Aveneu Park, Starling, Australia

This of this scene, Charlotte has not

This is much further exploited in Lolita (1962), not only does the tour of the house end in the
bathroom, as also seen in The Shining (1980),
but it is in the bathroom that Humbert Humbert’s (James Mason) feelings towards
Delores ‘Lolita’ Haze (Sue Lyon), and his distaste of his wife, Charlotte Haze
(Shelly Winters) are emphasised. As ‘along with the privacy usually linked with
bathrooms comes associations of hiddenness and filth’. (White in Kolker, 2006),
the bathroom in Lolita is the setting
for the private obscenities of male desire. Humbert hides away in the bathroom
to write in his diary about his forbidden love, and by the end of this scene,
Charlotte has not only found out the truth about Humbert and Lolita’s
relationship but is killed in an accident when she runs away distraught.
Humbert is next seen lounging in the bathtub, before friends arrive to off
their condolences him over the death of his wife. However, despite having
experienced this tragedy, Humbert is pictured as being very calm about the
situation, whereas in comparison, his friends are obviously more upset about
Charlottes passing. Additionally, the shower curtain is placed between Humbert
and the other characters all the while he is lying about his true emotional
state, which acts as a physical representation of a veil for his emotions. This
allows for the conclusion to be made that bathrooms are settings in which the
negative traits of humanity can flourish, shown on the screen as Humbert in a
dominant position, completely exposed in the bath, whilst friends and strangers
come and go. One such stranger reminds him of his step-daughter, Lolita, which
sparks Humbert’s plan to take her away and begin a relationship. The scene in
which Humbert tells Lolita of her mother’s death takes place with Humbert
placed in front of an open bathroom door, suggesting that the effects of the
bathroom’s negative space are infiltrating this new room. The shot has been constructed
to place both Lolita and Humbert into the bathroom without them being in the
room itself, allowing for Humbert’s negative traits to take over Lolita.
Lastly, the bathroom is the place in which Humbert begins to lose all control.
He witnesses Lolita chatting to a stranger by the car in the gas station while
he is in the bathroom, which consequently kickstarts his obsessive and paranoid
journey, with the film concluding with him not only losing Lolita, but
murdering Quilty (Peter Sellers). Humbert’s journey to this desperate ending is
escalated with each bathroom scene, as each new bathroom further brings forth
his animalistic nature.

Additionally, the two main bathroom scenes within Dr. Strangelove (1964) are used to
cement the future of the world. During the first one, near the beginning of the
film, General Turgidson (George Scott) is interrupted whilst he is in the
bathroom by his secretary, who informs him he is needed. As he is not on
screen, the tone of his voice implies that his personal time has been disrupted
by this news, something he deems less important in that moment. Later, General
Ripper is the only person who knows the code which can end the strike and
prevent nuclear war, however, he enters his bathroom and commits suicide by
shooting himself. This enables the understanding that the world was destroyed
because one man went to into the bathroom. Also insinuating that even military
men with the power over life and death retreat into the safety of the bathroom
to get away from their troubles. This is not the first time that Kubrick uses a
bathroom to suggest a breakdown in communication. Such a theme can also be
found in 2001: A Space Odyssey. In 2001, when Dr. Floyd (William Sylvester)
is embarking on his trip, he attempts to video call his daughter (Vivian
Kubrick), however this fails as her babysitter is currently in the bathroom.
Additionally, in 2001, at the end of
the film, Dave Bowman (Keir Dullea) has
left the vortex and found himself encountering various versions of himself
along differing timelines. He then comes across a bathroom, it is seemingly
immaculate, however, the bathroom does not contain a toilet. This can be read
as Kubrick’s way of showing the audience that Bowman has left behind his flawed
human form, and become the Star Child. Suggesting that only when humans remove
this animalistic act may they achieve such perfection. 

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