A quick note to readers. This investigation, and my work at large, is not meant to represent any certainty. The more I learn, the less I feel I know. Just sayin iz all.
A couple of days ago, I did a short video on Vertigo. Don't watch it you haven't seen this dazzling movie. Anyway, I later noted the teleo-pun, Green I Go = Vert I Go. This pun became interesting the next morning when I participated in a lengthy podcast discussion about The Shining. In international versions of The Shining, Kubrick filmed the repetitive text of Jack's "novel" with pages designed for the country of release. In Italy, the text of the novel reads "The Sun holds the Morning in his mouth". A big clue that Kubrick nested to be discovered in the age of the DVD extra. In the pod discussion, panelist (Alan Green), conflated this Italian mystery from Kubrick to the alchemical symbol of the Green Lion. To me this was intriguing, because I was pretty sure Kubrick was a Leo. July 26, 1928.
The next part of the puzzle comes from panelist and Kubrick whizkid John Fell Ryan. John has decoded an "escape hatch" in the screen quadrants of The Shining. He notes that for characters lost in the Overlook, safety is always to the upper right of the screen image. Other directions lead to all sorts of chaotic and troublesome delights. John has a sort of a mnemonic device for this "escape hatch": In North Right, I. This requires a little explanation. In his wondrous pornographic exegesis, Robert Anton Wilson makes much of the "INRI" symbol nailed over Christ on the Cross. According to Wilson, an occult initiate must provide his own definition of the INRI acronym, which he then decodes as "Fire Dissolves All". John Fell Ryan, who is a fan of Wilson, takes on the challenge and yields "In North Right I", and finds the equation as an apt tool in his examination of The Shining.
Today, searching for an image of the Green Lion, I found it at a blogger called Writeye (Write Eye, Right Eye). Seriously.
And as a final piece to the puzzle: the instant and foaming discussion on the meaning of Ridley Scott's Prometheus. which bears some intriguing connections to The Shining.
In the main stream, the notion of Kubrick as Alchemist goes back to Jay Weidner's Alchemical Kubrick. In this essential touchstone of Kubrick research, Weidner proposes that 2001:ASO is an allegory of the alchemical process. Through the conflation of a set of persistent symbols, I would add that the films of Kubrick are akin to the secret work of Issac Newton, more than a study of alchemy, but the record of a legitimate alchemist looking for the Stone.
|Danny and Wendy escape to the Upper Right. One of many such "escape hatches" in the film.|
What must be understood is that Kubrick's "North Right" escape hatch is his (Kubrick's) mouth. Danny Torrance is the sacrificial Sun King. His escape to the upper right passes a crucifix, foretelling his fate as Eucharist: the food of his flesh that gives immortal life to those who partake. Kubrick, who has already been firmly conflated to character of Jack Torrance by a raft of researchers, is the Green Lion. Kubrick the Leo, who chooses his home in the heart of England's Green and Pleasant Land, is the author of Jack's multi-lingual manuscript. It is he who holds the morning in his mouth, and who consumes the sacrificial sun/son to dissolve himself by fire and be reborn as a New King. This is a conscious act of psychic cannibalism which Kubrick applies not only to his theoretical subject matter and the performers and technicians who work in his films, but also to his chosen audience. Stanley Kubrick wants to eat your brain and in so doing make himself immortal. I would suggest that the interest in his work, which is unparalleled, is the herald of his success. The dimensions of this success are beyond my comprehension.
The matter is complex, but a few keeners have sussed that during the action of The Shining, Wendy may be pregnant. This adds a little color to the bewildering Prometheus in comparison to The Shining, especially in the scene where Shaw (Noomi Rapace) beats back her alien afterbirth with an ax as it tries to wriggle though a crack in a doorway... "...here's Johnny...". For further comparison consider Michael Fassbender's David as Lloyd the Bartender, and the Ed Hardy looking Dr. Holloway as Jack. In Prometheus, David poisons Holloway with booze, same as Lloyd poisons Jack in The Shining.
Before you continue, please read this short interpretation of Prometheus, which is a fair distillation of the mainstream popular interps.
At the beginning of the Prometheus, we see a lone Engineer salute the Sun and consume the "black goo", and dissolve himself (by fire?). It appears to be a self-sacrifice, as the Engineer gives his life for the process. So we infer that the Engineers seed life on Earth and later send Christ as their emissary. The reaction to Christ is not acceptable, so the creators decide to destroy their creation. Such is the popular interpretation of Prometheus that is an internet interpretation mass phenomena only days after the movie is released.
However, informed by a comparison to "The Shining and the Green Lion Mystery" to the opening motif of Prometheus, we can decode a different meaning than the "Christ as Benevolent Engineer" theory that is a wild fire promoted openly by Scott himself.
In this alternate interpretation, the first Engineer is not doing something common to the Engineer culture. He is not seeding the Earth with new life, as the contact of the goo with water should be enough to achieve this end. Instead he renews himself As The Earth, in a supreme act of personal ego. Christ Engineer is sent to confront this personality, which has developed into a full-fledged civilization, and is murdered for his trouble. The off-world Engineers plot to destroy the Earth with no concern for so called human individuals, because they regard the Earth as a renegade Engineer: a unique, monadic personality. When Weyland (Guy Pearce) makes his way to the Engineer outpost in hopes of finding a technology to extend his life, he represents the culmination of human civilization, and particularly American Civilization as a completed avatar of the original Engineer, who has lost his memory.
This theory can also be gleaned from the teleo-pun of Prometheus as Pro-Me-The-Us. For Me the US, which is then modulated into E Pluribus Unum, as in From Many (US) Comes One (ME). A special nod to Effro and Crabfeather, who traded a bit of wordplay to reveal this interesting pun.