Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mystery Of Parking Lot Hexagon


Reviewing Every Overlook Exterior In The Shining, several classic Kubrick mistakes-on-purpose present themselves.

∆ Here is the last frame of the first shot of the Overlook Hotel, in actuality, the Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood, Oregon. Notice the Timberline is built around a hexagonal pyramid.

∆ Here is the last frame of the first shot of the Overlook Hotel exterior set in England. The set composites the two wings of the Timberline, keeping the buttressed awning and angled garage, but eliminating the center hexagonal pyramid. The Hedge Maze missing from the Timberline aerials is now present opposite the awninged entrance. The parking lot, vast at the Timberline, fits only five vehicles at the Overlook. In the parking lot we have a blue sports car, a green station wagon, a white jeep, a brown station wagon, and another blue sports car. Notice Ullman walks right in front of a moving car just before the cut.

∆ The edit transports us 90º to the parking lot. The white jeep has disappeared, replaced by a large pile of luggage. Recall the Torrance's large pile of luggage in the Lobby, too large to have been brought up by their VW Beetle.

∆ The Overlook exterior set keeps a suggestion of the Timberline hexagon in the angle of the garage.

∆ Much later in the film, after Wendy traps Jack in the Store Room, we see the Side Entrance for the first time. We are never shown the Side Entrance from the point of view of the other side of the Hotel exterior but it seems to mirror the hexagonal angle of the Garage.

Note the windows to the left of the brick post are much closer in perspective than the windows to the right. The post is hiding a corner to the Hotel exterior we are never shown.

∆ We next see the Side Entrance when Halloran arrives. Again, the mystery corner is hidden first by a tree, then by the brick post.

∆ Noting the perpective of the windows, The Side Entrance is at an angle to them, suggesting the hexagonal angle of the garage on the other side of the set.

∆ We next see the Side Entrance when Jack looks out at the dark parking lot while chasing Danny. The camera pans and we see the Snowcat parked in front of the Torrance's apartment window and the entrance to the Maze that wasn't there before.

∆ Jack turns the parking lot lights on and we see the view from the Side Entrance straight on, at an angle to the walls of the Maze.

∆ As Jack passes through the Side Entrance we see the Snowcat on the left and the Maze entrance on the right.

∆ Earlier in the film the Maze Entrance is around the corner.

∆ Looking back at this shot of the parking lot, where would the Side Entrance be? Where does the road ending in the bottom left corner lead?

Note at the far left of the frame we see a tall tree.

∆ Where is that tall tree in the this shot?

Earlier, it was in between the first and second double columns of windows.

∆ As Halloran parks the Snowcat, three tall trees are revealed well past three columns of double windows. Where is the Side Entrance now? Is it just off-frame to the left, angled towards the Maze?

∆ As Jack lunges towards the Maze, we see the trees on the left. But now the apartment escape window is dark, with other windows lit instead.

∆ When Wendy takes the same path later, the apartment escape window is back to being lit.

∆ Confused yet?

∆ As shown in "The Making of the Shining" the Maze facade is on a wooden platform. The production simply moved the facades around for the winter scenes to change the position of the Maze Entrance.

∆ We get our first glimpse of the shifted Maze Entrance through the door of the Garage when Wendy checks out the Snowcat.

∆ Both Wendy and Jack take two rights, making a U-turn to exit through the side entrance.

∆ The C-shaped hallway leading to the Side Entrance makes the angled wall section with the windows rather awkward. We see nothing other than 90º angles inside the Overlook. The hexagon of the Timberline exteriors is not reflected in the Overlook interiors. With one notable exception:

∆ Here is Danny moving cars around a symbolic representation of the hexagonal parking lot of the Overlook as a yellow pod rolls up from the Maze. Does the yellow ball represent the only car seen in the parking lot of the Timberline exterior, the family yellow Beetle? (And where is that Beetle in the Overlook exterior set?) Or does it represent the opening of the new Maze Entrance? Or the arrival of Halloran on the Snowcat? All will lead to Danny's liberation from the Overlook, as Danny the explorer and visionary sees the Hotel as it really is. Danny plays with toys the way Kubrick plays with the Overlook set, moving giant trees around.

∆ For more on Kubrick, the cube and the hexagon, please reference: The Wrong Way Wizard.

Room 237 At Beyond The Infinite Hotel