Track Four: Tangerine Beach


ROUND ONE: 12 3456789
ROUND TWO: 12 3 45678 9

  • Track 4, Tangerine Beach covers Wendy’s explanation of Jack’s violence, and the entire drive to the hotel with all the cannibalism talk, fading to silence right before the fade from the last aerial shot of the Beetle driving up into the establishing shot of the hotel.
  • In the mirrorform we see the entirety of Dick interrupting Jack’s assault on Suite 3, then the majority of Jack’s assault, ending really sweetly on the image of Danny sliding up the snow mound back into the bathroom. So, the track partitions Danny’s time inside Suite 3 from his time being separated from his mother and seeking a hiding place.
  • The sombre tone of this piece probably owes to the fact that it plays over the film’s final moments, in which we get the In Memoriam passage, featuring all the drivers who died “while pursing their passion”. But that sombre tone goes well with the shift in the film’s tone here, from finding that Danny’s cute alter ego was born out of hideous familial violence. And the complicity we discover in Wendy, the abused and frightened spouse, never better expressed in the mirrorform than in this faux-black-eye overlay.
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is screen-shot-2019-03-13-at-8.02.24-pm.png
  • One of the books that’s only visible during this song is Orange Wednesday, a really obscure book about WWII. And WEDNESDAY in the film starts on a shot of a very orange carpet, upon which Danny plays with toy cars, including one F1-style race car.
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2.0.png
  • If you watch the doc, you’ll note that this track starts while a racer is winning the race in slow motion, and here Dick is winning a race against fate, by arriving just in time to stop Jack’s assault. I’ve said this too many times, but just consider how crazily perfect every moment had to go for Dick to cross this gulf of time and space to arrive at just the right moment. Stapleton airport closed down just after he arrived, so if he hadn’t sprung into action immediately, hopping a 4.5 hour flight in the middle of the night, or if Durkin had rented out his snowcat that day, it would’ve been a game of murder between husband and wife.
  • This track, Tangerine Beach, which ends side 1 of the LP, has a bit of a twin in the last song of side 2, At Tangerine Beach, which features the same theme, but sped up, and jauntier in tone. There’s a book between Wendy and the doctor here called The Beach Girls, which, hilariously, has nothing to do with beaches or beach girls. In One By One, however, there’s a rather striking sequence that occurs against At Tangerine Beach, where women are shown laying and walking around topless, as a (artistically questionable) way of setting up the habit some drivers have of picking up women as they travel around racing. The director of One By One, Claude Du Boc, didn’t make any other film, so perhaps this was a passion project, but the film is actually quite sophisticated on a number of levels (editing, photography, story). He might be the same Claude Du Boc currently serving a life sentence for marijuana smuggling thanks to whatever nonsense went down in this case. But otherwise, I don’t know. That Du Boc gave up a great deal of money after 44 days in prison, and the Torrances live at the hotel for 44 days, but otherwise, there’s no greater connection there. I guess I’m just wondering aloud what Kubrick’s interest was in this particular director of this particular film, if any.
  • Also, speaking of nudity, Jack has a painting behind him in this scene, seen in quick flits as he revs to smash the axe, called After the Bath, which features nude twins. Also there’s that bath/beach thing going on.
  • But sorry, I got off track a bit. My point was going to be how the album is sort of twin-like and mirrorform-y between its two sides. Each side opens with a 10+-minute-long medley, with singing from Sammi Abu. Each side ends with a Tangerine Beach track, each one has a song about an accident (Black Flame and Accident, which are the second and second-last tracks), and the middle tracks on both sides invoke the weather (Rain Race and Seasons). The odd track out, Nürburgring, is named for a racing location, so perhaps you could see that as combining with Seasons to make a pair for “Rain” “Race“.
  • As for Tangerine Beach itself, that’s in Sri Lanka, apparently, which I don’t have any connection for yet.

Click here to continue on to Track Five: Superstar/Loxycycle