Through the Mirrorform, Part 9: Wednesday



On the image of the placard, we see Jack saying, “Anything you say, Lloyd. Anything you say.” Odin, the Norse god for whom Wednesday is named, has hundreds of names, but many of them mean allfather, or father of men, etc. Lloyd is also Jack’s first ghost, and is the ghost he sees by looking in a mirror. Lloyd’s attire is a perfect blend of Jack’s and Grady’s (blood red blazer over suit and tails). So it occurs to me, at the risk of sounding utterly modern, that Jack, Grady and Lloyd form a kind of unholy patriarchy, and that Jack is here agreeing to overlook his suspicions about Lloyd’s free drink out of a sense of blind dogmatism to patriarchy. Whatever Lloyd/Odin says (with his slicked back, raven-black hair) goes. Also, all of Lloyd’s dialogue occurs on WEDNESDAY no matter how you cut it, so it’s neat that his dialogue ends right before the mirror moment of the day’s beginning. Lloyd’s words never mirror over anything but the “Father” day (while Grady enters at the dawn of the luna-tic overlay–in fact, 79% of Grady’s 420 seconds of screentime mirrors over Monday, while the especially murderous bit mirrors over Saturday, the day of inversions).

Also, this is the only placard that mirrors overtop the same day it’s describing. Amazingly, of the three days that have doubles (Tuesday, Thursday and Friday), none of them overlap; the second half of the film is almost exclusively Wednesday and Thursday, days of father and son respectively. And as we saw not long ago, the two Thursdays miss each other by about 20 seconds.

And again, Vivian Kubrick appearing on “Father” day, directly behind Jack’s chest here, is apt.

One of the most intriguing backward-forward transitions, on both sides of the mirrorform, is the zoom out and, backwards, the zoom in on the orange hexagonal rug pattern, where Danny plays. In the forward zoom out, it seems like Jack is being strangled by the shrinking hoop. And in the backward zoom in, it seems like Jack is falling into a hole, a trap.

The dialogue in this passage is: Jack: “Orders from the house…(?)” Lloyd: “Drink up, Mr. Torrance.” Jack: “I’m the kind of man likes to know who’s buyin’ their drinks, Lloyd.” Lloyd: “It’s not a matter that concerns you. At least, not at this moment.” As the ball rolls up to Danny, Lloyd is saying “Drink up, Mr. Torrance.” So there’s a dual invitation by ghosts. And when Lloyd says, “It’s not a matter that concerns you” we just see Danny playing alone. At that point, forward Jack has not encountered a ghost (though he’s just about to have his nightmare), so it truly wasn’t a matter that “concerned” him just yet.

Jack’s suspicious repeat of “Orders from the house” plays over Danny reacting to the nude ghost’s ball invitation, and later, forward Jack will say to Wendy, “Have you lost your fucking mind?” when confronted about the idea of a “crazy woman” being in the hotel with them. So, his dubiety in this instant is a bit of a backwards foreshadowing, if you will. But it also reflects Danny’s seeming lack of willingness to believe that this ball came from someone who is not his mother. In a sense, both Jack and Danny are lured into 237 because neither wants to believe the hotel could hurt them that badly.

Also, here’s an obscure one: two of Danny’s toys here will appear beneath the TV where Wendy’s hearing about the storm, right? And that whole bit might be a reference to True Grit, which was adapted to the screen by a blacklisted screenwriter, right? Well, who got her blacklisted? The House Un-American Activities Committee.

Orders from the house.

And this might be an incredible coincidence, but the other two appearances of Danny’s toys are: in front of Summer of ’42, and in Suite 3 during the REDRUM/Jack Attack sequence. That sequence mirrors over the start of the Abbey Road Tour, which features the TV that Summer of ’42 plays on, sitting in the distance, behind the mountain of luggage. Blacklisted Marguerite Roberts’ two last films were released in 1971, the same year as Summer of ’42, and one of them, Red Sky at Morning, even features the son of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez. Jack of course, borrows from I Love Lucy during the assault on Suite 3. Summer of ’42 might also be a reference to what HUAC was like in that time: it was known as the Dies Committee (The Shining opens with Dies Irae), it set up internment camps for Japanese families (could this also be what the luggage pile is about), and decided against investigating the KKK.

When backward Lloyd says “Orders from the house” the carpet around Danny has shrunken in width (see below).

There’s also a bloodfall-style elevator and an exit sign beside him, overlaying on Lloyd’s booze (his red rum?).

There also just happens to be this gorgeous tunnel of hallway before Danny, seeming to carve into Lloyd’s head. The orders are from the house, but Lloyd is the house. So he’s giving Jack a sort of indirect command, before his more direct “Drink up, Mr. Torrance”.

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In this shot we get two possibly significant numbers: Jack’s 20-dollar bill and Danny’s Apollo 11. The 11 on Danny’s shirt takes on a similar shape to the symbol for Gemini, the twins. So in both instances there’s a sense of twoness.

Lloyd says “Your money’s no good here” right when Danny’s standing up and revealing a Dorothy Oxborough painting of a Bearspaw child. The chief whose portrait hangs under the lounge staircase was Tatânga Mânî. And “Mânî” sounds exactly like “money” in English. So it’s almost like Lloyd’s sending a message to alternate Lloyd (Danny Lloyd). That chief’s name means Walking Buffalo, and I’m not sure which word means which, but if it’s “walking”, then that statement pairs oddly beautifully with the fact that Danny’s big transgression is that he walks into 237. His walking is “no good” here.

There’s this exquisitely framed and lit moment of it appearing that backward Lloyd (who is refusing Jack’s money), is pushing Danny down the hall toward 237. His walking is no good because it’s being initiated by Lloyd!

As King further explores in Doctor Sleep, menacing forces desire people who shine, because they can feed off their psychic “steam”. So it’s like the hotel is saying, “What, oh, you think your little ability to reach your mind across vast distances, and put movies in other peoples’ minds means something to us? Why would we want that? Why would we want to control anybody’s narrative?”

When Jack says “Hair a the dog that bit me!” Danny is a second away from seeing the Colville painting, Dog, Boy and St. John River. Putting aside the Odin/Fenrir context, which we’ve covered, backward Jack (who has, remember, been through room 237 at this point, and could’ve seen the painting of the dog in the apartment) might realize that this euphemism is rather literal in his context. The expression refers to the old belief that you could cure the effects of a rabies bite by drinking a “potion” involving the hair of the rabies dog. Jack has been “bitten” by the hotel, in the sense that his mouth was clamped to a young and lithesome ghost as she became a diseased old corpse woman. And now he’d like to be cured by ingesting something else the hotel’s ghost culture generates: alcohol. All that said, while he does down a fistful of bar nuts, he never gets to sample his “bourbon and advocaat” that we know of.

In any case, the dog in the Colville painting is a helper dog, a golden retriever (there’s also one up the hall, which he’ll pass in his escape: an English Springer Spaniel). And is actually following the boy with the shotgun seemingly dutifully. In the sense that Danny is the titular Boy and Jack is the titular Dog (by following Danny’s footsteps into 237), Kubrick could be implying that Jack gave himself rabies, by being a myopic, self-absorbed writer. In which case, the “hair of the [Jack]” is like Jack saying “cure me by giving me more of myself”. Which, of course, is exactly what Lloyd offered him the first time, and what Grady slam dunks him with.

As Danny approaches 237 (with all its mirrors), backward Jack approaches Lloyd, the mirror man. The dialogue here is:

Jack: Hi Lloyd! Been away. But now I’m back.
Lloyd: Good to see you, Mr. Torrance.
Jack: It’s good to be back, Lloyd.

Danny also has two trips past 237, one where it’s locked, and one where it’s opened. Jack’s experiences with Lloyd are the other way round. First Lloyd agrees with/reflects everything Jack says, then he cuts him off from all the mirror phrases, leaving Jack vulnerable to Grady’s wiles.

Incidentally, there’s an interesting pattern in the mirrorform for Jack’s ghost adventures. First he talks to Grady in the pantry, when the mirrorformity between the men is strained at best. Then he sees Grady in the bathroom, when the mirror manipulation is at its peak, which slowly curves down to this scene with Lloyd, who blocks Jack’s mirror attempts. The next time he sees Lloyd, backward Jack is moments away from his horrifying experience with the 237 ghost, but as the talk with Lloyd progresses, the 237 ghost de-ages, and everything gets nice and warm and toasty. Until Jack starts talking about his abuse history with Danny, which unravels him again. So there’s a kind of symmetry there, with his two lowest moments with a ghost on either end, with his two happiest moments next, followed by his two freakiest moments, and the two blockiest moments in the middle.

As backward Jack passes the 237 ghost buried in the crowd, she overlays with the 237 key fob scene and also the mirror doors as Danny’s 237 entry fades into Wendy’s boiler room scene.

Wendy’s boiler room sequence plays over Jack getting to the ghost ball, and crossing to Lloyd. There’s an interesting commentary there about Jack’s carelessness and Wendy’s dutifulness. Jack thinks he should be feted just for having a white penis, and for taking his real work so darn seriously. Wendy does what needs to be done without being asked, and doesn’t insist on being thanked, or throw it in Jack’s face when he’s being ridiculous ever after.

Consider the artwork behind Wendy: numerous nudes, a spooky face on a mug/tea tin, an old B&W photo of some infants (probably dead or very old by 1980 – I recently discovered that Lewis Carroll took thousands of such photos, but I haven’t connected this one to him yet), a hellscape that looks like an inversion of William Blake’s Jacob’s Ladder, and the cartoon of a bear which has reminded me of the Teddy Bear’s Picnic. Of the 8 nude paintings/photos that I can see: consider that these overlay the buried figure of the 237 nude ghost, who appears in the crowd of ghosts. What does that say about the other ghosts? Are there nude versions of them ferreted throughout the hotel’s many locked rooms, perhaps? Or is this something like the Emperor’s New Clothes, where Jack can no longer see the reality of these figures, when he should be seeing an ocean of naked rotting corpses?

Possibly it’s as simple as the nudity-nudity connection, but Kubrick could’ve just used one nude, in that event. The multitude of nudes suggests something more, I think. There’s three on the left, five on the right. There’s three other nudes in the film in the form of Hallorann’s two posters, and a nudie calendar at Durkin’s, and there’s two actors who appear naked: the two 237 ghosts. There’s eleven shots of the two ghosts, five of the young ghost, and six of the old ghost, three of which are in Danny’s mind, and three of which are from Jack’s perspective. If that’s the three-five connection, it’s pretty obscure, and I don’t know what that would imply.

As for the inverted Jacob’s ladder: the song on the forward soundtrack at this point is The Awakening of Jacob, and sure enough Jack’s murder dream is about to interrupt Wendy. So the connection exists with or without the mirrorform, but I like the idea of a) the ghost ball being the version of Jacob’s ladder that Jack can handle (in the Bible, Jacob is seeing all these angels floating about this giant ladder and realizing that he’s in a holy place, and deciding to make the place where he wakes up a settlement–which he calls Bethel (literally: house of god)), and b) if it is a Divine Comedy reference, then Jack is strolling right in, and feeling right at home. Also, there’s a ladder behind the boilers with eight visible rungs, and it passes the spot where the large ladder from before was servicing the chandelier at the back. And again, if 237 is Danny’s moon mission ladder, he’s in there right now.

As for the Teddy Bear’s Picnic reference: the song that will be playing when Jack is going deep with Grady is Home by Henry Hall and the Gleneagles, whose other big hit was The Teddy Bear’s Picnic. So, this wouldn’t be a perfect overlap, but it overlaps with the same sequence of live ghost music.

Jack’s first screams are heard by Wendy just as backward Jack is crossing the threshold into the ghost ball, which pairs nicely with this being the place where Jack will first accept the invitation to do violence to his family, especially since the mirrorform gives the impression that Jack is walking out of the ghost ball. There’s an interesting pairing there of dreamer Jack reacting to the horror of what his seduction by the ghosts will lead him to try to do, and backward Jack exiting his immersion with that death culture.

The bulk of Jack’s screams play over the scene of Hallorann first talking to the forest service about getting in touch with the Torrances. The ranger vaguely resembles Nicholson. There’s also an American flag next to the ranger, and hanging above Jack in the lounge. The American flag on Hallorann’s radio also overlaps with the lounge flag.

Both of these sequences are distress calls of a sort: Hallorann to the service, Jack’s conscience to himself and Wendy.

It’s very hard to see: Marlboro cigarettes are almost always seen in conjunction with Jack for much of the pre-Lloyd hotel sequences, despite the fact that he’s never seen smoking, himself. Well, in this overlay, the ranger is holding a pencil, while in the following ranger overlay (which occurs over a smokeless Jack typing away), the pencil has become a cigar (see below). Marlboro packs came with the phrase Veni, Vidi, Vici on them, Julius Caesar‘s famous exclamation, “I came, I saw, I conquered”. So perhaps this inversion of smoke-having speaks to this notion of conquest. But I wonder who’s doing the conquest on who? Or is this just a set-up for Jack’s Caesar-style betrayal and annihilation.

Jack will kill the radio between the two Hallorann/ranger calls, so maybe the pencil says something about how Jack hasn’t fully conquered the Overlook yet, and the cigar suggests that Jack’s change into great Caesar’s ghost is complete (or well underway).

There’s also a split-second overlap of Dick’s gazelle head (or whatever it is), and the moose head in the lounge.

Hallorann’s red phone overlays Jack’s red jacket for a moment.

And there’s a neat thing where, while Jack regains his sense of self and place, a lamp behind Dick–his one, prominent light source–shines in Jack’s head for 11 continuous seconds (59:53-60:04). Once he starts speaking to Wendy, we’ll cut over to the balloon-littered lobby.

So as Jack is telling Wendy of the “Worst nightmare I ever had” (where he hacks her and Danny “up into little pieces”), backward Jack is experiencing several interesting things.

  • 1) He’s seeing the balloons (one of which seems to be a reference to the Masque of the Red Death) and hearing the Masquerade song (by Jack Hylton) for 37 seconds;
  • 2) he’s passing a painting (Maligne Lake) that strongly resembles the opening shot of the movie, over St. Mary Lake, so there’s a sense like everything’s starting over again (the horror of being trapped in a time loop);
  • 3) he’s seeing the spot where his ghost photo will later hang “forever and ever and ever” (or until someone replaces it with another old photo) (note below how the final zoom on photo Jack seems to pick up where this one left off, and includes some Maligne Lake-esque landscape overlays);
  • and 4) he’s seeing the spot where he’ll commit his ultimate act of murder.

It’s worth re-noting that backward Jack here passes a sign board with the word INDIAN on it, which will be directly obscured by Hallorann when he takes the axe to the chest. If that’s a direct reference to Hallorann being something like the Cheyenne at the Sand Creek massacre, which I believe it might very well be, then it’s worth noting that Kubrick may have regarded that event as “the worst nightmare” America ever had.

Going back to Maligne Lake for a second: that painting contains an image of real-life Samson Peak, named for the Christian myth character. So, a few things, there.

  • Samson’s power is stolen when Delilah cuts his hair while he’s sleeping; Wendy is waking up a nightmare Jack to spare him further horror.
  • Samson commits a complete genocide against the Philistines by toppling two pillars, bringing down the world on their heads, after praying to god for the strength to manage this feat; Jack’s nightmare was about chopping two people into little pieces, similar to Danny’s vision of the murdered (fictitious) Grady twins.

Which brings to mind the Hercules myth, which starts with Herc murdering his wife and children in cold blood. So Jack doesn’t want to be a Herc/Samson…but he very soon will want that. In 24 hours, there’s nothing he’ll “look forward to with greater pleasure”.

When Jack confesses to Wendy about the contents of his dreams, there’s a moment where backward Jack is standing in front of a rug with a vague maze-like design, and between two Group of Seven Paintings: JEH MacDonald’s Mist Fantasy (behind forward Jack), and AY Jackson’s Red Maple (behind forward Wendy, and which will disappear after she sees Dick’s corpse). Mist Fantasy seems like an appropriate way to describe Jack’s dream, since it doesn’t come true. The maze rug speaks to Jack’s ultimate attempt to enact his dream’s contents (his head is at the centre of the rug, which is close to where he dies in the maze–and again, his photo will hang directly across from here). And AY Jackson sounds a bit like “Jack’s son”. The doctor Wendy confessed Jack’s violent nature to was played by Anne Jackson.

It’s also interesting that the forward shot has shifted for this moment, and that the light sources behind Jack and Wendy seem to highlight these paintings.

The rug has a design of two half-diamonds up by three half-diamonds across, with seven whole diamonds in the middle. And Jack’s approaching journey into room 237 features the final return of the song Dream of Jacob.

When Jack says “I must be losing my mind”, backward Jack has just started to hear the ghost music. He’s also passing the Paul Kane piece about the Makah Returning in Their War Canoes, and Kane was famous for exaggerating his subjects, and glorifying the indigenous peoples, or mashing up the styles of different peoples to create pictures that I suppose he liked better, but which distorted culture and history.

Also, as I covered near the beginning of this section, the paintings behind Jack here disappear when the Grady ghost appears (see below), which would seem to add credence to the notion that these paintings represent Grady’s victims: his wife and two daughters.

The song Masquerade first becomes audible here, so when Danny emerges from 237, it won’t be playing on the opposite side. Perhaps because of how real Danny’s catatonia is.

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As Danny enters the lounge with his wounds from 237, backward Jack is throwing around the silver objects in the lobby back hall, because of Wendy’s reaction to his journey through 237. This also echoes his first stormy march to the Gold Room (this being his second and final), which he performed because he was wrongly accused of hurting Danny. Part of his wrath there was that he was being accused of re-enacting something his drunkenness once lead to, only, here, he hasn’t been able to indulge in anything so intoxicating. Or has he? Because this second stormy march is the result of Wendy implying Jack should take some job that isn’t the Overlook. He should leave his writing behind. And of course his writing is as good as the ravings of a madman, so…

This overlay is also a visual reminder of what Jack’s prior abuse of Danny (when he was only two years old) looked like. The little “fucker” had scattered his papers, all he tried to do was pull him up. (Actually, while Jack is only shown scattering silver milk creamers and silver rings, later when Wendy crosses this space, little silver bowls are mixed in, like the one Danny had his ice cream in (see below). So this scattering has a direct connection to Danny. And the mirrorform for that moment is Jack hearing about Grady’s Hitler-style suicide.)

There’s a stack of six 7up trays behind backward Jack, perhaps symbolizing 42 (6×7=42), and 42s are generally linked to impossible and/or absurd things. Backward Jack is about to hear the ghosts, but he’s also about to pass the area where Ullman’s impossible window should be. In fact, the ghost music might even be what’s distracting him from noticing the impossible window situation, which he’s staring right at as he comes around the corner. Forward Danny is emerging from a spot in the lounge that is fairly unlikely, given where he was abused. Also, some floor rugs in the general region of the 7ups have disappeared for Danny’s entrance, and others will disappear as this scene continues.

As backward Jack looks to Danny’s bedroom with rage, on his storm out of Suite 3, hurt Danny is emerging from 237.

Forward Wendy is telling Danny (who won’t be stopped) to leave the room, and backward Jack (who won’t be stopped) is abandoning a crying Wendy.

As forward Wendy is discovering Danny’s wounds, backward Jack is berating her for “[creating] a situation like this, when I finally have a chance to accomplish something. When I’m really into my work.” Funnily, Jack’s not so into his work that he could help falling asleep at his writing desk, and conveniently, his nightmare kept Wendy from noticing the contents of his writing, even though she was standing right in front of it with Jack. Extra conveniently, Danny’s entry keeps her from being able to stand there long enough to get the full window into his madness.

What’s extra interesting here is the connection between the concept of wounds and the concept of dreams. As noted in Shutter Island by the German doctor, Naehring, the word dream comes from the word for wound, so it’s like our dreams are wounds. Jack’s desire to “write [his] own ticket”, his dream of being a successful writer, is what bleeds him out. Just a thought – but would it not, therefore, relate that when a culture says something like, “We have a right to dream” or some such, what they’re really saying is, we have a right to be hurt, or to have been hurt? Too often we euphemize dreams to mean ambitions, but there’s a lot more to dreams than hope.

I’ve wondered in the Tower of Fable analysis if the “All” in “All work and no play…” is meant to look like “A11”, as in “Apollo 11 work”. Here, Jack is professing how badly he’s into that work, while Danny’s sweater is badly ripped.

Wendy grips Danny’s head in a funny way during her inspection of his bruises. It’s almost like a faith healer would do. But it gives the impression of her trying to read his mind. Meanwhile, backward Danny is tripping balls, seeing his second of three bloodfall visions. Again, we see the painting December Afternoon (which this is), and A Trapper’s Camp, which hovers up in the direction of room 237 (the painting feels applicable to almost every environment in the movie, but especially for 237—the trapper in the painting has a team of dogs, and there’s the dog painting inside 237, and the one outside, and there’s two hanging in the spot Danny just emerged from).

This would also be the last bloodfall before we hit the midpoint of the film, and it’s exactly nine minutes from that point. The first bloodfall (which is technically the last in the film), is approached by Wendy at almost exactly seven minutes from the beginning. And if we regard the bloodfalls as expressing our deep-seated fear of ocean rise (like in the Noah’s Ark story), it’s interesting that Danny is wearing a sweater with a spaceship on it. Like, get me outta here!!!

Also, just a shout out to that brutally beautiful image of Wendy’s blood-spattered profile. That is truly something (if you watch it in motion, it looks like her head is fountaining blood). Also, note the elevators behind forward Jack, fitting almost perfectly in the other elevator’s open door. Sort of an echo of the bloodfall. Also, it’s worth pointing out that Danny’s other Suite-3-based vision of the bloodfall occurs while Jack and Wendy are fighting in this very room, and he’s having that vision while seated where backward Jack and Wendy are presently fighting. These are also Danny’s only two visions of the bloodfall while at the hotel, so it’s neat that they would have that relationship. The first and last bloodfalls occur over Ullman’s and the BJ Well, both of which have Trapper’s Camp in them, so there’s that, too.

This one is brutal. Anyone with PTSD will relate to both sides of Danny in this moment, silent and catatonic on the outside, silently screaming on the inside.

I wonder if this is partly why the large gold rug disappears in the next shot. Like, does Danny’s bloodfall fear blow the gold rug out of existence? Perhaps the likelier explanation is that Jack’s about to seek his mental solace in the Gold Room, and the vanished gold rug represents Jack being subtly deprived of his feeling of self-worth and meaning by Wendy’s accusation. So he has to go seek his gold elsewhere.

Jack processing Wendy’s suggestion to leave the Overlook while Wendy processes the fact that Jack may have abused Danny again. This may be forward Wendy’s first moment of thinking she should get outta Dodge.

REDRUM written atop Jack. The form of the door cross also gives the impression of an inverted cross, which is not specifically Satanic, but certainly associated with the cross of St. Peter. Kubrick’s fandom for The Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby, might mean that he meant it as an unholy symbol…and it might be wholly unintentional. Nonetheless, crucifixes are murder weapons, so REDRUM’s appearance here seems apt.

Another thought about the missing gold rug: here it allows for a clearer view of REDRUM, but what’s the point? It occurs to me that it overlays with Jack’s typewriter, on which Jack writes the same sentence at least 536 times, and possibly a great, great deal more times than that. So both he and Danny are writers in the sense that both of them write just one thing that we know of in the whole movie, and Danny’s was a hell of a lot more effective. And original!

The other interesting thing about this REDRUM vision (which appears only one other time, right as Jack is waking up in the Overlook for the first time–so there’s a waking up connection there) is that the framing of the image gives the impression that this is the upside down cross, the cross of St. Peter, who requested to be crucified upside down, according to mythology, because he felt unworthy of being crucified like Jesus. Modern uses of this symbol have implied Satanism, or antichrist imagery, which would certainly apply here. But I doubt Kubrick, if he was using this symbol intentionally, was unaware of St. Peter. But why invoke Peter at all?

Well, Jack is correlated to Paul McCartney, right? And Peter and Paul often go together, as in the expression “to rob Peter to pay Paul” or “to unclothe Peter to clothe Paul”, which means to incur a debt in order to pay off another debt. Another way of looking at it is the more abstract chore of choosing between which of two debtors to pay. Should you pay your rent this month, or the phone company (and you can only do one)? But how does that apply here? Well, on the one hand there’s the general idea that the hotel seemed to be strongly pushing Jack to kill his family, to reenact the Grady story, and that Jack’s murder of Hallorann is something of an equivalent. Like, even if there wasn’t the Trapper’s Camp evidence, you might still argue that the hotel got some bang for its redrum buck. But I wonder if the stronger point isn’t about the duality of murder and suicide. Jack is on a self-annihilating streak when the suggestion of murder is brought to him by the ghosts. When he first wakes up in the hotel, he’s already well on his way to completely abandoning his responsibilities, his family, and his former life. We get the sense he’s already in the mood to stay there forever and ever, amen. So his utter devotion to the All Work papers acts as something of a soft suicide, as if part of Jack is begging the Overlook to let this be the way he stays here forever and ever. The hotel then uses this self-annihilation tendency as a bargaining chip, using the figure of Grady, being happily occupied by his work, then totally subservient to Jack, and then totally dominating of Jack’s psyche, to suggest the supreme confidence and power that comes with first being a slave to the hotel, and second being a murder-suiciding maniac. Jack of course takes this bait, and his mission to kill his family becomes something of a replacement of what he thought was his debt of pure suicide with a debt of pure murder (to call his death in the maze a pure suicide is to ignore his howls of indignity in defeat). Murder is what’ll get you through the gates of everlasting Overlook. The “ticket” you need “to ride”.

Rudyard Kipling, who Jack is about to quote in a few minutes at Lloyd, had the phrase “robbing selected Peter to pay collective Paul” an anti-collectivist slogan he suggested be canonized by the Conservative party of the day. It’s almost amusing to contemplate how anti-Christian that sentiment is…until you remember how racist he was. Actually, the missing gold rug, and other missing rugs here are one of many good examples of Kim’s game.

Here, backward Danny is overhearing Jack say to Wendy that Danny probably put his giant bruises on his own neck, while simultaneously having a vision of REDRUM, and forward Jack is reacting to the accusation of abuse with understandable confusion. Both father and son are wrongly accused, it must be said. But their reactions couldn’t be more different. In the next moment, Wendy calls him a son of a bitch, and shouts “How could you?!” while backward Jack is comparing Danny’s self-infliction with the “episode he had…before we came up here”. Wendy’s outrage feels a little more worthy there.

While Jack is generally hard for Wendy to read, and seems crazy much of the time, this is the only scene where he’s ever purposefully duplicitous. And it overlays with the only moment where Jack is ever (wrongly) accused of anything. The next closest thing is when he’s moaning about how Wendy “hurt [his] head real bad” as a way to be released from food jail. But the fact is that she did hurt his head real bad, and he probably did need to see a doctor. The best lies are couched in truths.

When Wendy is saying Jack’s version is not possible, forward Jack is stomping off to the Gold Room, irate that he was wrongfully accused. Again, two very different reactions to the same sort of feeling.

Also, the photos behind Jack there appear in one other place, seen only once in the film: in the halls outside room 237, across from the elevator that goes down behind Jack’s writing desk. Danny passes them right after triking past 237 the first time. Does this imply that Danny did, by way of his curiousity, do this to himself? Perhaps identifying these photos would expand this concept.

I’m reminded of the paper in Boulder, talking about Susan Sontag’s Illness As Metaphor. In that book, Sontag gravely cautions against making people to blame for their illnesses, as is often the case in culture, blaming someone’s autism, for instance, on the weak morals of the mother (like happened to a relative of mine many decades ago), or what have you.

I read that when Kubrick was directing Jack for this scene of him thrashing his way to the Gold Room, he told him to envision the crazy winos you’d see stumbling around the alleys and gutters of New York. Jack, for the first time, makes a Christ-pose shape, and I wonder if this was a happy accident. Jack’s later Christ pose will feel quite deliberate (see below; and note that both instances mirror over Jack talking on the edge of bed). I wonder if this is a comment on the kind of self-martyrdom a lot of confused men have made for themselves over the years, when made to feel doomed by a certain, strange scenario. Instead of realizing that the situation was out of their hands. If Jack had simply gotten out of his chair, and come over to Danny, and shown equal concern, Wendy would’ve been harder pressed to find a cause to suspect, perhaps. In this sense, the claim that backwards Jack is about to make is partially true. If Danny had not wandered into 237, lured though he was, this wouldn’t have happened (and even in his shine of the event to Hallorann we see that it takes a long time for the ghost to come out of the bath–in the novel, King explains Danny’s petrification as linked to his generally catatonic nature, but the film takes no such specificity). But, again, that’s how easy it is to get sucked into blaming the victim. Danny should not be forced to endure incredible psychological turmoil for the remainder of his days just for being an adventurous spirit. But hasn’t Jack also been an adventurous man, leading a relatively successful and gentle life, despite having grown up under a brutal tyrant alcoholic (not in the movie, but still), and despite his bursts of violence? The second you start to make Jack into a monster (or metaphor) that he isn’t is the second you lose the ability to really deal with the issue of him.

As backward Wendy is saying “What about those bruises on his neck? Something must’ve done that to him.” Jack is passing into the Gold Room for the first time, to drink the only two drinks he ever drinks in the film. The drinks that kill him, essentially. So, are we to think that it’s the Gold Room’s fault? I’m happy to blame it all on the Gold Room. (Also, an old slang term for booze was neck oil.)

Also, what Wendy’s saying here describes what she was thinking while the gold rug was disappearing in the lounge, and here Jack’s passing the sign with Danny Haynes and Kim Woodman on it. Kim’s game?

The naked twins of After the Bath hang over Wendy’s shoulder at the same moment that Jack is about to meet his first quasi-twin of the story.

As backward Jack is saying, “It had to have been that room. The light was on; the door was open.” Forward Jack is turning the lights in the Gold Room on, and walking through the open door. The shape the bar lights make is of three archways, and backward Jack and Wendy occupy two of them. Does the third, empty one represent Danny? Lloyd? Danny Lloyd? Maybe the landscape oval knows for sure.

As backward Jack is checking on Danny, and being fooled by Danny’s playing possum, forward Jack is inspecting the seemingly empty Gold Room bar, also being fooled by his sense of emptiness. Both men are also about to fool themselves, in a sense.

When Jack pledges his soul to dark forces for a glass of beer, backward Jack is committing his follow-up soul-sell by lying to Wendy about 237. Until now, he wasn’t covering for the hotel. Now, he’s actively in its pocket.

It’s also neat that backward Jack has his back to a large (oval) mirror, while forward Jack has covered his face before a bay of mirrors.

Right before Jack sees “Lloyd”, backward Jack is seen first by the suite 3 mirror. With a tiny “2” next to his head.

The moment backward Wendy “closes” the door on backward Jack is when forward Jack sees mirror Jack: Lloyd.

When Jack says “Hi Lloyd!” we get our only shot of The Eruption of Vesuvius in 1774. This seems like an apt way to connect Lloyd to the idea of “genius” which originally meant a spirit that infuses something with its quality. Ancient Romans knew that Hercules the demigod was the “genius” of Vesuvius in the same way we know Tony infuses Danny. The first time (I know of, for sure) that Vesuvius appears in the mirrorform film is when Danny’s begging Tony for his first vision of the Overlook, which involves him staring in a mirror (see below).

There’s a postcard that appears 32 seconds before that of Naples, which includes a statue of Augustus Caesar staring at the spot where Vesuvius sits, but I’m not sure Vesuvius itself is anywhere in that image. The overlay for that moment is Jack searching for a sight of Danny at the 2nd entrance, so perhaps that would suggests the postcard doesn’t include the mountain, since it seems Danny bests Jack with his own two brains. Wait…

And there’s one more Vesuvius coming up, but it seems like, yeah, the mountain probably indicates who Lloyd is to Jack. He’s the “genius” of Jack’s Herculean tendencies. And this is the moment of his birth. Since the eruption Jacob Hackert was painting was for the 1774 eruption (during the American Revolutionary War), and since Jack’s about to quote White Man’s Burden at Lloyd, it would seem that there’s a note of conquest at hand here.

The moment Lloyd appears in the ghostflesh is almost the moment the scene switches over to Hallorann’s blocked phone call to the Overlook. So, Lloyd and Wendy never share screen time, even through the mirrorform (and in three out of Lloyd’s four appearance/disappearance instances, it’s by a split second). Maybe Wendy is to Lloyd what shines are to Polymorphia: a kind of repellant.

No one ever checks to see if the line to the hotel specifically is down, so we don’t know that it isn’t the hotel just blocking itself off from Hallorann (the ranger just makes a blanket statement about a lot of lines being down due to the storm). As such, I like to think that’s what Lloyd’s appearance here is symbolic of: he’s cutting Jack off from his family. Wendy, of course, breaks through by physically coming to Jack, just as Hallorann physically comes to the Overlook.

Also Hallorann’s modest collection of alcohols overlap with Lloyd’s ghostbooze here (red box), including Jack’s drink of choice: Jack Daniels. Oh, and as all the ghostbooze appears so does the giant fish on Hallorann’s wall. And there’s lots of expressions about “drinking like a fish” or being “up to your gills” and whatnot.

Alcohol is seen by some as a symbol of God’s wrath, so having this lengthy sequence (starting 6:06 before the middle of the film) involve so much red (and otherwise) rum, is probably meant to reflect a more down-to-earth rendition of a Dies Irae, and all that end times jazz.

Oh jeez, in fact(!), I just discovered that exactly 12 minutes to the second before the middle of the film is when Wendy exposes the anti-Jacob’s-ladder image in the boiler room, which features The Awakening/Dream of Jacob on the soundtrack. At 12 minutes into the movie, The Awakening/Dream of Jacob was just ending. At halfway through the first 12 minutes, Wendy has just seen the last of the Four Horsemen Portals, and the rest is about Danny undoing Jack and escaping, and here we have Lloyd about to start undoing the last vestiges of sane Jack.

The “white man’s burden, Lloyd, my man, white man’s burden” line is interesting because Jack says it all while his backward self is passing up the 237 hallway, which means passing by all the John Webber illustrations that were drawn while on the Captain Cook voyages. So it’s like Jack’s joining with the aesthetic philosophy of the hotel.

Also, for the remainder of the film, Jack must think that the 237 ghost is still where she was, unable to leave 237. This isn’t true, of course, because she’s at the ghost ball. But every time we see him in the lounge, typing, or fighting with Wendy, he’s putting it out of his head, what he went through in 237 (or else he’s literally stopped caring that she exists). This is kind of a perfect metaphor for what White Man’s Burden really is: living with the constant reminder of the horrible shit your ancestors did, and trying to live like it isn’t there. If The Shining pulled off one subliminal trick on the world, I hope it was that one. Our hero, Danny, is so disturbed by what he saw in 237, that he actually has to vanish into a dissociative identity in order to cope with it. Jack does the same thing, of course, but his pseudo-self is not protective, but implosive.

There’s also this neat lighting trick (who turned off the lights in this hall, between Danny’s abuse and now? – in fact, the lights in the hall are on, when Jack’s retreating from the old ghost (see below)) where backward Jack looks like a shadow the whole time forward Jack is saying “white man’s burden”. I’m not sure if this is implying that Jack is feeling what it feels like to not be white as a result of 237, or if it’s merely a refutation of Jack’s racism, or what. But it feels quite pointed, given the absurdity of the partially offed lights.

Actually, since I identified the painting of the backlit flowers in 237 it’s occurred to me that there’s a rather expansive chain of phenomenon connecting to this theme of lighting from behind.

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As Jack showers Lloyd with bizarre, seemingly meaningless praise, backward Jack is fleeing the crone ghost.

I think this is about the way that she almost just destroyed Jack’s brain. Backward Jack has just been confronted with the ultimate time-jump, the ultimate existential headfuck, pressed up against a woman who transformed against his very lips, from 30-something to 80-something, give or take. The worst visual representation of the relativity of time: a life vanished in the blink of an eye. And worse, she’s a mockery of life – her rotting malfeasance seems to give her joy. She’s something of The Shining’s answer to the bone throw in 2001: A Space Odyssey (the way the film cuts from the prehistoric bone to the futuristic spacecraft). And Jack sees his own life slipping by in her. He can’t handle it. His praise of Lloyd then starts to feel like a bargaining. Like, if I shower you with endless, derivative, empty worship, could you deliver me from ever having to go through that, please? I’m reminded of The Last Temptation of Christ, where the moral of the story is that Jesus must come to terms with the fact (SPOILERS, for real this time), that the life he thinks he’s lived after descending from the cross, is actually an illusion, that he must confront the reality that he never left the cross, and that he’s still dying, forsaken and baking, nailed up in the air.

Another hideously gorgeous image, responding, somewhat, to the former. Here, the crone’s decay gives away Lloyd’s decay (discolouring his eyes, and putting the rot in his chin and bowtie). Another image of one scene taking place in the head of another character (like, when the Abbey Road Tourists vanish into Hallorann’s skull, or several mirrorform images, as seen below).

So it might be being hinted that Lloyd sees this (237) fate coming for Jack, and delights. But if you’ve ever read the novel, you’ll recall that Jack sees, at the ghost ball, the various ghosts starting to decay before his eyes, and they don’t seem to mind. This is trippy to him, but he’s also too ghost-drunk to care.

Time is invoked again in Jack’s “Here’s to 5 miserable months on the wagon. And all the irreparable harm it’s caused me.” Back in Boulder, in September, Wendy told the doctor Jack hadn’t had a drop of alcohol in 5 months (something she says with a kind of pride, too, as if getting to 5 months of sobriety is a big deal for Jack); and we know that we’re now in the middle of December, so he should say 8 miserable months (another 5 and 8…). In her story (and Jack’s upcoming one), Jack abused Danny “3 goddamn years ago”, but she says that Jack said, “Wendy, I’ll never touch another drop. And if I do, you can leave me.” So that’s either an old story, and she didn’t leave him over his recent slip up, or she stayed with him after the abuse, and finally exploded 5 months ago. Either way, there’s a weird nature to the time in just her story.

And there’s a weird nature to this time, as well. It could imply that the Jack of the Overlook has been having trouble feeling time pass. As he regards his Jack Daniels (upcoming self-obliteration) with relish, his mirror self also hasn’t noticed the total transformation of the woman he’s devouring with his mouth.

As he takes the ghostdrink fully into himself, the crone ghost becomes the Venus ghost, almost like in an old joke about the power of booze to beautify one’s conquest.

There’s so many moments in the film where you want to say, “And that’s where Jack really, truly, finally died.” You want his death to feel inevitable, but you also want to chart its course. In reality, Jack was not dead until the moment he became a meat popsicle in the snows of the labyrinth. Which, it so happens, is 2 minutes to the end of the film. This moment, 4 minutes to the middle of the film, and 3 minutes to Hallorann’s middle sequence, is probably the closest visual twin of that moment, and it’s just after ingesting the drink. This pairing nicely shows the one-two punch of the drink and the ghost kiss. The drink set him up, the kiss knocked him down. In fact, Jack even says something like that, “You set em up and I’ll knock em back, Lloyd, one buh one” and it’s like he’s describing the ways the ghosts fuck with him.

“Just a little problem with the ol…sperm bank upstairs!” We know what he means, but here it’s like he’s describing the nude ghost. And in the sense that she’s something of Lloyd’s co-God of the Overlook, the phrase takes on a similarity to “the man upstairs”. Because he’s definitely about to have a problem with that sperm bank.

Putting aside the mirrorform concept, it’s still interesting that Jack would use that phrasing. It does kind of deify Wendy, while trying to put her down (I know I’m probably stretching that point too far, but I like it).

As Jack begins to make his confession to Lloyd about hurting Danny, nude ghost begins to walk slowly back to the tub. Almost like she’s disgusted by Jack’s truth. Here, as the curtain fully closes against him, he’s saying, “Coulda happened to anybody…and it was 3 goddamn years ago!” So right as the ghost vanishes, Jack’s wrath explodes, almost as if he feels repudiated.

This is one of my favourite mirror moments. Jack is arguing with himself that the line between being labelled an abuser and being regarded as a good man is so thin, it can be crossed by the most minute amount of energy. And that’s true of course, as shown here by his hand gently and slowly pushing back the door of the 237 bathroom. Jack’s defence case is just about wrapped up, here, and what’s the very next thing he does? He goes and makes the most car-crash-in-slow-motion sexual violation of his marriage imaginable. And 3 minutes go by between him opening the bathroom door, and him getting freaked by the age-jump. So Jack is showing himself capable of more than just thoughtless, split-second crimes against his family.

I thought it was interesting that as the 237 fox painting re-emerges, Wendy shows up, running in for help. When we see the 237 ghost chasing after Jack, she blots out the fox painting completely, so I’ve wondered if it’s really about the ghost, or Wendy. The flowers painting is by Nadia Benois, who did costume designs for stage plays and such, and one of those was Woman Turning Into Fox, so these two fox paintings seem to describe both Wendy and the 237 ghost. What’s funny is that the one seen in conjunction with the ghost is about an alert fox, while the one in conjunction with Wendy is a resting fox. I don’t know if that’s entirely inverting, though. Wendy’s issue is that she’s not quite alert enough to deal with her problem until it’s too late, and she has no other choice. And the 237 ghost might seem idle and languid, but the hotel she represents is like the unblinking eye of Sauron, sleeplessly watching everything the Torrances do, and making each move with greatest care.

Note how the lesson key shows up in the mirror here, almost in time with Wendy’s emergence. The mirror is “throwing” the image of the lesson key into the space that room 231 would be occupying through the wall, so I like that it mirrors over Jack being at the bar. It suggests the way that the hotel has a different set of lessons for him.

I recently ID’d the artists behind the four Lesson Key birds in 237, the common one between them all being John Gould. There’s too much to say about all those for a brief analysis here, but it’s interesting that as Wendy breaks in about a “crazy woman in one of the rooms” (this room) who “tried to strangle Danny” the Lesson key is passing through Jack’s head in the Gold Room.

Gold Room…Gould Room…

Though the other artworks in 237 have all proven significant in their ways, given the significance of the Lesson Key generally, I don’t think the Gold/Gould connection is trivial. And I think part of what it’s saying is that the Gold of the Gold Room is antithetical to the Gould-ness of the Gould pictures. In other words, Jack has learned the way of self-annihilation while Danny has learned the path to survival. It’s almost too tragic that the true answer to life’s riddle is flowing through Jack’s mind only after he’s sampled the father (Jack), son (Daniels), and holy ghost (Lloyd) sauce.

Also, remember how Jack is driving at the foot of Mt. Gould at the beginning of the movie? Well, Hallorann’s lengthy middle-of-the-movie sequence helps the appearance of this Gold/Gould room passage to coincide with that part of the beginning. So it would seem that Gould really does equal nature and goodness.

As for the complexity of the Lesson Key birds, I just think it’s probably telling to have this moment of thematic verification right at the end of the mirrorform (1:25-1:30 before the middle), and embedded in something so seemingly innocuous. The relative moment at the beginning of the film is the 21 photos (another kind of codex) and the bloodrug/waverug duo, atop the image of JACK NICHOLSON flowing over the Beetle and the indigenous-named mountains. So the mirrorform more or less begins and ends with an explosion of imagery relating to the film’s dominant themes, and two kinds of keys/codices for understanding the larger matrix.

In fact, right as she grabs his shoulder, the key is just beginning to appear in the mirror, and her head overlays it was a few seconds. So it’s almost like both Jack and Wendy are confused about how they’ll save themselves, and perhaps both represent the different kinds of “lessons” Danny needs to get through life.

Wendy begins to scream about the crazy woman in the hotel with them and Jack replies “Are you out of your fucking mind?” At this point in the reverse, we haven’t entered the bathroom of 237, and we technically don’t know whose perspective we’re seeing through just yet. It could be from the vision Danny is showing Hallorann. So this anonymous POV is out of everyone’s fucking mind, as it were (although the height would certainly suggest an adult).

Also, the painting behind Jack’s head as he says this is of Mandarin Ducks by Basil Ede. They’re famous in China (and increasingly elsewhere) for the male and female of the species looking utterly unlike one another. In China they represent marital harmony, and are highly associated to the ritual of marriage. So it’s funny that 237 would seem to be poking at Jack’s sense of marital satisfaction. Like, don’t be with Wendy, be with the one who really likes you…the one who is utterly unlike you…because she’s dead and you’re not. But you could be…

71-65 seconds to the middle, a painting appears on screen I haven’t identified, but which I strongly believe to be of the Posillipo region of Naples, with Vesuvius in the distance. It’s possible Vesuvius is cropped out (which would follow with their being no “genius” onscreen), but let’s consider the dialogue during these 6 seconds. “Danny told me. He went up into one of the bedrooms. The door was open and he saw this crazy woman in the bathtub.” So it’s a bit like Wendy’s (unwittingly?) trying to convince Jack of the existence of geniuses, right after Jack’s just had his rather lengthy interaction with one. So it’s kind of funny that Jack, who should feel exonerated by this news, responds with such incredulity.

Also, I think when I ID these pieces things will resonate a bit more, but as the 237 shot begins/ends here, the Naples/Herculaneum piece is lodged squarely in Jack’s mind, while the flower vase is lodged in Wendy’s. The flowers in this vase are backlit, which is fairly rare as still life paintings go. Which means that one of the last things Jack passes before becoming so backlit himself is such an image (see below). In fact, the third last time we see Jack in the film (the last shot before his death), he’s substantially backlit. So that pairs nicely with the fact that one of the last ways we see Jack before his mirror self takes the death drink is heavily backlit. White man’s burden indeed.

But why does this backlit image overlay Wendy as she says “crazy woman in the bathtub”? Does it simply foreshadow her experience of her husband’s demise? Does it implicate her in that demise?

That painting was painted by the mother of Kubrick’s friend Peter Ustinov, so putting aside its other mother-son qualities, it speaks to a mother-son dynamic in Kubrick’s life. The Vesuvius painting, if that’s what it is, is a phrase that means “Son of Ves” Ves being a name for Zeus. So father-son.

As Wendy assures Jack “It’s the truth! She tried to strangle him!” a shining Danny appears, and before Jack asks which room this all happened in, he and Danny overlay in this interesting form: the abused, and the disbeliever. Father and son. Divergent aspects of one potentiality, one cycle of abuse. We can imagine this child becoming this man.

A split-second after Jack says “Which room was it?” The 237 fob appears.


Oh, I guess I should recall what I was saying about “hair a the dog that bit me”. The Dog, Boy and St. John River painting is in the back of Jack’s head here, and this is the last thing he says at the bar on this side of the movie. On the other side, “hair a the dog” will be the third thing he says to Lloyd, seated right here.

In fact, this is a good moment to point out one of my favourite things about the mirrorform, which is that it gives you a quick way to be sure about unusual phenomenon, like something very subtle that just happened. The lamp inside the room here is golden-hued, right? Well, when Danny was approaching the room the first time, it was a pink lamp (see below), and the reason we can be so sure is in part thanks to how the mirrorform shows us the different scenes that reflected over these two moments.

But Kubrick didn’t stop there. Because it’s a pink ball from a ghost that lures Danny into 237, and it’s a ball of ghosts in the Gold Room that lures Jack toward his doom. As Wendy remarks right before entering the Gold Room for the first time, “Pink and gold are [her] favourite colours.” Now, check out the two lamps inside 237 next to the mother-son/father-son paintings (see below). Father gets pink, mother gets gold. Now check out how the static shot of the gold lamp from Danny’s vision matches up with a phi grid framing, and the moving shot of Danny entering the room is a rule-of-thirds composition (see below again, sorry). Since phi grids show the “realness” of something, and rule-of-thirds heightens that sense of reality, I’m thinking that pink equals “fantasy” and gold equals “reality”. Now compare that to the paintings; this would mean Jack is more the “fantasy” person, and Wendy is more the “reality” person. There’s lots more we could say about that (pink and gold and also the dominant colours of Suite 3 – gold in Danny’s room, pink in the Jack-and-Wendy space, with a mixture floral pattern in-between), but you get the point. The mirrorform is not just a way to understand how each moment relates to the opposite moment, it’s also a way to see how vaster networks of clues interrelate.

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The two minute middle-movie, as I call it (110 seconds, technically), is amazingly self-encapsulating. Hallorann’s TV roars to life, and at the same time, so does his face, receiving Danny’s shine, as though seeing the face of a celestial being. One of the first images he sees is this plane in the Channel 10 News Intro, not unlike the one he’ll fly to Danny’s rescue.

His expression of divine transmission reception has mostly faded once the first of his lovely ladies is in view.

And considering Jack’s high visibility for the first 60 seconds of the mirrorform film (in photo form), it’s quite apt that Hallorann (the film’s other future dead man) would entirely occupy the final 55.

As for the art here, the lady in this photo is Azizi Johari, who was Playboy’s playmate of the month in June 1975, when little Danny Torrance was only halfway to getting his little arm dislocated. I mention that, because Johari appeared in the first Rocky (1976), as a “ring girl”, which means she likely shared screen time with Tony Burton (Apollo Creed’s trainer Tony “Duke” Evers in that film, and Larry Durkin in this one), which means she’s invoking a dual Tony here. And some think the lady on the opposite wall is also Johari, meaning this effect is (likely) doubled. Danny’s Tony was created in 1976, when Danny was 2. And of course, this means that we’ve got some “Rockys” right at the heart of the film, just as we did at the start. And the Rockies are known as the “Shining Mountains” and that’s what Hallorann’s middle-end here is all about. And Danny’s shine will be about what happened when he was wearing an “Apollo” sweater.

And before we talk a little more about that, I’ll just note the album to the left here, Commoners Crown by Steeleye Span. The album cover art is a giant crown made out of hundreds of little people figurines fused together. A perfect visual metaphor for the art/science nature of “shining”. We would not have telephones, we would not have televisions, we would not have the moon landing, if human civilization was just two dopes in a tranquil garden, sitting around, being naked, fearless and immortal. We’re all connected in this massive network of minds, all swirling and creating and destroying, and this is the commoner’s crown. To simply be a part of the glorious mosaic.

Click here to continue on to Through the Mirrorform: The Middle-End