Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Cryptokubrology Christmas

Did Stanley Kubrick (July 26, 1928 – March 7, 1999) make a Christmas film?

Students of Kubrick clearly agree that he did. The one movie generally considered to be his "Christmas masterpiece" is Eyes Wide Shut

Film critic Roger Ebert wrote on July 19, 1999, that the Eyes Wide Shut was shoot "in a grainy high-contrast style, using lots of back-lighting, underlighting and strong primary colors, setting the film at Christmas to take advantage of the holiday lights, he makes it all a little garish, like an urban sideshow."

On March 7, 1999, six days after screening a final cut of Eyes Wide Shut for his family and the stars, Kubrick died in his sleep at the age of 70, after suffering a massive heart attack.

If Eyes Wide Shut is about the Illuminati, it makes sense that Kubrick would utilize Christmas lights to "illuminate" his film.

Mainstream analysts have tried to wrestle with the Christmas setting of Eyes Wide Shut.
In addition to relocating the story from Vienna in the 1900s to New York City in the 1990s, Kubrick changed the time-frame of Schnitzler's story from Mardi Gras to Christmas. One critic believed Kubrick did this because of the rejuvenating symbolism of Christmas. Others have noted that Christmas lights allow Kubrick to employ some of his distinct methods of shooting including using source location lighting, as he did in Barry Lyndon. The New York Times noted that the film "gives an otherworldly radiance and personality to Christmas lights", and critic Randy Rasmussen noted that "colorful Christmas lights ... illuminate almost every location in the film." Harper's film critic, Lee Siegel, believes the film's recurring motif is the Christmas tree, because it symbolizes the way that "Compared with the everyday reality of sex and emotion, our fantasies of gratification are, yes, pompous and solemn in the extreme ... For desire is like Christmas: it always promises more than it delivers." Author Tim Kreider noted that the "Satanic" mansion-party at Somerton is the only set in the film without a Christmas tree, stating "Almost every set is suffused with the dreamlike, hazy glow of colored lights and tinsel ... Eyes Wide Shut, though it was released in summer, was the Christmas movie of 1999." Noting that Kubrick has shown viewers the dark side of Christmas consumerism, Louise Kaplan stated that the film illustrates ways that the "material reality of money" is shown replacing the spiritual values of Christmas, charity and compassion. While virtually every scene has a Christmas tree, there is "no Christmas music or cheery Christmas spirit." Critic Alonso Duralde, in his book Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas, categorized the film as a "Christmas movie for grownups" (as he also did with Bergman's Fanny and Alexander and The Lion in Winter), arguing that "Christmas weaves its way through the film from start to finish". Source.

But, wait, there may be more...

In 2012, Tony Sokol ("Den of Geek) reviewed Kubrick's The Shining (1980), and began by frankly stating "Yes, it's a Christmas movie."

Sokol re-imagined The Shining as a Christmas parable. It makes sense in various examples he gave, such as, "The head cook at the hotel, Dick Hallorann, notices that Danny shines like the Star of Bethlehem."

And, "Dick Hallorran, representative of the Zoroastrian Magi, who became extinct after the rise of Christianity, sees the call of Danny’s shining star and cuts his holiday vacation short just in time to be dispatched by Jack, who hobbles off to spread his cheer with his son in the massive property’s hedge maze. The Scroogey father dawdles too long in the snow and becomes a Jack Frost lawn ornament."

Someone reads the synchromystic musings here. 

"Just call me Roob" penned her thoughts in "Riding Stanley Kubrick."

She wrote (3/20/2017): 
Feeling a little poorly on Saturday evening, I went to bed and watched the movie, Passengers....One thing, though, that I did find interesting was the inclusion of The Shining’s Gold Room.
I supposed it was done on purpose, as an homage to Stanley Kubrick, a fact that was confirmed yesterday when I happened across a post on the subject at Twilight Language. The post also brings up the odd coincidence that Michael Sheen’s (Arthur, the android bartender on the Avalon) father earns a living as a looky-likey for Jack Nicholson.
The blog writer quoted me from a TL passage:
Via Twitter, I bemoaned to Alex Fulton at Crypto-Kubrology Twitter that "modern Cryptokubrology is frustrating when Shining scenes are in new films w/out sync-reasoning."
To which Fulton replied that "modern films w/ 237s inserted… hard not to assume the filmmakers just being clever. Pre-Shining 237s are where it gets weird."
You can see this post-Kubrick/Shining mentioning in Stand By Me, a 1986 film based on a Stephen King story, as was The Shining (1980).  In Stand By Me there is a scene when the boys' total change adds up to $2.37.

"Just call me Roob" mentions one older Christmas movie which includes a "237," namely The Shop Around the Corner (1940). ("Roob" made some other synchrocinematic connections, and you can read her stream of consciousness links here.)

Many of us have seen this Cryptokubrology sync to The Shining, coming before The Shining, previously.

I was reminded of The Shop Around the Corner on Christmas Eve 2017, when TCM broadcast In the Good Old Summertime, which, believe it or not, is a Christmas movie.

Definitely a Christmas movie.

The Shop Around the Corner is a 1940 American romantic comedy film produced and directed by Ernst Lubitsch and starring Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart and Frank Morgan. The screenplay was written by Samson Raphaelson based on the 1937 Hungarian play Parfumerie by Miklós László. Eschewing regional politics in the years leading up to World War II, the film is about two employees at a leathergoods shop in Budapest who can barely stand each other, not realizing they're falling in love as anonymous correspondents through their letters, as noted in Wikipedia.

Fans of Cryptokubrology realize what postal mailbox number is the focus of The Shop Around the Corner.  Of course, it is P. O. Box 237.

Now, as to the film that played on cable on December 24th...

In the Good Old Summertime is a 1949 Technicolor musical film directed by Robert Z. Leonard. It stars Judy Garland, Van Johnson and S.Z. Sakall. The film is a musical adaptation of the 1940 film, The Shop Around the Corner.

Veronica Fisher (Judy Garland) enters Oberkugen's music shop, looking for work. Although Otto Oberkugen (S. Z. Sakall) is reluctant to take on more staff, she wins a job by persuading a wealthy matron, through her singing and musical expertise, to buy a harp at almost $25 over Oberkugen's list price. Neither she nor Andrew Larkin (Van Johnson), the shop's senior salesman, suspects that they are each other's anonymous pen pal. They bicker constantly at work although becoming increasingly attracted to each other.

And what P.O. Box is mentioned in In the Good Old Summertime? Box 237!

Andrew Delby Larkin (Van Johnson): Oh, Veronica, I love you so! Won't you open box 237 and take me out of my envelope? 
Veronica Fisher (Judy Garland): Box 23- Box 237! You mean... You?

These two movies - The Shop Around the Corner and In the Good Old Summertime - have another sync that ties to Eyes Wide Shut. In Max Malone's analysis (noted above), Eyes Wide Shut is seen as having many ties to The Wizard of Oz and Through The Looking Glass. This is evidenced by the many mirrors and the Rainbow shop in Eyes Wide Shut.

Here's where it begins to get synchrocinematically intriguing.

Frank Morgan played Professor Marvel, The Wizard, Doorman, Cabbie and Guard in The Wizard of Oz (1940), and then showed up as Mr. Hugo Matuschek in The Shop Around the Corner (1949).

Judy Garland played Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz (1939) and then as Veronica Fisher ten years later in In the Good Old Summertime (1949).

Are we over the rainbow?

A scene from Eyes Wide Shut
So what is the Rainbow? And how does it relate to The Shining? For one the Rainbow's proprietor Milich resembles Jack Nicholson, with a similar hairline and expressive acting style. He’s even wearing a bathrobe and plaid flannel shirt. Perhaps Milich is an analog to Jack after 20 years or so as entertainment director of the Overlook Hotel. Like the Overlook, the Rainbow teleports in and out of reality, seems to grow in size once entered, and offers impossible vistas. The Rainbow is also a site of sexual depravity, with Milich’s daughter being the pedophiles’ target much like Danny. The Rainbow, like a hotel, is also a rental business. For a price, one can temporarily access realities greater than afforded one’s basic financial situation. For Cruise, the Rainbow’s costume rental allows him, if only for a moment, into the secret lair of the elite, just like Jack’s five-month tenure at the Overlook allows him to act like king of the mountain in a grand, fantastical palace. At the end of the night, Milich absolves Cruise of his debt by tearing up his receipt, but what has been seen cannot be unseen, as his missing mask will surely remind him when uncovered. Source.

Other Cryptokubrology Essays

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Oh my goodness, what a wonderful surprise! :D

I wrote about 'Eyes Wide Shut' recently:

And if you really want to understand The Shining (I think), you need to watch the Forwards/\Backwards version. I wrote a series of posts at the LoL featuring just the bathroom scenes in the movie:

Thanks Loren! Merry Christmas <3


p.s. Also I'm a girl :D