Tuesday, February 25, 2020

237: The Ominous Memory of the Twilight Future

What if "237" signals a very specific message?


Cassandra predicts the future and no one believes her. Film directors work in the river called future and dip into this temporal waterway without regard to time. The use of the name Cassandra is a clue that someone understands the future. The number 217 gives clues about how we should feel about 237.

I want to take you on a stream of consciousness journey filled with syncs, random thoughts, and some ideas that may have some bearing on the cryptokubrological understanding of the number 237, and beyond.

It all began for me while I was watching watching the 72nd Academy Awards, and Brad Pitt was announced as the winner of the Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. He had won for playing the "Cliff Booth" character in Once Upon A Time...In Hollywood (2019) ~ (henceforth OUATIH).

Quentin Taratino plays with time, history, imagination, and history in the film, and Brad Pitt ~ in a signature Hawaiian shirt ~ gives a strong performance. I loved the film, saw it four times right after it was released, once in an IAMX theater, and I'm sure, shall watch it again.

Pitt's Hawaiian shirt filled the screen with the trope that has shown up in many movies. 

I started pondering Pitt, his roles, and the Hawaiian shirt. Time travel and the prediction of the future ~ a feeling I had throughout OUATIH ~ has been there before with Pitt. It was the Cassandra feeling, on the gut level. 

Cassandra or Kassandra was a woman in Greek mythology cursed to utter true prophecies, but never to be believed. In modern usage her name is employed as a rhetorical device to indicate someone whose accurate prophecies are not believed. Brad Pitt, those shirts, Cassandra, and prophecies. It all was flowing together for me.

The Cassandra Complex draws the profile of someone who thinks they can predict the future but feels unable to change it. One of the most specific and graphic examples of this complex is in 12 Monkeys, which starred Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, Christopher Plummer, and David Morse.

12 Monkeys, also known as Twelve Monkeys, is a 1995 American neo-noir science fiction film directed by Terry Gilliam, inspired by Chris Marker's 1962 short film La Jetée.

The Cassandra complex is the name given to a phenomenon where people who predict bad news or warnings are ignored or outright dismissed. The phrase "Cassandra complex" has entered the lexicon in 1949 when a French philosopher discussed the potential for someone to predict future events.

Film critic Roger Ebert found 12 Monkeys' depiction of the future similar to Blade Runner (1982; also scripted by David Peoples) and Brazil (1985; also directed by Terry Gilliam). "The film is a celebration of madness and doom, with a hero who tries to prevail against the chaos of his condition, and is inadequate," Ebert wrote. "This vision is a cold, dark, damp one, and even the romance between [Bruce] Willis and [Madeline] Stowe feels desperate rather than joyous."

You may remember the Hawaiian shirt in 12 Monkeys. It was not worn by Brad Pitt, but by the protagonist of the film: Bruce Willis.

The [12 Monkeys'] use of time travel provides a vehicle to illustrate the Cassandra Complex, and the storyline takes full advantage of the opportunity. James Cole, being from the future, is well aware of the impending catastrophe and further understands that the result cannot be averted. In his reality, the virus has already wiped out most of humanity—it is a “fait accompli.” His obvious diagnosis in 1996 is the Cassandra Complex, and he is treated by Dr. Railly who is one of the leading experts in the field. Her credentials in this area are prominently displayed in the film as she gives a lecture dedicated to the subject at a book signing. Ironically, later in the film when she finally starts to believe that James is not insane, she becomes the prototypical example of the Cassandra Complex herself; she knows almost everyone is going to die, and there is nothing she can do to prevent it. Source

Terry Gilliam, in reference to 12 Monkeys, has said “only one film has been capable of portraying impossible memory, insane memory: Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo.”

The Willis charactor (James Cole) and Stowe's (Dr. Kathryn Railly) watch Vertigo while on the run, in 12 Monkeys.
“I think I’ve seen this movie before,” he says to her as it becomes apparent that he’s living in a world that is a literal echo of Hitchcock’s Boileau-Narcejac-adapted narrative. At this point, they are finally getting closer to the airport of Cole’s dreaming from childhood. Kathryn has donned a blonde wig as a disguise, giving Cole his own echo of Judy Barton’s final transformation back into Madeleine Elster. Kathryn even uses the name Judy as an alias once at the airport. Source.

I had noticed in a video I had just watched about the question of the pre-Shining use of the number 237, there it was again: a Hawaiian shirt.

The movie highlighted was Fast Company, a 1979 Canadian action film directed by David Cronenberg and starring William Smith, John Saxon, Claudia Jennings and Nicholas Campbell. It was written by Phil Savath, Courtney Smith, Alan Treen and Cronenberg. It was primarily filmed at Edmonton International Speedway, in addition to other locations in Edmonton, Alberta, and Western Canada.

In one scene noted in the cryptokubrology examination by Alex Fulton and Shawn Montgomery, the Canadian actor George Buza, as the character named "Meatball," says "the Sandman Inn Room 237." He is wearing a Hawaiian shirt.

George Buza (born in the USA on January 7, 1949) is today a Canadian actor. He played "Meatball" in Fast Company (1979).

This is a year before Stanley Kubrick's The Shining (1980) has the infamous scene involving Room 237. It is significant, I think, that the exact "Room 237" is tied to "Sandman."

Hans Christian Andersen's 1841 folk tale Ole Lukøje introduced the Sandman, named Ole Lukøje, by relating dreams he gave to a young boy in a week through his magical technique of sprinkling dust in the eyes of the children. "Ole" is a common Danish first name and "Lukøje" means "close eye".

"Mr. Sandman" (sometimes rendered as "Mister Sandman") is a popular song written by Pat Ballard which was published in 1954 and first recorded in May of that year by Vaughn Monroe & His Orchestra and later that same year by The Chordettes and The Four Aces. The movie Back to the Future II (1989) uses The Four Aces' version of "The Sandman" in, at least, two parts of that film. Intriguingly, Kubrick's 1999 movie Eyes Wide Shut, in essence, is a variation of employing the name "Sandman." The song's lyrics convey a request to "Mr. Sandman" to "bring me a dream" – the traditional association with the folkloric figure, the Sandman. 

What if Cronenberg, not Kubrick alone, was the key to "237"?

Besides Fast Company (1979) and its "Sandman Inn Room 237," Cronenberg quite prominently features "237" in Scanners (1981). Scanners is a Canadian science-fiction horror film written and directed by David Cronenberg and starring Stephen Lack, Jennifer O'Neill, Michael Ironside, and Patrick McGoohan. In the film, "scanners" are people with unusual telepathic and telekinetic powers.

Scanners' Jennifer O'Neill was the star of The Summer of '42, the movie within The Shining

[On the morning of October 3, 1979, Fast Company's Claudia Jennings fell asleep at the wheel of her VW convertible while on her way to Malibu and collided head-on with a van on Topanga Canyon Boulevard. She died a few minutes later from massive external and internal injuries.]

"There are 4 billion people on earth. 237 are Scanners. They have the most terrifying powers ever created...and they are winning," reads the Scanners' poster.

There is something very predictive about David Cronenberg's work.

This trait of Cronenberg is reflected personally.

I was quite shocked to learn of the name he gave the daughter he and his wife had in 1972: Cassandra. And then to discover she was born on February 17 was further curious. In the American calendar style, that would be written 2/17. It was "217" that the room at the Overlook Hotel was originally noted by Stephen King in his 1977 novel The Shining. In the 1980 film, King's Room 217 infamously became Stanley Kubrick's Room 237.

And therein, Cronenberg shared with his audience his ominous memory of the twilight future. For in 1979 in Fast Company and in 1981 in Scanners, David Cronenberg predicted a significant date ~ via the Canadian calendar system ~ 237. 

That date was 23 July 1982 ~ 23/7/82.

The event that seems to have sent a temporal earthquake through the filmmaking world, which directors, producers, writers, and others "feel," "sense," and "predict" through the use of "237," is the Twilight Zone: The Movie disaster. 

In a concise way, Gary W. Wright in his long blog posting, "The Shape of Film Art: Upholding the Toronto Indie Film Art Cause in the Allegorical Film Art of David Cronenberg" (ongoing~2020), says something similar when he writes: "For 237 known and unknown extrasensory powered men and women were mentioned as being at large at the beginning of the film [Scanners], evoking the 23/07/82 date of the TZ disaster again in the film art of Cronenberg."

Wright also points out that Cronenberg has his twilight "memory of the crimes of the future appeared in Shivers [1975]. For the license plate of a red sports car carrying infected people out of the underground parking lot of the Starliner to spread blockbuster sexual disease at the end of the film was 732E790, eerily and exactly anticipating the 7/32/1982 date of the TZ disaster."

Of Fast Company, Wright wrote, of Cronenberg's Twilight Zone disaster prediction, his twilight "premonition was ominously reaffirmed by the helicopter that flew slowly out of the distance." And crashed.

Wright sees the complex "Zone Wars," as he terms it, between Cronenberg and various other factions in the Hollywood vs Indie film scene being played out due to the shocking Twilight Zone: The Movie crash. As he writes:

"For his part, Kubrick implicitly warned Cronenberg that his fondness for cinematic works of allegorical horror would destroy his artistry and creativity as surely as working as the caretaker of the haunted and troubled Overlook Hotel destroyed English teacher and struggling writer John Daniel ‘Jack’ Torrance-his name evoking Jack the Ripper in Time After Time, and played by Jack Nicholson-in the allegorical film, The Shining (1980). Indeed, the film’s spare camera movements, strange electronic score that evoked that of Crimes of the Future and allusions to A Clockwork Orange, Crimes of the Future, Fast Company, Shivers and Stereo affirmed the implicit Cronenberg addressing intent of the film. Curiously, the Sandman Inn room 237 mentioned in Fast Company that reappeared as Overlook Hotel room 237 in The Shining not only reaffirmed the implicit Cronenberg roasting intent of The Shining, but was another eerie memory of the TZ disaster future, as the original room was numbered 217 in the allegorical Screamin’ Stephen King novel, The Shining (1977). These ominous memories of a twilit future also continued to haunt the film art of Cronenberg when he collaborated again with David, Heroux, Irwin, Sanders, Shore, Solnicki, Spier, Lynne Gorman-who played Mrs. Grant in Nobody Waved Goodbye-and Reiner Schwarz-who played Doctor Birkin in The Brood-and implicitly refuted the implicit concern Kubrick expressed in The Shining that he was destroying himself with horrific allegorical film art by abandoning the genre and returning to the Temple Theatre with what is perhaps still his most baffling, controversial, idiosyncratic, original, memorable, mindbending and sensual allegorical film, Videodrome (1982)."

The specific details of the beheading of Vic Morrow and death of the two Vietnamese children in Twilight Zone disaster, at least in the conventional retellings, do give hints of John Landis' harsh directing style, and the break Steven Spielberg made in their friendship due to the accident.

Could Stanley Kubrick's "237" phenomenon actually been a covert future revealing of the 23/7 = 23 July 1982 disaster then in the predictive winds?
During the filming of the "Time Out" segment [of Twilight Zone: The Movie] directed by [John] Landis on July 23, 1982, at around 2:30 a.m., actor Vic Morrow and child actors Myca Dinh Le (age 7) and Renee Shin-Yi Chen (Chén Xīnyí, age 6) died in an accident involving a helicopter being used on the set. The two child actors were hired in violation of California law, which prohibits child actors from working at night or in proximity to explosions, and requires the presence of a teacher or social worker. During the subsequent trial, the illegality of the children's hiring was admitted by the defense, with Landis admitting culpability for that (but not the accident), and admitting that their hiring was "wrong". 
Producer and co-director Steven Spielberg was so disgusted by Landis's handling of the situation, he ended their friendship and publicly called for the end of the New Hollywood Era, where directors had almost complete control over film. When approached by the press about the accident, he stated "No movie is worth dying for. I think people are standing up much more now, than ever before, to producers and directors who ask too much. If something isn't safe, it's the right and responsibility of every actor or crew member to yell, 'Cut!' 
In the scene that served as the original ending, Morrow's character was to have traveled back through time again and stumbled into a deserted Vietnamese village where he finds two young Vietnamese children left behind when a U.S. Army helicopter appears and begins shooting at them. Morrow was to take both children under his arms and escape out of the village as the hovering helicopter destroyed the village with multiple explosions which would have led to his character's redemption. The helicopter pilot had trouble navigating through the fireballs created by pyrotechnic effects for the sequence. A technician on the ground did not know this and detonated two of the pyrotechnic charges close together. The flash-force of the two explosions caused the low-flying helicopter to spin out of control and crash land on top of Morrow and the two children as they were crossing a small pond away from the village mock-up. All three were killed instantly; Morrow and Le were decapitated by the helicopter's top rotor blades while Chen was crushed to death by one of the struts. A report released in May 1984 by the National Transportation Safety Board stated:
"The probable cause of the accident was the detonation of debris-laden high-temperature special effects explosions too near a low-flying helicopter leading to foreign object damage to one rotor blade and delamination due to heat to the other rotor blade, the separation of the helicopter's tail rotor assembly, and the uncontrolled descent of the helicopter. The proximity of the helicopter (around 25 feet off the ground) to the special effects explosions was due to the failure to establish direct communications and coordination between the pilot, who was in command of the helicopter operation, and the film director, who was in charge of the filming operation."
The deaths were recorded on film from at least three different camera angles. As a result of Morrow's death, the remaining few scenes of the segment could not be filmed and all of the scenes that were filmed involving the two Vietnamese children, portrayed by Myca and Renee, were deleted from the final cut of the segment. 
Myca and Renee were being paid under the table to circumvent California's child labor laws. California did not allow children to work at night. Landis opted not to seek a waiver. The casting agents were unaware that the children would be involved in the scene. Associate producer George Folsey, Jr. told the children's parents not to tell any firefighters on set that the children were part of the scene, and also hid them from a fire safety officer who also worked as a welfare worker. A fire safety officer was concerned the blasts would cause a crash, but did not tell Landis of his concerns. 
The accident led to civil and criminal action against the filmmakers which lasted nearly a decade. Landis, Folsey, production manager Dan Allingham, pilot Dorcey Wingo and explosives specialist Paul Stewart were tried and acquitted on charges of manslaughter in a nine-month trial in 1986 and 1987. As a result of the accident, second assistant director Andy House had his name removed from the credits and replaced with the pseudonym Alan Smithee.
The probable cause of the accident was the detonation of debris-laden high-temperature special effects explosions too near a low-flying helicopter leading to foreign object damage to one rotor blade and delamination due to heat to the other rotor blade, the separation of the helicopter's tail rotor assembly, and the uncontrolled descent of the helicopter. The proximity of the helicopter (around 25 feet off the ground) to the special effects explosions was due to the failure to establish direct communications and coordination between the pilot, who was in command of the helicopter operation, and the film director, who was in charge of the filming operation. Source.

So ends the main thesis for what some consider to be the true, underlying meaning of "237" in movies released in the past, up through The Shining (1980) and beyond. Several of Cronenberg's films, many of which were named above, need to be re-viewed for further insights. The 237-phenomena is much deeper than a cryptokubrological one. What it the result of the psychic trauma of the 23 July 1982 accident?

BTW, of course, Hawaii-Five-0 is the show (originally airing for 12 seasons from 1968 to 1980, and returning in 2010-Present) with the most use of Hawaiian shirts on broadcast television. Here is Vic Morrow on the program, wearing such a shirt.

Sunday, February 09, 2020

Eight Films Saying "237" Before The Shining

Alex Fulton and Shawn Montgomery have produced the third installment of their cryptokubrological series with CRYPTO-K 1.04 - Eight Films Saying "237" BEFORE The Shining. (See also here.)

The YouTube video is worth watching and re-watching. There is so much data here; try “reading” the cryptokubrology analysis with the sound off.  

As the subtitle notes:

The eight films detailed are:

(1) The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

(2) In The Good Old Summertime (1949)

(3) The Three Faces of Eve (1957)

(4) I Go On Singing (1963)

(5) Sleeper (1973)

(6) The World Beyond (1978)

(7) Fast Company (1979)

(8) The Big Bus (1976)


The Shining and The Wizard of Oz are referenced throughout.