Monday, September 15, 2014


There very well may be too many Kubrick references to count in the Imagine Dragons video for their catchy, bouncy alt-pop tune On Top of the World... but we can still have fun trying, can't we? Join me after the jump for an attempt to catalog them all!

Here's my count, anyway...

  1. Kid on a Big Wheels tricycle references The Shining.
  2. The store where they're all staring through the window is called "Stan and Brick". Stanley. Kubrick. Duh.
  3. The tinfoil hat that the trike kid is wearing references the "Kubrick shot the fake moon landing for NASA" theories so prevalent of late.
  4. The vintage TV in the store window is a MONOLITH brand TV.
  5. At 0:17, the pattern on the wall behind the be-turtle-necked singer is one of the infamous carpet patterns from The Shining.
  6. The street number on turtle-neck's house is 2001.
  7. The hippie character drives a yellow VW Bug, just like Jack drives in The Shining.
  8. On the wood paneled wall of the aesthete's home, we see a bust of Beethoven (a la Clockwork Orange), as well as a distinctly Barry Lyndon-esque dueling pistol, as well as a bird of prey in flight. Significant, perhaps, that most of Kubrick's production companies have been named after flying raptors (Hawk Films, Peregrine Productions and Harrier Films)? When the shot becomes wider, we can also see a Freemasonic G in T-square plaque, not to mention a couple of creepy blonde twins.
  9. At 0:51, we can see a sign for Route 237 (Room 237), which takes one on a scenic "overlook" (as in the hotel from The Shining).
  10. At the 1:00 mark, we get a really clever and subtle one. The licence plate on the yellow VW Bug reads V1I707. Not ringing a bell? Try looking at it upside down and in a mirror, in which case it looks a hell of a lot like LOLITA!
  11. The "BEN IS DEAD" plate on the other vehicle doesn't appear to be a Kubrick reference, per se, but I do remember a pretty good independent magazine by that name which came out in the 90's.
  12. The red-eyed 0009LAH machine is a pretty obvious HAL9000 rip.
  13. After a bunch of pretty standard astronaut stuff, we get a glimpse of some very Clockwork Orange-looking furniture at the 1:40 mark. There's even an orange dot on a sleek, white, retro-futuristic lamp.
  14. Dare I try to pass off the Native Indian head that appears on the TV test pattern at the 2:00 mark as a particularly subtle reference to the Calumet Baking Powder cans that are such an important part of the urban mythology that has risen up around The Shining? Nah...
  15. The Fake Moon Landing scenario, complete with heavies in dark sunglasses and an anorak-sporting Kubrick stand-in and a sinister, delighted Nixon, takes up a big chunk of the video from hereon out.

And that about does it for me! Let me know down in the comments section if you spot any more!


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  2. Ben is dead is referring to the 'Paul is dead' conspiracy theory also from the 60's. Same reason why he isn't wearing shoes - reference to abbey road album cover.