would be interesting since there’s a painting in room 237 that resembles the work of Alois Arnegger’s son Gottfried. So it’s possible (though my extensive digging has turned up nothing) that both pieces could speak to parent-child painter duos.

As you can see, there’s a piece that perfectly resembles the image composition (red box), and then there’s numerous pieces by de Grandmaison where he’s got a lone horse in the upper left corner, in profile in a snowy waste. The piece to the right, as you can see, is virtually identical, though I had to flip this image horizontally to get the horse on the correct side of the image. The other three paintings in the lower bar exist in the world as you see them here.

But I’m not swayed by this to think it suggests I’m off the mark, as much as you might think. Delbert Grady tells Jack that he “corrected” his daughters. And sure enough the ghost twins Danny encounters are not the real Grady daughters. So it’s possible that the reason that both these paintings are slightly off is because they speak to the work of the artists I’ve named, but they’re “fakes”. They’re inspired by the common forms of Arnegger and de Grandmaison, but they were made deliberately for production, in order to throw off analysts. I hope I’m wrong about that, and I hope they’re simply extremely obscure pieces that can be one day verified. But it would make for an interesting comment, I think, on the nature of the fake twins, to have two fake paintings to represent them. From here on out, I’ll assume I’m right for the sake of clarity.

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  • I’ve considered several other things the dark blob could be (a plane, a bird, a structure), but really, no matter how you cut it, the shadowy figure in the piece in the film looks nothing like a plane, but rather a horse or a dog perched upon a snowy mound, possibly with a rider.
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How does the piece behave:

  • It first appears at the start of Jack’s first day on the job, at 19:45, as Ullman and Watson approach Jack. The family has just finished discussing cannibalism, and here we hear Ullman asking Watson what time their plane departs. In the mirrorform, axe Jack has just begun his assault on Suite 3, following Wendy’s witnessing of REDRUM.
  • This scene technically omits the Arnegger piece, just as the last few shots of the Suite 3 assault show only the Arnegger. So it’s like Jack’s attack on his wife and child has “broken up” the “Grady Twin paintings”.
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  • The next appearance comes 100 seconds later, as it floats above a REDRUMing Tony-Danny, twice, while he paces around Suite 3, collecting the knife and lipstick. It appears when forward Danny is throwing his first red dart at the bull’s-eye, overlaying with the exit door emerging behind the boy.
  • When he grabs the darts, it’ll overlay with the Ski Broadmoor poster, for 5 long seconds. Another artist whose work it resembles (not as well) is Frederick Remington, whose work definitely appears in the games room, and whose works appear in the current Broadmoor hotel.
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  • When the shot zooms on Danny’s reaction to seeing the twins in the ghostflesh for the first time, the Grady paintings seem to fill his mind (along with the treacherous butterfly standee), but they do so in backwards order, with the Arnegger appearing in the mirror. Perhaps this is meant to suggest that these twins are not hypothetical “pictures in a book”, but substantial, possibly even corporeal entities.
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  • As these twins appear, the mystery horse-on-a-hill painting appears right above Frederic Remington’s The Cowboy. So, a twin Remington would be juicy.
  • The Arnegger piece connects to the ’76 Olympics, and the Steamboat poster it’s near here represents an area that would’ve been equally close to the cancelled Denver Olympics that year.
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  • The piece exits this sequence with one final swoop over the heads of Ullman, Jack and Wendy as they turn from seeing Danny’s yellow bedroom to see the rest of Suite 3’s much more mauve areas. “Pink and gold” are Wendy’s favourite colours.
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  • Incredibly, it’s right at this moment, as the backward action cuts to Hallorann’s rescue mission, that the Suite 3 mirror reveals that the apartment doesn’t have the Grady paintings in it yet — they’re still in the radio room at reception.
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  • Special note: I’d never realized before that the difference between Danny’s room and his parents’ area is the same as the difference between the two tennis balls in the two versions of the film. Or how the flowers in the connecting hall’s wallpaper are a blend of those two colours (along with white, being the tone of the bathroom).
  • Wendy tells Ullman, “Pink and gold are my favourite colours.” I wonder if the “yellow” version of the film is the “kid’s” version (Danny’s room), while the pink version is the “adult’s” version (Jack and Wendy’s room).
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  • The next appearance is 24:24 later, as Wendy gets call-blocked, and backward Jack heads to kill the radio, over ten repetitions of “KDK1 calling KDK12”. This is the first good look we get at the piece in the forward action, and the last time we see it in the radio room.
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  • This shot lasts until the first Tony-Danny REDRUM scene reappears. At which point, the painting never overlays with backward Wendy’s head for more than a split-second. So she’s getting call-blocked, Danny-blocked and Grady (painting)-blocked!
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  • 79 seconds later the paintings appear for the final time, in the backward action, as backward Wendy leaves Tony-Danny’s REDRUMs, and resumes her escape plotting. The forward ranger’s line here is, “Well, if you folks have any problems up there, just give us a call. And Mrs. Torrance, I think it might be a good idea if you leave your radio on all the time now. Over.”
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  • The second last appearance, from the same scene of Wendy plotting, occurs over Danny on his final Lesson, heading toward the Grady twins.
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  • As Wendy curves back around, the painting appears one final time, exiting the film exactly 21:02 before the middle of the movie. Which is almost exactly how long it took the piece to first appear: 19:45. So, 77 seconds difference.
  • The moment the twins appear dead ahead of Danny, the picture is floating over them perfectly for a moment, a couple seconds before the painting’s gone for good.
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  • Is there a numbers game at play here?
    • There’s two sets of two appearances of these pieces.
    • They appear around a minute and a half from each other (in the mirrorform), and each set occurs about once every 20 minutes in the film (a 19:45 gap, a 24:24 gap, and a 21:02 gap).
    • The first and third (mirrorform) appearances occur in the radio room, looking in opposite directions (east, then west).
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  • While the second and fourth (mirrorform) appearances occur during the two sequences of Wendy and Danny pacing back and forth in Suite 3, seen from roughly the same vantage.
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  • Even in the movie proper, these four instances still appear about 20 minutes apart from each other, and the beginning/end/middle of the film. So even without the mirrorform, their appearances are rather butterfly-esque.
  • The ghost twins appear exactly 119 seconds (games room; 19:48-21:47) and 119 seconds (twinhall; 47:40-49:39) after the first and second appearances of the Grady paintings from in the radio room.
  • The next set (of painting appearances) are heavily connected to “REDRUM”, and are quickly followed by Jack killing the radio (88 seconds after) and Jack attacking Suite 3 (56 seconds).
  • (And fun fact: it’s exactly 2:37 between the Arnegger vanishing past Tony-Danny’s head, and appearing beside Big Bad Wolf Jack.)
  • So basically the first two sets are followed by the ghost twins, and the second two sets are followed by Jack’s two murder modes.
  • The last two appearances of this piece mark the beginning (Wendy plotting) and ending (REDRUM) of Tony’s control over Danny. Meanwhile, the first two (radio room) appearances mirror over the opposite sides(!) of these scenes, the first one happening just as Jack’s axing Suite 3 and the second leaving the shot during Tony’s final line to Wendy, “Danny’s gone away, Mrs. Torrance.”
  • The final appearance of the Arnegger piece is 15 seconds after the Wendy-Doctor chat ends, which is ostensibly the Tony Origin Story.
  • The other two scenes of Tony having taken over Danny feature Tony-Danny sitting on his parents’ bed in Suite 3, staring at the space between the Grady paintings (off camera to us; see below). Note how the two Wendy heads float over Danny’s eyes.
  • Of the second moment: the mirrorform is Wendy bringing Jack breakfast in bed, in Suite 3. Kubrick doesn’t show us the Grady Twin Paintings spots in Suite 3 for 44:07 following the tour. But let’s say, for the sake of significance, that they aren’t in both places at once, and that (an unconscious?) part of Danny’s mirrorform horror is about the fact that the Grady paintings weren’t always in Suite 3, but they are now. Meaning the “Grady”-ness has truly seeped completely into his father.
  • The Roadrunner breakfast in Suite 3 (itself a twin of the first scene with Tony, Wendy and Danny) overlays with Danny triking past room 237 for the first time, which involves him passing Louise-Amélie Panet-Berczy’s painting Sister’s Creek. Panet-Berczy’s husband, William Berczy, graduated from the same art school as Alois Arnegger, the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (of Hitler-rejecting fame). While Sister’s Creek floats through Wendy’s head here, Paul Peel’s After the Bath (depicting naked twins at a fire) floats through Danny’s.
  • There’s another three scenes of Danny talking to Tony to consider:
    • The mirrorform for the first breakfast is Danny’s final escape from the maze, correlating to his first trike ride around the lounge. That means he was triking underneath Sister’s Creek.
    • The bathroom chat has two halves:
      • In the first part: Jack is looking out the 2nd entrance for hiding Danny, and in that scene Jack’s standing next to the dog paintings that I believe reflect the real Grady daughters.
      • In the second: Wendy experiences the BJ well. Right as Danny gets his flash of the twins, Wendy’s passing two Dorothy Oxborough paintings (see below). But only one’s on screen at this moment, and it’s the only of these two that repeat at the 2nd entrance (and it’s the one closer to the dog paintings).
    • Finally, when Danny calls Tony after seeing the bloody twins, the mirrorform is Jack and Grady plotting to kill Danny. Nuff said.
  • And speaking of corrrrrections, if these are Grady paintings, the one is “Arnegger”. Imagine that name being enunciated by a British person – what would it sound like with the soft “R” sound? Wouldn’t it sound like the racial epithet Jack and Grady use to describe Hallorann, Jack’s one murder target? Jack’s second major murder target is his own son. Just as Rick was the son of Nick de Grandmaison.
  • Recall my idea that the two dog paintings (of a Brittany Spaniel and an Alsatian/German Shepherd) are meant to reflect the actual Grady girls who were actually murdered in the hotel? Jack is the only one seen with both the “real” girls (placed on the south wall, facing north), while Wendy is the only of the two adults seen with both the “fake” girls (on a north wall, facing south)–note how both these scenes feature husband and wife curving in opposite trajectories through the lobby. Though Wendy will pass one of the “real” girls on her way to find the dead snowcat, and Jack will stand beside one of the “fake” girls while he threatens holy hell. This seems like an apt way to convey the way Jack can’t seem to make heads or tails of the fantasy of this place, while Wendy never fully comes to terms with the reality of it.
  • But if these pieces do represent the ghost twins, why aren’t the paintings actual twins, or why don’t they depict twinning imagery? They could both feature a cabin, or both feature a horse. They’re in a room with a painting of twin children. The “real” girls paintings both feature a dog head. Like, why use two paintings only similar in aesthetic? They are both blue-and-white, like the ghost twins, but doesn’t using two different paintings, with two different histories imply that the hotel’s twins are not complete twins? The twins that appear to Danny are the only of the hotel’s “Tonys”, so to speak, that he ever witnesses, and Danny’s the only one that does witness them. Twice in visions, twice in the ghostflesh. The boy doesn’t receive a clue (that we know of) to help him understand that these aren’t the real Grady daughters of herstory. So to Danny, the herstorical Grady girls might have been real twins. I like how this suggests that some element of the reality of those girls exists in these girls, they’re not 100% as unreal as pictures in a book. This means that while Wendy only encounters ghosts who are abstractions of real figures (herself and Charles Grady), and Jack only meets ghosts who are definitely not real figures (Lloyd and 237 ghost are never otherwise referenced, and Delbert Grady is only a mockery of Charles Grady), Danny only meets ghosts who may have a touch of both. This also draws our attention to the fact that…
  • …it’s the twinniness of the hotel that drives the Jack Torrances and the Charles Gradys to murder. To the hotel, the Grady girls might as well be twins. That’s how much identity means to the place. Just as the lines between Grady and Jack and Lloyd begin to blur. It desires conformity. Uniformity. Where the hotel is a metaphor for life: life is an experiment in natural selection and evolution, but these are such slow processes, anyone who hasn’t lived through an entire evolutionary epoch or two could assume that what life really wants is the same sort of thing, generation after generation. In this way, life demands two opposing things from us: it asks us to always strive to be the best, and to remain at the top of the evolutionary food chain (Arnegger/Caesar), and it asks us to be okay with being mortal beings, who live our entire lives in servitude to absurd power structures (de Grandmaison/the four horsemen – in case you don’t know “de Grandmaison” is French for “of the big house”, which could be a reference to the “big house” of the Overlook, or we could think of it like slang for prison, since an English phrase for prison is “the big house” – I’m connecting this to the four horsemen on the strength of this being a painting of a horse). Life requires us to kill other things and eat them to replenish ourselves, and it presents us with endless binaries, so that we’re constantly comparing and competing. The only way to avoid murder is to be better than your would-be murderer(s) (Caesar), but the only way to be sure you’ll get out from under the jackboot (no pun intended) of an oppressive higher power is to destroy it entirely (redrum). Are there solutions to these Herculean problems? One solution might be if we could make everything be exactly the same, so there could be no competition, and one solution might be if we could make everything be deathless, so there would be no fear of murder.

MOUNT HOOD(?) Landscape Painting on a Wood Section (FRANKLYN POPHAM CATTERMOLE?, 19??)
  • Seen first in the Suite 3 tour, and many times after.
  • The likelihood of this exact piece ever showing up anywhere is next to zero (over the past year several searches have turned up very different results depending on what’s at auction at that moment), and I think you’ll agree, the likelihood of my being right is fairly strong, and the implications of my being right are almost overwhelmingly tantalizing. For the sake of time, I’ll assume Cattermole’s our man. In which case, that’s probably not Mt. Hood, Oregon, but a mountain of Colorado.

About Cattermole:

  • He did a number of these tree section paintings while working as an artist for the US Forest Service out of Idaho Springs, Colorado. He was born about 40 minutes away in Boulder, Colorado, which might explain how these pieces were discovered (no doubt) by Kubrick’s research teams. I suspect they interviewed the Forest Service near Boulder, wanting photos for building the Forest Service set. Cattermole retired in 1968, but I don’t suppose he would’ve been hard to find.

The remainder will study how this piece appears throughout the film, so if you’re just interested in the artworks of the film, and not my interpretations, there’s a good little chunk to skip past here. But in case you decide to do that, I’ll give you the short version of my theory about this painting: it’s the cyclopean eye of the dark heart of the Overlook. More than the Gradys, more than the 237 ghost, more even than Lloyd, the Cattermole painting represents the hotel’s ability to “see” what is happening inside its walls. Everything follows here is an attempt to expand on this concept.

About the Suite 3/Forest Service connections:

  • Hangs across from Paul Peel’s After the Bath, which features twin children, and in the same room as the Grady Twin paintings.
  • If you haven’t read the Snow White theory yet, you won’t know that I believe the two forest rangers in the film are reflective of Bashful and Grumpy (there’s seven people (dwarves?) who help Danny throughout his story; the rangers are but two). And you won’t know that I see those two qualities reflecting the two stages of Jack’s character in the film: his pre-Overlook self (bashful) and his post-Overlook self (grumpy). So this painting being (possibly) by a real life Forest Service artist ties every scene with it to those three sequences featuring the rangers, who are like Jack’s twin-self-twins. And we shouldn’t forget that pre-Overlook Jack was a grump (like when he dislocated Danny’s shoulder, or even during the final drive to the hotel), and post-Overlook Jack was bashful (like when he wakes up drooling from his murder dream, or when he’s lying about the nature of Danny’s bruises).
In fact he’s right underneath the Cattermole here (technically it’s above Wendy…is she remembering the sound in bashful ranger’s voice?), right as he makes the transition from bashful to ultra-grumpy.
  • The piece almost does share time with the rangers in the mirrorform. For one brief moment, right at the end of Wendy’s talk with bashful ranger, her backward self has run out from talking to Tony-Danny, and is just hearing the first “REDRUM”. It’s off-screen, of course, but Wendy would be looking right at it, here (with US Forest Service badge emblems touching her throat and forehead, you’ll note). She’s also seconds away from saying, “We could call the Forest Rangers first…and let em know we’re coming…”
  • This “Franklyn” also evokes the other “Franklin“, which is likely connected directly to the murder of Charles Grady’s wife.

About its mirrorform behaviour:

  • It’s first appearance gives Wendy a fake black eye just as she’s saying “but…on this particular occasion…my husband just used too much strength, and he…injured…Danny’s arm…” The effect is lost at “used” (when the camera whips back, to follow Jack), but I think you’ll agree that’s pretty disturbing. The “used too much strength” bit connects nicely to the Hercules/Samson/Grady subtext.
  • Also, could the one black eye effect speak to how “bashful” Jack could not have done this? Could only “grumpy” Jack do this?
  • There’s a Tom and Jerry mug behind Wendy’s head by the draining board, and Cattermole signed his words with three shapes meant to represent a “cat” an “r” and a “mole”. Jack is obviously the “Tom” to Danny’s “Jerry”, the Wile E. Coyote to Danny’s Roadrunner. So this “cat’s paw” gave her the shiner.
  • Then it sails ghostily over the Garden Wall/Gould Mountains, with Alder Creek slashing Jack in two.
  • This also happens to be the 1/4 mark of the mirrorform.
  • As backward Jack approaches saying “Come out, come out, wherever you are…“, forward Jack is reacting to Danny’s Donner Party question and saying “They got snowbound one winter in the mountains. They had to resort to cannibalism in order to stay alive.”
  • It starts inside Wendy’s head, right at the end of “What was the Donner Party?” Then it would pass through Danny’s head, but murder Jack’s torso obscures it during the pan of the shot, and it pops out again into Jack’s head on “They had”. This seems to emphasize the piece’s symbolism as a threat against Wendy (when Jack goes Big Bad Wolf, it’s only Wendy he’s talking to).
  • As for the Come Out, Come Out reference, doesn’t “Cattermole” sound eerily like “Cathy More”? I just got chills. Also, that film stars John Carson, and it’s a split second after the last appearance of the Cattermole that Jack sneers his famous, “Here’s Johnny!”
  • Special note: the Donner Party launched in 1847, and at 18:47 in the screen time is the exact second Jack begins to explain their story.
  • The next appearance happens right as we see the Playgirl cover with its parent-child incest headline. But it also has two food-centric items on the cover including a “Supermarket Sex Fantasy”. And I’ve often wondered how much Jack’s cannibalistic expressions at Wendy were inspired by their failed sex life. Like, if he can’t get with her, he’ll eat her! Good enough!
  • Also, Jack’s dialogue right before it appeared was, “No problem, in fact we had time to grab a bite to eat.” To which Ullman replies (with Cattermole now in the mirrorform), “Good, glad you made it before they shut down the kitchen.” Ullman being a villain, in the Come Out, Come Out sense, pairs well with the Cattermole/cannibal business. Also, the woman who played Cathy More sat right in this seat Jack stood up from. So it’s a bit like he wasn’t officially the hired Cathy More/Cattermole/cannibal until this moment.
  • The second appearance of the piece in this sequence overlays Jack’s line about Danny having discovered the games room, which is where he’ll first confront the hotel’s eyeballs in the form of Grady ghosts.
  • In this few seconds, Watson reacts to the Torrance luggage pile with exasperation. If the luggage pile is meant to resemble the items left behind by jews during the Holocaust (as suggested in Room 237), is Watson “seeing” that REDRUM/wife abuse is now inevitable? Perhaps he’s thinking, “Yep. That’s the kind of man this is.”
  • Ullman’s line after seeing the luggage is “Well, I suggest we go have a quick look at your apartment, and then get started straight away.” The Cattermole moves up from the base of Ullman’s neck, and into the air above his head during this line, as if a halo is lifting into the air. Come Out, Come Out lets us know that Ullman desires Hallorann’s death above Wendy’s, and Hallorann will die in the very spot behind Ullman that the halo is lifting.
  • Also, they don’t go see the apartment first. They start at the Colorado lounge, and they lose Watson during the Suite 3 tour.
  • (It might be worth noting, if I’ve discovered the truth behind the shadow monster by now, that it’s missing from this Cattermole moment in the Jack-Ullman talk.)
  • Cattermole makes one last appearance, just as the team heads off for the tour, for a split second above Wendy’s head as her eyes land on MURDER. Jack has just said, “I better collect my family first,” which has always reminded me of Ullman saying how Charles Grady “stacked” his family’s corpses “neatly in one of the rooms of the west wing”.
  • Cattermole makes a strange little oval, like a sideways halo, right above Tony-Danny’s head during the entire writing of REDRUM.
  • When the backwards shot shifts to him approaching the door, Cattermole remains, floating off to the side above a sleeping Wendy, and the lounge fireplace.
  • It floats out of view right as Wendy asks, “Royalty?” Which happens to coincide with the emergence of the Kaiser mountains/Arnegger piece. Putting aside the obvious connection between the ruling class and the slaughter of indigenous peoples, it’s interesting that this piece, symbolic of mariticide, would float right underneath the spot where Wendy clubs Jack almost to death.
  • It returns at the very beginning of the second shot of the twins in the games room, remaining on screen as they look at each other and leave the room.
  • It stays on screen well into the next sequence, as Ullman tells a Watson-less Jack and Wendy that “none of the other apartments are heated during the winter” and bids farewell to the two “girls” who are leaving for the year. Wendy looks positively miserable throughout this sequence, and almost seems to deliberately not look at the two beautiful women going down the stairs. As I’ll discuss later, these two “girls” strongly resemble two famous CoverGirl models who appear in other media seen throughout the hotel. So, as we lose the Grady twins, we gain the CoverGirl twins, and a moment later, we get the Grady Twin Paintings, appearing beside Tony-Danny.
  • Cattermole leaves the backwards drama as forward Jack says, “Perfect for a child” in response to a quick glance at Danny’s room, with its picture of two bears dancing over the headboard of his bed. Four seconds later…
  • …the piece makes its first forwards appearance! Floating through Wendy and Jack’s heads as they take in their digs for the first time.
  • So perhaps it’s fitting that on this side of this flurry of Cattermoles, Tony-Danny’s head is not spared an overlay by Jack’s torso, like what happened in the third mirrorform appearance.
  • Also, what happens right after “Here’s Johnny!” is Wendy slashes Jack’s hand, and a second later we see Hallorann making his final drive to the rescue. As we see Cattermole for the last time in this section (there’s a 12:42 gap coming), the backward action has transitioned to the shot of Hallorann’s rescue mission that comes before the last one.
  • So that’s:
    • Hallorann’s first snowcat shots
    • Cattermole’s first appearance
    • Cattermole’s last appearance series
    • Hallorann’s last snowcat shots
  • As for the 12:42 gap, it’s almost the exact length of the distance between the middle of Redrum Road (which comes 47 seconds into the gap) and the middle of the mirrorform (which comes 10 seconds before the end of the gap). The mirrorform contents of this gap are largely Jack stalking Wendy around the lounge, Wendy locking him up, and Grady releasing him–all very mariticidal events. The forward action is largely the meeting-Hallorann sequence (starting 79 seconds into the gap, and ending 89 seconds before the end), and he’s obviously the one who gets Cattermoled.
  • The Cattermole that breaks the gap is only seen in a mirror, above sleeping Jack. It floats near the December Afternoon in Danny’s vision (a painting heavily connected to Hallorann’s and Jack’s deaths), and when REDRUM appears, mirror Wendy’s head is obscuring it. In fact, she keeps obscuring it until it floats back offscreen. It’s neat how these moments are punctuated by Jack waking up, and by Jack sticking his tongue out. So perhaps part of Danny’s Grady Twin horror in this moment is the horror that his father, with his own internal twins (Bashful and Grumpy), is going to become just like them.
  • Then we have another 13:24 gap (42 seconds longer than the last one!). We only get half the image on screen as Wendy plots her escape, but her dialogue there is choice. She’s just finished saying, “If the weather breaks…we might just be able to get down the mountain!” And on “mountain” the image appears. Then, while it’s on screen, she says, “I could call the forest rangers…first”. And it’s only 13 mirrorform seconds between the end of the first forward forest ranger scene, and this Cattermole.
  • It whips into view again 3:41 later as a kind of “lost halo” for zombie Jack, and fitting rather perfectly between backward Jack and Grady. Backward Grady has just finished saying, “…but you are the caretaker. You’ve always been the caretaker.” And is now saying, “I’m sorry to…differ with you, sir.” So while the men discuss “correcting” Jack’s family, all the paintings symbolically linked to the murdered (or would-be murdered) families of these two men are off-screen, and when they start to discuss Grady’s actual murder of his actual family, these paintings appear. That said, this is Delbert Grady, not the Charles Grady who killed “his wife and two little girls, I think about 8 and 10”, so it makes sense that the paintings in this room would relate to the hotel’s projections of the Grady family, while the ones in the lobby back hall refer to the actual Gradys.
  • This also happens to be the 3/4 mark of the mirrorform.
  • When the shot reverses, a split second later the mirrorform reverses, which means that the 180-degree rule is broken at the same moment as the audience gets this “mirror-Jack” with his “mirror-Cattermole”. And “mirror-Jack” has that halo much more above his head than real Jack had just a moment ago. So there’s a “backward” Jack, who has “died”. Is this how we know that Grady is using the lure of everlasting bliss (“You’ve always been the caretaker”) to fully quash Jack’s soul, here? Is the “dead” Jack only one of Jack’s Bashful/Grumpy twin selves? Is Jack now (in both sides of the mirrorform) like a butterfly trying to flap around with only one wing?
  • The dialogue here is Danny asking if he can go get his fire engine on one side, and Jack assuring an unrecollecting Grady that he was the caretaker here. So the one thing to point there is that the fire engine bears a thematic connection to the show Emergency!, referenced earlier in the film. And that show inspired a spin-off, Sierra, which was about US Forest Service rangers, and even featured crossover appearances by Emergency! characters.
  • And then, the way the Cattermole makes a ghost out of mirror Jack reflects nicely in Grady’s confusion about being told he chopped his wife and daughters up into little bits before blowing his brains out. When this mirror-Cattermole disappears from sight, the 180-degree rule has been broken again in the mirrorform. Oh, and this happens at 26 seconds before the start of the “middle movie” in the Fibonacci analysis. So there’s a strong connection between this piece and middles, it seems. Actually, in case you haven’t noticed, it appears at the 1/4 mark, a few seconds after the 2/4 mark, and same here at the 3/4 mark. The film opens on a shot of mountains across waters, and the “end” of the mirrorform features Hallorann lying in bed listening to a weather report about the storms in the Rockies. So perhaps this is no accident. Perhaps this “mountain” (whichever one is in this piece) has some significance of its own. And Kubrick used it near the “middles” of the film to heighten the sense of passing through these hinges.

It appears again, for one final scene, 7:09 (429 seconds) later, during the follow-up on room 237’s events. Its first appearance is 7 seconds, ending when forward Wendy notices Danny’s entered the lounge.

It appears again for 18 seconds while backward Jack hectors Wendy about her role in preventing his great ambitions, and summarizes his grim prospects as a potential carwash serviceman/driveway-shoveler in Boulder. During this, the Cattermole floats bleakly between husband and wife, while forward Danny is shrilly commanded to leave the lounge by a Wendy who doesn’t yet grasp the nature of her son’s abuse. The last/first shot in this sequence, while backward Jack is storming away, features a brief moment of him staring death at Danny’s door, while he seems to be staring death at post-237 Danny in the mirrorform.

Also, the first shot below is the exact moment that the forward soundtrack switches between The Awakening/Dream of Jacob (backward Jack storming away) and On the Nature of Sound #2 (backward Jack returning to bitch out Wendy). If Awakening/Dream is meant to symbolize Jack’s dual potential for healing/damnation, and Sound #2 is meant to symbolize his potential for madness, the cut to Sound #2 is apt in this moment, since, as elsewhere discussed, a sound wave has a symmetrical quality to it, like mountains seen across a still lake.

The piece is above their heads, out of sight, for 1:55, while they debate the nature of Danny’s abuse, reappearing as they make their final peaceful journey toward the marriage bed together. Here, Wendy wonders if Danny could’ve made a mistake about the room number, and Jack assures her that the doors of 237 were open and the lights were on. In the mirrorform backward Jack is turning the (open-doored) Gold Room lights on, and as he does so, we get this cool framing where the bar lights cut Jack and Wendy at the head, while the side lights almost perfectly frame their torsos…

…you know, I resisted saying this earlier, because I thought it sounded silly, but now it seems to make a little more sense. If the Cattermole represents the fake wife that fake Delbert Grady never really murdered, then is it possible that, since we never see hide or hair of this fake wife, that this painting, by symbolizing her…is therefore symbolizing the dark force that animates the hotel? The thing that gives birth to Lloyd and Delbert and the twins and the 237 ghost, and all its many, many other faces? Like, if you’ve read any of the other long analyses of the film before this, you’ve heard me waffle on whether Lloyd might be the true reflection of the hotel’s dark heart, or Grady, or the twins, or what. But maybe it all comes down to this cyclopean (imaginarily self-murdered) landscape. Like, it floats above the third bar lights, right? And this is the mirror that births Lloyd. In fact…

…Lloyd’s standing there at the start of his final scene. And Grady emerges from there to spill the advocaat on Jack. And if you look back at the last image, above, you’ll note that as the Cattermole leaves the frame, it’s perfectly boxed in by this last bar arc. You could argue that this makes Lloyd the face of the hotel’s dark heart, but I don’t think it has to be that simple. I think Lloyd is as much a projection of that animating force as any of the ghosts, and maybe his otherwise baselessness makes him a better candidate than some, but I think that the Cattermole is therefore telling us that this is what you become when you become a cannibal/Cathy More/Cattermole. You become one with the hotel’s identityless (decapitated?) evil.

And just for the record, maybe this finally explains the oval mirror that hangs almost directly across from the oval landscape. If that is the hotel’s eye, then this mirror would suggest that the hotel “sees” only itself (or can’t see itself, cuz there’s a wall in the way). Doesn’t that pair gorgeously with Jack’s first sight of himself/Lloyd here?

Anyway, there’s one more short moment involving the piece, starting 43 seconds later, as backward Wendy’s running to let Jack in, and it starts with this image of Jack’s hands cupping Wendy’s face (as if shielding her from his urge to kill her) and ends with Jack getting a dose of Cattermole eye (note how the light from the lamp makes a very similar shape around his other eye). A split second after it leaves the film for good, Lloyd appears for the first time to Jack, 6:06 from the middle of the film, the end of the mirrorform.

This means that there’s only two scenes of the Cattermole and ghosts appearing on screen at the same time. The Grady twins for 11 seconds in the games room, and a possum-playing Grady for 32 seconds. It’s possible this is closer to 42 seconds, which would go nice with that number’s connection to impossibility. In any event, those are brief moments indeed, and both while the ghost(s) on screen are seeming relatively benign. Does that suggest the hotel sees nothing wrong with its behaviour?

Next art reference: Colorado Tourism Posters