Why is the date in the picture July 4?

[It's not random, according to Geoff Alexander]

Why July 4th, a date with such heavy & unavoidable implications? Why not 
any other date? Why not July 26th, Kubrick's birthday (and Carl Jung's 
as well, I believe)? Wouldn't the year have sufficed? Why, if adding a 
specific date, choose a date which calls attention to itself? 
Especially when those implications reinforce themes evident throughout 
the film (and knowing how Kubrick works, this was not something left 
merely to the hands of the Art Department).

Especially when, in this instance it (the Date) being the most obvious
reference among all the references to this theme, it appears in its
significantly proper place -- as the final image from which we Fade to
Black. It is too perfectly communicative as a confirmation of its
precedent signifiers; as the literally ultimate image of the film it is
. . . damn near what Eliot would have called the Objective Correlative 
-- it's Jack's Independence Day (in more ways than one :) -- the very 
one WE celebrate....

Now, these implications of July 4th are so clear (especially within the
context of a film which makes so many similar references) that it is
unlikely to me that mere randomness is the simplest explanation . . .

Even if one could prove that Kubrick did NOT intend any conscious, 
intentional meaning behind the date, there is still the interpretive 
fact that it is there, in the finished work, and available for 
correlation to the contextual data. That is, even if K didn't intend
'purposely' to communicate XYZ, if the film does, it does. What we know 
of Art suggests that meaning is coming from somewhere, but the source is 
less important that the existence of it. In this case, the overwhelming 
wealth of contextual congruity in this matter almost necessitates the 
imputation of meaningfulness to this date . . .


Back to Table of Contents.