Friday, March 14, 2014

Overlooking Florida

It's entirely fitting that one of my favorite movies of all time, Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, also involves Florida. If you have only a passing familiarity with the film, you may be unaware that in recent years it's been lauded as being a far deeper and complex movie than the 70's-slasher-flick it's generally thought of as. You can read some out-there analysis of it here and here, and you can find my own musings on the movie's puzzling evidence here, here, and also here.

In a nutshell, my take on the film is that the "haunted" Overlook Hotel in which the main characters reside is trapped in a sort of timespace warp in which everything is constantly shifting and rubbing up against parallel universes and alternate points on the time track. The multiple "mistakes" in the movie that some might ascribe to sloppy filmmaking are actually, I believe, deliberately placed as indicators that reality is constantly moving around in the hotel. Kubrick was infamous for his meticulous attention to detail, and that he could have had so many continuity errors in one of his works is inconceivable.

And, of course, this fits right in with the idea of Interzone, aka Florida, which I just happen to also posit as harboring a similar spacetime anomaly, but for real. So it's par for the course that the film's character Dick Halloran (played by the great Scatman Crothers, who I know as a great jazz-blues singer but you may know as the voice of Hong Kong Phooey) is from Florida. Halloran has psychic abilities (which he calls "shining", hence the title) and halfway through the picture we see him reclining in bed in his Miami home. He's watching Newswatch on Miami's WPLG-TV with anchorman Glenn Rinker, who was a real Miami newsman and not just something contrived for the film, which is a nice touch. Interestingly, Halloran's television set switches on by itself, yet Halloran is holding no remote. Among the imagery Halloran views on the TV is a lighthouse and a Pan-Am jet plane, which you may or may not find some meaningful symbolism in.

There are a lot of people running around Florida with psychic powers, extrasensory perceptics, remote-viewing savvy, and enhanced abilities, and I think the placement of Halloran here was a deliberate nod to this. Or maybe I've been sipping too many blue things. I dunno. Go watch the movie. Even if you've seen it before, look again.

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