A subjective documentary that explores the numerous theories about the hidden meanings within 'Stanley Kubrick (I)' 's Kubrick''s film The Shining (1980). The film may be over 30 years old but it continues to inspire debate, speculation, and mystery. Five very different points of view are illuminated through voice over, film clips, animation and dramatic reenactments. Together they'll draw the audience into a new maze, one with endless detours and dead ends, many ways in, but no way out. Written by
Director Rodney Ascher has gone on record saying that he does not personally believe many of the theories espoused by narrators in this film. In an interview with Complex magazine, he said, "my personal take on it is, for one, I don't think it's nearly as visionary as any one of these folks have found. I just see it as sort of a story about juggling the responsibilities of your career and family and as cautionary tale of what may happen if you make the wrong choice. And even maybe looking at the ghosts as these figures that represent fortune or prestige or things that you might be chasing at the expense of paying proper attention to your family." See more »
In one of the trailers, a card is shown: "Neither this film, nor any view or opinion expressed in it, nor the context in which film footage and images are used, is approved or endorsed by, or is in any way associated with, the Kubrick 1981 Trust, Stanely Kubrick's family, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., or anyone else connected with the making of the motion picture The Shining ('The Shining Filmmakers'). The views and opinions expressed in this documentary film are solely those of the commentators in it and do not reflect the views of Stanley Kubrick or The Shining Filmmakers." Stanley Kubrick's name is misspelled in the first sentence (assuming it is not deliberate). See more »
a delightfully mad view into the world of just some obsessive nerds
There's only so much you can say when talking about a documentary, particularly one that is about film itself, but the sheer range of emotions one experiences while watching Room 237 is as wild as many of the theories being espoused on the screen.
This is a delightfully mad view into the world of just some obsessive nerds (three out of the five who contribute to this have identical voices) who feel they have unlocked an elusive film by an even more elusive filmmaker.
It makes sense given Kubrick's own obsessive level of detail in his films that there can feasibly exist a sub-cult of obsessive pouring over the meaning of these details, and here we really get the full range of interpretation.
Some of the claims (the holocaust or fake moon landings apologies for instance) are downright bizarre and at times infuriating (something about faces in clouds) but never to a point where you stop being interested in what these misfits have to say.
Other theories are actually a lot more self-evident than their orators claim.
Of course the hotel is as just a disorientating maze as the literal hedge one outside, the film is supposed to be disorientating and of course this film is about the past and highlights the white-man's burden, the bloodshed of the native Americans haunts the film, and Colorado, throughout.
But some fascinating results still come from the experiments these interpretations require to give any kind of legitimacy.
The particular highlight is the idea of the film being played forwards and backwards simultaneously, which creates some incredible coincidences.
So in the end, this is a particularly enjoyable exercise in how interpretations can shape-shift, in any great art form, once boiled down to the sum of its parts, something Vladimir Nabokov (whose classic Lolita was directed by Kubrick) takes much pleasure beyond the grave in letting people get lost in the labyrinth references he created within his art.
This film provides the idea that Kubrick is probably up there laughing with him. www.ravechild.co.uk
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