Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Black Frames.

Most of the hints that Stanley Kubrick gives us as to an exact date when the action in "The Shining" takes place are shown to us on the 12 black frames of the movie. We know that the Torrance’s first full day alone in The Overlook is Halloween as Mr. Ullman tells Jack the hotel closes on 10/30, and they arrive on closing day. The 4th black frame says, "One Month Later" and this is November 30, the 11th month. No year is given in the film or in the novel but it was published in 1977 and the film was released in 1980. If we literally go by the black frames the date of Wendy and Jack"s fight in 1980 would be 12/11. In Stephen King's novel we're told it's December 2 (page 209 chapter 37 "The Ballroom" and page 251 chapter 46 "Wendy"). "Suddenly a huge clock in a glass bowl materialized in front of it. There were no hands or numbers on the clock face, only a date written in red: DECEMBER 2. And then, eyes widening in horror, he saw the word REDRUM reflecting dimly from the glass dome, now reflected twice. And he saw that it spelled MURDER." Remember also that there are 12 black frames as the movie starts and ends on black frames that contain no writing.

The beginning (0:00).

The interview (0:03).

Closing day (the day before Halloween - the 30th of October) (0:17).

A month later (the 30th of November) (0:34).

Tuesday (December 2) (0:40).

Thursday (December 4) (0:45).

Saturday (December 6) (0:46).

Monday (December 8) (0:51).

Wednesday (December 10) (0:56).

8 AM (December 11) (1:35).

4 PM (December 11) (1:54).

The End (2:23).

Using a 1980 calender the fight and the last night they spend together inside The Overlook is Thursday night December 11.