Monday, February 15, 2010


From Apocalypse Now, "Do you know what the man is saying? Do you? This is dialectics. It's very simple dialectics. One through nine, no maybes, no supposes, no fractions -- you can't travel in space, you can't go out into space, you know, without, like, you know, with fractions -- what are you going to land on, one quarter, three-eighths -- what are you going to do when you go from here to Venus or something -- that's dialectic physics, OK? Dialectic logic is there's only love and hate, you either love somebody or you hate them."

In this movie it has to do with truth. Dialectic logic is there's only truth and lies, you either believe somebody or you don't believe them."


Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Gollywog

In the novel The Overlook uses racism to scare Dick Hallorann. In the movie Stanley Kubrick hides the racism very well. If Grady is a figment of Jack's imagination, then it's Jack and not the "ghosts" inside the Overlook where the racism now lies. Someone else on another website noticed this and it doesn't belong in this movie;

I would never know what this toy was as I'd never heard of or seen a Gollywog before. But you have to believe that Stanley Kubrick added this little touch in Danny's toys to indicate that one of his parents might be a racist, as they were the ones that probably gave it to him. It might have something to do with Dick Hallorann's death but I don't believe it because Stanley Kubrick is a perfectionist and the Gollywog isn't even close to the spot where he is killed. The rabit on the tryke is but not the Gollywog. You'll have to be the judge but it is an interesting little visual tidbit that's been added to the film. Hidden very subtly just like everything else I've discussed.


Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Visions Seen In "The Shining"

My list of visions in "The Shining" are at the bottom of this page.

A vision is similar to a hallucination or an illusion, and a ghost is an actual presence that becomes manifest to the living. It’s very interesting that Stanley Kubrick doesn’t use either word, ghost or vision, when he has Dick Hallorann explain “Shining”, and what he might be seeing inside the hotel, to Danny. “Well, you know Doc, when something happens it can leave a trace of itself behind. Say like if someone burns toast. Well, maybe things that happened leave other kind of traces behind. Not things that anyone can notice, but things that people who 'shine' can see.”

He’s talking about Danny’s ability to “see” past events that have happened inside The Overlook, and he doesn’t say a word about ghosts or that The Overlook is haunted. He’s describing visions to Danny here not ghosts, and he would have indicated so if he was. In Stephen King’s novel he doesn’t know about “ghosts” either. The spirits are aroused because Danny is in the hotel and they want his power. In Stanley Kubrick's Overlook it’s Jack that arouses the "ghosts" after he opens the scrapbook we see sitting on his desk throughout the film. Jack is the only cast member that knows what The Overlook's previous guests all look like; Dick Hallorann doesn't!

In the movie Dick Hallorann doesn’t mention The Overlook being haunted, or that there are ghosts there, because he’s never perceived any of this himself and if he did know of these things he would have told Danny so (exactly like he explained his ability to “Shine”). What the Torrances’ are perceiving in The Overlook only happens after Jack arrives. To a screen audience a vision or a ghost would both appear the same. But if you look closely at the script Stanley Kubrick puts proof that characters can project these visions into each others minds. It appears that both Danny and Dick Hallorann experience the exact same vision of Jack entering room 237. Danny is in his room and Dick Hallorann is several thousand miles away yet they see the exact same thing. If it happens once it can happen many other times like when Jack kills Dick Hallorann, Danny sees it and screams while hiding inside the cabinet on the other side of the hotel.

The visions that characters in the movie experience are interesting and important to look at and I’ve listed each of them. Jack is at the Overlook during every vision that Danny Dick or Wendy have, and we know from the dialogue the exact spot where he has the opportunity to peer into the Overlook’s scrapbook (5:26 into the movie, “I’d like you to take him around the place soon as we’re through ... ”). Visions begin appearing to the characters right after that. Stanley Kubrick tells us in the dialogue that these visions aren't real, “Remember what Mr. Hallorann said. It's just like pictures in a book, Danny. It isn't real.”, and Dick Hallorann knows exactly what he’s talking about. In the movie the Torrance's see 21 separate visions. After Jack has the opportunity to open the scrapbook he knows exactly what all of The Overlook’s most notorious guests look like. The ones that didn’t make it onto the hotel’s walls, the ones that aren’t, “all the best people” that Mr. Ullman speaks about during their tour. The exact same guests that appear in their visions. If The Overlook was haunted Mr. Ullman would have been proud of it and told Jack that fact during the interview, after all he did tell him about the murders.

Stanley Kubrick got an idea for using certain colors from Stephen King’s novel where Dick Hallorann smelled oranges when he “Shined”. Being that smell can not yet be adequately brought across to a theater audience Stanley Kubrick made the brilliant decision to use the two pigments a painter mixes together to make the color orange, then use those as a visual device to indicate “Shining”. Here’s my list of the visions and I've indicated where the color red, yellow, or the color produced if you mix them together (orange) is present in each. Danny sees 9 visions (the audience only sees 8 of them) and they are in dark red. Jack sees 8 visions and they are in dark violet. Wendy sees 4 visions and they are in dark green. With the final vision seen only by the audience. Danny sees the bloody elevators, the women in room 237, and “Redrum” all twice, and he sees the Grady twins four times. Lloyd and Grady both talk to Jack twice. And Wendy’s visions appear to her only once each.

Jack arrives at the hotel and is taken on his first tour by Bill Watson where he has an opportunity to look into the scrapbook.

1) :11 Danny has a vision of the bloody elevators (3X) and the Grady twins for the first time (1X). The elevator doors and the blood are red.

2) :21 Danny has a vision of the Grady girls in the playroom (2X). Danny is throwing red darts.

3) :39 Jack’s vision of the Hedge Maze Map. Jack is throwing the yellow ball and both Wendy and Danny are wearing red.

4) :42 Danny has a vision of the Grady girls again as he looks at the door of room 237. Red shirt and red trike wheels (changed from white in the beginning of the film).

5) :46 Jack has a vision of Danny and Wendy playing in the snow. Wendy’s red coat and Danny’s red boots.

6) :49 Danny has a vision of the Grady twins in the hallway (6X) all hacked up (4X). Danny is wearing a red sweater.

X) :58 Danny is strangled by his father but has a vision of being strangled by a woman (This is the only vision that Stanley Kubrick doesn't let the audience see). A red room key is in the door of room 237.

7) 1:04 Jack has a vision of Lloyd for the first time. Both Lloyd and Jack are wearing red.

The middle of the film where Jack becomes totally possessed by evil (If you look closely at the time code, the shot where we hear Jack gulp down his first drink is exactly 66 minutes and 6 seconds into the movie).

8) 1:11 Dick Hallorann and Danny have the same vision of Jack walking into room 237. Dick Hallorann's room is orange and he has a large red picture behind his head. Danny is wearing red.

9) 1:11 Jack has a vision of the women in room 237. Jack is wearing red.

10) 1:19 Danny in his bedroom overhearing his parent’s conversation he has a vision of “Redrum” printed in red (1X), and the Bloody elevators (1X). Danny and Jack are both wearing red.

11) 1:21 Jack’s vision of the party balloons. The other set of red elevators are seen.

12) 1:22 Jack’s second vision of Lloyd at the party. Both Lloyd and Jack again are wearing red.

13) 1:24 Jack’s vision of Grady at the party (he only talks to Lloyd and Grady at the party). Grady spills yellow advacot on Jack and they have a conversation in a red bathroom.

14) 1:45 As Wendy swings the bat Danny has a vision of the Bloody elevators (2X) and “Redrum” (1X). “Redrum” is written in red on a yellow door.

15) 1:54 Jack has an audio hallucination and imagines talking to Grady in the storeroom. Jack is wearing red and is surrounded by red Calumet cans and red Golden Rey boxes; all of which mysteriously move between shots without being touched.

The final chase after Wendy looks into another important book on Jack's desk, "All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy", and she begins to see visions for the first time in the film.

16) 2:08 After Jack swings the ax Danny has a vision the death of Dick Hallorann with red blood in an orange lobby".

17) 2:09 Wendy has a vision of the 2 gentlemen in the room. Dogman’s face is yellow.

18) 2:12 Wendy has a vision of the old man who says, “Great party isn’t it” (2X) and has red blood on his head.

19) 2:13 Wendy has a vision of the New Years Eve Party “skeletons” (4X). Wendy passes the red couch that disappears in the last shot of the movie. The three mirrors in the shot also disappear.

20) 2:14 Wendy has a vision of the bloody elevators (2X). The hallway and elevators are both red.

Jack is dead and everyone is gone. One last vision is seen by the audience who also have the ability to "Shine" and see visions that are like, "pictures in a book".

21) 2:20 The July 4th photo appears on The Overlook’s wall for the first time in the final vision of the film (other photos are in it's place when ever else we see that spot). The conspicuous red couch under the pictures and the mirrors have also disappeared.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Indians in “The Shining”

One of the most fascinating sideshows that accompanies this incredible movie is the Native American Indian connection. When I first started this blog I checked out several other “Shining” websites and one of the first ones I read was this one. Even though there are a lot of hidden things pertaining to Indians in Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece for a long time I thought it was ridiculous. The Indian references are a visual lure but I still haven't found any link in “The Shining” to the Holocaust of The American Indian. I can now see where the seed for this "theory" came from though because it’s quite obvious that Stanley Kubrick wants us to notice Indians in “The Shining” the same way he wants us to notice his special set of numbers and obvious twins. Many have picked up on this and come to the conclusion that “The Shining” is a metaphor for the Holocaust of the American Indian. I’m going to go through the reasons why people believe this than tell you why I don’t. It's a different Holocaust that Stanley Kubrick is pointing us to.

In the movie we have;
1) Wendy brings up the Donner Party and Jack lovingly talks about cannibalism with Danny on their trip to the hotel. The Donner Party had nothing to do with Indians.

2) Mr. Ullman talking about two Indian tribes during the tour at the beginning of the movie and Overlook hotel is full of Indian artwork and pictures from these "Navajo and Apache" tribes. This in itself proves nothing and is exactly what you would expect to find in a hotel in Oregon.

3) The Calumet cans that appear out of nowhere behind Dick and Jack’s head in the storeroom have an Indian chief on them. Stanley Kubrick is showing us what happens when people "Shine".

4) Danny’s subterfuge in the Hedge Maze at the end of movie as he uses an old Indian trick of retracing his footsteps to fool Jack. This seems to not only be an old Indian trick and it's hard to find where the actual origins of it lie.

5) Wendy is seen in pigtails looking a little Indian-ish. I don't think so.

6) The Indian Burial ground. Mr. Ullman tells us that, “The site is supposed to be located on an Indian burial ground, and I believe they actually had to repel a few Indian attacks as they were building it.” If you read the words very closely this sentence is obvious hearsay. Mr. Ullman has no firsthand knowledge of this. In the film it’s just a rumor that was obviously included by Stanley Kubrick to keep Indians in viewer’s minds. It's not in Stephen King's novel either, Stanley Kubrick added it. He also adds this in the dialogue so you'll know it's all a joke as Mr. Ullman tells them the year that The Overlook was built, “construction began in 1907 and was finished in 1909.” There were no "Indian attacks" in 1907 or 1909 and any explanation, like the website I mentioned before, that doesn't mention this fact is either intentionally or unintentionally incomplete.

7) Wendy refers to the “Keep America Beautiful” Public Service Announcements (where Iron Eyes Cody sheds a tear over pollution) of the 1970’s as she says; “The loser has to keep America clean!”. This is another sly joke on Stanley Kubrick’s part because Iron Eyes Cody isn’t even an Indian he’s an Italian. He's a cigar store Indian.

8) July 4, 1921. It can't be overlooked, this date is meaningless in the history of the American Indian and the date July 4 is not the most important date in the Holocaust of the American Indian. The discovery of America by the Europeans would be the most important date.

9) It's Indian blood that pours up from the graves of the ancient burial ground and out of the elevator shaft. If you look closely this is not what happens as the blood pours out of the top of the left elevator, not the bottom. This blood might be from some other Holocaust or even a future Holocaust, nothing links it specifically to the Holocaust of the American Indian. I believe Danny's vision of the bloody elevators is a premonition of Dick Hallorann's death and Wendy's vision of the bloody elevators is a premonition of Jack's death. The exact same vision seen by both Danny and Wendy at different times isn't real either, “Remember what Mr. Hallorann said. It's just like pictures in a book, Danny. It isn't real.”

The idea to put hidden Indians in his movie is yet another thing that came directly from Stephen King's novel. If you didn’t read it you’ve probably never seen this line, “Can you see the Indians in this picture?” (Page 133 - Chapter 21 & Page 196 - Chapter 34). He took Steven King’s seemingly insignificant sentences and makes you “strain and squint” (Page 133 - Chapter 21), than “you could see some of them”. The source novel just can’t be ignored here.

I’ve just listed where the obvious “Indians” are “in this picture”. Then there are the hidden Indians that most people have either missed or choose to ignore because they don't fit in with a preconceived interpretation.

There’s the red "Golden Rey" (the Spanish word that we now use for the Mayan Indian's kings) box pointing to the Mayan’s. A perplexing company added in between all the other brand names in The Overlook’s storeroom.

Mayan artwork is also seen here on the office wall at the beginning of the movie and it’s not mentioned by Mr. Ullman

There’s a perfect depiction of an ancient Mayan pyramid (top, sides and stairs) hidden in Jack’s dream of the hedge maze. Nothing else in the ancient world looks like this. The top, sides, stairway, it's all there – but it shouldn’t be; it doesn’t belong in this horror movie.

Taken all together what does this spell; the Holocaust of the American Indian? Not for me; it's obvious that the hidden Indians in "The Shining" are the Mayans. They are the Indians hidden “in this picture”. And we all know what very interesting number they're famous for; and what's right around the corner in a few years.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Does Delbert Grady ever tell the truth in the story?

It’s amazing how in “The Shining” Stanly Kubrick is able to manipulate the audience into believing that lies are the truth and that the truth is a lie. And this may be what the final picture in the movie is actually all about. Why do we believe what we believe? What I’m going to show you now has flown right over the heads of most viewers. It’s quite incredible when you think about it though. As you viewed “The Shining” have you ever thought about what Delbert Grady’s character is actually saying? Is he telling the truth? Of course he is everyone knows that Jack’s been in The Overlook before because Delbert Grady says so; no one ever asks this question about his truthfulness because we’ve been manipulated. Grady is an honest God fearing “ghost”. He may have had some problems with his family in the past but he “corrected” them. He even tries to convince Jack to kill his family but if you put all these shortcomings aside he has stellar credibility. As far as “ghosts” go he’s the top of the heap; honest and true. But it never dawns on us that something is tremendously wrong here. Dick Hallorann never lies in the movie and what he says is not believed yet Grady has no credibility at all and what he says is believed wholeheartedly. If you actually thought about it what seems right is where the truth ends up being; in the movie Grady lies about everything and Dick Hallorann never lies – it’s so obvious. But when you finally realize this it’s gonna’ make your head spin because it will change everything about how you perceive this movie.

Look closely at the conversation Jack has with Delbert Grady as there is evidence in the dialogue that everything he says to Jack is a lie. And remember that I believe that Jack is talking to his imaginary friend (his version of Danny's friend Tony) as he looks into the mirrors, not a “ghost”:

Grady: Grady, sir. Delbert Grady…. That's right, sir.
Jack: Delbert Grady?
At first this seems to be just one more of those enigmatic things that Stanley Kubrick placed in “The Shining”. Just a perplexing mystery with no real answer. But he doesn’t tell Jack his real name; it’s a lie as we know from the dialogue where Mr. Ullman tells us that his real name is Charles Grady, not Delbert Grady. In the novel there is no Delbert Grady, just Charles Grady. The name Delbert Grady is a lie.

Jack: Ah, Mr. Grady... haven't I seen you somewhere before?
Grady: Why no, sir. I don't believe so.
This is another lie as in the dialogue Jack tells us later on that he's seen his picture in the scrapbook we see opened on his desk and Grady would definitely know about the scrapbook.

Jack: Eh... Mr. Grady... weren't you once the caretaker here?
Grady: Why no, sir. I don't believe so.
Another lie as Charles Grady (as we know from the dialogue where Mr. Ullman tells us) was the caretaker of The Overlook in 1970.

Jack: You’re a married man, are you, Mr. Grady?
Grady: Yes, sir. I have a wife and eh two daughters, sir.
Jack: And, ah... where are they now?
Grady: Oh, they're somewhere around. I'm not quite sure at the moment, sir.
Another lie as Mr. Ullman tells us in the dialogue that Grady actually did hack them to death.

Jack: Mr. Grady, you were the caretaker here. I recognize you. I saw your picture in the newspapers. You ah... chopped your wife and daughters up into little bits, and ah... and you blew your brains out.
Grady: That's strange, sir. I don't have any recollection of that at all.
Another lie as Mr. Ullman tells us that all this actually happened. We also now know that the "ghost" Jack is imagining looks exactly the same as the real Charles Grady.

Jack: Mr. Grady, you were the caretaker here.
Grady: I'm sorry to differ with you, sir, but you are the caretaker. You have always been the caretaker, I should know, sir. I've always been here.
Another lie because if Delbert Grady had, “always been” in The Overlook his face would be in the picture at the July 4th ball in 1921 along with Jack at the end of the movie. They were both “caretakers” and he must be in that picture and must (like Jack) look exactly the same.

Grady: Did you know, Mr. Torrance, that your son... is attempting to bring an outside party into this situation? Did you know that?
Another lie as it’s Jack with his ability to “Shine” who alerts Dick Hallorann that something is wrong at The Overlook. If you find this hard to believe remember that Dick Hallorann knows something is wrong only when Jack walks into room 237 and not when Danny is strangled, which happened earlier. This is very important; as Jack meets the old woman he is “Shining” that image of room 237 into Dick Hallorann’s head. Danny never telepathically calls Dick Hallorann when he's attacked, in fact there is no place in the dialogue or on the screen that proves that he ever calls on him at all.

Grady: Your son has a very great talent. I don't think you are aware how great it is, but he is attempting to use that very talent against your will.
This is an obvious lie as Danny never does anything except ride around The Overlook, play with his toys, watch cartoons, and escape from his crazy ax wielding father. Stanley Kubrick hides this extremely well but we hardly ever see Danny use his special ability in the movie. If you find this hard to believe, think about this. At the end of the movie as he's running for his life Danny uses his wits rather than his "very great talent" to outsmart his father.

It’s an amazing example of manipulation we’re witnessing here and it has obvious parallels in human society. Because of the way the characters are presented the natural instinct after viewing “The Shining” is to believe all the things that the putative “ghost” Delbert Grady says and to ignore what the totally truthful Dick Hallorann says. It’s really unbelievable when you stop and think about it. Dick Hallorann never lies yet people don’t believe the obvious explanations he gives us about whether the “ghosts”in the hotel are real or not, “Remember what Mr. Hallorann said. It's just like pictures in a book, Danny. It "isn't real” yet everyone believes that Jack has been in The Overlook before because Delbert Grady says, “You have always been the caretaker, I should know, sir. I've always been here.” This ends up being a study in mass manipulation on the highest level and has everything to do with the final picture in the movie which is also not what it appears. Ask yourself this question; why do you believe what you believe?


Friday, September 11, 2009

Does Dick Hallorann Ever Lie in the story?


If you truly want to understand Stanley Kubrick’s “Shining” you have to be able to decipher whether what the characters are telling you is the truth or a lie.

One thing I never expected when writing this blog was that anyone would question the truthfulness of Dick Hallorann’s dialogue. For me it’s part of the explanation of this enigmatic movie and the meanings that Stanley Kubrick concealed in the script (like the pictures taken from the movie and the alterations he made to Stephen King’s novel) can’t be changed. Viewers will attempt to interpret things in their own ways but the words Stanley Kubrick placed in his finished film can't be altered. They are what they are. It’s like when Stanley Kubrick added this easy to miss statement in the dialogue as Dick Hallorann's explanation of why he returns to The Overlook, “Ullman phoned me last night, and I'm supposed to go up there and find out if they have to be replaced. It’s not a mistake to take his explanation along with the other things Dick Hallorann says in the film as the truth. I believe the statement for two reasons. 1) Because of the quality of the person who says it and 2) because there is a very good chance that it is actually what happened as it’s the only explanation Stanley Kubrick gives us in the dialogue of why Dick Hallorann returns to The Overlook. Whether people like it or not; his boss ordered him back to The Overlook. It's all about character, and Dick Hallorann has character. He's the hero of this story.

In the novel Dick Hallorann lies several times about why he's going back to The Overlook. He tells variations of his story about his son being shot to the park rangers, to his boss, to the cop that pulls him over, and to Larry Durkin at the garage. They all ask him flat out the same question but he doesn't tell them the real reason for his return. He doesn't tell any of them that Danny uses the "Shine" to call him in Florida. But in the film Stanley Kubrick cleverly alters all this, his "Shining" is different from Stephen King's. If you can find any spot in the dialogue of this film where Danny calls on anyone for help please go back to my main blog and post it. You may feel in your bones that Danny is calling for help in the room 237 scene but he isn't. He doesn't call or ask for help when he's being strangled, at the end of the film when he's being chased by his father with an ax or at any other point in the story. This simply never happens in the film. In his movie Stanley Kubrick cleverly reverses what's happening and Dick Hallorann now only gives one reason for his return and it's either true or false.

There's nowhere in the movie where Dick Hallorann lies, cheats, dumbs down, exaggerates, misleads or tells any falsehood to anyone at all. Any attempt at un-explaining this explicit statement that he makes to his friend Larry Durkin about why he’s returning to The Overlook and who sends him there is pure speculation and a fabrication from the mind of someone that has another agenda, someone who doesn’t want his statement to be true. But what Stanley Kubrick has him say is very explicit and we don’t have enough information to make a wild guess that contradicts what Dick Hallorann plainly states. In the end, as in life, we either believe what he says because of the type of person he is or we don’t. There's no other information to go by in the film. But what’s even more important is; his statement is either true or it isn’t as Stanley Kubrick gives us no other explanation in the movie as to why he returns to the hotel. If it’s true, the implications of the sentence on how we view this movie are immense. His statement totally changes everything about what's actually going on under the surface of this movie because the phones are out and the only way his boss could know something is wrong at the hotel is if he sees the exact same vision of Jack walking into room 237 as Dick and Danny see. There is no other way he could know and the only information we’re given from Stanley Kubrick about this is contained in that sentence. This is what totally frustrates so many of my readers who have a certain agenda. If you don't want to believe the obvious, that Stanley Kubrick gives the "Shine" to other characters in his film than you'll fight this sentence of Dick Hallorann's vehemently. But you can't change it.

It’s obvious that this question must be answered. In the film does Dick Hallorann have any proclivity for lying? Some may think he was he lying to his friend like he did in the novel. He didn’t want to let Larry in on the exact reason for his return to The Overlook. Maybe he was afraid to tell anyone else about his supernatural ability to “Shine” and see visions. Maybe he was afraid to tell Larry about the vision he saw of Jack in room 237 because his friend would think he was completely crazy. But these are all just guesses because Stanley Kubrick only gives us one bit of information about this and it's different from the novel, “Ullman phoned me last night”, and that’s it.

A lot of what I’ve written about “The Shining” is only valid if Dick Hallorann is telling the truth as he’s the only character that knows anything about the “Shine”. We really need to know if he’s truthful or not if we ever want to truly understand this film. I was alerted to a spot in the movie where he appears, on the surface, to tell a lie so I investigated a little and ended up discovering one of the most important things about this movie that no one has ever realized. Just who and what can you believe.

Dick Hallorann: Well I think we can manage that too, Doc. Come along now. Watch your step.
Wendy: Mr. Hallorann, how’d you know we call’em 'Doc'?
Dick Hallorann: Beg pardon?
Wendy: Doc. You called Danny 'Doc' twice just now.
Dick Hallorann: I did?
Wendy: Yeah. We call him Doc sometimes, you know, like in the Bugs Bunny cartoons. But how did you know that?
Dick Hallorann: Well I guess I probably heard you call him that.
Wendy: Well, it's possible, but I honestly don't remember calling him that since we've been with you.

Later.... Dick Hallorann: Do you know how I knew your name was Doc? You know what I'm talking about, don't you? I can remember when I was a little boy; my grandmother and I could hold conversations entirely without ever opening our mouths. She called it shining, and for a long time I thought it was just the two of us that had the shine to us. Just like you probably thought you was the only one. But there are other folks, though mostly they don't know it, or don't believe it.

At first it appears he lies to Wendy by not telling her that the real reason he knows Danny’s nickname is “Doc” is because he has a supernatural ability called the “Shine”. If he’s deceptive here I can’t state that he never lies, and my belief in the sentence above, “Ullman phoned me last night...” relies on his truthfulness. But again in Kubrickland all is not what it appears to be. This quote is actually a goldmine for proving that Dick Hallorann is not a liar at all. This is just what I needed even though I never thought I would have to prove that Dick Hallorann speaks the truth, being the hero of this story. It appears that Stanley Kubrick through his dialogue was well prepared for this conundrum and he has his characters give us the answers to our questions from their own mouths.

The lie appears to be here; “Well I guess I probably heard you call him that.” He doesn’t tell Wendy that he has the ability to “Shine”. A lie of omission? Thinking his explanation is false is understandable because we know, or at least we think we know, that what he said can’t be true. We’ve been watching the movie from the start and we never actually see him hear Wendy call Danny “Doc”.

But I thought about it for a while and it dawned on me; how on earth can anyone after watching the first few minutes of this movie know that he’s lying from that statement alone? We know Dick has the ability to “Shine” but when he uses his special gift this early in the story we don’t know yet how it actually works. And they do call him “Doc” all the time. When he "Shines" does Dick read Wendy’s mind or did it actually happen the way he said, “I guess I probably heard you call him that.” It has to be one or the other. If he’s able to read her mind than he’s lying but if he actually heard her call him “Doc” then he’s not. And if he actually heard her call him “Doc” then not telling her about his ability to “Shine” is not a lie of omission either as he answered her question simply yet truthfully. There was no implication in her question as to whether or not he possesses a supernatural ability, or which of his many supernatural abilities he might be using on that particular day.

For these characters “Shining” is an unusual gift but I can’t think of anywhere in the movie where one of them uses it to read someone’s mind. It doesn’t mean it’s not there I just can’t think of any. It doesn’t matter anyway, it’s undeniable that there are several times in the film where people use it to hear conversations that are happening elsewhere. At 1:45 into the movie Danny, sitting in their apartment, is able to use his ability and listen to his parents conversation before Wendy clobbers jack with the bat. When Jack, inside the hotel, has his vision of Danny and Wendy walking in the center of The Hedge Maze at 00:39 he not only sees it but he’s also able to hear what they’re saying outside the hotel.

Stanly Kubrick gives us plenty of evidence that people who possess the “Shine” can hear conversations that occur out of earshot so what Dick Hallorann tells Wendy is the truth. Dick did hear her call Danny, “Doc” before they met and Stanley Kubrick cleverly puts this into the dialogue so there’s absolutely no confusion as to when Dick hears her use the nickname “Doc”. She says, “I honestly don't remember calling him that since we've been with you”. His perfectionism is unbelievable as Stanley Kubrick has all the bases covered. Wendy obviously knows she said it earlier in the hotel before they all met.

We know Dick Hallorann can hear conversations out of earshot but do we know for sure if he’s able to know the nickname "Doc" by reading Wendy’s mind? Well, rigorous logic won’t work here but it seems that Stanley Kubrick has also addressed this problem for us, and the answer is again in the dialog he wrote. This simple line is so easy to pass up as being unimportant. Jack says, “Mr. Hallorann, I'm Jack, and this is my wife, Winifred.” In the movie (and novel) it's her real name and Jack never uses the nickname Wendy inside The Overlook before they meet Dick. Not only do we never actually hear the name but Stanley Kubrick shows us that example of how she's introduced and there’s no evidence that Jack doesn’t introduce her to everyone they meet in exactly the same way. Jack says, "Hey Babe" when he calls her up after the interview, and even Mr. Ullman never calls her Wendy as we always hear him call her Mrs. Torrance. The nickname Wendy is simply never heard in The Overlook until later. Knowing all this helps to explain this seemingly meaningless fluff sentence Stanley Kubrick added to the dialogue, “Mrs. Torrance, your husband introduced you as Winifred. Now are you a Winnie or a Freddie? - I'm a Wendy.” It’s obvious that Dick Hallorann doesn’t know her nickname is Wendy and there’s only one reason for this; when he “Shined” he simply never heard anyone call her Wendy in the hotel. He doesn’t read her mind at all. There should be no confusion here; Stanley Kubrick alerts us to this by bringing up the two nicknames, Doc and Wendy and Dick heard only one, not the other; he knows Danny's nickname and doesn't know Winifred's. "Now what kind of ice cream do you like Doc? - Chocolate. - Chocolate it shall be." It's so obvious, he doesn't read Danny's mind or he would have known the answer to that question.

The dialogue is clear. We’re talking about Stanley Kubrick, a director who's inhumanly precise and in his movie (unlike in real life) Dick Hallorann never lies to anyone. Not Danny, not Wendy, not the forest rangers and definitely not his friend Larry Durkin. In asking for the Sno-cat he doesn't have to make up any story at all for Larry as to why he’s going up to The Overlook in a snowstorm. Not mentioning “The Shine” to Larry means nothing; it’s not a lie. Larry's question was, “What’s the big deal about getting up there today” and he answers truthfully. Larry didn’t ask about what supernatural ability Mr. Ullman possesses.

He doesn’t lie to his friend and anyone that believes he does, is entertaining pure un-provable speculation as any proclivity for lying cannot be found in him in this story. He's the same as Olivia de Havilland's character in "Gone With The Wind". The purest soul in movies. Someone that doesn't exist in real life. But in film we find people like this. The only person who lies in the film is Jack. Anyone who puts forth another explanation as to why Dick Hallorann would lie by saying that his boss ordered him back to The Overlook (such as nonsense like we never actually see him get Mr. Ullman's phone call or he's confused or was scared to tell Larry that he “Shines”) are wrong. These are just wild unsubstantiated guesses by people who have other agendas to uphold. Like I said before, if you find a place where he lies or exaggerates post it on my blog otherwise he doesn’t and I believe him at his word. We have a movie about people who possess a supernatural ability enabling them to communicate with each other over great distances. I can't imagine how anyone cannot see that in “The Shining’s” reality another of Dick Hallorann’s lines "there are other folks" is true and Mr. Ullman is included in that very small crowd (5 main characters) inhabiting this film's reality. It appears that Mr. Ullman knows something is very wrong at The Overlook. Something that could only be known if he uses the exact same supernatural ability that enables Dick Hallorann to know the exact same thing. There's no violation of the movie's reality in what I believe. Mr. Ullman "Shines" and sees the exact same vision of Jack in room 237 with the old woman as Dick and that’s how he knows what’s happening in “The Overlook”. Don't forget the phones are all out. The implications of this in the film are far reaching yet the dialogue Stanly Kubrick wrote is precise and cannot be altered - it's part of the explanation of this movie. It’s hard not to take Dick Hallorann’s statements as gospel truth when you can’t point to a single lie that he ever tells! “Ullman phoned me last night.” If he isn't lying then he's telling the truth. If you have concrete notions and all this rocks your perception of this movie, well that’s just to bad because you can’t change it and you'll have to live with it, even though you might never fully get it. But why doesn't Mr. Ullman, if he can "Shine", just talk telepathically with Dick Hallorann rather than phoning him? Again from the pen of the director who is ready for that question, "But there are other folks though mostly they don’t know it, or believe it. That's Mr. Ullman. The answers are all in the dialogue, Stanley Kubrick left nothing out.

“Larry, just between you and me, we've got a very serious problem with the people who are taking care of the place. They've turned out to be completely unreliable assholes. Ullman phoned me last night, and I'm supposed to go up there and find out if they have to be replaced.” Dick tells us exactly why he’s going back to the hotel and it isn't because Danny called - which he never does.

“But, there are other folks though mostly they don’t know it, or believe it”. Dick tells us that others have the same ability that he has, and some don't know it.

“No, I'm scared of nothing here. It's just that you know some places are like people, some shine and some don't. I guess you could say the Overlook Hotel here has something about it that's like shining. He isn't scared because he's lived there and knows of nothing (especially in room 237) that can hurt Danny. If he did he would have told him so.

“You're scared of Room 237, ain'tcha?”
“No I ain't.”
“Mr. Hallorann, what is in Room 237?”
“Nothing. there ain't nothing in Room 237.” He never lies to anyone; there is absolutely nothing that he knows of in room 237.

"Not things that anyone can notice, but things that people who shine can see. Just like they can see things that haven't happened yet. Well, sometimes they can see things that happened a long time ago.” All of the Torrances see the same spook show because they all possess the same "Shine". They also have the ability to see the future and the past.

“Remember what Mr. Hallorann said. It's just like pictures in a book, Danny. It isn't real.” The visions they're seeing in The Overlook aren’t real. Not one vision in particular, not every other vision, not just visions on Saturday or Thursday, but every vision they see.

“Well I guess I probably heard you call him that.” They can hear conversations that occur well out of earshot.

“The Overlook Hotel here has somethin' about it that's like 'shining'." "Somethin' about it that's like 'Shining' again isn't the same thing as "Shining" - it's different. The Overlook doesn't "Shine".

Dick Hallorann is the only character in the "The Shining" that knows anything about the special supernatural power that they possess. These statements are all from a board certified expert on the subject. A person who never lies or exaggerates, and in the framework of this movie's reality; I believe everything he says - his dialogue is not only the explanation of the "Shine", in it is the explanation of the entire movie itself.

Click here and go back to my blog with over 500 interesting pictures from the movie, and read more.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Is Grady real or just in Jack’s imagination?

This is a difficult question to answer. Either he’s a real spirit haunting The Overlook with the power to open a storeroom door or he’s a figment of the Jack Torrances’ own imagination. There is no in-between. I believe he's a vision produced in Jack's irrational mind but It’s hard to definitively prove this. Stanley Kubrick hides the answer to this question very well. But if you think about these seven points that he put into the movie it will help you to come to your own conclusion and you'll see why I believe Delbert Grady is a figment of Jack’s imagination. Click on each point for an explanation.

1) It’s well hidden but if you look at the dialogue Stanley Kubrick and Diane Johnson put the answer to this question right in the script and it can’t be changed.

2) Every time Jack sees a “ghost” he’s looking at himself in a mirror.

3) Who let Jack out of the storeroom if Grady is not real?

4) Why didn’t Grady “correct” Danny and Wendy himself?

5) Grady is not in the final photo.

6) How did Stanley Kubrick alter Stephen King’s novel?

7) We see him and hear him speaking to Jack.

8) What does Stanley Kubrick have to say about Delbert Grady?