Rise and Shiny

Merovee Frank sent me a photo yesterday, that he’d taken on his travels…

Frank's photo

… and an image from a film…

Yellow Shining Car
CLICKY: Yellow car!

*That’s right, Clicky, from ‘The Shining’. Frank included it in his latest post ‘Rise‘.*

Merovee Rise.png
CLICKY: Zero Gravity?

*I dunno about that, Click, but hopefully Dear Reader finds our posts amusing… after all, this is the LoL…*

I thought I’d have a shufti at my decoding of the film over at Sync Miss For Him, and reproduce some of my posts from there to hear…


This reminds me of one of the ‘accidents’ in the original ‘The Shining’, one that is accepted as being just that: the helicopter shadow. I didn’t buy it when I read it on Jonny53 or Rob Ager’s delicious dissections of the movie. Now after studying the Forwards/\Backwards version. I think it is actually key.

Helicopter Shadow

Camera Operator for ‘The Shining’ Explains Helicopter Shadows in Opening Credits, discusses Hallorann Crash Sequence:

”Room 237,’ Rodney Ascher’s quixotic look at Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” and the elaborate theories surrounding it, is set to hit theatres and VOD later this year, but while the documentary packs in a enormous amount of supposed “answers,” the latest one up for review concerns the film’s ominous opening credits, and perhaps comes from a slightly more credible source as well.

”The Shining’ opens with a series of sweeping helicopter shots slowly tracking Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) and his family’s car through the snow-capped hills of Glacier National Park. Contacted by Kubrick then to shoot this second unit footage, camera operator Jeff Blyth recently recalled his experiences of the shoot, but more importantly lent his thoughts on the credits’ most disputed shot: A glimpse of the helicopter itself splashed up against the mountains. Was it an accident or Kubrick’s intent?

‘“At the time we started shooting, we had been told we could do anything we wanted,” Blyth recounts. “It was with great amusement that I have read online reports that Kubrick somehow accomplished these shots by some sort of radio remote control while still in England. We’d talked with him by phone before setting out and I can assure you there were no specifics needed other than a yellow VW with Colorado plates.”

‘Addled with stress over lack of traffic control, Blyth and his team were attempting to maintain a fluid shot while filming in full aperture, with mixed results. “I had my hands full guiding the helicopter pilot in closer and closer based on the little black and white monitor (which the pilot could not see). I can assure you, shadows were the least of our concerns, even if they could have been visible on that [1:1.85-cropped] monitor (which they weren’t).”

‘Due to Blyth’s impaired sight lines, the camera operator concludes Kubrick “just liked those particular shots and didn’t worry about the shadows.” He then added, “I have to say I was personally horrified to see the shadows on the first video release, since they’d never showed in the theatrical release, as we’d intended.”

‘Entertaining and insightful, you can read Blyth’s full account over at Visual Memory, where he also talks about risking injury to film a deleted scene with Dick Hallorann (Scatman Crothers) “receiving” Danny’s telepathic S.O.S. by nearly swerving into oncoming traffic along the Pacific Coast Highway. Needless to say, Blyth and his team were “a little disappointed that the final cut of the film eliminated all of that and it was replaced with a very simple shot of Halloran responding to the message in his apartment.”

‘“Scatman did a nice job of the moment, though,” he says.’

So the helicopter shadow shot appears in the movie’s release on video, not the original theatrical release. This makes me think that it was helpfully inserted later as a key – Kubrick is reminding the viewer that they are up in the air (we see our shadow) and that we can also look over (study the film). What I hadn’t realised before watching The Shining Forwards/\Backwards, was that it was meant literally, that we should look at its reverse.

Oh yes. Now that I know how to make a gif, I’ll definitely be giving the film and my past scribblings a good look over. Maybe answer some of the questions the movie poses. Like…

Q: Who rolls the ball to Danny?

Jack rolls ball to Danny

And in Cockney rhyming slang, what’s a Jack and Danny?

fanny (n.) “buttocks,” 1920, American English, from earlier British meaning “vulva” (1879), perhaps from the name of John Cleland’s heroine in the scandalous novel “Fanny Hill or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure” (1748). The fem. proper name is a diminutive of Frances. The genital sense is still the primary one outside U.S., but is not current in American English, a difference which can have consequences when U.S. TV programs and movies air in Britain.

Frances fem. proper name, from French, from Old French Franceise (Modern French Françoise), fem. of Franceis (see Francis).

Francis masc. proper name, from French François, from Old French Franceis “noble, free,” as a noun “a Frenchman, inhabitant of Ile-de-France; the French language,” from Late Latin Franciscus, literally “Frankish;” cognate with French and frank (adj.).

Dr Frank-N-Furter

*Not right now, Clicky. Why don’t you give us a Song?*


5 thoughts on “Rise and Shiny

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s