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11 Things You Might Not Have Noticed In The Shining
John Fell Ryan , July 13th, 2012 03:57

John Fell Ryan has screened Stanley Kubrick's 1980 masterpiece forwards and backwards, simultaneously, superimposed. He shares a few findings

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At midnight on Wednesday July 4th, 2012, I finally sit down to watch Room 237, the documentary about people obsessed with Stanley Kubrick and The Shining, in which I am one of the five featured obsessives.

Those of you also obsessed with The Shining will nod in solemn observance of the mystical significance of the exact time and date of my viewing of my own screen debut, but for the rest of you... well, where do I start? Where do I start to try to explain the complex web of synchronicity surrounding Kubrick's most enigmatic creation?

Scores of people have written thousands of words trying to explain The Shining in great detail - all of whom have different points of view, and none of whom cover "everything", none of whom have discovered the Higgs boson of the film. The more you look, the less you know. I can't offer you the secret, but I can give you a brief tour of some of more puzzling anomalies hidden within The Shining...

Ullman's Disappearing Cigarette Trick

Besides the famous 'impossible window' and hotel manager Ullman's weird hand shapes, the interview scene also offers one of Kubrick's bizarre continuity errors. Notice the differences in the two shots above. Besides the pen changing angles, in the lower right hand corner of the screen the cigarette in the ashtray seems to disappear. There is no practical reason why this error would occur as no one in this scene ever smokes. In fact, no one in the whole movie is seen smoking except for Wendy. If you look at the ashtray closely, you'll notice that the cigarette hasn't really disappeared, just the glass ashtray has been rotated 90º clockwise. Take into account that in the film's climax Wendy takes a 90º clockwise turn to enter the bloody elevator hallway located directly behind Ullman's false window. Coincidence? Maybe, but these are the kind of things that keep you up at night once you start obsessing over the details in The Shining.

The Three-Storey Moving Tree

This is the final frame of the shot where Ullman is giving the Torrances the tour of the Overlook Hotel grounds. Notice that Ullman walks right in front of a moving car - a little bit of Kubrickian slapstick humour. Also notice the three-storey tall tree at the far left of the screen, only viewable for a second at the end of this moving shot.

Later in the film when we see the hotel exterior again, the tree is missing.

Even further into the film we see the tree has moved several yards down to the left past the third awning. Fairly elaborate continuity error - what is Kubrick trying to communicate here? Kubrick has said that he left out the animated topiary animals from the Stephen King novel because the special effects would be unconvincing, but here he is, moving trees around subliminally.

The Red Witch & The Black Skier

The posters in the games room scene are a gallery of mysteries. Is the 'Ski Monarch' poster a symbol for Illuminati mind control? Or is it an in-joke reference to Stephen King, deposed monarch of The Shining? Questions without answers, but I'd like to point out a different poster, the one by the door in the first shot of the scene.

What exactly are we looking at? Another skier? Or a hunched-over witch in a red dress knocking at a door? Another echo of Hansel and Gretel to match Wendy's reference to a trail of breadcrumbs? Or a purposely vague image to trap the imagination of seekers like myself?

Other posters in the film also confound. What is Julius Erving doing here in the lobby of The Overlook and why does it look like skis and ski poles have been airbrushed into the picture? For a resort closed for the winter, there seems to be awful lot of focus on skiing in the decor.

Driving The Big Wheel Beyond The Veil

Notice in this one frame from Danny's second Big Wheel ride around the Hotel hallways we see for a split-second the stained glass windows from the vast Colorado Lounge. In this split-second we can make a physical connection between the Lounge and this floor, which includes the famous hexagonal carpet and of course taboo Room 237. A very expensive split-second because it requires a working second storey to be added to the already incredibly large Lounge set. This gives you an inkling of the absurd lengths Kubrick will go to make a tiny subliminal detail that will go unnoticed by almost everyone watching the picture. Also notice the strange diaphanous curtain hanging down from the stairwell. We are moving beyond the veil...

Dissolving 2001: A Space Odyssey

Of the many dissolves in The Shining, this might be my favourite. The scene fades from Wendy and Danny watching TV in the lobby to Danny entering their suite upstairs, but in this instant it seems as if the doorknob takes Danny's place on the blanket by the TV and the door chain extends out from it. Now consider the door chain resembles the spaceship Discovery and the doorknob resembles HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. As Danny is replaced by a murderous computer in this scene, it foreshadows Danny being replaced by Tony, who definitely has MURDER on his mind. The television is the method of psychic communication that Danny uses to bring his 'spaceship' to the Hotel in the form of the Hallorann-piloted Snow Cat.

Up Or Down The Mountain?

Speaking of the Snow Cat, when we see Hallorann driving it towards the mountaintop hotel, it paradoxically seems as if the vehicle is moving downhill.

Later on when Wendy and Danny use the Snow Cat to escape the Hotel, it seems as if they drive the vehicle uphill, into the clouds...

The Loser Has To Keep America Clean

Have you noticed there is no toilet paper in Room 237?

The Edge Of Sanity

Here's the "great party" man, one of the fabulous WTF moments from the climax of the film - but what is that in the glass case to the right? Some sort of fossilized fish or bird head? Another vague and unidentifiable shape lurking in the corners... and speaking of corners, check out the lower right hand corner of the screen. See how it seems as if the dark wood molding disappears into the side of the white column? Seems like reality crumbles around the edges in The Overlook.

Wendy's Knife Switch Trick

Wendy goes from left-handed to right-handed to left-handed to right-handed in the four scenes of her 'shining' visions of The Hotel - color coded blue and red too. I don't know what to make of this one, even if the knives seem only to be literally shining in the blue scenes.

One Final Parting Shot

Did you ever notice the man-bear-pig upstairs has Wendy's eyes?

Performer, musician and recording artist with electronic rock group Excepter, and also of New York free-music ensemble The No-Neck Blues Band, John Fell Ryan writes and edits KDK12, an ongoing visual analysis of Stanley Kubrick and The Shining. He is also a DJ, palindromist, former video librarian, and current culture-jammer for WFMU, the longest-running freeform radio station in the USA. More of John’s work can be found here.

Ben
Jul 13, 2012 8:24am

Intersting read. Sure you've seen this but it's a really good summing up of the sureal set design

http://youtu.be/0sUIxXCCFWw

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DanielNothing
Jul 13, 2012 9:06am

As a huge Stanley Kubrick fan myself, I IMPLORE people to stop finding 'hidden clues' in his films. The guy WAS capable of making mistakes. It might blow your mind to consider that sometimes he just forgot basic continuity. But it happens all the time. Film-making is hard work.And at the end of the day he was JUST a film-maker. A GREAT film-maker. But not a supernatural entity or a hyperintelligent machine.

And as a friend has just pointed out to me, The Shining is from an era when films were realistically only expected to be seen once. All this is sort-of interesting, but like the 'Collative Learning videos on Youtube essentially meaningless.

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BK
Jul 13, 2012 4:02pm

A good chess player always notices the mistakes of his opponent. It is only after "check-mate" that the good player realizes that great players don't make mistakes.

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MatthewK
Jul 14, 2012 3:21am

In reply to BK:

If you say so - however, noticing whether the pieces were moved with the left or the right hand is immaterial to the content of the game.
This Asperger-like focus on irrelevant detail speaks of people who know there is something there but they don't know how to read it. The ideas delivered by The Shining are perfectly lucid, Kubrick's gift was his ability to communicate abstraction through cinema, which is pretty rare. Clue - it's not done by moving an ashtray.
I did love the Dr J poster though, nice catch.

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Stanley K
Jul 14, 2012 10:18am

The ashtray was rotated 270 degrees anticlockwise.

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Lapsang Suchard
Jul 14, 2012 8:11pm

I always thought the thing sitting on the bed was a dog of some sort, like the devil and it always scred me hugely as was laying in bed trying to fall asleep. Now I know it is an even more bizarre creature I find it even more disturbing. Thanks.

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BK
Jul 14, 2012 8:27pm

In reply to MatthewK:

I'd like to hear what the "perfectly lucid" abstract ideas Kubrick communicated in The Shining are. But please, don't explain it here, email me. I'd hate to be embarrassed.

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trees
Jul 15, 2012 3:41am

really reaching... mostly wrong.

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MatthewK
Jul 15, 2012 10:51am

In reply to BK:

Sorry if I hurt your feelings. No need for e-mail - if the ideas were verbal Kubrick would have written a book. Or the film would have hewed closer to King's novel I guess.

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BK
Jul 15, 2012 3:47pm

In reply to MatthewK:

Kubrick didn't write a book because that book already existed. Compare the opening sentence of Finnegans Wake to the opening shot of The Shining. Recall that Ulysses and 2001 are both related to The Odyssey. Investigate Kubrick's understanding of McLuhan, and McLuhan's knowledge of Joyce. Kubrick isn't more detailed than we suppose, he is more detailed than we can suppose. If he wanted you to understand this on your own, he would have made it "perfectly lucid". Did you know that Eyes Wide Shut is about an organization called the Illuminati? Look it up, it's true!

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Bob
Jul 17, 2012 2:22am

The first scene in The Shining is the final scene in Blade Runner. The landscape being flown over.

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Tony Tales
Jul 17, 2012 11:03am

too much time on your hands, mate

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Paul Reilly
Jul 18, 2012 12:53pm

Useful argument. I'll remember this for my next film. "It's not a continuity error, it's a subliminal message".

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Rob
Jul 18, 2012 9:06pm

Your witch poster looks like a photographer to me. Three legs of the tripod are discernible in that still, and the hunching is to look through the viewfinder. That character seems to also be holding a flashgun.

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Frank C
Jul 18, 2012 9:09pm

This article was a waste of time by the author and the reader.

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Eric
Jul 18, 2012 9:12pm

In reply to trees:

Are you serious? The tree isn't disappearing!

It's simply out of the shot in one of the images. My goodness.

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Jim H
Jul 18, 2012 9:34pm

It is seen basically from the POV of the main character, who is disintegrating mentally. Therefore all these meticulous, crazy instances of psychotic symmetry are no accident. This hallucination looks like a mass hallucination, but it's not. It's Jack's character seeing the world as this these bizarre things make a secret sense; that's the fundamental trick that schizophrenia plays on him. In other words, Jack plays a character who is not only unreliable as a witness, but positively deceiving.

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Rich
Jul 18, 2012 9:44pm

In reply to Eric:

He seems to be getting confused by the perspective of the shots. The tree isn't right up against the building. So depending on the angle of the shot, it seems to "move" relative to the building.

You're right: it doesn't move or vanish or anything else.

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Zach
Jul 18, 2012 10:31pm

In reply to Rich:

Yes indeed. The tree does not move. The angles of the shot are all different.

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Tab Hunter
Jul 18, 2012 10:37pm

We need to remember these "old" movies were made for one non-stop viewing, and were made before "rewind" and "pause". I notice all kinds of errors in older movies, such as one scene in The Graduate where you can see a microphone above the actor. It was too expensive to reshoot and a lot of crap got left in because 99.9% of viewers would not notice, or would forget it by the next scene.

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Hamza El-Falah
Jul 18, 2012 10:59pm

The knife switch is simply the film flipped. You can tell by the direction her bangs face on her forehead.

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Mark Alan Thomas
Jul 18, 2012 11:10pm

Really? None of you buffoons have figured out that this is a joke?

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Tom C
Jul 18, 2012 11:30pm

Um. I believe in this case a slightly rotated ashtray is just a slightly rotated ashtray. You're thinking waaaaay too hard. I love the Shining too, but come on.

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Fricfrac
Jul 18, 2012 11:42pm

Huh?...continuity errors? Shame on you.
To think that Kubrick would embrace random sloppiness over thought provoking playfulness?
I must have watched a different film.
Good catches.

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Christo
Jul 19, 2012 12:22am

Q. Have you noticed there is no toilet paper in Room 237?

A. The hotel was closed for the winter why would their be toilet paper in the room?

This is a great film indeed, but over reaching in most of these shots...

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James M
Jul 19, 2012 12:25am

He he he. Masterful trolling.

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Brian
Jul 19, 2012 1:11am

In reply to Rob:

I agree with Rob. The witch poster looks like a photographer to me.

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Andrew
Jul 19, 2012 1:39am

I realise this point has been covered - and comprehensively so - but I would just like to point out that this is an incredibly silly article.

These are almost all continuity errors. Not puzzles or enigmas placed there by dear departed Stan to torment you in the night.

Time to stop obsessing.

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what
Jul 19, 2012 3:11am

this is the largest heap of junk i have seen on the internet to date. it's a series of error and speculation. put your pants back on

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Craig Swanson
Jul 19, 2012 5:10am

Wow what a bunch of ungenerous boneheads these commenters are! A close reading is its own reward, right or wrong, and I find the analysis fascinating. Many thanks.

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Shorty
Jul 19, 2012 7:47am

Hilarious! The author of this NON-piece doesn't even grasp the simple concept of PARALLAX (as far as the tree nonsense is concerned). And yes, put your pants back on already... reading bullshit into a ROTATED ASHTRAY??!! :facepalm:

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Brian Parker
Jul 19, 2012 10:28am

It's a great film and Stanley was a great director and I'm sure you're having a lot of fun taking it apart but all of the above are just continuity errors.

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Tom
Jul 19, 2012 10:55am

In reply to Eric:

Indeed. Count the window sections. The tree is past the 3rd group, so it's not in the 2nd shot. It's in the first shot because of the angle of view. No mystery, just basic optics.

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matt
Jul 19, 2012 11:43am

In reply to Hamza El-Falah:

That's just a coincidence - look at her shirt - the buttons are always on the same side. No film flipping.

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BK
Jul 19, 2012 2:44pm

Joyce called it The Wake, Borges called it The Aleph. Clarke called it The Sentinel, and Kubrick called it The Shining. Meant to be seen only once? Silly.

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Dwight
Jul 19, 2012 2:45pm

I don't think the trees are anything but different camera angles. The one without the tree is clearly a tighter shot showing only two of the four window sets. The first shot is at an angle able to show the tip of the tree and the windows, and the final show is a straight shot showing you the specific location of the tree (in front of the fourth window set).

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NICK
Jul 19, 2012 3:12pm

Bat-shit crazy. Do us all a favor and go outside.

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John
Jul 19, 2012 3:44pm

Monarch is a ski resort in Colorado. This is just a good local detail. Not a secret message.

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Paul Wren
Jul 19, 2012 5:29pm

In reply to Rob:

Agree with Rob. My initial reaction was that it was an old-time photographer using a camera on a tripod, hunched over to look under the black cloth hood, and holding up a flash powder bar.

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Woodsy Allen
Jul 19, 2012 5:47pm

I know everyone thinks Stanley Kubrick is a master, and that he was perfect and infalible, and everything he did was the way he wanted it...

...but I'm sorry. 85% of these I'm chocking up to continuity errors, 10% I'm chocking up to overthinking on the part of the author, and 5% to Stanley's brilliance.

I think Fincher put it best when he said, "You know, I just thought it looked cool". Sometimes that's all the director was trying to do.

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MattL
Jul 19, 2012 6:06pm

In reply to Mark Alan Thomas:

This is a total waste of time. I've read many an analysis of film subtext, and this analysis is the work of someone with severe OCD.. Also, this doesn't seem to be a joke. Google it. The author has written more than one crappy analysis of The Shining.

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myra major
Jul 19, 2012 6:47pm

Mr. Kubrick's film was so spellbinding that the only thing I worried about was wether or not I'd missed something while I peeped periodically from under my coat. Boredom would have been the only thing that would caused me to see the hidden clues you mentioned. M&M

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Sigivald
Jul 19, 2012 8:05pm

See how it seems as if the dark wood molding disappears into the side of the white column? Seems like reality crumbles around the edges in The Overlook

Seriously?

Some of the content is interesting and plausibly speaks to directorial intent.

That a column standing proud of the wall (as the ones in the background do, and indeed, as is implicit in calling it a column) is opaque is, I assure you, not deeply symbolic of anything.

(I also don't buy the 2001-doorknob thing.

If only because if Kubrick had wanted to call out to 2001, he'd have spec'd a round doorknob [HAL's eye is circular, not oval], and probably a larger end to the chain, to evoke Discovery's crew area.

He was not exactly subtle in his call-outs, eg. CRM-114 vs. Serum 114.)

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Sigivald
Jul 19, 2012 8:08pm

In reply to Mark Alan Thomas:

The problem with the Internet (Poe's law) is that you can't tell.

Literally, there's no discernable difference between genuine obsession or lunacy and clever parody.

(Except that most people aren't clever enough to pull the parody off that well.

And of course most of us prefer to default to an assumption of sincerity.

BK, now, I suspect very strongly he's just pretending to think Kubrick was a super-human ultra-genius. At least, I wish to be charitable and assume that.)

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Kevin
Jul 20, 2012 8:40pm

Wow. A list that essentially amounts to nothing. I can't even say any of this is "a stretch" because it is not even close. The molding disappearing? The 2001 dissolve? No. Just no. Not even a nice try. You actually managed to over-think over-thinking.
Stop watching this movie and get out of your house.

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BK
Jul 22, 2012 9:09am

In reply to Sigivald:

The biggest thread one can grab onto, the most lucid, is the color of the Beetle Jack drives up to the Overlook. In the book-red. In the movie-yellow. Why? And why is there a red Beetle crushed under the semi-truck when Halloran drives to the Overlook? Who noticed that the first time? Who connected that lil nug-get?
That's where I started, it was all downhill from there....what this list represents is the search for the Kubrick-boson. Talk about time on ya hands, those clowns at CERN are the true fuckwads, for realz

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Phillip Gary Smith
Aug 25, 2012 6:25pm

In Peckinpah's "The Wild Bunch," the character Angel comments to the gang as they approach the Mexican border. While escaping the Wild West's version of The Heat, he remarks, contrary to the Texas-size snide remarks about his wonderous vision of the approaching homeland something along the order of you guys have no eyes.
If you don't think there are incredible hidden meanings throughout "The Shining," read Dr. Geoffrey Cocks "The Wolf at the Door: Stanley Kubrick, History, and the Holocaust."
Kubrick, a perfectionist in scenes, could very well have continuity issues along the way. One can't dismiss, though, every difference as an "According to Hoyle" continuity question.
The movie continues to reveal to those who have eyes.

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PD
Nov 6, 2012 12:27am

The red and blue, left and right alternation and the horror face of wendy are a obvious reference to the equal responsability that democrats (blue-Left hand) and republicans (red-right hand) have on American History (indians genocide; slavery; gold economical policies). Meaning that here isn't a real alternative in America.

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Joe Ben
Jan 10, 2013 3:30pm

Crazy stoff

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Feb 13, 2013 6:45pm

Kubrick did load this movie with subliminal messages. He said SHONE 16 times in the first 45 minutes of the movie. What director had the balls to do this. In the background he can hear Kubrick say the words shone which is the past tense of Shinning. Some are louder then others but I counted 16 times. Next time you watch this interesting and brilliant movie listen close. Some stuff Kubrick put in the movie was on purpose like the typewriter changing colors. He had a stage hand spray paint it. That is just one example, But with that being said the Shinning took 295 days to shoot and Kubrick worked on the film for 5 years. Even though he was on a whole different level of thinking then the average person. He was a genius and a master filmmaker but still capable of making mistakes. And also remember he would shoot scenes over and over, Poor Scatman shot that scene with Danny when he was trying to explain the Shinning to him 148 times. That's crazy, Plus I always thought that dog looking thing at the end really looks like the monster gremlin That was trying to destroy the plane in the famous Twilight Zone with William Shatner.I think it was called Nightmare at 20,000 feet. Great stuff, And let's face it know one has like Kubrick. All 13 of his films are Incredible....

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michael Hess
Feb 13, 2013 6:49pm

Forgot to put my Name on my comment.

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Fred
Feb 19, 2013 8:42pm

Most of this is self-evidently nonsense but with some interesting spots along the way.

That's not even the half of it though. There's a thriving Shining-nutjob-obsessive subculture out there, of which this blog takes the cake: http://jonnys53.blogspot.co.uk/2007/06/what-you-may-or-may-not-have-seen.html

Also search for "Shining shone report" on YouTube. Completely and utterly barking.

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Ant
Mar 2, 2013 10:06pm

One thing that glaringly needs correcting in your article is that bloody elevators are NOT behing Ullman's office. Behind Ullman's office is a door with two red panels either side, which we actually see Wendy run through after seeing the Injured Guest apparition. I can see how you might have got mixed up though. The elevators are not actually seen tangibly connected to any other part of the hotel.

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Jay
Mar 3, 2013 8:22pm

I think the people that did this filme have a little more OCD than Kubrick. A majority of the commentary sounds like a person with a fascination for numerology or ghosts or any number of pathologies that would describe someone with OCD . Then call it art as if every 'take' of the film has some hidden meaning. The only point made is Kubrick wanting to own the movie, so as not to be over shadowed by Stephen Kings'
writings which this movie is BASED. The rest is pure nonsense. Good luck obsessing .

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Jay
Mar 3, 2013 8:31pm

Also adding things that were not in the film is in my opinion sad, to say the least. How can these people be analyzing an untruth? Misleading, improper and very slanted to the point of seeing or saying they are seeing something that does not exist. sad sad sad. btw i have a piece of toast with butter in the shape of Micky Mouse on it ... i wonder what that means ? ? lol

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oldbamboo
Mar 8, 2013 12:26am

In reply to DanielNothing:

Hi, not sure that was an age when films were meant to be seen once - very nearly, but as i recall this film was released exactly at the point that VHS exploded. I remember those days well, and the VCR was THE gadget of the age, and ( i would bet) it probably fascinated Kubrik, given his evident obsession with technical trades within film, and the preponderance of sci-fi within his body of work. Also, I admire your intuition in making that connection, as Kubrick was even more famously obsessed with how his films were screened in cinemas; many anecdotes there it seems...

This quite recent rash of analyses are extremely interesting, but most of them have the misfortune to sound like wishful thinking and good old synchronicity, which can of course never be said to be at rest.

Two points intrigue me greatly right now.

1. Subliminals in advertising
I understand Kubrick researched this heavily, and that is amused him. You can imagine him admiring the technique first and being chilled by it's implications second. The love for subliminal advertising was apparently among his heaviest interests directly leading up to The Shining, though I'd have to confirm that... In any event - The 'Shone' report is the most interesting of these, because it is clearly there, and it's clearly deeply weird and oblique. Bingo, we instantly have strong proof that Kubrick was lacing a haunted house with subliminal messages. This angle is vital, and I'd love to know whether anyone surviving who was on the set or in the edit suites has any comment to make on it. I've never liked The Shining for the same reasons King didn't - my eyes were locked on Jack Torrance and he wasn't within spitting distance of the man in the book. That just washed the rest of the film out.

2. Ullmans WIndow.
There's something about the opening line of the book '"Officious little prick" thought Jack Torrance' that makes it one of the most memorable opening lines of all time. It's killer. All the more reason the film disappointed when the opening in Torrance's office matches it for enduring quality. And I think one of the details here - the impossible window, does create an extra presence in the room, which is sensational film making. Right now though, this an any other architectural or landscape features I just find beyond the pale. Kubrick took over most of the lot, all the stages and even worksheds, joining some of them together with corridors. I can well imagine this being a creative process which would completely bring to the fore any disconcerting details or techiniques he was going to employ in creeping us out, but equally it has to be conceded that he was working with limited resources spacially and knew he had to build something that would give him endless coverage to build the film wanted. I regret that if asked I have to conclude he probably didn't care about all of the weird niggles and accumulations of error in the engineering, as long as the shots he did want could be got. I remain keen however to be convinced otherwise... :-)

I've never been a fan of this film. I found it slow, unfocused, hackneyed (by horror standards), poorly cast. So given my immense enjoyment of Kubrick over the years I am thrilled by the prospect of a better film, with hidden resonances. It's a mark of Kubrick's that, as enjoyable as his films are, anyone with a half knowledge of him can enjoy them more, and endlessly, knowing the incredible weight of knowledge and focus in play. And he was fun :-)

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Mar 25, 2013 2:42pm

When Jack orders a bourbon, the bartender pours Jack Daniels. Jack Daniels (though technically made by the same process as bourbons) is Tennessee whiskey. Clearly, Kubrick is referencing the monolith from 2001 (black obelisk + black label; you do the math, people). Obviously, The Shining is a metaphor for the fact that aliens built the pyramids.

Or maybe it's just an adaptation of a Stephen King novel that--despite being beautifully shot and meticulously crafted by a master filmmaker--has some continuity errors.

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JFR
Apr 3, 2013 7:44pm

In reply to Stanley K:

Well played, sir.

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JFR
Apr 3, 2013 7:55pm

In reply to Rob:

If the "red witch" is either a skier or a photographer, that fits with the "Monarch" poster seen at the side of the twins. The skier in the "Monarch" poster has the sun shining over his shoulder, almost like a film projector. Two sides of the same fuzzy coin?

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JFR
Apr 3, 2013 8:02pm

In reply to Eric:

No, the tree has been moved. In the first shot, the tree is to left of the 2nd eave away from the entrance. In the third shot, the tree is to the left of the 3rd eave.

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JFR
Apr 3, 2013 8:09pm

In reply to Hamza El-Falah:

Good catch on the bangs, but her wedding ring remains on her left hand.

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Geoff
Apr 5, 2013 1:58am

Here you mention the lobby tv. Funny how no one notices how the tv is on. It's in the middle of the room and no cord seems to be hanging down from behind nor do you see a cord running along the floor. Also, when Jack first walks into the "Gold Room" you'll notice there's lit candles on the tables. Why would there be lit candles on the tables if the place is closed for the winter? And who lit them?

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Stel
Apr 7, 2013 12:10pm

In room 237 there is a toilet. The handle for the toilet in on the wall. I am a plumber and I know years ago some older spaces did that which is pretty much annoying if you have to maintain a leak.

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Stel
Apr 7, 2013 12:17pm

In room 237 there is a toilet. The handle for the toilet in on the wall. I am a plumber and I know years ago some older spaces did that which is pretty much annoying if you have to maintain a leak. The toilet paper should not be there cause closed for the winter

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Lily
May 14, 2013 3:46am

In reply to Stanley K:

Is there a reason why we should see that as 270 degrees counterclockwise and not 90 degrees clockwise?

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Andrew Ryan
May 15, 2013 1:47pm

In reply to BK:

You're assuming that such an equivalent exists in film-making.

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Sean
May 31, 2013 7:27am

In reply to Lily:

To use the word "anticlockwise".

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Larry
May 31, 2013 10:40pm

In reply to Stel:

Speaking of toilets, no one seems to notice that there are "twin" toilets side by side with no divider. His and her toilets? I love my wife but not enough that we would ever have a practical use for it. Incidentally, I have only seen toilets side by side without stalls one other time, and that was in a different Kubrick film, Full Metal Jacket where Joker and Cowboy are discussing swapping sisters. The shining also has more in common with that same bathroom. In FMJ, it's a turning point; Pyle kills himself and ends Act I. In TS, after chatting with Grady, Jack turns a corner and drops all resistance to murdering his family.

There are plenty of obvious "classical" methods of cinematography in Kubrick films that you can entertain yourself for years and not even need a calculator to do it.

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Jorge A
Jun 8, 2013 4:41pm

What about the Interview scene in wich Ullmann names the previous Caretaker as " Charles Grady" and on the ball room scene in the bathroom the ghostly butler names himself as "Ethelbert Grady""? Inattention on SK or was it done on purpose? Why the names are different?

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Peter Parker
Jun 9, 2013 4:25pm

In the scene where Jack Nicholson sits on his bed with his son, you can see a painting that hangs above the bed. In the next shot you see a mirror which reflects what we saw before, but suddenly the painting is missing. This is so obvious that it's hard to think of it as a continuity-error. No, clearly it's intentional. But I doubt that Kubrick had any message in mind apart from adding to the eerie atmosphere.

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Ichance23
Jul 15, 2013 8:23pm

I hope this was a joke. otherwise this guy is an idiot. only like one thing here is actually true. everything else is complete bullshit like the tree moving. this has to be a joke

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Lindsey Montana
Jul 30, 2013 10:32am

No one else smokes in the movie? No one else inhales in the movie, but Jack does smoke. He has a butt going, next to a pack of Marlboros and the typewriter when he's throwing the tennis ball. As for continuity errors -- if you're a director who recognizes that continuity errors won't negatively affect your film, then you can leave them in, or even encourage them from your staff. It doesn't necessarily mean that each one has a specific meaning.

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Lindsey Montana
Aug 6, 2013 11:16am

I watch The Shining once or week or so, and I'm always finding new stuff. Here are some recent things I've noticed:
The family heads to the hotel travelling on the opposite side of the mountains as the scene in the opening credits. Jack also looks in the mirror when talking to Danny in this scene.
When Danny is having ice cream, all the knives in the kitchen are pointing at him.
Goofy seems to be talking toward the Doctor's ear as she interviews Danny. No surprise that she later misdiagnoses him.
Wendy chases Danny when they enter the maze. Later in the movie, Danny chases Wendy during their snowball fight. This mirrors the end of the movie -- Jack chases Danny in the maze, Danny runs toward Wendy in the snow.
I always thought Shelley Duvall was doing some terrible acting as she runs up the stairs with the knife in her hand. Her movements are very exaggerated and clumsy. But then I noticed that earlier in the film she makes the same movements as she says "Boy, I'll betcha we could really have a good party in this room, huh, hun?" So the next time we see her move like that she's headed up the stairs with the knife and the man with the split head appears and says "Great party, isn't it?"
(I think that's awesome, my wife thinks I'm loopy.)
Jack grows a beard between Tuesday and Thursday.
The maze model he looks at is more expansive than the actual maze which is mapped in the courtyard. Kubrick must have done this on purpose since he paid a fortune to have the maze created at the filming site, and the model was cheap styrofoam.
When Dick Halloran talks to Dick Durgin on the phone, Durgin's gloves and oil filter dance all around with conitinuity "errors." Meanwhile, Halloran's scarf and gloves are moving too. This seems to add a lot of subliminal tension to the scene, that's why I think it was on purpose.
Most of Danny's play involves variations of negotiating mazes. He rides his trike around the hotel, he plays with his toy cars in the lines of the carpet, he plays tag when he enters the maze outdoors... Experts say that play is involved with learning to deal with real life situations. Understanding the labyrinth becomes a matter of life and death for Danny,
What a great movie!

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frank blank
Sep 23, 2013 10:45pm

julius erving makes sense. It is partly about successful black people. The use of the N word and 2x3x7=42, there are 42 cars in the parking lot. The movie 42 just came out.

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frank blank
Sep 23, 2013 10:49pm

In reply to Tom C:

the rotated ashtray does mean something. It is about deciphering government propaganda like the moon landings. If you are observant you will see that some scenes that are presented as continuous were actually filmed at different times, thus indicating that parts were faked. like the moon landings. there is way more propaganda out there than that though.

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Matthew
Sep 30, 2013 10:56pm

Interesting read. As others have mentioned below, some of these "continuity errors" are fairly common filmmaking continuity errors.

Films are shot over long periods of time - 6-9 months. Actors do multiple takes of the same scene -- what you get in the final scene is a mish-mash of the best takes of each scene. The reason the pen changes angles, the reason the ash tray changes angles, is because often the actors, between takes, are moving things around, chatting. The script supervisor (who is in charge of continuity) will sometimes miss these glitches.

Jurassic Park has a similar continuity miss. In the scene where Wayne Knight's jeep crashes on a hillside, he climbs down, there's a sign that points up. He passes the sign, and when he comes back, the sign points left.

It seems eerie and intentional if you're paying attention to it. When you watch a film, everything feels like it's happening at once, so audience members have the illusion that films are easy to shoot and scenes are done in minutes. That is not the case. Many, many takes are gone through, many hours of hard work, people moving things back and forth. 16 hours, 5 days a week, is the average workday for a filmmaker. There will be mistakes.

The knife-hand switch was an interesting note, though. Because in this instance, we do see that the knife is in one hand during RED scenes, and in the other during BLUE scenes. This is a valid note, and it could be intentional - a reflection. But it could also just be continuity hell.

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Aaron
Oct 2, 2013 4:35pm

Nice observations - I'm also devoted to this movie (as well as the book and the 'made-for-television version). All in all, I think as avid viewers, it seems sometimes that we want to see more then may be there but there are so many things, as you have pointed out here, that really scream out as more than coincidence, like your noticing the blue room/red room switch of the knives. Her switching knives could be read as just pure panic and hysteria BUT the fact that they match up per room color is really intriguing. I think the slow fades with significant elements overlapping each other can generally be chalked up to good editing and compositional sense, keeping the viewers eyes on the important things, but still in all, in context can still be just as chilling. I've always wondered what the text under the famous 'Ski Monarch' poster says - it looks like the last word is murder but it's most likely not and I only 'want' it to say that, even though I can't seem to find any archived record of that poster ever existing. Hmmm. I also searched a possible play on words for 'Sky' Monarch but the only thing I've found with that name is an old radio. That movie you mentioned, Room 237, is a really fun watch and I found your article really great too. Nice going!

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Aaron
Oct 2, 2013 4:59pm

In reply to Aaron:

Also, I think reading the book does a world of good regarding some of the visuals. The dog costume worn by the person in that one shot near the end never made sense to me apart from it being some odd candid holiday party moment but in the book, there is an interesting side story about the owner of the property and this other male character who would tend to do 'favors' for him in efforts of impressing him. At one particular party, he dons a dog costume and is commanded to do things such as bark and sit up. After reading the book, I assumed that he, in the director's mind, was commanded to go to a room and do other acts as well. Again, if you're going on just the movie alone, I think you're getting only a portion of what's going on. They vary greatly and I am somewhat let down by both endings but it is well worth your time. In summary, I do believe that any director is capable of continuity errors and over-analyzing should be done purely for entertainment purposes (never hurts to be hyper-alert to film theory) but I also believe that directors are capable of a lot more than we give them credit for so I like to look at each observation on it's own merit. Some are obvious camera or edit errors but others do seem to have meaning.

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Mo
Oct 3, 2013 5:40am

Why the hell has nobody ever talked about this film is just about a drunk. In the scene where jack is locked in the freezer there a 40oz partially drank on the counter. There was suppose to be no Liquor there and he was suppose to be sober. What makes him go mad is that he's a drunken maniac.

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david wainwrite
Oct 4, 2013 10:15pm

... please, go watch broadcasted televising children, you can't fathom Kubrick. Try and figure out which primary colors create secondary ones..hahaa. **ADVICE: If annyyyyyyy of you are religious/spiritual, please , don't use the concept of a FILM be stretched and delved when YOU do it with your belief system/Life...tisktisktisk..

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david wainwrite
Oct 4, 2013 10:19pm

...And yes, that was to the facebook fiends in the lame postings above ours.....¦^}

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Oct 13, 2013 12:02am

In reply to DanielNothing:

A-fuckin-MEN!

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Oct 26, 2013 5:07am

You missed the fake moon landing Easter egg in the hallway...

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mokoko
Nov 2, 2013 12:53am

About "Wendy's Knife Switch Trick":

So we have blue color + left hand and red color + right hand. My first association here is Democrats (blue, left-wing) and Republicans (red, right-wing). Crazy? I know.

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Kumi
Nov 10, 2013 8:03pm

This is a joke of course, isn't it?

I can't believe I just spent 15 minutes reading about a blurry poster and a tree.
Of course the oh-so-obvious ashtray turned a different direct is worthy of brain space, but the fact that one of the characters is dressed up as a dog is too obscure a fact to have learned. No, of course not, that's just some kind of "man-bear-pig". Whatever! Not important.

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simple observer
Nov 18, 2013 7:56pm

Ok..my take on the manbearpig- first let's revisit the semi crashed on the"red"vw..obviously a middle finger to King. Now keep in my the length of time it took to produce this film; plenty of time for things to fester like SK's disdain for King's book and the undoubted and documented disapproval for the movie by King.SO, after plenty of time decides to get one last jab in on King. It's like he's saying , "oh yeah, sure Steve, let me stick to your book so my film can have retarded shit like a fucking manbearpig in it. That will be great! Lets see what that would look like ." And with that teeny 2 second shot

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simple observer
Nov 18, 2013 8:00pm

he managed to cast the final blow to anyone who hasever questioned his deviations from the book,including Stephen King.

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Ashley Barlowe
Nov 25, 2013 6:48pm

Haters!!! Hating on a man who has an awesome viewpoint on Kubrick's gem of a film. Most of you are just mad that you didn't "get" the film to begin with. Anytime people can't or don't understand the thoughts of others they say things like "You have too much time on your hands" because anything requiring intellect or creative thinking eludes them. If you can't/don't grasp it, it's absurd?? That's the first sign of ignorance, making fun of the things you don't understand. Thank you Mr. Ryan for the article & the documentary. I loved both!!

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Simone
Dec 3, 2013 5:06pm

In reply to Larry:

Actually, what it seems to be a "twin" toilet is a bidet: it's lower and a bit wider than the toilet and, although it is not visible, it has no cover. As far as I know it's used almost exclusively here in Italy, and it's pretty uncommon outside south Europe and, maybe, north Africa. It surprised me too to see one at Overlook Hotel.

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DuBrow
Dec 15, 2013 5:30pm

Some smart details for the Movie Mistake fans like me, some points are far FAR reaching (the door knob thing). Regardless it is a good movie because it is off beat, ketchy, and different than the other cookie cutter tit shows we are forced to admit seeing...once. still a better vision than the hour killing bore-a-thon King liked with that Bob Saqetish Wings hack and the Bucky the Bucktoothed Beaver child. I can stomach a Bear=Pig blowjob scene (how did it work with HIS teeth?) than hear that bore tell his kid again "kissin' kissin' that's waht I've been missin'" which is probably the motto for NAMBLA.

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Jamison
Dec 15, 2013 5:42pm

Actually, the bear fellatio would not scare most, a Jewish or Jersey woman would stop and read them the riot act. "What's this? What would your Mutha say?"

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Dec 27, 2013 5:50am

In reply to Larry:

Guess you have never senn a bidet!

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Analea
Jan 9, 2014 7:11am

After watching The Shining on IFC, I decided to check out some facts & fell upon this. Jesus fu**ing Christ!!! I can't believe I read the whole thing! You obviously have too much time on your hands. I mean, what a total piece of monkey crap! I would have enjoyed been farted on by a 400 pound man than reading this! Sweet Lord, what a waste of freaking time! SMH!

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michael heide
Jan 9, 2014 8:54pm

i think that the skiing stuff is suggesting that there are two different dimensions within the hotel. for example in the first interior scene when jack is walking to the office, there is a man in brown behind him followed by a porter with luggage who is clearly checking in. and guess what, he's checking in with skis.

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Lisa F.
Jan 21, 2014 6:39pm

I thought Room 237 was a great compilation to a provocative movie. Definition of provocative: causing discussion, thought, argument, etc. and/or causing sexual feelings or excitement. Both definitions are evident through out the movie and in the comments to this article. I'm sure great minds have pondered the hidden meanings to the movie but in chatting with a friend, she commented that her brother didn't believe the the holocaust happened, did the astronauts land on the moon, did the Europeans slaughter the American Indians and enslave the Africans and finally did the hotel make the caretakers crazy and want to kill their families or was the insanity already in the person willing to be the caretaker? All of these events happened but the recounting of the story is questionable depending on the storyteller.

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Sheri
Feb 9, 2014 7:01am

What about the picture change in Dick Hallorans bedroom above his bed at his home in Florida??? It changes!! Is that a mistake or a "did you notice"??

Sheri

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Elkee Sandoval
Feb 16, 2014 5:35am

Fucking awesome shit here man. I love kubrick.

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federico
Mar 14, 2014 11:25am

In reply to DanielNothing:

You ask people to stop thinking, like.. just enjoy the movie but please, dont think ???

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Apr 4, 2014 6:02am

In reply to Stanley K:

3 times

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danny
Jul 25, 2014 12:40pm

I seen this video of a game called the overlook on youtube that has some cool shining stuff in it. They should make a game of room 237 where you have to figure out wtf the film is all about

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mike
Aug 7, 2014 2:33am

do most people get that kubrick took an ideal to the extreme Being the theory of a marxist mask-which says in the end you are what you believe -allso marxist game theory - and danny finds the games room -so in teaching that people should rise up and take from the rich and as bob marley sings they are the axe-kubrick has jack play steven king a teacher from coloardo with drinking problem kill holloran who tells wendy "OUR HOTEL"-The ski monark poster- see the white lion with gray main--
the carpet is a zipper pattern-pawns on top of jacks chair- when writing jack or steven is a pawn--stoarge room labeled c3 is position on chess board-Where jack is trapped with all his ill gotten gains---in bible all fighting early on is at water hole
2001 starts with fight at water hole -kubrick is showing you the logic of solialism and in the end you will be left out in the cold until the fire comes when you believe a school teacher has your back

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mike
Aug 7, 2014 2:59am

In reply to mike:

so what he did was apply carl marx teaching to kings book and called king a socialist murderer but the number one most import thing to remember is- not to let a dead woman kiss you! cause then your left with "the bill" in hand next to the little birdie And in formal wear you will have to get a password from nightengale but don't forget the mask----and in hebrew you might like to know what the shewbread was????

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mike
Aug 7, 2014 9:33pm

In the marxian since a character mask may be a mask on top of a mask and even if the masking is known the true purpose may not be.
How deep or how many mask are envloved is the question and the true purpose we may never know---is king a marxist or did kubrick
in a chess like move paint king as a marxist---king wrote a story
some say could have been masked about himself --a teacher with a drinking problem from colorado who masks himself as a hero ready
to die to save others--true or false? maximun overdrive --christine--
carrie.Kubrick masking the fact he is filming the shining but in reality alters it to paint king as the axe murderer who's flight is during winter.And in so doing he applies the marxian mask and if it was applied to a marxist is awesome because most of them don't really understand what they believe nor do they see it coming cause their eyes are wide shut
the

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Aug 8, 2014 3:42am

In reply to mike:

kubrick applies the theory of marxism to kings book---IN marxism a character mask may cover another mask and even if masking is known the true purpose may not be.
taking the intire concept of marxism or solialism to the extreme as bob marley sings it--if you are the big tree we are the little axe going to cut you down and take your property-- jack who king wrote or masked as his self but as a hero in a hotel full of a masked band of demons is then masked by kubricks extreme interpretation of marxism or taking it to its logical conclusion and killing holleran who tells wendy "OUR HOTEL" holleran claims owership so he has to be killed by the retired school teacher with a drinking problem-as kubrick knows most university's teach socialism--Kubrick often looks as sociecty's establishments such as a clockwork orange dealing with prison reform by showing felons repeated scenes of violence is going to cure them but he is showing us what we are doing to our children with violent cartoons from birth-roadrunner -we are desinsitising them and each generation see more and more until they will think murder is ok...carl marx thinks preists are actors and take the stage
and states that the height of realism is achieved when both the audience and the actors believe---DO YOU BELIEVE KUBRICKS MANY CONSPiRACY's inplanted within the movie which keep you from seeing the truth of the lie which socialism promises? Marxism also has a teaching called Game theory ---remember danny finds the games room? and is bombing the world

In fact kubrick applies phylosophy to all his work---its what the moonbaby is if you google marxism you will learn what the so called educated people believe but don't see when it is applied to them or their work

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Sep 2, 2014 7:23am

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AltaeR
Sep 16, 2014 4:24pm

Why wouldn't the skier be standing for Stephen King too? SKing?

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